Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Eternal Summer for Real: The BrokenBeautiful Press Spring Update!

Greetings Brilliant Transformative Flowers in Bloom!!!!

It is SPRING at the Inspiration Station and we are discovering surprise perennials, witnessing the birth of dreams planted long ago and preparing the soil of our interconnected communities for the future. This update is to let you know how you can participate in the ecology of Broken Beautiful Press and our two major projects. The Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind Eduational Series and the Queer Black MobileHomeComing Project. Bloom baby! BLOOM!

The Itinerant Professor: Sista Docta Lex

After 25 years of schooling with no breaks (whew!) Lex and her committee have affirmed her dissertation on the Queer Survival of Black Feminism (click to read the prologue)!!!! Hooray it is SUMMERTIME from now on! Lex is excited to bring her skills, knowledge, reverence, confidence and new swag to support the intellectual visions of educational institutions of all kinds, and community organizations and initiatives. Go to: http://brokenbeautiful.wordpress.com/lexicon/ to learn about the residencies, workshops and lectures Lex is available for and set up a transformative educational tryst, longer term affair, repeated divine encounter etc with Dr. Lex!

(All proceeds from paid engagements go to support Lex's work on the MobileHomeComing Project and the Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind.)

Lex and the MobileHomeComing Project are grateful for the support of Queers for Economic Justice, the Disabled Young People's Collective, Public Allies of Cincinnati, the SpiritHouse Choosing Sides Program at New Horizons Academy of Excellence, the American Studies Program at University of Texas-San Antonio, the Women in Learning and Living Program at University of Richmond, the Sexual Assault Task Force at Reed College, the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media, the Women's Center and Multicultural Center at Duke University, Holton Community Center for hosting Lex as a speaker/workshop leader and for donating honoraria to the MobileHomeComing Project.

The Inspiration Station: Community Education in Action

Loving the June Jordan Saturday Survival School!

This year so far the community educational experiences at the Inspiration Station have been over the top!

Queer Families in Durham played danced, created hallway murals and their own all-ages illustrated intergenerational stories based on the unpublished speeches and out-of-print children's books by June Jordan at the June Jordan Saturday Survival School!

Devoted Durhamites gathered on Sunday mornings to sing the praises and celebrate the words of Audre Lorde, Joseph Beam and Toni Cade Bambara during Queer Black Sunday School.

School of Our Lorde Poets at the Audre Lorde B-day Celebration and Poetry Performance

And Durham's poets and educators (joined by distance learning crews from Chicago, Western Mass, Tuscaloosa, Cairo, Rio Grande Valley, and NYC) deepened the meaning of life with interactive exercises and engagement with the archival and published work of Audre Lorde in the Poetics and Pedagogy units of the School of Our Lorde!

Chicago Participants participate on the School of Our Lorde Social Network!

AND our beautiful local community gathered for potlucks to discuss the work of the Salsa Soul Sisters... Here is the audio documentary we created over brunch (Carolyn and Harriet drop knowledge!)the short non-fiction of Maia Williams on the complexity of transnational solidary (with a special guest skype appearance from the esteemed author live and direct fromCairo) and the poetry of asha bandele (deepened by our visiting guest expert on women in prison and resistance: Vikki Law!)

Actualizing Abundance!

Participants in the educational programs and readers of the RAGE Edition of the Little Black (Feminist) Book Series from as far as Berlin, raised and donated $1, 531 towards the Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind Community School in just 2 months proving that our Beloved Community in Creation VALUES community accountable education.

Become a part of our community sustained educational movement in any of the following ways:

Get Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind Educational Materials!!!!

1979: Transforming the Meaning of Survival

VIIB29What does it take to survive a year like 1979?

This first podcast is about the year 1979 and how the world, and black feminism began and ended in some crucial ways that year. With the election of Ronald Reagan, the Boston Murders, the Atlanta Child Murders and the Greensboro Massacre all attacking the the lives, minds and spirits of black women 1979 was a crucial year. This podcast focuses on how Audre Lorde, Alexis DeVeaux, June Jordan and Barbara Smith reach(ed) across time and space to transform the meaning of survival. (And there is some good period appropriate and anachronistic music too!)

