Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind


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The Evidence Intensive: Futurists Beyond Fear

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  Thurs-Fri, December 8th and 9th 6pm-9pm Eastern

The last online intensive of the year is especially for those of us brave enough to envision a visionary liberated future during a time when the present seems bleak. Based on her short story “Evidence” from the collection Octavia’s Brood, Sista Docta Alexis Pauline Gumbs will facilitate a guided intensive that allows us to vision seven generations into the future and to grapple with the time we are living through now:  the time of the silence breaking.  Using meditations, letter writing, listening, ancestral and futuristic connection and legacies of earlier Black feminist futurists including June Jordan and Audre Lorde, we will close 2016 with the energy of multitudes, with a profound connection to those who have crossed over during this time and with revolutionary availability to the future generations are calling for from us.

Reserve your spot with a $50 deposit here:

The full tuition is sliding scale $175-225. Payment plans are available.

Email brillianceremastered@gmail.com with your intentions for the course by Tuesday December 6th.


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Without Bridges: US Based Black Feminists and Cuba

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 Saturday Dec 3, 2-4pm Eastern

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/without-bridges-us-based-black-feminists-oninaround-with-cuba-tickets-29808524098

At this moment, many of us are thinking about Cuba. We are thinking about Assata. We are thinking about what it means to be in solidarity with, in critical accountability with, in revolutionary reference to, contemporary Cuba. This one-session online course is inspired by writing by US based Black Feminists (including US based Black Feminists of Caribbean heritage) about Cuba as inspiration, challenge and context. Based on work by Toni Cade Bambara, Alexis De Veaux, Audre Lorde, Assata Shakur, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Cheryll Greene and more, this is a space to draw on earlier Black Feminist writings and praxis as we individually collectively face this moment. This is not a strategy session, it is an interactive writing workshop designed to offer a space of reflection and historical references to take into collective and organizational work on this issue. There is no advance reading required for the course, but all participants will get a bibliography for further reading.

This course is not only for US based Black Feminists. All are welcome. However the source texts will be drawing specifically from US based Black Feminist writing and activism

Register here.

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If: 5 Kitchen Table Press Covers

If:  5 Kitchen Table Press Covers

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Barbara Smith, Audre Lorde, Cherrie Moraga and Hattie Gossett permanently presiding over my actual kitchen table.   Photo by Joan E. Biren. 

I was recently commissioned by Casco, in the Netherlands to describe 5 of my favorite book covers from books published by Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press.  It was my honor to offer poetic words in homage, honor and gratitude to the existence of these books, which saved my life and made it possible.  I am excited to share these words with you in honor of the intergenerational, transnational possibilities that Barbara Smith and the many warriors who gave their time, love, sweat and genius to the Kitchen Table Press Movement worked to nourish.

Love,

Alexis Pauline Gumbs

P.S. Update:  Susan Yung, graphic designer for these covers (except Narratives) reached out to me today.  Infinite gratitude!

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Home Girls  (ed. Barbara Smith)

if sunlight came in boxes and you drew in chalk where it should land on your street. if your street had chalklines not for dead bodies but for hopscotch and books. if you counted in chalk how many times i read this book and didn’t cross over. and then used sunlight like a lazer overtop. turned sunlight into thick letters home. then you would have it.

 This Bridge Called My Back  (ed. Cherrie Moraga & Gloria Anzaldua)

if you crawled. if you left your clothes and crawled and were not breathing. if the sun drew you crawling across sunset. if the sun let you crawl in a maroon context to freedom. and you hadn’t eaten recently. if your body was maroon and yellow and made to hold and be held by letters and your back shaped the sky and your breasts reached for earth.

Cuentos (ed. Alma Gomez, Cherrie Moraga & Mariana Romo-Carmona)

if you took hands. if you took upside down question marks. and then you underlined the combs, the mountains, the typing hands. if you let the space left by questions be upside down and black. and then you stamped it on the night with sunlight. questions falling next to mountains again. again. and you used those same sunstreaked hands to make lines that will not hold, that break on purpose.

A Comrade is as Precious as a Rice Seedling  (by Mila Aguilar)

if you grew some bamboo a hundred years ago and asked the gods to sit with you and your bowl and your sticks and your seeds. if you waited a hundred years until it all turned gray like dots. remembered by ghosts and then you came back. if you came back red as blood and splintered on all edges and you found that same place where you had been with seeds and such a beautiful bowl and a bamboo crossroads convinced that you could eat and bleed again.

