Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind

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Spilling Spill: The Abstract

978-0-8223-6272-2_pr“…an unstoppable flow.”

It is less than ten weeks until the release of my book Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity and I am so excited to share it with you! As the website says:

“In Spill, self-described queer Black troublemaker and Black feminist love evangelist, Alexis Pauline Gumbs presents a commanding collection of scenes depicting fugitive Black women and girls seeking freedom from gendered violence and racism. In this poetic work inspired by Hortense Spillers, Gumbs offers an alternative approach to Black feminist literary criticism, historiography, and the interactive practice of relating to the words of Black feminist thinkers. Gumbs not only speaks to the spiritual, bodily, and otherworldly experience of Black women, but also allows readers to imagine new possibilities for poetry as a portal for understanding and deepening feminist theory.”

I have decided to share the chapter abstracts with you one at a time over the next few weeks, but for now here is the abstract for the book as a whole.  Spill is not an easy book to describe, so I saw creating the meta-data, aka the abstracts and keywords that online databases and libraries use to search for books, as its own poetic exercise.  Here are the abstract and keywords for the book as a whole:

Abstract: “This book is an experimental site consisting of fugitive scenes where black women seek freedom or scenes the depict worlds in which black women need and want and seek multiple forms of freedom.   Readers encounter a plethora of characters and situations that ask for embodiment, witness and exploration of the gendered problem and possibility of black freedom. The entire time, the multiple definitions of the word “spill” remind us of the overflowing impact of language as an excess of representation, an unstoppable flow.”

Keywords: 

Hortense Spillers

Black women

Black girls

Black feminism

Fugitivity

Freedom

You can pre-order Spill here.

Educators…order a desk copy or exam copy of Spill for a course you are teaching here.

If you are interested in writing about Spill or interviewing me about it please contact Laura Sells at Duke University Press—–lsell@dukeupress.edu

If you are interested in hosting an event contact Chad Royal at Duke University Press— chad.royal@dukeupress.edu

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Self-Possession: Revolutionary Mothering Wildseeds Residency

love.poem for wild.seeds

 

for these who breathe like seeds in hair

and guts in ruts of ships

that made it here

to plant the peace of new world truths

 

i grow for you my brambled heart

my youth

 

for mine who deep of dug and dirty dreams

have flexed and tensed your cores beyond the seams

of what seems real into the field of what we feel

 

i come soil in my nails

ready to heal

 

for you who brave of skin and light

dare to birth

not the world we have

but one of worth spun out in sun

and blessed by moon

 

i can’t wait to see you

see you soon

Last week I had the joy and honor of being the first ever artist-in-residence with the New Orleans Wildseeds Emergent Strategy Collective.    We started the week off by attending the Wind and Warrior Retreat in Magnolia  Mississippi at the Flowering Lotus Retreat Center and were met in New Orleans by Dark Sciences Dream Retreat Alumni Ayana and Rockie!

The residency took place at a vibrant black-women-owned Community Books in mid-city New Orleans.

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We opened the residency with a Revolutionary Mothering panel on mothering beyond gender and the healing practice of legacy breaking/new legacy making featuring a brilliant, brave and emotionally nuanced panel of New Orleans wise nurturers Monica McIntyre, Soraya Jean-Louis McElroy, Amanda Emily Smith, Savannah Shange and Adrien Ysaye McElroy.

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We also co-curated an altar in honor of the lives of black women and girls and the infinite worth of black and brown people of color in communion with the altar building #sayhername coordinated around the country.

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The next day, I got my whole entire life at the Inner-Child Playshop Soraya facilitated.  I was able to realize that my inner child had decided that her heart was not safe in her chest…so she sent it to the cloud…for digital storage and protection.  Now I get to redownload my heart into this spiritually fortified body and more fully experience my embodiment.

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Here is the board book that Soraya creatively facilitated me to create!

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And we closed out with a Love is Lifeforce Workshop where we created circles and dedication of love and accountability.