Be sure to put "1979 podcast and study guide" in the subject line with your donation

Meditate on the Rainbow: The Poetry of Sapphire

Filled with great music…rare and priceless poetry from Sapphire all presented in that quirky, interactive, meditative, writing workshop-esque Eternal Summer style! Based on Sapphire's out of print seven movement poem "Meditations on the Rainbow" this podcast moves us through the colors of resistance and trasnformation.

This podcast is dedicated to all of us, but especially to Tyli’a Nana Boo Mack, a black transwoman made early ancestor in a brutal act of violence in Washington DC. Get your pen and or your paintbrush and listen.

The study-guide brings Sapphire's poetic work into conversation with her book PUSH and the recent film Precious.

Be sure to write "Meditate on the Rainbow Podcast and Study Guide" in the subject line with your donation!

In Your Hands: Mothering Ourselves


Because it takes a whole month to prepare for the day of the dead. Because some of us have to create eclectic Sunday morning rituals to hear our own truth. Because I want you to have this for when you need it. This podcast is based on letters from my black feminist ancestors, and the study guide will lead you through a process of communicating with and remembering insight from your own ancestors, spirit-guides and sheroes. For more about the “In Your Hands” project check out www.motherourselves.wordpress.com.

Be sure to put "In Your Hands Podcast and Study Guide" in the subject line with your donation!

Be Bold Be Red: Legacies of Response to Gendered Violence

In October 2007 women of color came together and transformed terror on Halloween, declaring October 31st Be Bold Be Red Day, a day for women of color and allies to speak out against violence against women. And 30 years ago women of color came together to respond to violence in the same critical and poetic spirit.

Towards the world the we all deserve, fully transformed from the misogyny and internalized racism we face in popular music to the frightening expendability of the lives and bodies of women of color this podcast places the brave voices of women telling the truth about gendered violence over the remixed sounds of Miles Davis by Apple Juice Kid. With this piece which includes critical work on the work of the Combahee River Collective, and Toni Morrison's Sula we take every sound back, starting with our own voices and the background that seeks to silence them.

Listen with your community, your class, your friends, your study group, your church, your crew, pass the link on or listen by yourself and see, hear and wear red.

Be sure to put "Be Bold Be Red" podcast in the subject line with your donation of $15 or more :)

A Revolutionary Act...: On the Legacy of Joseph Beam

In honor of this brilliant Black Gay literary genius ancestor and and the fact that both In the Life and Brother to Brother are back in print thanks to RedBone Press this podcast includes readings and reflections from Lisa Moore of RedBone Press, La Marr Jurelle, Darnell Moore, Justin Smith and a round the kitchen table conversation with some of Durham’s most inspiring Black queer visionary men: Ashon Crawley, Sendolo Diaminah, Thaddeaus Edwards and Justin Robinson. (Plus music, love and archival goodies from an ancestor obsessed devotee who you know much too well :) Informed by archival research in the Schomburg Black Gay and Lesbian Archive, this conversation will be particularly useful as you honor Black Gay History Herstory and discuss the transformative possibility of LOVE in queer community across gender.

Be sure to put "Joseph Beam Podcast and Study Guide" in the subject line of your donation of $15 or more!

Anger is Useful!: On the Poetics of Rage

Who’s afraid of the Angry Black Woman? Well BE AFRAID because Angry Black Women are speaking our minds and transforming the world in the service of our vision. Oppression beware the well-directed rage of Black feminism!

Enter the ANGRY BLACK WOMAN edition of the Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Podcast Series! As always, we start with the brilliance of our ancestors…informed by Audre Lorde's essay "Uses of Anger," meditating on the poetic of rage in June Jordan’s angry letters to racist editors and including reflections from Nia Wilson, Mai’a Williams, Moya Bailey, Daria Bannerman and the young visionaries at New Horizon’s Alternative School…plus as always music that rocks (including a track from the genuis Jon Anonymous project by Durham’s own Shirlette Ammons!)

Be sure to write "Angry Black Woman Podcast and Study Guide" in the subject line with your donation of $15 or more!