Narratives:  Poems in the Tradition of Black Women (by Cheryl Clarke)

first find the photograph. no, first print the couch with leaves and call us over. then dress and redress us. then don’t turn the heat on so we will sit here close. on the couch and on the floor so we will cross our arms. and say something funny. or better yet, just keep us waiting so we will look at each other and laugh more than smile. then print us over red. print us black now over red as bold as anything.screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-11-56-50-am

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Kakuya Collective: A Visionary Daughtering Webinar

 

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Tuesday Nov. 15, 2016  6pm Eastern

Register here:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-kakuya-collective-visionary-daughtering-tickets-29081078288

They wanted Assata Shakur to spend the rest of her life in jail.  And Assata herself didn’t see any way out.  Her daughter Kakuya was of a different opinion.  Barely more than a toddler, Kakuya expressed her outrage at her mother’s imprisonment and her belief in her mother’s power.  “You don’t have to stay in prison.  You just want to stay in here,” she screamed.  According to Assata Shakur in her autobiography, this was the determining factor in her decision to escape prison.   And Kakuya won.  Thanks to a coalition of brave freedom fighters Assata Shakur escaped prison and eventually moved to Cuba where she and Kakuya could be together.

How often do we think about the fact that one of the rare success stories of the Black Liberation Army or of the effective escape of a political prisoner is at it’s heart a story of black mother/daughter rage and love?  This webinar is for self-identified visionary daughters who are committed to the freedom of their mothers.  Sometimes the freedom we see for our mothers is beyond the freedom they have imagined for themselves.  Sometimes the freedom we seek in honor of our mothers is happening after our mothers have left this plane.  Sometimes the freedom we are asking of our mothers is in service of our own impossible freedom.

Sista Docta Lex has created an online session specifically for visionary daughters based on Assata’s description of her daughter’s anger and the first interview with Assata Shakur after reuniting with Kakuya in Cuba, which was published by Lex’s mentor and chosen Cheryll Greene in Essence Magazine.

This session is for anyone who identifies as a visionary daughter (regardless of gender or background) and will be a participatory space that will draw on our ability to support each other with the collective power of visonary daughters.

*Gratitude to artist, librarian, healer Ola Ronke for sharing this beautiful photo of Assata and Kakuya via social media.

 


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Dat Black Mermaid Man Lady Oracle Deck Reading!

I am so honored to offer this reading from Sharon Bridgforth’s dat Black Mermaid Man Lady oracle deck.  (And also it’s the first video of me reading from Spill!)  Thanks to Sharon for the opportunity and affirmation and thanks to Julia Roxanne Wallace/Sangodare for filming and editing so gracefully.  And thank you to Marvin K. White for nonstop inspiration, love and support!

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Fannie Lou Hamer Month: Act Like You Know

Fannie_Lou_Hamer_Ella_Baker-Collage150rezOver here at Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind we are THRILLED about Fannie Lou Hamer’s birthday month.  (Honestly Sista Docta Lex is generally obsessed with Fannie Lou Hamer all year long.)

Here are some ways you can celebrate too!

  1. Get your own copy of “Act Like You Know” the print pictured above in honor of Fannie Lou Hamer and Ella Baker.  Order yours here with a donation of $33 including US shipping.  (Email brokenbeautifulpress@gmail.com if you are outside of the US 
  2. Participate in Homemade Field of Love: Reimagining Kinship, the upcoming Brilliance Remastered  intensive aka the first course in honor of Fannie Lou Hamer.
    Fannie Lou Hamer photo by Louis Draper

    Fannie Lou Hamer
    photo by Louis Draper

    Homemade Field of Love: Redefining Kinship Intensive

    October 19-21, 2016  6pm-9pm Eastern

    In honor of the (re)birthday month of Fannie Lou Hamer (and just in time for the time of year where navigating chosen family and family of origin gets real) this intensive draws on Sista Docta Lex’s research in Fannie Lou Hamer’s archival papers as a resource and precedent for movement mothering, revolutionary kinship and unstoppable love.  Fannie Lou Hamer, a survivor of a pattern of coercive sterilization against poor black women, practiced mothering without permission.  We will work with artifacts from Fannie Lou Hamer’s organizing and correspondence, family materials,  unpublished tributes to her after her death and the case-study of her mothering and mentorship of June Jordan as primary texts for our own exploration of intentional kinship.  This intensive is for anyone who believes that love beyond biology and the law is a revolutionary imperative in their life.

    Registration is limited.  Reserve your space with a $50 deposit here:

    registration for the whole intensive is sliding scale $185-250.  (Installment payments available upon request.) Email brillianceremastered@gmail.com and let me know your goals for the course by October 16th.