You Can’t Conjure as a Coven of One
by Daren Fowler — Georgia State University
April 05, 2017 – 19:35
The 2017 keynotes for Morehouse’s Safe Space week (“Allure: Conjuring Blaqueer Magic”), Jafari Allen and Tarell McCraney, spoke of conjuring–what Allen conceptualized as the making of something out of nothing, a communal act of chant and oath, a time-compressing magical breath. McCraney voiced blaqueer magic as the “ancient-scared chant…lost to the white way,” a “chant that black men loving each other is a revolutionary act.” They spoke of the old ways of black life and magic that gives black women and queers vibrant survival. They spoke of Lorde’s erotics–the “measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings." When the blaqueer sorcerer reaches the erotic inside themselves they reach the empowering flow of energy between self and desire. The erotic, in the face of suffocating and vile racist heteropatriarchy, stands as a radical act of self-care that nurtures, soothes, and grows the self beyond the limits of expectations to form new and hard-fought possibilities. But as McCraney beautifully said to a student’s question: “You can’t conjure in a coven of one.” The erotic’s blaqueer magic is a collective chanting, a communal being, a binding spell of we.
To feel McCraney’s sermon, Allen’s read, and Lorde’s gospel revitalizes and focuses what Moonlight gives us all, but what it most likely secretly reveals to blaqueer witches and wizards–an erotic vision of the violence of masculinity, of white silencing. When Chiron lays his head against Kevin’s shoulder he not only peacefully suspends himself against the maelstrom of straightening, whitening, vile winds. Chiron comes to touch his self, touch his ancient erotic knowledge of blaqueer magic. He ruptures time, bringing himself to the past and his past to himself. He witnesses his young, radiating-blue self look back at him and sees his moonlight, sees his blackness, sees his magic. The erotic touch of Black to Kevin to Little is the touch of knowledge–the blaqueer knowledge of magic, of community, and, as McCraney spoke, that “all is conjuring.”