  Here are the blessing poems we wrote for each other’s communities of accountability.

*************

the night, dark, dancing

we are the lights you can’t see

we are the drums laughing

 

 

Dem told ya be small?

Queer sa’pozd ta be ik’spansiv

Shade is LIFE, fux dat!

 

 

inheritance

 

Family history

Love across time, space, mouths, hearts

I owe that to you

 

 

for May

 

oscillating be-

tween their world and ours

feels safe, just like home

 

-Nelle

 

for Nelle

 

Spread your wings and fly

Beautiful black queer folks

to our shared dreams.

 

-May Wen

 

 

for Savannah

 

Students of color

San Francisco, keep them safe

From police and hate

 

-Isis

 

black oceanic

ancestral waters call her

remember to play

 

inner child shine bright

run, sing, play, dance, skip, fly, soar

fill skies with black joy

 

Rockie knows ratchet

is without condition, love

just like black femme-ness

 

-Mandisa

 

for Tara

 

Authenticity

Fierce light so rightly have feared

Births awakening…

 

-Amber Jolle

 

warrior, know your truth

as child denies connection

in crime against us

 

-Tara

 

 

for alexis (on black mothers)

 

unacknowledged wounds

passed from womb to bome, but her

magic let(s) us breathe

 

for kaiden (and all queer/trans hoez that do too much)

 

a sunstar shines bright

for herself and each other

we never too much

 

 

fieldwork.    (for isis)

 

second birth bends her

closer to whole. you, daughter,

write this homecoming.

 

-savannah shange

 

 

for Kenshata

 

Clouds are not alone

even with a field of sky

songs of rain feeds us.

 

-Daiquiri

 

for Daquiri

 

in b/w fist fights

for justice. we searched each other

for the love within.

 

-Kenshata

Centering fat black

women as health-fully whole

heals public healthcare.

 

-Wendi Moore-O’Neal

 

Loving Lifeforce in Southern Black Women

 

4 southern blaq womyn

in @ deep southern astral plane

carrying mothers, grandmothers & others

 

bl@ck womyn behind bars, counters,

picket fences, alcoholism, fundamentalism,

in fences, coffins, gardens, gas stations

and shotgun houses

 

caring to carry & carrying care

like flaming white bouquet

from plate to vanity to pass(t) to

pastor

 

-Xena X. Ellison

 

 

for Chris and any being locked in a cage

 

pain is a mirror

but love is not made of steel

love is much stronger

 

steel is a mirror

and you are not made of pain

you are made of love

 

-Alexis Pauline Gumbs

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I am so grateful for the resplendent love I experienced during this community residency.  Love especially to core crafters Desiree Evans, Soraya Jean-Louis McElroy and Monica McIntyre of Wildseeds and Ayana Omilade Flewellen and Racquel Gilford of the Dark Sciences Dream Retreat Crew for making this experience sustaining, transforming and abundant.

I am excited to collaborate again with Wildseeds and other queer people of color collectives. Holler at your girl!


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The Difference Between Poetry and Rhetoric: Responding to Police Violence

Audre Lorde w June Jordan, Alice Walker, Lucille Clifton

“The difference between poetry and rhetoric is being ready…”  -Audre Lorde in “Power”

Thursday August 4th 6pm-9pm EDT. Online. 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-difference-between-poetry-and-rhetoric-responding-to-police-violence-tickets-26877479264

We have recently heard quite a lot of rhetoric, during an election cycle where (thanks to intentional organizing and horrific acts of harm caught on video) police violence cannot be ignored.   And we have continued to see the judicial system offer anything but justice.  Due to repeated requests, we are offering another one night webinar on how writers, scholars and artists can respond to police violence in this moment.

This online course is for those of us who are scholars, writers and artists who are figuring out our role in a moment characterized by (a need for) drastic change. This one night workshop draws specifically on ways that Audre Lorde and June Jordan responded to police violence as poets, university teachers and public intellectuals. We need the depth of their legacy right now as much as we ever have.