"Coming Home": The Legacy of the Salsa Soul Sisters

“because they were coming home.”-Carolyn Grey

On Saturday January 30th Harriet Alston and Carolyn Grey brought decades of memories and a Linda Tillery album that Harriet had spent days digitizing through the rare (and unplowed) North Carolina Snow to have a conversation with eager listeners at the Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind Potluck about their time in the Salsa Soul Sisters and the lessons they learned about building community. Use this podcast as a precedent to your own community building projects or to recontextualize the history of Black feminist, 3rd World Women's and lesbian feminist organizations in the 1970's.

Be sure to write "Salsa Soul Audio Documentary and Study Guide" in the subject line with your donation of $15 or more!

On Cancer and Survival: In Honor of June Jordan, Audre Lorde and Andria Hall

Cancer is a major factor in the lived experience of Black Feminist herstory and legacies. How do we understand survival, the body, love and relationships as we survive and lose our loved ones to cancer? This podcast includes the voices of survivors of cancer, and those who have survived their loved ones. Investigating how life continues and how we can center our wellness, this podcast is memorial and salve, and a call of communication across every boundary, even our understandings of life and death.

Be sure to write "Cancer and Survival Podcast and Study Guide" in the subject line with your donation of $15 or more.

"The Best Way to Do it is to Do it": The Legacy of Toni Cade Bambara

In honor of Toni Cade Bambara’s 71st Birthday we present a podcast full of reflections, laughter, poetry, music and LOVE for the brilliant sister warrior mother writer, dancer, filmmaker, screenplay transformer, community organizer Toni Cade Bambara!
I created this podcast with much inspiration from Cheryll Y. Greene and with the priceless collaboration and words of Aishah Shahidah Simmons, Cara Page, Linda Janet Holmes, Kai Lumumba Barrow and Nikky Finney. Contextualize your day with the brilliant insights of these women and listen to music from Sarah Vaughn, King Pleasure, Erykah Badu, Amel Laurrieux, Cassandra Wilson, Abbey Lincoln and some of my favorite producers and learn and teach about the work of this crucial Black feminist warrior!

Be sure to write "Toni Cade Bambara Podcast and Study Guide" in the subject line with your donation of 15 or more :)

The Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind DVD

For your classroom, living room, workshops etc. get your own DVD of the Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind Video Series (link for previews) for a donation of 20 bucks or more to the Eternal Summer Educational program. Remember to put a note on your transaction that you want the DVD and be sure that your address is current!!!

Become an Eternal Summerian by joining the Inspiration Station EasyPass Club! Monthly sustainers will get special juicy audio/video/poetic content sent directly to your inboxes every single month for ETERNITY!!!!!!!!

SPECIAL INCENTIVE!!!! Everyone who becomes a monthly sustainer in April will get an audio experiential piece about responding to police brutality in queer communities of color written and performed by Lex and sonically designed and transformed by the dashing Julia R. Wallace that is not available on the web!

Push the button to sign up to be a monthly sustainer (the big blue number is how much you'll be donating each month automatically)!

************Durham Locals!!! You can also support by bringing food, paper (in any form from toilet paper, to butcher paper, to paper plates) and art supplies or dv tapes... to the inspiration station any time. Or rides to the airport so Dr. Lex can keep hustling to bring insight and resources back to the Bull City (you know how we do!!) Email brokenbeautifulpress@gmail.com to set it up!!!!

Rejuvenating Revolutionary Retreats at the Inspiration Station:

Living Room Ancestor entryway @ the Inspiration Station

Are you getting excited and lustful from all of this shameless bragging on the beautiful city of Durham, NC? Want to see for yourself and help support the Inspiration Station? Durham devotees...want to help with Lex's long-lived and blatant recruitment strategy to get the rest of our tribe of brilliant artists, thinkers, and organizers to move to the center of the universe? We GOT you! Introducing Artist/Intellectual/Organizer retreats @ the Inspiration Station.

This is what we call sustainable community transformation!!!! Tell your friends or avail yourself of an immersion in the magical energy of Durham, NC and the special light of the Inspiration Station...fortified by so many beautiful thoughts and brave moments. Help us create a sustainable use of the space over the summer or for the 10 days a month that Lex and Julia are off on the MobileHomeComing Tour. You'll get a set of Durham local edible goodies (from the Tierra Negra Farm and the Bread Uprising Bakery) a list of inspiring walks and journeys to take in Durham, the use of a beautiful wrap around front porch with a hammock and a table and chairs and beautiful honeysuckle and crepe myrtle trees....

