Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind


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Happy Birthday Ida B. Wells!!!!!

It is Ida B. Wells Day!!!

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Shield. For Ida B. Wells by Alexis P. Gumbs. 

In honor of Ida B. Wells Day (July 16th), here is an encore presentation of a meditation comes from this warrior for the transformative light of truth.  I see you bright thunder!

Listen to the meditation here: http://blackfeministbreathing.tumblr.com/post/88260018735/todays-meditation-comes-from-the-great-ida-b 

If you want to get access to all of the meditations streaming find out how here:  http://blackfeministbreathing.tumblr.com/about 

Also get your limited edition copy of the collage “Shield” for Ida B. Wells this week in celebration with a donation of $35 or more.  (Only 20 copies exist!)

 

Remember to put “Ida B. Wells Poster” in your donation note!

If you want to be notified about future meditations and are not on the email list yet sign up here: http://eepurl.com/ThvM5

Support When We Free

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Ida B. Wells funded her revolutionary investigative journalistic publications Southern Horrors and A Red Record about the next steps for freedom after emancipation through the supportive fundraiser of Black Women’s Clubs in the early 1900s. Now, we too are funding When We Free our revolutionary independent film about spiritual freedom after emancipation by reaching out to our most aligned and devoted community!!! YOU! Celebrate Ida B. Wells, independent media and the possibility of our collective freedom by donating and spreading the word!!! http://www.gofundme.com/ba5bqg

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And then tune in to #idaslegacy at 2pm ET on twitter for a conversation convened by Echoing Ida and Ebony Magazine featuring Kimberly DrGoddess Ellis (and moderated by yours truly)!


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Wave a Hand and Shake a Fan: Online Revival for the When We Free Filming Fund

 

 

We making a film. (So) We passing the hat! Check out this online revival and get some soul-stirring perks when you donate towards cast, crew, location, costumes and food for When We Free’s upcoming filming weekend!!!! 

 

http://www.gofundme.com/ba5bqg

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When We Free is a short film about Rose Hill, a recently freed black community’s first camp meeting since emancipation. They search for balance between the spiritual traditions they have brought across the Atlantic and those they learned in bondage. When We Free engages the various choices free Black folks made in Rose Hill concerning spirituality and religion when “Master” was no longer directly in charge or involved.

To find out more about the film visit: http://whenwefree.jroxmedia.com/current-projects/when-we-free-the-film/

This film is the Omiero (the holy water infused with herbs in “New World” Ifa/Yoruba/African spiritual practice) preparation internally and externally for Africans in diaspora to consider the Earth based spiritual practices of their ancestors. What do we need to break and to draw; to keep and to relinquish so that the Holy Spirit, the divine, can fully be present? What chains need to be broken and what needs to be awakened so that Africans in diaspora can have access to unbound spirit? How can even the religions of the colonizers and enslavers be reconnected to their own Earth based roots? When We Free is a cleansing and clarifying ritual that questions the source and sustenance of our freedom and spiritual roots.

The filming of When We Free will be a transformative community ritual that uplifts our ancestors and contributes to the conversation about what spiritual practices our freedom requires in the current moment.  We are raising money to house, feed, transport, and offer stipends to cast and crew and for equipment, props, location fees and supplies.

              

   


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Happy Birthday June Jordan!!!!!

Happy Birthday June Jordan!!!!

In honor of June Jordan’s Birthday (July 9th)  Here is an encore release of our first meditation is based on June Jordan’s “Poem for South African Women.” This is available for 24 hours!!! Share with your friends and loved ones!  Remember the multitudes that breathe through you.  (And if you listen to the VERY end you will actually hear June Jordan laugh!)

Listen here: http://blackfeministbreathing.tumblr.com/post/86567549445/our-first-meditation-is-based-on-june-jordans

If you want to get access to all of the meditations streaming find out how here:  http://blackfeministbreathing.tumblr.com/about 

Also get your limited edition copy of the collage “Wholehearted” for June Jordan today in celebration with a donation of $35 or more.  (Only 20 copies exist!)

Remember to put “June Jordan Poster” in your donation note!

If you want to be notified about future meditations and are not on the email list yet sign up here: http://eepurl.com/ThvM5

 


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Remembering More than We Can Remember: Audition for When We Free!