The class will draw on Sista Docta Alexis Pauline Gumbs’s chapter “Nobody Mean More: Black Feminist Pedagogy and Solidarity” in the book The Imperial University: Academic Repression and Scholarly Dissent (eds. Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira.)

As she says in the chapter itself “This chapter is a meditation on what it means to be nobody in a university economy designed to produce somebody inviduated, assimilated and consenting to empire. Is it possible to instead become nobody in the academic space? Is it possible to align with the illegible oppressed/contemporary subaltern, the falling apart abject nonsubject, inside a university English class?” (Participants in the course will get a pdf of the full chapter to refer to for the class.)

If you, like Audre Lorde and June Jordan, are a writer or teacher or a theorist or a thinker or an activist or a mother or all of these things at the same time, join us for a supportive space where we tap into the the power of black feminist legacy and empower each other (the nobodies that we are) to face this moment. 

Get your ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-difference-between-poetry-and-rhetoric-responding-to-police-violence-tickets-26877479264

FAQs

If I did NOT participate in “Nobody Mean More: Responding to Police Violence” a few weeks ago, can I still take this course?

Yes.  In fact, part of the reason this course is happening is to accommodate people who wanted to participate in the first course and could not.

If I DID participate in “Nobody Mean More: Responding to Police Violence” a few weeks ago, can I still take this course?

Yes. Although we will be drawing on the same ancestors (Audre Lorde and June Jordan) and the same texts, we will be doing different activities.  If you participated in the first class and want to stay engaged in this conversation feel free to join us again.

Do I need to do a lot of reading to be ready for the course?

No.  When you register you will get access to all of the texts mentioned, but these are for your continued exploration and you are not required to read them ahead of time.

Why are there a limited number of tickets for an online event?

The online platform that Brilliance Remastered uses for courses enables 50 live users at a time.  So there are only 50 tickets for this event.  There are also a limited number of free and choose your own donation tickets…which usually go first.  If you want to be the first to know about Brilliance Remastered courses

join the facebook group here:  https://www.facebook.com/BrillianceRemastered/
 or the email list here:  http://eepurl.com/bsb6rj

If I change my plans, can I get a refund?

There are no refunds because there are a limited number of spots.  If your plans change your offering will be considered a donation to this ongoing work.  If you email to let us know, we may offer your spot to someone on the waiting list.


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Beyond and Across: Ancestor-Accountable Poems

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 11.24.24 AMLast week as everyone was reminded again of the urgency of our political, creative and intellectual work at this time, a group of us went underwater to hear the voices of our ancestors whose warnings, wisdom and ways are seeking to guide us in this moment.  Water holds sound and the love of our ancestors holds us as we make braver and braver decisions.  The Breathe Underwater: Baptismal Intensive was a sacred space of remembering and renewal.  We brought our ancestors into the space, embodied each other’s ancestors, dove deep into the ancestrally co-written works of M. Nourbese Philip, M. Jacqui Alexander and June Jordan, broke our contracts with slavery and internalized capitalism, cleansed ourselves with divine memory, listened to whales, coordinated our breathing, let words wash over us and laughed and raged and rose up renewed.

Below we are offering some poems that we created.  We were inspired by Kitsimba’s commitment (voiced across generations in Jacqui Alexander’s Pedagogies of Crossing) that “all life is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean” to create an invocation that articulates our connection AND we each wrote poems inspired by June Jordan’s Who Look at Me to prepositionally describe our ancestral relations.  Take a deep breathe and let these words hold you, like how water holds sound, like how our movement holds contradiction, like how our ancestors hold us and we hold each other.

P.S. If you want to learn about future online intensive or in-person Brilliance Remastered gatherings join the email list or the facebook group.

Join us on Thursday August 4th for a one night workshop on The Difference Between Poetry and Rhetoric: Responding to Police Violence.

