Friday, December 14, 2012
The Indigo Afterschool Program for brilliant black feminists in middle school (inspired by Ntozake Shanges Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo) here in Durham is evolving into the Indigo Journeys program, a curriculum of visionary black feminist fieldtrips and monument making!!!! The Indigo Geniuses have grown and shown the divine skill of creating sacred space through developing and sharing their own Sisterhood Museum* with our local community and now we will be growing and showing the skill of creating sacred space and being sacred space WHEREVER WE GO!!! Behold the power and creativity of black girls!!!
This weekend the Geniuses and their mamas are hosting an Indigo Tea Dance Support Raiser here in Durham to invite our community to support the resources, financial and logistical that will support the Indigo Journeys. Since the groove transcends space and time you will all be dancing with us in spirit! I want to personally invite all of you who believe that the brilliance of black girls demands our collective resourcefulness and creativity to send support for this life giving project!
Here is the invitation to support from the Indigo Mamas:
Last year, Alexis Pauline Gumbs and our daughters created Indigo Afterschool, a creative superspace for the young geniuses to learn, create, and love with the guidance of sista docta Alexis. Their weeks together culminated in the creation of a beautiful museum full of stories and art. This spring, Alexis and the girls will venture on Indigo Journeys in the form of Mother-Daughter Art Outings and Indigo Legacy Field Trips to learn about important black feminist sites in North Carolina.
Contributions of any amount are appreciated, as well as gas cards, and gift cards for an oil change, a car wash, a Frankie's outing, or groceries.
You can donate through Alexis' Donation Station: http://brokenbeautiful.wordpress.com/make-love/
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get the address to send gift cards (Kroger, Food Lion or Harris Teeter cards will work locally)
*The Sisterhood Museum was adapted from the Brotherhood/Sistersol Curriculum in Harlem with much love and appreciation!
Monday, August 27, 2012
"54. everyone is waiting
to see what great thing
you'll do next." -from Wishful Thinking by Alexis Pauline Gumbs
Following in her mom Pauline's footsteps, Alexis will be participating in the International Center for Traditional Childbirth's Full Circle Doula training Nov 1-4th in Dallas, TX. Yay!!!!
When I was born my mother, like many young mothers of color, was forced to have an unnecessary c-section. This was an act of disrespect by doctors who put their convenience over my family's wishes and it did not honor the way my mother and I wanted to come into each others lives. What would have been different if there had been a black feminist doula (or two) at the scene of my birth affirming my mother's power? My journey to become a doula and especially to do doula work together with my mother is a major act of healing. It is my intention that every child will one day be born into a world where the magic and power of black women is revered and respected at every moment! It is also a necessary act of revisiting my own birth that I see as a crucial part of my journey to become a mother someday soon! :)
Becoming a community supported doula is a dream coming true and a wish about to be fulfilled. DO you believe that the world will be better with our mother/daughter doula project? Do you believe in the power of a black feminist love evangelist poet facilitator in the birthing room? Then YOU are part of the community that I am accountable to!
I am looking for 57 people to donate any amount that feels right to them as an affirmation of the necessity and power of this work we are doing together to rebirth the world! Each donor will receive an original collage based around the 57 wish poem Wishful Thinking. I appreciate your support and your love! Spread the word! And donate here:
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Check out this recap video of the inspiring amazing Broken Beautiful Conference. I'm so affirmed and honored that the legacy of BrokenBeautiful Press is growing in such healing ways and led by brilliant young women of color!!!!!
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
You now (only until the end of June) have the opportunity to buy one, or two or three or several tiny origami folded poetry books by yours truly as part of my fundraiser to publish my chapbook Such Rainbows a series of love poems to my inspired community edited by Mai'a Williams! Poetry for poetry's sake indeed!
These teeny tiny books of poetry that has never been published anywhere before are perfect for your pocket, for a gift or for a fabulous fan during this hot hot summer!
Donate $5 for one little book, $10 for 2 little books and $14 to take three little books all the way home. Be sure to specify which books you want and your current address!!!
A big claim for a tiny book right?
Enjoy some strong impact small poems inspired by Phillis Wheatley, Kanye West, Saidiya Hartman, Countee Cullen, Margaret Danner and the blackest things you know, like the ocean at night and wrought iron.
After Dark: Remix Haikus for June
This series of remix haikus based on June Jordan's Things That I Do in the Dark is a deep breath. A to do list. A prayer in a darkroom, a black feminist afterglow. The perfect thing to read this June.
