I believe the honoring of our ancestors is the sacred space in which our spiritual and our political selves meet, and that important members of our communities become ancestors every day. Passing on their words, wisdom and struggles is not just about memorializing them, but reminding each other that our fights continue when we take on the responsibility of continuing them. Remembering how those fought before us reminds us that our struggles are not rooted in legislation, political parties or rhetoric, but in love for ourselves and our people, the deep need to express that love freely, and to live our lives as whole. We honor those who fight with us and fought before us to keep their strength and knowledge a part of us, and a part of our movements.
Irma Cabrera Romero is a disabled, Xicana activist, and a fixture in the Latin@ community of Chicago. She worked continually for countless struggles around the nation and world, but especially for the rights of undocumented people and the Puerto Rican Independence Movement. She died on January 11th, 2013 of a heart attack after a medical procedure. Johnny B is a local artist and emcee who spoke with particular poignance and perspective about the culture of violence in the city of Chicago. He was shot on January 10th, 2013 after leaving the home of a friend on the West Side.
Rest in peace.