Registration is also open right now for the Nobody Mean More to Me retreat in Durham on September 9-11.

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an invocation for and by the participants in the breathe underwater: baptismal intensive

(we recommend starting with three deep breaths and ending with seven)

“all life is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean.”

-Kitsimba in Pedagogies of Crossing by M. Jacqui Alexander

all light is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all love is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all memory is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all prayer is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all discernment is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all clarity is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all passion is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all singing is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all dance is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all freedom is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all resistance is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all abundance is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all playfulness is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all silliness is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all joy is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all power is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all sacred ritual is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all gratitude is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all compassion is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all forgiveness is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all rage is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all wonder is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all hope is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all transformation is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all wisdom is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all grace is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all elevation is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all rest is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all connection is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all breathing is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all dreaming is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all spirit is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all blessings to overcome are shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all that was, is and shall be is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

all of who we are is shared with those at the bottom of the ocean

Beyond and Across

by Njeri Damali Campbell

Who look at me?
Who speak to me?
Who laugh at me?
Who fight with me?
Right beside me?
Who stand above me?
Who rage with me?
Who cries on me?
Who move through me?
Who come for me?
Who be with me?
Who womanifest as me?
Who want for me?
Who travel across me?
Who remember for me?
Who remember as me?
Who exists in me?
Who persists as me?
Who endures despite me?
Who loves between me?
Who knows through me?
Who knows as me?
Who cannot without me?
Who wait beyond me?
Who speak through me?

*

by Beth Bruch

Who laugh with me

Who sustain with me

Who walk with me

Who dream through me

Who dream of me

Who remember in me

Who move through me

Who live in me

Who return to me

Who love through me

Who exist around me

Who work with me

Who sing through me

Who speak in me

Who dance around me

Who whisper to me

Who remember for me

Who create for me

Who run around me

Who receive from me

Who give to me

Who remind to me

Who help with me

Who challenge against me

Who slip from me

Who return to me

Who return to me

Who return to me

Who play with me

Who love in me

Who burn in me

Who yearn for me

Who are of me

*

by Natalie Clark

Who dreamed me into dreaming
Who held me in DNA
Who witness me now
Who unfold me yesterday
Who swims me
Who is me tomorrow
Who is me yesterday
Future ancestor.
My daughter
Who my daughter me…

*

by Sheena Sood

Who hold onto me?

Who guide over me?
Who cultivate across me?
Who be with me?
Who is around me?
Who is within me?
Who teach through me?
Who ground within me?
Who process through me?
Who belong in me?
Who laugh with me?
Who bestow upon me?
Who give beyond me?
Who come before me?
Who sit beside me?
Who endure inside me?
Who exist among me?
Who feel near me?
Who love beyond me?
Who forgive because of me?
Who heal through me?

*

by Laura Sullivan

you communicate through me
you extrapolate from me
you visualise beyond me
you create around me
you shine light into me
you grow roots underneath me
you love throughout me
you guide over me
you delight in me
you reassure despite me
you poke holes in shadows for me
you comprehend inside me
you manifest through me
you send ravens to me
to aunt Toni (Antoinette Blanche)
by Faith Holseart
Toni come to me
Toni don’t hide from me
Toni hear longing from me
Toni guide me
Toni help me
Toni guide me to how
Toni guide me to the heart
Toni meet me halfway
Toni trust me
Toni believe me

who lives within me

by ife kilmanjaro

who lives within me
revealing your lives in memories
in dreams
fights lost hopes deferred commitments
incomplete
it is for you they we that i am do
together we make up for things undone
way back then
and now
we live within we
together we work
to lift this ancestral shroud of
fears of sufferings of mistakes of violence
of …
our children deserve a chance to
be free of the consequences we
elevate the willing sequester the
unwilling
so souls can be free and
the living can live

who breathe with me

by alexis pauline gumbs

who breathe with me

who sing as me

who dance through me

who kiss upon me

who laugh around me

who bless over me

who love in me

who guide beside me

who open up between me

who designate exactly me

who fly through me

who hope inside me

who whisper into me

who rise under me

who radiate across me

who smile surrounding me

who protect by me

who teach above me

who love all of me


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Heavy Swimmers-for Ebony Wilkerson

“…some days we just cannot

we cannot live here

we cannot give our babies

to this world that eats our bones

like centuries of salt.”