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When We Free – Casting Call

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Title: When We Free

30 minute Narrative (Short) Independent film, Non-Union

Production Location: Durham, NC Director: Julia Roxanne Wallace / Sangodare Akinwale Producer: Alexis Pauline Gumbs Format: 16:9 HD Compensation: Meals, Copy and Credit ***NOTE: For non-actors some of the information and the process in general may be unfamiliar. Please scroll down to the bottom where we have more information about what to expect. .

Synopsis

When We Free is a short film about Rose Hill, a recently freed black community’s first camp meeting since emancipation. They search for balance between the spiritual traditions they have brought across the Atlantic and those they learned in bondage. When We Free engages the various choices free Black folks made in Rose Hill concerning spirituality and religion when “Master” was no longer directly in charge or involved.

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Dates:

Auditions 10am Saturday – July 12, 2014 5pm Tuesday – July 15, 2014 Rehearsals Friday – July 18 and 25, 2014 at 6pm Sunday – July 20 and 27, 2014 at 1:30pm Filmming Dates August 1-3, 2014 (Friday – Sunday) September 5-7, 2014 (Friday – Sunday) .

Contact:

Please contact us via email to schedule your audition. Please send an image and relevant resume. If you don’t have a resume for acting or performance please just send a description of any relevant experience or interest in acting and performing. Please come to the audition prepared to sing a song of your choice, sing in a group and to do a scene. Scripts and lyrics will be available when you arrive. Please be prepared to stay at least 1 hour. info@whenwefree.com (919) 666-7274  

Roles:

IDA [ Lead - African/African American Female age 13 - 15 ]

Ida is a curious teenager coming of age just after emancipation. She is searching for a connection to her African roots and pride in a community where some are only seeking survival and validation from whites. She is fully self-expressed. She sings, dances and pays attention to everything. .

DEACON [ Lead - African/African American Male age 40 - 60 ]

Deacon is magically middle-aged, tall and slender in his collage-looking suits. As a skilled farmer and medicine man, he is a leader in his community. His favorite place to be is the forest and his favorite thing to do is make music. He is working to heal himself and his community from the traumas of slavery and ongoing oppression. .

PASTOR [ Lead - African/African American Male 40 - 50 ]

Pastor is a quiet and playful carpenter and welder who avoids conflict and the expectations placed on him by others because of his size and skill.  

HARRIET [ Lead - African/African American Female 40 - 60 ]

Harriet is a strong-willed and sweet matriarch in her community. She holds and shares the stories and ritual memory. Not everyone agrees with her practices but everyone respects her. .

SOJO [ Lead - African/African American Female 35 - 45 ]

Sojo is a humble and skilled laborer and well educated relative to those in her community. She revels in her ability to where pants whenever she chooses, not just while working, now that she has her freedom. .

NAT [ African/African American Male 13 - 17 ]

Nat is a passionate teenager who works hard and looks for work everywhere he can as a means to achieve independence and gain respect.  

CONGREGATION MEMBERS [ African/African American  ages 10+, all sizes and all sexes/genders, ]

Congregation members are recently freed folks from all walks of life – laborers, educators, domestic workers, etc. They have journeyed from far and wide seeking healing, home, family & friends, work and salvation. The local congregants already have their own preferences about belief and service style; while the new comers eagerly explore the services. Many of them are powerful singers and spiritually attuned in their own right. NOTE: The Congregation actively participates in various church services on the camp site. Some of the services are conservative with little emotion, others are very emotional and ecstatic. Congregants will be expected to play multiple roles and participate fully in multiple services and rituals.  

Contact:

Please contact us via email to schedule your audition. Please send an image and relevant resume. If you don’t have a resume for acting or performance please just send a description of any relevant experience or interest in acting and performing. Please come to the audition prepared to sing a song of your choice, sing in a group and to do a scene. Scripts and lyrics will be available when you arrive. Please be prepared to stay at least 1 hour. info@whenwefree.com (919) 666-7274     – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

NOTES on the Process:

1. The first step is to schedule your audition as described above AND tentatively set aside any dates listed for rehearsal and filming. 2. Prepare for your audition based on the description of the role and any other information and directions given by the casting coordinators. 3. Arrive a little early/on time to have as much time as possible to prepare using any material provided. 4. You will likely find out if you have been cast within a week.


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Mississippi Freedom Breathing (50 Years Later)

From the Black Feminist Breathing Retreat

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50 years ago Fannie Lou Hamer and Ella Baker were making sure all eyes were on Mississippi.  They were standing up in Mississippi churches that racists were threatening to firebomb talking about how the July 2nd signing of the Voting Rights Act meant nothing if the people in Mississippi did not have control of land and educational institutions.   They were touring the United States with the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party demonstrating how different a political party based around equality and freedom would look from the mainstream Democratic Party.   They were organizing the logistics and challenging the ideology of the thousands of students who came to Mississippi to bring attention to the racist violence and disenfranchisement that black people experienced on a daily basis in that state and in the rural United States in general.

