this is how i know
that skin is thin and bright and precious
that song can be broke
love slice the veins
that beauty is a call
and we are all responsible
-excerpt from Almost Bop for Whitney Houston by Alexis Pauline Gumbs
Falling in love is so bittersweet. The life and death of Whitney Houston offer an emotional, spiritual and political challenge to black feminism. How do we balance the brilliance of her voice and offer up optimism for her spirit transition while also taking seriously the issues of addiction, relationship violence and the exploitation of black women that continue to harm our communities? How do we feel about R. Kelly having space at the altar at her funeral? Is her long time aide and companion Robyn being written out of the story in a way that hides the complexity and depth of black women’s love?
There are many conversations to have and a lot of healing still to do. The upcoming Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind Podcast Every Heart Beat seeks to honor the complexity of a black feminist relationship to Whitney Houston’s life, brilliance and struggles.
Please send your:
- written letters/poems and statements for Whitney
- recorded messages of healing for all of us who face addiction, interpersonal violence and exploitation (send recordings as mp3 files if possible)
- and song requeststo firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb. 27th at 5pm to be included in the podcast.
Alexis Pauline Gumbs