-from Heavy Swimmers for Ebony Wilkerson who tried to drive herself and her children into the Atlantic Ocean, saying she was taking them all to a better place.

On the Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines episode of the Laura Flanders Show.

 

 

 


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Nobody Mean More to Us: Every Time (from Artists/Scholars/Teachers Responding to Police Violence)

Screen shot 2014-10-31 at 8.38.15 PMLast night a hopeful, anxious, heavy, urgent, connected, inspired group of artists, writers, scholars and teachers gathered to collectively tap into the legacy of June Jordan and Audre Lorde as we respond to police violence in this moment.

We called in our folks, lifted up our communities of accountabilities, honored our feelings, learned about the specific ways that June Jordan and Audre Lorde were impacted by and worked to respond to police violence, looked at the complex ways we are connected to police violence and our communities of accountability, recommitted to and recontextualized our daily creative praxis, activated the Lorde Concordance Oracle, held each other in process, shared our fears, hopes and lessons and created poetry together.

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 7.27.39 AMWe chose the letter b (for brave for #blacklivesmatter for the bold act of listening our intuition) and we were blessed and broken open by the Lorde Concordance offering from the poem “Power” that spoke so directly to our process in the moment.   We reached for ways to ground our actions and decision making in legacy, ancestral guidance and profound purpose instead of reaction, scarcity, ego and panic.  The poems below are in the tradition of June Jordan’s “Nobody Mean More to Me Than You and the Future Life of Willie Jordan” and her “Poem About Police Violence.”  We place them here in honor of the communities we love and towards the world we deserve.

P.S. If you are interested in going deeper into this process of drawing on ancestral depth for this time of urgent change check out our upcoming 3-day intensive Breathe Underwater: A Baptismal Intensive for Ancestor Accountable Artists, Activists and Intellectuals.   And if you are interested in applying the wisdom of June Jordan and Audre Lorde to your work of solidarity against police violence, in support of transnational liberation movements, as and with precarious intellectual workers in the adjunct movement, as students and faculty of color confronting anti-blackness in the Ivory Tower consider coming to the in-person Brilliance Remastered Retreat Nobody Mean More in Durham, NC this September.

Nobody Mean More to Us

a roll call poem by the participants in Nobody Mean More

Nobody mean more to me than black & brown folks, black queer folks, haitian folks, young folks.

Nobody mean more to me than Black mothers

Nobody mean more to me than elders and ancestors

Nobody mean more to me than brilliant black women

who refuse to give up or go unheard

Nobody mean more to me than black mothers and babies

birthing and living free

Nobody mean more to me than queer youth of color

breaking through to love

Nobody mean more to me than sick disabled injured queer trans brown black broke and healing friends

Nobody mean more to me than black elders

Nobody mean more to me than my invisibly disabled community

Nobody mean more to me than black and brown folks

not only surviving but thriving

Nobody mean more to me than crip queer poc

sick and surviving still

Nobody mean more to me than babies

bringing light and blackness

Nobody mean more to me than all of the students of color at our school

and all of their communities and loves

Nobody mean more to me than students

who refuse to belong

Nobody mean more to me than anyone

willing to learn

Nobody mean more to me than poor folks

hustling daily

Nobody mean more to me than crip brown & black youth

teaching us

Nobody mean more to me than young people

who bring energy and passion to their despair and confusion

Nobody mean more to me than all people of color

excluded from home yet still resist

Nobody mean more to me than Black diasporic GNC Queers

coming up from nothing and claiming a right to their ancestors and culture

Nobody mean more to me than Black disabled femme folks

who can’t get out of bed sometimes

Nobody mean more to me than God

the orisha, ancestors and the lukumi community

Nobody mean more to me than us

Black and Brown folks

who hold us close and set us straight

and remember us on the days and nights we might forget us

 

every time

by the participants in Nobody Mean More: Artists, Intellectuals, Educators Responding to Police Violence

 

“Tell me something

what you think would happen if

everytime they kill a black boy

then will kill a cop

everytime they kill a black man

then we kill a cop

you think the accident rate would lower

subsequently?”

