Here’s the article on Ana from the Statesman, 15 January 2009. By Joshunda Sanders, it’s called “Celebrated author, artist and activist Sisnett dies after battle with cancer.” A beautiful picture of Ana and more information is at Lesbian.com, of which Ana was a founding member.
Ana Sisnett passed away yesterday at 4pm in Austin TX after dealing with ovarian cancer for three years. If you don’t know Ana, let me share her with you so that you will be as inspired as I have been. Most recently, she’s worked as a visual artist. More long-term, she’s a poet, activist, voice for social justice, internet pioneer. Here’s an article from the Austin Chronicle that gives you a little information on her work as Executive Director of Austin Free-Net, a community technology center: “Ana Sisnett: The Reluctant Heroine.”
An African Panamanian, Ana remained moved by her childhood geography and the sounds of Caribbean English, Spanish. She used the sound of her Barbadian grandmother’s voice in her children’s book, Grannie Jus’ Come. Ana wrote the poem first, and after hearing it, I told her it would make a wonderful children’s book. She took me seriously. We took each other’s words seriously — especially when it came to writing, art, politics, family — coffee and Scrabble. Even with cancer, she still kicked my butt in Scrabble.
I’ve got so many more stories, but I’ll stop now. I know there will be a huge memorial in Austin. Ana’s big soul affected so many people.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Commitee has declared Monday (12 January 2009) “Wear Your Kuffiyeh” day in support of Gaza. They’ve also declared Tuesday a day of fast and recommend sending the money you would use for food to Gaza. Here’s their website:
The massacre in Gaza takes away my speech and replaces it with tears — a tearing pain that I don’t have money and power and will enough to stop this thing which can only be genocide. What else? If a state bombs a people already caged in by impassable borders, starved, physically and in so many other ways. This word — genocide — was spoken by Anna Baltzer in her talk she gave last spring. Baltzer shows the diminishing geography of Palestine and talks about the eradication of the land, the people. I let my impotent tears fall and curse impossible humanity, my own government, and all the hellishness of greed, self-righteousness, and war.