AND even though you may think that the most fun thing about Durham is the chance to hang out with Lex...the truth is that Durham is full of brilliant visionary ambassadors who love to show off our cities transformative glow...so if you want you can even get assigned a buddy to show you the Durham ropes and share their lovely talents and experiences with you as part of the welcoming committee!

So email brokenbeautifulpress@gmail.com if you might want to spend a week (or the month of July) in the center of love, inspiration and transformation. We are hoping that folks can offer $100-200 a week for residencies...but everything you have to offer is valuable and the conversation is always open!

OKAY!!!! Congrats on reading this content-filled message. Take home: Summer is Eternal and Spring is NOW!

We love growing with you!!!!!

Infinite love,


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Toni Cade Bambara!!!: New Podcast

Today in honor of Toni Cade Bambara's 71st Birthday we present a podcast full of reflections, laughter, poetry, music and LOVE for the brilliant sister warrior mother writer, dancer, filmmaker, screenplay transformer, community organizer Toni Cade Bambara!

I create this podcast with much inspiration from Cheryll Y. Greene and with the priceless collaboration and words of Aishah Shahidah Simmons, Cara Page, Linda Janet Holmes, Kai Lumumba Barrow and Nikky Finney. Contextualize your day with the brilliant insights of these women and listen to music from Sarah Vaughn, King Pleasure, Erykah Badu, Amel Laurrieux, Cassandra Wilson, Abbey Lincoln and some of my favorite producers.

[audio http://brokenbeautiful.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/happy-birthday-toni-cade-2.mp3]

Direct link: http://brokenbeautiful.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/happy-birthday-toni-cade-2.mp3

If you are just learning about Toni Cade Bambara please get your hands on her beautiful fiction: Gorilla, My Love, The Seabird are Still Alive, The Salteaters, Deep Sightings and Rescue Missions, Those Bones Are Not My Child. Her groundbreaking 1970 anthology The Black Woman and definitely pick up the anthology about Bambara's work created by Linda Janet Holmes and Cheryll Wall: Savoring the Salt.

Also, if you have the great fortune to live near or in Durham, North Carolina join us for Sunday school, this Sunday March 28th to praise the name of Toni Cade (more info here: http://blackfeministmind.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/sunday-march-28th-sunday-school-sunday-dinner-for-the-devoted/)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

We Love How You Nurture and Sustain the MobileHomeComing Project!!!!!

Dear Beloved Community and Chosen Family!
You are so inspiring phenomenal and delicious. Over the past few months you have donated and raised $7,117 for the MobileHomeComing Project (!!!!) a beautifully symmetrical numerical representation of your love and our universes affirmation that the time for the MobileHomeComing Project and the amplification of Black Queer Intergenerational community HAS ARRIVED!!!!!! Hooray!!! Not even words and kisses and jumping up and down can express all of our gratitude!
Also, in case you haven't gotten a chance to check out the project in motion:
Here is a video overview of the project:
MobileHomeComing: Here We Go!

MobileHomeComing: Here We Go!

About this video:
"The divine and delicious journeys of Lex and Julia!"

Click here to see video of participant feedback from the Release and Renew Healing Cirlce/Replay Event in Atlanta:
Renew and Release: The MobileHomeComing Presents A Healing Circle

Renew and Release: The MobileHomeComing Presents A Healing Circle

About this video:
"The beautiful people of Atlanta gathered at MotherHouse for a beautiful New Year's day healing circle...brought to you by the MobileHomeComing, here is what folks had to say during the afterglow. :)"