50 years ago Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer and the thousands they mentored were breathing in Mississippi.  And some were not breathing.  50 years ago the bodies of James Cheney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman were found buried in Mississippi where they had been fighting for Civil Rights and investigating the firebombing of just the type of church Ella Baker and Fannie Lou Hamer were filling with vision and song.

50 years ago Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer and everyone in the revolutionary radius of their earshot was clear about the significance of Mississippi and the possibility of a Mississippi where black people and everyone who believed in freedom could vote and breathe, and explore their brilliance, and breathe,  and feed their families, and breathe,  and walk the land day or night in safety.  Where visionaries could go to sleep and wake up not firebombed but breathing.  Where visionaries could walk a dirt road and reach their destination breathing, not dragged to death.

I offer this historical context as a reminder that the Black Feminist Breathing Retreat coming up on July 4-6th in Magnolia, Mississippi occurs in a tradition of revolutionary breathing in Mississippi.   We will be filling sacred space with songs, prayers and freedom mantras from the mouths of Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker and other foremothers.  We will be acknowledging what is still at stake while breathing in the deep south.  We will be channeling our energy towards a future, already envisioned, but not yet achieved where the dignity of all people, to eat, to learn, to breath, to be safe in our different and irreplaceable bodies is guaranteed by the robust love of an interconnected community.

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In honor of this connection I want to

1. Extend the opportunity for any black freedom loving queer affirming folks living in the deep south or with roots there to attend the Black Feminist Breathing Retreat.   Sign up information is here:  http://www.alexispauline.com/apgblog/event-view/black-feminist-breathing-retreat-july-4-6th-magnolia-mississippi/     Any contribution you can make is perfect.  Just come.

2.  Invite you all to spread the word to you loved one in and from the deep south to come to the retreat!  (You can post this link on all your social media and email your fam!  http://www.alexispauline.com/apgblog/event-view/black-feminist-breathing-retreat-july-4-6th-magnolia-mississippi/

3. Invite you to donate to the Black Feminist Breathing Retreat Scholarship Fund (share this link too!)  http://www.alexispauline.com/apgblog/cause-view/support-black-feminist-breathing/

And in celebration while the 21 days of the Black Feminist Breathing Chorus are over, the meditations inspired by Fannie Lou Hamer and Ella Baker will be available for free on the site until July 4th (in case your mind lights on freedom!)  Share the meditations with your friends!

“Nobody’s Free Until Everybody’s Free”-Fannie Lou Hamer  http://blackfeministbreathing.tumblr.com/post/88493354740/on-day-21-aka-my-birthday-fannie-lou-hamer

“Give Light and People Will Find the Way” -Ella Baker  http://blackfeministbreathing.tumblr.com/post/88362488770/i-love-seeing-these-powerhouses-together-this

The meditation series ended on June 12th. If you want to be notified about future meditation experiences you can join the email list here. 

If you would like to get eternal access to the 22 meditations streaming and downloaded to use for your personal upliftment or to share with your organization or students you can become a monthly sustainer of the Eternal Summer of Black Feminist Mind at a level that feels generously sustainable to you.

Or if you want to move the meditation magic forward you can make a donation towards the scholarship fund for the Black Feminist Breathing Retreat (see more below).  Donations of $25-100 give you eternal access to the streaming meditations on the site and donations of 101 or more give you access to streaming AND downloads of the meditations as audio files.

If breathing in chorus through this virtual experience feels great, imagine what it would feel like to breathe together in person!!!  On July 4th weekend 2014 we will be gathering for the Black Feminist Breathing Retreat in Magnolia, Mississippi at the Flowering Lotus Meditation Center.

Here is a video that includes some of the power of our breathing together at last year’s Combahee Pilgrimage Retreat:

We hope to see you this Freedom Summer!!!!

Love,

Alexis Pauline Gumbs

 

 

 


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Mentoring is More than a Notion

dedicated to Cheryll Y. Greene

10151199_10101184226627142_1065609381_nI once heard someone say that the measure of a good teacher is whether the children of the student, the students of the student, the neighbors and friends of the student know her name.  It was an honor to lead a Brilliance Remastered workshop yesterday about mentorship in remembrance of one of my greatest mentors and chosen mothers the editor, poet, rabblerouser, teacher, oral historian, archivist, visionary queen Cheryll Y. Greene.

