Wednesday, April 25, 2012
These budding powerhouses, leaders in media, politics, sports, and science, are facilitating our future. Meet the architects of the next decade.
Alexis Pauline Gumbs & Julia Wallace • 29 & 32
Historians, Mobile Homecoming
In 2009, Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Julia Wallace were at a conference in North Carolina, attended primarily by black lesbians, and realized they were the youngest people there. Listening to the older women, “it became very obvious that the choices they had made and the things they had done had made things better for us,” Gumbs says. Adds Wallace: “We became very excited about the experiences they had.” That led the partners in life and work to get on the road and seek out African-American LGBT elders (basically, anyone older than they are) around the nation for a project called Mobile Homecoming. Gumbs and Wallace are documenting their subjects’ lives through video and audio interviews that they plan to assemble into a documentary film by the end of next year, and they are also holding intergenerational events and collecting photos, manuscripts, and other artifacts for an archive of black LGBT life.
The effort “has been affirming and sometimes overwhelming,” Gumbs says. In some cases, “people have been waiting all their life for someone to listen to them.” Wallace says the project made her realize “we have a responsibility to our elders and our ancestors to take care of each other.” In addition to Mobile Homecoming, Gumbs’s projects include BrokenBeautiful Press, a website where activists can share resources, and Brilliance Remastered, which offers online seminars, individual coaching, and other assistance for scholars. Wallace is founder of Queer Renaissance, which uses the Internet and other media to connect artists, activists, entrepreneurs, and others. Soon the busy duo will be collaborating on a children’s book as well.
Monday, April 23, 2012
Greetings Bright Thunder!
Applications are now open for May's Webinar Eye to Eye: Radical Collaboration for Community Accountable Scholars! Sign up by April 30th!
Eye to Eye will meet on four Tuesdays in May (8, 15, 22, 29)
Eye to Eye is an opportunity to get real about how individualism, internalized oppression and a capitalism-produced need to seem smart can get in the way of creating meaningful collaborations and useful intellectual partnerships with the communities that we love the most. It is also an opportunity to find partners to collaborate with and to create plans for becoming the unstoppable, interconnected, community accountable scholars we want to be!
Required reading: Audre Lorde's Eye to Eye: Black Women Hatred and Anger
The Eye to Eye Webinar Includes:
- a workbook based on Audre Lorde's Eye to Eye
- 4 live webinar discussion sessions facilitated by Alexis Pauline Gumbs and attended by aligned visionary underrepresented scholars
- inclusion in an ongoing networking google-group for webinar graduates
- theme songs to release internalized oppression as we reach out into collaboration!
To apply for the Eye to Eye Webinar email firstname.lastname@example.org with your responses to the following questions:
Contact information: (phone, email)
Who are you and what are you up to?
Why do you want to take this webinar?
What times are you available on Tuesdays in May? (Include your time zone!)
Alexis Pauline Gumbs, PhD
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
This Sunday was the second session of The Angry Intellectual: Channeling Rage for Transformation! We are training ourselves to use the energy and insight of our anger to create transformative relationships, not to reproduce domination. Here are some stones on our path.
After Audre Lorde’s “Journeystones I-X”
a quarry of clarity from the Angry Intellectuals
(or a can of stones to kick)
i can drop my need to be right all the time
i can drop my fear of seeming like a failure
drop my need to be liked
drop my need to fix things for other people
i can drop my tendency to bear it alone....
i can drop the need to always do more...sometimes i have already done (MORE THAN) enough. capitalism kills.
i can drop my fear of being judged
i can stop faking the funk like any revolution has gone smoothly
i can drop the need to fit in completely. i'm different (in some ways) and it's good.
and my shoes are cute :)
i can drop my hard rock need to seem like i can never be hurt
i can drop the fear of never being hurt...and suspecting that the present is simply the past in a new body, time, and person
which also must mean i have to drop a refusal to deal with past hurts
i can drop my expectations of other black women to be the perfect me i wish i was
i can drop my fear of seeming needy
i can drop my fear of being my mother
and me of being my father...
and me of being reactionary
i can drop my need to be right/to focus on just my hurt so that i can see that other’s actions are really out of fear
i can allow compassion, instead of pushing it away.
i can drop my shoulders and release the pent up tension. that's not even a good warrior pose!
i can drop the teacher/academic/professional pose which hinders the possibilities of radical education
i can drop those standards of grace that were not mine/ours to begin with
i can drop those perfectionist tendencies....
i can drop the idea of speaking to anger or emotion as taking up too much space.
i can drop my fear that i'm taking up too much space.
i can drop my fear that my community won't hold me.
i can drop my fast conclusions which foreclose the possibilities of allies
i can drop my fear of my own healing and give others permission to heal
i can drop my need to hide love. I feel deeply and I need to say it often.
i can drop my need to seem rational when I KNOW my feelings hold truth
i can drop my distrust of my body. my body knows the truth!
Thursday, April 12, 2012
This group poem highlights some of the wisdom that our anger reminds us to act on!!!
A Group Poem by the Participants in the Angry Intellectuals Webinar
Channeling Rage for Transformation
I know that there is magic in my rage, and power in its love
I know that every emotion I express is valid
I know transformation is possible possible possible
I know I have the power to create create create from something, from anything from nothing
I know that my work is valuable and matterfact PRICELESS!