Click here to check out our first audio documentary with Salsa Soul's Harriet Alston and Carolyn Gray in Durham NC: http://brokenbeautiful.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/salsa-soul-audio-documentary.mp3
Because we know you believe in this project we have created a way for our chosen family to become monthly sustainers of the MobileHomeComing Project. If you have $5, $10, $15, $20, $25, $50 or $100 or if you know a secret about Oprah and can get her to donate a grand a month...etc. etc. etc. then YOU can be one of our monthly sustainers providing MobileHomeComing Pocket Money so that our project can be consistently sustainable and ACCOUNTABLE TO YOU directly! Monthly sustainers will allow us to prioritize the intellectual labor of creating media and events to amplify Queer Black Community across generations across this land mass! It will also help with regular costs like sustainable fuel, art supplies, stamps, huge sheets of paper, bandwidth, DV tapes, C47s (aka clothespins) etc.
As a monthly sustainer you will also be a MobileHomeComing VIP for life which means you will get preview video footage and audio samples from our journey sent directly to your inbox, special goodies as we pilot MobileHomeComing fashion line (oh yes....hats, t-shirts, buttons and sneakers inspired by Queer Black resilience!) AND special access to celebrations and screenings when the film comes out!!!!!
YAY!!!!!! So to become our favorite relative pocket-money providing chosen family member today by becoming a monthly sustainer click on the button below that makes sense to you!:

Become a monthly sustainer

OF COURSE we also welcome one time gifts to make a one time gift visit: http://mobilehomecoming.wordpress.com/donate/.
And to find out more about our (often hilarious) journey to find an RV check out this video:
Revolutionary Vehicle: The Field Trip

Revolutionary Vehicle: The Field Trip

About this video:
"Help Lex and Julia find a free RV. Share this video with everyone you know!
Lex and Julia"

And to find out more about the purpose, scope and vision of the MobileHomeComing Project visit: www.mobilehomecoming.wordpress.com or read below!

love always your love-fueled power duo,
Alexis and Julia



This is a spiritual journey full of lust and discovery. This is immersion in legacy. This is a celebration of how boldness survives the moment of its need. This is an intimate embrace with a living herstory that traces pathways between our lungs, called laughter, called stillness, called sigh. This is a dance, a prayer, a baptism in hope. This is how we know who we are. This is how we live forever.……… …………………………………………………..

……………………………………………………………………………………… ………MobileHomeComing is an innovative and loving response to a deep craving for intergenerational connection. A craving that lives in the hearts of queer black same gender loving elders and visionaries. A craving that has taken over the minds of two young queer black women. Julia Wallace of Queer Renaissance and Alexis Pauline Gumbs of BrokenBeautiful Press have decided to dedicate the next phase of their lives to collecting and amplifying the social organizing herstories of black women who have been refusing the limits of heteronormativity and opening the world up by being themselves from the 1980’s and before. We believe that the stories of how trans and cis-gendered women and genderqueer black people grew their own bravery and created community are priceless resources for our communities and the communities of the future. We want to know how these warriors nurtured their deviant selves, we want to know how they raised their children, we want to know how they supported each other, we want to know how they created a culture of love and inclusion despite facing multiple oppressions and social stigmas. We believe that these stories should live forever in our open mouths and our hands reaching for each other. We believe that these herstories are the seeds of a necessary transformation in our culture where deviance is acknowledged as creativity and every member of our communities is lifted up and supported for fulfilling their vision. We see the need to reinvoke submerged traditions of gazing at each other in wonder and taking care of each other diligently.

We understand the the modes of survival in our black queer communities which include:

*social support organizing

*artistic creativity

*spiritual transformation

*revolutionary interpersonal relationships

are our key resources as we transform the meaning of life.

“We Are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For”- June Jordan


Julia Wallace, Founder of Queer Renaissance

So here we go. Alexis and Julia have committed to living in an environmentally sustainable mobile home and traveling into the lives of the visionaries who’s bravery and creativity has made our lives possible. And as much as we have chosen this journey, we have also been called. Our folks have grabbed our hands and faces, seeing themselves. Our elders are spilling with the details of how they got ovah, of what we need to know. This is hunger, this is need, in both directions. We need to know that we come from somewhere, our elders need to know that all their lives transcend their own bodies. Our people deserve to be honored for who they are and who they have been. We are dedicated to amplifying the herstories we learn by creating an experiential archive in which an intergenerational community can relive the brilliance of these visionary warriors, a hands on method for teaching history, a truly live model of community education. We will also be documenting this shared journey using video technology, new media, blogs, and scholarly articles and collecting artifacts to supplement existing archives that honor the sacred herstories of our elders. Quiet as its kept, none of us became the queer radical gender transgressing community building norm-busting world transformers we are by ourselves. We know that the grit, striving, brazen-ness, and foresight of our elders already lives in us. We will use this process of study, interview, and collaborative creativity to make it plain.