Harlem Sidewalk Monument
to Straight Hair Gone Forever
This experiment is a memorial to the over-rated straightness of a girl born crooked. A series of intentional square poems engage the anthropology of Zora Neale Hurston, steam of a Dominican hair salon, breakdancing, cardboard and the undead Aaliyah. Yes.
Saturday, June 02, 2012
following us on Twitter @mobilehomecomin or tumblr (mobilehomecoming.tumblr.com)
liking us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mobile-Homecoming/169518796401406
AND feel free to submit your own favorite June Jordan quotes to be included here: http://mobilehomecoming.tumblr.com/submit
Best. June. Ever. Happy Pride y'all!
Monday, April 30, 2012
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
In the middle of the fourth and final session (it's so hard to say goodbye) of the Remastered Tools 101 Webinar, we affirmed the fact that daily truth is a crucial tool for empowered community accountable intellectual work. In order to stay in each other's lives every day beyond the webinar we shared the daily mantras that remind us WHAT IT REALLY IS! We will be putting these affirmations in our homes, pockets, bags, offices so that we can see them everyday and we invite you to do the same!
Remastered Tools 101: Daily Mantras:
"you here to remind people of free" -marvin k white
“I am who I am doing what I came to do.” –Audre Lorde
“Being open to receiving and giving blessings will keep you in touch with your passion, the passion you need to make it to the finish line. Get excited about your work and know that when you change the way you look at things, things you look at change. Go get em’ girl. I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your being.” –Melissa’s Auntie
“Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water, yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible nothing can surpass it.” –Tao Te Ching
“I wish to live because life has within it that which is good, that which is beautiful and that which is love.” Lorraine Hansberry
“Salt water can heal anything.” Lex’s Pop-pop
“Go on and be what we couldn’t.” Mississippi Damned
“We can learn to mother ourselves.” Audre Lorde
“How you treat yourself if how you treat God. You are the representation of God in your life.”
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” Lao Tzu
“Are you sure, sweetheart, that you want to be well.” Minnie Ransom from Toni Cade Bambara’s The Salt Eaters
“Consistency is manifestation.“ Queen Hollins
“There is an invisible red threat that connects all human beings and though it may stretch or tangle it will never break.” Chinese Proverb
“Love is lifeforce.” June Jordan
“A thing is mighty big when time and distance cannot shrink it.” –Zora Neale Hurston
“There is a close connection between sexual repression and extreme aggression.”
“This is my granddaughter the poet.” Lex’s Grandma
“Caminante, no hay puentes, se hace puentes, se hace puentes al andar./ Voyager, there are no bridges, one builds them as one walks.” –Gloria Anzaldua
“Listen to each person as if she is your great teacher uttering her last words.”-Hafiz
“Safety is always necessarily an illusion.” –James Baldwin
“The work is the diva.” Zakia
“The best way to do it is to do it!” Toni Cade Bambara
“Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.” Rumi
“Movement is medicine.” Brown Femi Power
“Relationships not resumes.” –Thaura Distro
“Wrong is not my name. My name is my own my own my own my own.” –June Jordan
“We have the opportunity and the responsibility to become fifty times greater than we thought we could be.” Grace Lee Boggs and James Boggs
“We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous. Actually, who are you not to be?” Marianne Williams
“Warrior get up!” Climbing Poetree
“So it is better to speak, remembering we were never meant to survive.” Audre Lorde
“Black girls are from the future.” Renina Jarmon
Monday, March 26, 2012
cartwheel on the blacktop
by Alexis Pauline Gumbs
he has wings in his shoes.
Trayvon yawns and stretches in the crook of the tree. Slept til dark again. Shrugs. Stretches out his retractable shoe gliders and hangs a slow swinging backflip out of the branches. Into the world again. Blows a kiss at one leaf. Turns to face home.
a rainbow in his mouth.
Notices he is on tilt two-thousand. Off-balance more than the sway of waking up. Sugar low. Annoyed to have to hunt for convenience and its stores of chemical fructose. This is a manicured neighborhood. No fruit in these trees but him himself at twilight.
he has sweet tea time travel in a can
Sweetness reloading he blinks at the mission message in his eyelids. Find the little brother. Teach him about sugar. Teach him that he too can fly as nonchalant as hammock rope. Give him one swift hug and then return to the future to plug in his fingers. Banjo music a much better charge than this watered down fuel. Can’t wait to get home. He slept into dark. On this world of all worlds. Right during the time of the nightvision nearsightedness. Sigh. He might be late. His shoes brush the sidewalk.
his hooded sweatshirt forcefield threaded through with angel kevlar
Behind him the loud machine for the heavyfooted hunter slows down. He has been detected. Will his teenage camoflauge help him or hurt. He sighs. He is so young. Only four hundred years old. He shakes his head and looks back. Remember how they used guns. Remember how they never felt safe enough to breathe or whole enough to listen. Overslept. Over. He sends one telepathic message to the little brother waiting. Quickly embroiders it with sweetness. Love.