On the Barnard lawn just across the street from the building where I first met Cheryll, we shared our gratitude for the mentors we have and have had.  We mapped our community accountability and talked about the mentors we don’t often acknowledge and the mentoring relationships we need to nurture more.  We did role plays about overcoming the vulnerability of seeking mentoring relationships with people we find to be intimidatingly awesome. We talked about the impact of mentorship, the ways that our mentors can change the way we carry ourselves, the ways we live in our bodies even when they are not physically near us.  I am grateful that Cheryll’s presence, her wit, her advice, her critique and her no-nonsense focus have become a part of my being.   And together in Cheryll’s honor and for our collective clarity we created a poem based on a classic phrase that Cheryll often used to describe the indescribable.  Whether talking about the unstoppable brilliance of Black people, the realities of single motherhood, the intricacies of moving ideas from brains into tangible print, Cheryll would take a deep breath and shake her head saying, “It’s more than a notion.”

The impact of Cheryll Greene and all of our mentors and each of us as we mentor each other is more than a fleeting thought, more than a strategy for advancement, more the sum of the pieces of advice we need, more much much much more than a notion.

Mentoring is More Than a Notion

by the participants in the 2014 Barnard MMUF Workshop

in honor of Cheryll Y. Greene

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real talk is more than a notion

eye contact is more than a notion

a smile is more than a notion

nodding your head is more than a notion

being present is more than a notion

asking for help is more than a notion

 

owning my fabulous is more than a notion

keeping in touch is more than a notion

heeding advice is more than a notion

 

cooperation is more than a notion

having your back is more than a notion

your gut is more than a notion

saying thank you is more than a notion

 

making time for tea is more than a notion

deep sighs are more than a notion

silence in conversation is more than a notion

tenderness is more than a notion

 

we are more

we are more than a notion

 

*Learn more about transformative workshops from Brilliance Remastered here.


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June 6th in Durham, NC: Black Feminist Film School Summer Session Opening Weekend Community Screening

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Join Black Feminist Film School Summer Session for our opening screening at Center for Documentary Studies!  This screening is open to our entire community and will give you an opportunity to to meet the Black Feminist Film School 2014 Summer Fellows, see some of Black Feminist Film School’s films in process and celebrate the legacy and livelihood of Black Feminist Film practices.  We look forward to your feedback on our films in process and your warm welcome of our Summer Fellows.

We will be screening:

No Legacy Let Go

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No Legacy Let Go is an experimental short film that is part of the Mobile Homecoming experiential archive.  Based on our interview with Black lesbian elder Imani Rashid and our imaginings of a blues counterstory of queer Harlem, this film features original music and a reimagined and reclaimed history.  Versions of this film have been shown at the National Queer Arts Festival,  MIXMIX LGBTQ Film Festival in NYC and on multiple stops on the Mobile Homecoming national tour.     Our Durham community will get the chance to see the newest cut of the film and to offer feedback.

Combahee Pilgrimage

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Combahee Pilgrimage is a documentary in process about the life-changing journey of 21 Black feminists to the Combahee River to commemorate both the 150th anniversary of Harriet Tubman’s 1863 uprising during which at least 750 enslaved people in South Carolina burned down 35 plantation buildings, flooded the rice fields and stole themselves to freedom and the origin story of the 1974 founding of the Black lesbian socialist feminist Combahee River Collective.

 

Tradition Returned

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Ile Ori: Tradition Returned (working title) is a film about a unique Ifa community in the United States. Building on African traditions in the new world diaspora and a sankofa (go back and fetch it; looking back to move forward) approach to Yoruba culture and spirituality, this inclusive community travels the ecstatic and challenging terrain of initiating new Priests into the mysteries, medicine and power of Orisha.

This film introduces some of the concepts of Ifa, tells the story of this Ile’s first 10 years and tells the story of some of the challenges and stigmas that a same gender loving, transgender and racially inclusive Ifa community faces. Through it all, the power of this community to support one another through transformation is mesmerizing.

My People

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My People is an audio performance piece based on a poetic protest narrative by Alexis Pauline Gumbs and a soundscape created by Julia Roxanne Wallace aka Sangodare.   The piece was created in response to the unjust arrest of two queer and trans activists of color by the NYPD and successfully helped to mobilize global support for their release.

See you there!

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