“We Exist Because You Intended Us”: An Ethics of Accountability

Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Founder of BrokenBeautiful Press

Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Founder of BrokenBeautiful Press

This project is about affirming and producing family on the queer terms of choice. Just as much as our biological ancestors and elders have shaped our organs by providing us with their DNA, our chosen ancestors, elders and mentors have also created us. By being themselves, by refusing to accept the limits imposed on their love, by believing despite everything that love and transformation were possible. By creating a future worthy of themselves they have built a world in which it is possible, and easier for us to be our wild and growing selves. We know that family doesn’t flow in one direction. We know that the past, the present and the future recreate each other at each moment of encounter, we know that nothing is as natural as it seems. We understand that everything is contingent, so we take nothing for granted. We therefore choose our people with as much tenacity as they chose themselves. We choose ourselves with the same force with which they chose us.

We also understand that the choices of our elders to transform the meanings of life, family and community have come with consequences. Many of our elders have been excluded from institutions such as their birth families, their religious communities, and the healthcare and social services institutions that have traditionally marginalized people of color whose family forms do not conform to any codes. Our elders have often been denied the emotional, spiritual, and financial support that they need. Just as our elders created alternative institutions of mutual support, we know that it is our responsibility to embrace and care for these warriors and to mend and dress any wounds they have incurred along the way. We are responsible for the physical, spiritual, emotional and financial well-being of our elders. Our heroes and heroines need not become martyrs before they earn our praise. Thus the urgency of our project. They deserve to be lifted up, body, soul and spirit RIGHT NOW.

Baptismal Listening: A Counter-Ethnographic Approach
This is why our project moves through and beyond oral history and ethnographic modes of research and reaches towards family-making. We are not old school anthropologists. We are immersing ourselves into the lives of these visionaries, not in order to merely observe kinship, but instead in order to BECOME kindred. We know that we will be transformed by this journey, we know that every time we create community there will be new demands on us, and deep expectations. Our elders are not objects of study. In fact, we are their servants because this was their idea. How long have they been asking us to sit with them and listen. To come over and learn. This is less than what we owe.

So this is journey based on faith. This is how we submerge our full-selves into the mystical context that created us. We will emerge transformed, into what we cannot know. We understand that this has something to do with eternal life, a lot to do with sacrifice, we know that this is concerned with the false limits of skin and gender. We know this has to do with the magic of longing. We know that this is a step towards ancestor worship. We know this is a reunion of spirits. We have taken the “mobilehomecoming approach” because we believe that it is important to live with our elders in order to develop the lasting and life changing relationships that are necessary for the transfer of legacy. This is as much about energy as it is about words. This is about shared meals, caressed photos, difficult memories, silences and work. This is about taking out the trash and weeding the garden. This is sacred because it is mundane. It is finally time to acknowledge how necessary we are to each other in every aspect of our lives. This is full immersion. A mobilehomecoming.

Do it Again: The Experiential Archive

Because our storycollecting approach will be fully immersive, we also believe that the insights and possibilities we learn about should be shared with our communities in a variety of ways. We plan to partner with existing archives to create relationships wherein the records, objects and artifacts that our elders have collected over lifetimes of activity can be preserved and recorded. We plan to blog about the steps of our journey, the surprising revelations, the repititions, the advice. We plan to record some of our encounters using video and audio in order to create a documentary and several new media learning modules ready for use in workshops and classrooms. We plan to rewrite the the literary history of black feminism reframed by the experiences of these elders. We plan to publish these histories in scholarly and general readership publications. And we also plan to bring this history to life.