At the moment of the explosion the sweatshirt flickers hieroglyphics. Blue light math. He squeezes the can. Liquid sprays everywhere. Hands to the pavement. He wonders if the little brother will understand what he must do.
*this is a response to http://www.aliciamccalla.com/blog/87-trayvon-20-a-creative-science-fiction-response-
**the title "Cartwheel on the Blacktop" comes from a poetic response in our intergenerational "The Way the World Begins Again" workshop on June Jordan's children's literature at the Split this Rock Festival in Washington, DC.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Active Beings Speak the Truth!
Last night was our second session of the Remastered Tools 101 Webinar. The brilliance, clarity, faith and bravery of the participants continues to rev my heart!! By the way...if you want to sign up for the next Webinar series get details here. We talked about the difference between being used and being on purpose. Check out these insights about what we believe is required to embody what Lorde calls "active being":
“Interdependency…is the way to a freedom which allows the I to be, not in order to be used, but in order to be creative. This is a difference between the passive be and the active being.”
Audre Lorde “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House”
Actively being embodies a way of life and living, continuous conscious decision making. And that sometimes means you will fall short but recognize the "uh-oh" moments.
Active being is being okay with making mistakes, having compassion for yourself and others, not being perfectionist, sharing works-in-progress.
Active being means letting go.
Active being is hard when most of my days I’m on autopilot.
I cannot practice humility on auto pilot!
Active being is starting with creativity. Asking what should we do? instead of
looking around at traditional models and saying how do we most quickly reproduce that?
As a disabled person and a survivor, part of my active being is doing enough healing & rest & self care & self-awareness that when I step up into being and doing I can actually sustain it accountably.
Active being is growing roots such that your vision starts unfolding in all ten directions, but the road has become one.
Radical self care is the foundation of active being for me. When I take good care of me, I do good work. Such simple things like drinking enough water, cooking good meals, praying, putting on lotion.
Active being is listening to myself and listening to my community and physically putting my body where it needs to be
Active being is trusting my intuition.
Active being requires creating and seeking spaces which affirm us completely.
Thursday, March 08, 2012
Survival is Not
(when academics kill)
“Survival is not an academic skill.” -Audre Lorde “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House”
“Capitalism of the mind makes us all stupid.” Anna Torres’s advisor
Based on a group poem activity by the 2012 Remastered Tools 101 crew!
Survival is not the death of me.
Survival is not the death of you.
And I wish people would stop making it so complicated.
Love is not an academic skill.
Listening is not an academic skill.
Liberation is not an academic skill.
Compassion is not an academic skill.
Care is not an academic skill.
Comradeship is not an academic skill.
Courage is not an academic skill.
Mindfulness is not an academic skill.
Humility is not an academic skill.
Self-correction is not an academic skill.
Feminism is not an academic skill.
Speaking truth to power is not an academic skill.
Visibility is not an academic skill.
Affirming the beauty of others is not an academic skill.
Honoring one another and our visions are not academic skills.
Ethics are not academic skills.
Trust is not an academic skill.
Trusting intuitive power and hope are not academic skills.
Nurturing spirit is not an academic skill.
Being human is not an academic skill.
Being yourself is not an academic skill.
Creating family is not an academic skill.
What our grandmothers taught us
and what we learn through the body are not academic skills.
Dancing is not an academic skill.
Making love is not an academic skill.
Survival is not an optional skill.
Survival is not a game for pay.
Survival is not the illusion of safety.
Survival is not thinking we need to fit into boxes.
Survival is not becoming who you need me to be.
Survival is not holding our breath.
Survival is not made possible by overriding our bodies.
Survival is not possible without rest.
Survival is not scary when we know what we are living for.
Community is everything.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
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 email@example.com by Feb. 27th at 5pm to be included in the podcast.
Alexis Pauline Gumbs
Monday, February 13, 2012
Remastered Tools 101 is an opportunity to examine our relationship to knowledge and our theories of change as they relate to the work we do as scholars and the work we empower with our scholarship. We will investigate how dependence on systems that are NOT community accountable are cultivated even in the most seemingly radical fields and support each other in creating visions for our own community accountability.
