Wednesday, September 08, 2010


For Samuel Blizzard Jr., Calvin Streater and Durand Robinson, black gay men murdered during the last 10 days in Atlanta.

who learns to love me

from the mouth of my enemies”

-Audre Lorde “Need”

who have your back

who cradle your lightheaded bright eyes

who frame your face with hands pride portrait sending home

who love

who write your sweat salt into affirmation

who believe in you enough

surely the thin rope tied sweatshop stitched free backpack

filled with plastic reinforced dance party flyers

is no shield for your bulletproof and brazen spirit

no container for your purpose

who hold you and keep you safe

who watch your moving mouth and learn to love you whole

when did your open heart become a liability

when did your brave insistence on the community of an instant

become an open temple for the fear

of shapeshifters who know not

themselves in you

until too late

who paint our faces

taste the iron of your blood

until our words turn Kevlar and mean something

the back of your head looks so soft little brother

eggshell skull and brilliance breaking

sometimes I want to cry just looking at you

how to accept that your clean lined queen glide

tentative teeth ready to smile

fierce and femme

is a hopeful contradiction that could end

who believe in you enough to change everything

who love to learn your mouth whole

who hold

who hold

who hold your waiting hand

who cup your fresh cut hair

who kiss your lashed down lust

who hold

who hold

who hold you up

who have

who have

who have

your back

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Here (for Assata Goff)


after Lucille Clifton’s “Crazy Horse Names His Daughter”

for Assata Goff

call down the name freedom call

up the spirit of no matter what now call

your shared name liberation veins steel will

fierce focus shielding sacred smile laugh

your own name radiant as cuba

laugh your yawning name into language laugh

in the face of any power that does not know you laugh

to save life from leaning and falling over laugh

planting yes between sidewalk cracks up mural walls

and we will sing your grace walk like we know laugh

earned and eternal when we speak

Assata is here

Monday, September 06, 2010

Crazy Horse Names His Daughter: Lucille Clifton Rebirth Broadcast #11

Crazy Horse Names His Daughter: Lucille Clifton Rebirth Broadcast #11 from Alexis Gumbs on Vimeo.

This week our Lucille Clifton ShapeShifter assignment is to cast names of powerful people in our lives and in our history into the future and to create a ritual or list of naming that describes the energy in the names of the children in your family, life or community.

To see all the Lucille Clifton Rebirth Broadcasts see

And to learn more about the Lucille Clifton ShapeShifter Survival School and the upcoming Everett Anderson Storytime week see:

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Eternal Something: Alternate ROOTS Testifies

Eternal Something from Alexis Gumbs on Vimeo.

Brilliance! The participants in the Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind Studio at the Alternate ROOTS annual meeting TESTIFY!!!!