I know that the lives of black girls are priceless and sacred everyday. Including Sunday!
I know I'm happy I got to go to black feminist "church" this afternoon :)
I know I am grateful for this space.
I know that we need more of these spaces, for the many more like us out there
I know that state sanctioned, vigilante style, wrongful death--genoicide--is wrong
I know that love is always the answer
I know the power of our knowledge and love is stronger than capitalist ignorance that has those i love captivated.
I know that the revolution begins with the self
I know I have more to learn. I know I must be held accountable.
I know that being present is an uncomfortable lifestyle I must embrace
I know Superiority, Supremacy is not used to having to listen to the invisible.
And, I will not remain invisible.
I know that I am beautiful.
I know that I am more than enough
I know that I am bigger than any institution
I know that we can do this work....
and I know that I am not yet who I desire to be but all things in due time...
I know I am not limited by my physical challenges
I know I have what I need to do the work I am here to do. Actualize!
I know, as a white woman, other white people often don't want me to respond to racism.
and yes I know that wrong is not my name
I know that my ancestors are right here right now.
I know I am not alone. I am surrounded in love.
I know that I am surrounded in and filled with transformative LOVE!
I know that letting go and not holding on is healing. Pack light
I know that we have strength in community. Not alone at all.
I know that my emotional clarity and expression will not only heal myself, but my community
I know when we come together to give others the space to express themselves
we give ourselves permission to be who we are
I know that my knowing is growing by the day.
I know that I know that I know that I know that I KNOW!
I know “they” betta act like they know
I know we betta act like we know!
(I know that I don't want this to end just yet :-)
Monday, April 09, 2012
This audio goodness comes from the newest educational program of Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind which is Brilliance Remastered (alexispauline.com/brillianceremastered) especially for community accountable scholars and visionary under-represented graduate students based on the ever blooming brilliance of Audre Lorde!
This podcast is inspired by the brilliance of the participants in the first webinar Remastered Tools 101! It includes group poems and definitions that we came up with during the webinar sessions and some of my favorite music from NC and the rest of the world! (Nneena Freelon, Bradford Marsalis, Pierce Freelon, Apple Juice Kid, Fantasia, Frou Frou, Fela Kuti, Stevie Wonder, Suheir Hammad, Goapele, Phillis Hyman and Res!)
At first I had planned for this podcast to be only for the webinar participants and our pre-existing monthly sustainers, but it is just TOO good not to share more widely! So anyone who makes a donation to Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind or becomes a monthly sustainer in APRIL will get a link to the podcast to groove to yourself or to share with a visonary under-represented graduate student/emerging community accountable scholar who you LOVE!
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
In the middle of the fourth and final session (it's so hard to say goodbye) of the Remastered Tools 101 Webinar, we affirmed the fact that daily truth is a crucial tool for empowered community accountable intellectual work. In order to stay in each other's lives every day beyond the webinar we shared the daily mantras that remind us WHAT IT REALLY IS! We will be putting these affirmations in our homes, pockets, bags, offices so that we can see them everyday and we invite you to do the same!
Remastered Tools 101: Daily Mantras:
"you here to remind people of free" -marvin k white
“I am who I am doing what I came to do.” –Audre Lorde
“Being open to receiving and giving blessings will keep you in touch with your passion, the passion you need to make it to the finish line. Get excited about your work and know that when you change the way you look at things, things you look at change. Go get em’ girl. I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your being.” –Melissa’s Auntie
“Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water, yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible nothing can surpass it.” –Tao Te Ching
“I wish to live because life has within it that which is good, that which is beautiful and that which is love.” Lorraine Hansberry
“Salt water can heal anything.” Lex’s Pop-pop
“Go on and be what we couldn’t.” Mississippi Damned
“We can learn to mother ourselves.” Audre Lorde
“How you treat yourself if how you treat God. You are the representation of God in your life.”
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” Lao Tzu
“Are you sure, sweetheart, that you want to be well.” Minnie Ransom from Toni Cade Bambara’s The Salt Eaters
“Consistency is manifestation.“ Queen Hollins
“There is an invisible red threat that connects all human beings and though it may stretch or tangle it will never break.” Chinese Proverb
“Love is lifeforce.” June Jordan
“A thing is mighty big when time and distance cannot shrink it.” –Zora Neale Hurston
“There is a close connection between sexual repression and extreme aggression.”
“This is my granddaughter the poet.” Lex’s Grandma
“Caminante, no hay puentes, se hace puentes, se hace puentes al andar./ Voyager, there are no bridges, one builds them as one walks.” –Gloria Anzaldua
“Listen to each person as if she is your great teacher uttering her last words.”-Hafiz
“Safety is always necessarily an illusion.” –James Baldwin
“The work is the diva.” Zakia
“The best way to do it is to do it!” Toni Cade Bambara
“Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.” Rumi
“Movement is medicine.” Brown Femi Power
“Relationships not resumes.” –Thaura Distro
“Wrong is not my name. My name is my own my own my own my own.” –June Jordan
“We have the opportunity and the responsibility to become fifty times greater than we thought we could be.” Grace Lee Boggs and James Boggs
“We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous. Actually, who are you not to be?” Marianne Williams
“Warrior get up!” Climbing Poetree
“So it is better to speak, remembering we were never meant to survive.” Audre Lorde
“Black girls are from the future.” Renina Jarmon