Remastered Tools will run on Wednesday evenings March 7-28
Required Reading: Audre Lorde's The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House
The Remastered Tools 101 Webinar includes:
- a workbook based on Audre Lorde's The Master's Tools
- 4 live webinar discussion sessions facilitated by Alexis Pauline Gumbs and attended by aligned visionary underrepresented scholars
- inclusion in an ongoing networking google-group for webinar graduates
- group theme songs to rock to while you smash the system :)
Rate: $25-50 per participant per session ($100-200 for the whole course) or FREE for one-on-one coaching clients.
To apply for the Remastered Tools 101 Webinar email firstname.lastname@example.org with your responses to the following questions:
Contact information: (phone, email)
Who are you and what are you up to?
Why do you want to take this webinar?
Thursday, February 09, 2012
Brilliance Remastered: For Visionary Under-represented Grad Students and Emerging Community Accountable Scholars!
Calling all community accountable scholars and visionary under-represented grad students!
Hey there bright thunder!
Do you ever feel isolated and misunderstood in your department? Do you ever feel that the passions that motivated you to get your degree are contradicted more and more by the process of getting there? Do you feel like you are in limbo? That even the well-meaning advisors around you know how to help you conform to academic standards, but can't be accountable to the ways you want to TRANSFORM?
Never fear. You are not alone. As Audre Lorde famously said to an academic conference filled with feminist scholars: "The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house." But less people remember that immediately afterwards she reminded us that "This fact is only threatening to those who still define the master's house as their only source of support."
Brilliance Remastered is about going beyond our critique of the master's tools in order to cultivate the already existing tangible forms of support that can free us up to do the brilliant work we were born to do inside the academy and beyond it.
I had the miraculous experience of a wildly successful and enjoyable experience in graduate school. I wrote, published, traveled, presented, finished in a very timely manner and was even offered some exciting and attractive tenure track jobs. At the same time built an ecology of community institutions and autonomous community accountable intellectual projects that allowed me to freely choose to do my passionate work in the ways that would best serve my community and my vision for a transformed planet beyond the scarcity model of academic self-marketing.
I found that the key to a miraculous experience of community accountable scholarship was
- constantly being in touch with the deeper purpose of my intellectual work
- remaining connected and accountable to the communities that I love
Brilliance Remastered is my contribution to shifting the paradigm of what we do as community accountable scholars. It is my intention that your experience of graduate school is not full of paranoia, proving yourself, being misunderstood and overlooked, but rather of radiant and inspiring opportunities to bring your best intellectual resources to the issues and communities you care about. I also intend that when you finish graduate school you are not grabbing for crumbs based on what academic institution wants to hire and tokenize and overwork an under-represented person with your specialties, but rather that you will be able to choose to continue your passionate inquiry on your own terms in ways that prioritize and support strategies of power for the communities you love.
Brilliance Remastered is a wellspring for remembering that as Audre Lorde said, the master's house is not our only form of support. As community, we are our primary and most valuable sources of support. Browse our webinars, one-on-one coaching offerings, blog and podcasts for resources to affirm your vision and support your growth whether you are deciding whether to go to graduate school, struggling to finish or start your thesis or dissertation, needing tools to rearticulate your purpose or to build a community of support. I know that working with you, bright thunder aka brilliant visionaries who are ready to transform the world, will have an impact on the meaning of scholarship and the usefulness of intellectuals for generations to come.
Let's get started!
Alexis Pauline Gumbs, PhD
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
"When you first realize your blood has come, smile an honest smile, for you are about to have an intense union with your magic." -from Marvelous Menstruating Moments (as told by Indigo to her dolls...) in Ntozake Shange's Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo
On March 3rd 2012 my mother and I (also known as the Thicker Than Whatever Unstoppable Mother/Daughter Team) will be be co-facilitating a special love-filled workshop for kids who might be about to menstruate or who have started recently and for their mamas/main supporters called Love Overflow: Marvelous Menstruating Moment. This will be a daylong intergenerational workshop at the new Eternal Summer space (aka the Greenhouse...where we grow!) with play, affirmation, storysharing and special spaces just for mamas and just for young folks to process their relationship to the physical, spiritual and social transformations going on at the ever-exciting time of puberty.
My mom is traveling from Atlanta in Durham to be my partner in this endeavor and we are so excited! We wanted to invite our entire community to support this project!!!!
We especially invite those of you (of any gender or identification) who have ever had an experience menstruating to add to our wisdom overflow by sharing a piece of wisdom you learned from your own experience menstruating as a note with your paypal donation below. Or just email your wisdom to me at email@example.com!
Lex (and Pauline)