-June Jordan, “Poem about Police Violence”

 

what if every time was the last

what if every time

we killed the part of us that did this

what if every time

the dead returned to reckon with us

what if every time

we outsmarted our fear

what if every time

every one else had to hold and feel the pain of the mother for one day

what if every time

we were believed

what if every time

whiteness choked on its own violence

what if every time

the sun went out

what if every time

the water turned to blood

and we couldn’t drink one drop without tasting it

what if every time

all of the tears shed were collected in a vessel

and transformed into the power to dismantle institutions

what if everytime had already happened

and this was a question for historians

what if every time

we rush the road with 10,000 beating hearts

running perpendicular to the Mississippi

what if every time

videos of black bodies being murdered

were not played on a loop

what if every time

the TRUTH was broadcast far and wide

and false media messages were laughed at and discarded

what if every time

we dislodged the cold stone in our throat so we could speak

what if every time we loved each other more

what if every time

we admitted how hopeless we actually are

what if every time

we chose to continue to have hope in spaces of collectivity

what if every time

we knew there would be justice.

what if every time

we were allowed to grieve without any shame

what if every time I asked for one day when I do not have to think about being Black

but just being human

I got a day

what if every time

we had a national day of mourning

what if everytime police sacrificed black life

white people just went out and sat all over every police car in the whole country so they couldn’t drive out get out of the car for a day a week

what if every time

the “good” police officers

stood up en masse denouncing their colleagues

what if every time the police murder someone

a week’s pay of every police employee is withheld

what if every time

a politician chosen at random lost their position

what if every time a black body is shattered

a thousand more were loved into existence

bathed in joy, shown the power of our own wings

what if every time

we were allowed to feel Black Joy

what if every time

we could feel free to stop proving our right to exist

and get to the business of feeling the joy our existence

what if every time

we intentionally breathed into our bellies

what if every time we were afraid

we danced

what if every time

we allowed ourselves the space to cry outside

what if everytime

we put a bowl of water under the bed and ask our ancestors to dream us a way

what if every time

we were raptured away to a new dimension

to start again

what if every time

no one had electricity

and our news was our talk between stoops

what if every time

we read all day aloud while standing on corners

what if every time

we lost the language

and had to make a new one from scratch

what if every time

we would communicate without words

but make sounds from deep down

what if every time they kill black folk

everyone lays down in a grave

everyone

and rises up with dirt to do

what if every time

we planted a garden

what if every time we must create hashtags

we open the borders for ten days and allow 1000 refugees places to stay

what if every time

we gave a scholarship to a student of color

what if every time

we put a love poem into the pocket of every black child we know

what if every time

we made space to be gentle to each other

what if every time

we stole our days back

what if every time

we took a broomstick to the stained glass

what if every time

we centered in our dignity

what if every time

we allowed ourselves to be

what if every time

we remember how resilient we are

what if every time

we dreamed

we created new worlds with new possibilities

what if every time we hurt

we gain direct access to healing ancestors

with remedies to soothe our pain

what if this time

police were disarmed

and trained as midwives and doulas

and the midwives and doulas

became the keepers of safety

you think the “accident” rate would lower

subsequently?