We believe that the most lasting, and appropriate transmission of knowledge is IN community through lived experiences. Therefore we plan to host community events that re-enact the social organizing strategies that we learn about. If the Salsa Soul Sisters hosted women’s softball events with radical childcare…we’ll do it again in collaboration with the sisters who invented it so that an intergenerational community can relive this possibile social life. If the elders printed t-shirts with controversial messages on them to prove a point or campaign against injustice we’ll reissue the t-shirts so a multi-generational set of people can wear them and embody history. If they used pins to identify themselves as lesbian as black as feminist we’ll do it again.

The Meaning of Life: The Value of Social Organizing and Spiritual Transformation

feminism-4Our journey focuses on the social organizing strategies of non-conforming black women in the 1980’s and earlier. This means that we are interested in how these elders socialized, how they intervened in and created social institutions for themselves and for us. This means we are not only interested in how these black feminist radicals attempted to smash the state. We are also interested in how they made strides towards REPLACING the state by creating their own methods of childcare, health and wellness, spiritual eclecticism. We are interested in how they fed each other, loved each other, raised children together, created publications, created jobs for each other, supported each other’s endeavors. We want to know how they created the societies they needed, because we believe that their inventiveness holds the seeds to the society we ALL need. This means that while we are very interested in working with elders who were involved in radical and feminist political organizations, we will want to know what happened between meetings, how people celebrated each other, what the culture of their organizing was in addition to their explicit political campaigns and interventions.

We have noticed that the social organizing history of women of color (in general) and queer black women in particular has been left out of the historical narrative and we argue that because the social lives of people impact their political analysis and access and change the possible ways they will navigate everything, food, health, love, work, literacy etc. an emphasis on social, emotional, spiritual and practical community labor is political.

We have also noticed that the spiritual work that black queer people have done, and what we understood to be the spiritual leadership of black queer people in transforming the world, has often been overlooked. Mentored by scholar-practitioners M. Jacqui Alexander and Akasha Hull, we center the spiritual motivations and strategies that live in our communities, building and understanding, and affirming a practice of community as communion.

We Are the Ones?: Queer Renaissance and BrokenBeautiful Press

Alexis and Julia are ambitious dreamers and this project is an innovative leap of faith. However we not only stand on the bravery of our elders, we also build on recent examples of mobile, story-collecting and sharing models that contemporary queer artists of color are engaging in. We are inspired by and advised by Randall Kenan, acclaimed author of Walking On Water: Black American Lives At the Turn of the 21st Century who travelled the United States asking stangers what it meant to black in America, Climbing Poetree a creative duo who conducted their Hurricane Season Performance Tour on an enivronmentally sustainable mini-bus and collected hundred of quilt patches from participants that they are using for an ongoing installation, Mangos with Chili a group of queer and gender queer poets of color who are touring the country on a shoestring and a prayer, and we are confident that the lessons learned from these comrades will help us to develop an affordable, sustainable and impactful model for our journey.

We know this is an idea whose time has come. We hear our ancestors urging us on and we are joyfully in conversation and collaboration with kindred initiatives and sister-scholars Maylei Blackwell and Alice Hom with the the Queer of Color Oral History Collective in Los Angeles and sociologist Mignon Moore with the Black Queer Elders project. We are also inspired and advised by Ana-Maurine Lara’s We Are the Magic Makers Project and Selly K. Thiam’s None On Record Project.

We have also been preparing for this our whole lives. Recently Julia,along with Alexis, Moya Bailey and Beatrice Sullivan collaborated on a short documentary called Sweets for the Sweet which documented black queer people of different generations articulating their relationships to the words queer, funny, and sweet and speaking their own names for their desirable, fabulous, deviant selves. Alexis also conducted a year long listening project (www.listeningproject.blogspot.com) during which she listened to over 50 women, trans-men most of whom were people of color and working class people. Alexis created poems for and interactive collages with each of her participants creating an artistic archive of art that has been dispersed in many multimedia and print venues since. Alexis was also a featured speaker on the first ever Grassroots Media Justic Tour sponsored by Colorlines, Left Turn, Make/Shift Magazine and Free Speech Radio News. The Grassroots Media Justice Tour travelled the south learning about and building the media capacity of grassroots social justice movements.

We are excited to collaborate with each and every one of you!

email us at mobilehomecoming@gmail.com to find out more!