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i love my own: affirmations from the free enterprise writers

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Sitting by the river. Photo by Dannette Sharpley

For the past three days I have had the healing, transforming, invigorating honor of facilitating 9 black and brown femmes (including myself) in a love-filled intensive inspired by our recent ancestor Michelle Cliff and her magical realist historical novel Free Enterprise.   We drew on the militant legacies of Mary Ellen Pleasant and other participants in a plotting to arm enslaved people and create a free black state to clarify our relationships to our own writing lives in these urgent times.   We spun and unraveled the stories of our names, created aliases to live into, cultivated our relationships to necessary refusal, found our concealed weapons,  made bottle tree monuments to our memory and healing and gave ourselves permission to love the communities of accountability, visions of freedom, daily practices and physical tools that make our freedom-seeking and freedom-producing creative lives possible.   The following is one arrangement of our closing blessing and affirmation of the deep love that fuels our work.   I encourage you to repeat the refrain “I love my own,” aloud as you read the poem.

P.S.  If you want to sign up for our next intensive, Breathe Underwater: A Baptismal Intensive for Ancestor Accountable Artists, Activists and Intellectuals click the link for more info.

i love my own

“I don’t hate you and yours.  I love my own.” -attributed to Mary Ellen Pleasant by Michelle Cliff in Free Enterprise: Novel

(by the participants in Free Enterprise: Towards a Sustainable, Autonomous, Accountable Writing Life)

i drink water

i love my own

i listen to whales

i love my own

walking up early to be with the beautiful thoughts that arise with me from dreams

i love my own

visiting ancestors while dreaming

i love my own

remembering my dreams

i love my own

i love my own

bed

all the fabrics

i love my own

watercolor paints

i love my own

things to collage other things with

i love my own

feathers and stones

i love my own

rose quartz, black onyx, lapis

i love my own

sewing machine and old clothes

i love my own

bodily integrity

i love my own

freedom of form

i love my own

reciprocal relations to earth

i love my own

refuse scarcity

i love my own

define accountability

i love my own

Abolition now!

i love my own

sun and moon blessings

i love my own

clean water free healthcare

i love my own

writing while Black

i love my own

beautiful brilliant black

i love my own

concealed weapons

i love my own

making magic

i love my own

we have the tools

i love my own

ancestry

i love my own

abundance

i love my own.

poetry

i love my own

saying what i mean

i love my own

saying i love you

i love my own

what can we do together today

i love my own

what would the Ancestors say

i love my own

the ancestors who mean our freedom

i love my own

space and time to grow food

i love my own

my time in the sunshine with you

i love my own

staying free

i love my own

ancestors, blood and chosen

i love my own

my mentor and teacher

i love my own

my mothers (all of them)

i love my own

black women regardless

i love my own

if she hears you, does she feel your words?

i love my own

poet homies

i love my own

black girls in white spaces

i love my own

children who need to learn their histories

i love my own

youth organizers

i love my own

black and brown femme artist theorists who are unafraid

i love my own

a movement that came from deep within me

i love my own

living with our spiritual gifts in the open, without fear or shame

i love my own

do you want to know the meaning of your name?

i love my own

Swahili names!

i love my own

The African Diaspora

i love my own

choosing to uproot

i love my own

our selves always in relation to others

i love my own

always with intention and integrity

i love my own

we have everything we need to be FREE

i love my own

no police to make me anxious

i love my own

kissing my daughter without fear that it will be the last time

i love my own

black babies, safe here and there, always

i love my own

spirit and goddess manifested in the vulnerable and oppressed of the world

i love my own

sun kissed/ never burnt/ moon held/ always revealed/ glowing expanded lives and spirits/

i love my own

dancing warm bodies alive

i love my own

sing, dance and love our entire, beautiful and difficult selves into fiery existence

i love my own

capacity, agency, space, and discipline to create media and art for the revolution

i love my own

freedom is where each of us gets to be our full selves, always and all ways

i love my own

i love and care for for Earth, my universe home

i love my own

being held and nourished by my own

i love my own

laugh with a cousin every day

i love my own

black music for any mood

i love my own

i love us

i love my own

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