We survive our love
because we go on
-June Jordan “Grand Army Plaza”
one full Black lily
in a homemade field
of love” — -June Jordan’s “1977: Poem for Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer” #pridepassionjune (via mobilehomecoming)
the thing within
all of it.” —
-June Jordan from “Poem for the Poet Alexis De Veaux”
-June Jordan from “Notes Toward a Black Balancing of Love and Hatred” (1974) in Civil Wars #pridepassionjune
Maybe I should just love myself myself
(anyhow I’m more familiar with the subject)….
maybe I just need to love myself myself and
I’m working on it” —
-from June Jordan’s “Free Flight” in Passion (1977-1980)
It is June!!! My (Lex’s) birthday month and pride month and the official launch of the Mobile Homecoming social media presence so how do we want to celebrate? With the words of our beloved chosen ancestor June Jordan of course! This month as we remind you to help us get 30 new Monthly Sustainers, we will be signal boosting the brilliance of June Jordan, especially her passionate words about what it means to love ourselves with full PRIDE! We invite you to check it out by:
Best. June. Ever. Happy Pride y’all!
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Last night was the last session of the Brilliance Remastered Webinar Eye to Eye: Radical Collaboration for Community Accountable Scholars! I know that I’ll be missing the weekly webinar wavelength sharing love exchange until the next unit of the webinar (Beyond the Feel Good based on Lorde’s Uses of the Erotic) starts in July. But I also know that we created something powerful and I have a whole new clarity about the collaborations in my life and some exciting new collaborations that pranced right into my life from my dreams this month!
Using the Mothering Ourselves Manifesta we acknowledged the fact that collaborating allows us to evolve out of the language of struggle into the language of creativity we are not making “something out of nothing” we are honoring what is present in our lives and our communities and mobilizing our creativity to make something out of ANYTHING! This week’s group poem celebrates that clarity. Enjoy!
by the participants in the Eye to Eye Webinar on Collaboration for Community Accountable Scholars
“We can make something out of anything.” From the Mothering Ourselves Manifesta distilled from Audre Lorde’s Eye to Eye: Black Women Hatred and Anger
We can make something out of anything.
We can make home out of movement
We can make a movement out of feet stuck in the same mud.
We can make reality out of dreams
We can make family out of distances
We can make eternity out of the shortest stolen moments
We can make mothers out of brothers
We can make mothered mothers mothering abundant out of would-be martyrs suffering in silence (ourselves)
We can make love out of heartbreaking laws.
We can make delicious banana fritters out of overipe fruit we forgot.
We can make ourselves anew in order to recognize & show up for our brillance…
We can make difference be the springboard for greatness…
We can make our own cool, cultured collabos!
We can make it ALLL. Right!
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Yesterday was our third Eye to Eye Webinar session on love, faith, difference and communication entitled “The Only Language I Know.” We shared our poetic clarity about how we communicate differently based on our experiences, our approaches, our fears and our longings and how sometimes words seem to fail us all together. Our group poem represents our visioning process of creating a space where there is room for everyone we are, and who we are not, and who we might become together.
Just Saying/See You There
By the Brilliance Remastered Eye to Eye Participants
After Audre Lorde’s “At First I Thought You Were Talking About…”
I speak the language of roots up, all the way everything must be changed.
She speaks the language of measurable deliverables.
I speak the language of rainwater-clarification-process-matters.
They speak jampack big words together like a train
I speak the language of here right here at home.
He speaks the language of inevitable uprise class struggle like science.
I speak in things felt a knowing of my bones
He through well thought out equations elaborate logic models
I speak in hope
I speak “like me”
She speaks I like you, but not always
She speaks me first. She speaks my kids first. She speaks secrets
I speak 69 years. He speaks FaceBook
I speak plan with flexibility.
They speak plan and stick to it.
I speak student wants and needs
They speak stick to what we need to see only
I speak possible risky let’s do it
they speak practical hedged bet sacrifice
I speak concepts & ideas are real, they are tangible, touchable.
They speak “huh, what you what you talking bout sistah?”
I speak seek the relationship
They speak: seek the product(s)
I speak the language of the academy sometimes
he speaks shyness, grammar of booze and sex
sometimes I speak no grammar language
But I know that:
“Black girls are from the future” and that
“Everything we do is insignificant. Yet it is incredibly
important that we do it.”  And that
Children are full people who have something to say
And that trusting is like tree roots and we reach down, tangled up
And that everything we need is already within us
And that I am who I am doing what I came to do
And that our silence will NOT save us.
SO I am seeking the place where the language of risky radicalism
meets the pragmatism of those who have seen the consequences
the place where afrofuturefearlessness meets blackbloodsoilhistory
the place where we feel whole meets
the place where we are allowed to be prisms of light
the place where faith meets shaking legs
the place where level headed realists can meet starry eyed dreamers
the place where good intentions meet critical implementation
the place where longing meets listening
the place where yes meets i know
the place where why meets when
the place where–as white people–we remember without expectation of forgiveness
we account for what has been lost and stolen
the place where but i have _______ friends, so I couldn’t be __________
meets self introspection
the place where bourgie balancing meets grace
where press and curl meets this is my natural curl
the place where longing children meet absent parents
the place where wholeness meets brokenness
where miracles equal a mere embrace
the place where courage (like jumping into a cold river)
meets self-determination (where are the rocks at the bottom)
the place where the long night meets the pale kiss of morning
the place where water and sky are indistinguishable
the place how i was raised meets raise UP!
the place where can’t get right GETS RIGHT
the place where hope meets salvation
where the souls of the living dance hot and fast in love, light
and treating each other right
the place where the love you always wanted meets the love you always had
See you there.
 Renina Weems
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They have been vacated by the spirits
who are angered by our reluctance
to feed them.” —Audre Lorde (Solstice)
By popular demand we bring you back the series that started it all…the Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind Potluck series!
The Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind Potluck Series is a never-ending series of delicious gatherings celebrating, lifting up, studying and utilizing the legacy of Black feminist thought to save our lives and transform our communities in Durham, NC (and in your community if you choose to read along!) All people who are excited to be transformed by the brilliance of Black feminists are welcome to this child-inclusive space!
This summer we will be gathering on 3 Sunday evenings to eat together and nourish our community and our movement with the brilliance of 3 of Lex’s favorite contemporary poets, Mendi Obadike, Samiya Bashir and Evie Schockley. Bring food, receive photocopies of a selection of the featured poets poems and we’ll have a conversation that will change our lives!
2012: Focus on Contemporary Black Feminist Poets
This Sunday May 27th 5pm
Mendi Lewis Obadike
Former Durham resident, friend and inspiration to Lex and many others, Mendi Obadike is a deep experimental tribute to reflection, manifestation and love. A student of Lucille Clifton and a everyday example of how to bring poetry to life, her work makes space for conversations we need to have! Join us for a discussion of a sampling of Mendi’s poems from Armor and Flesh and get ready to experience an open heart and a tingling of skin! Check out Lex’s review of Mendi’s recent opera masquerade collaboration with her partner Keith Obadike in 4 Electric Ghosts here to get a sense: http://bit.ly/KQBA2p
Save the dates for the other two sessions!
Sunday June 17th 5pm
Brilliant poet, educator and smiling visitation of sunshine Samiya Bashir’s poetry rocks in your heart whether you read it with your eyes or your mouth. There is something so Sunday-perfect and sanctuary ironic about these poems that you will not want to miss this session! Read Lex’s overjoyed review of Bashir’s Gospel here: http://bit.ly/KQBA2t
Sunday July 22nd
Evie Shockley, also a former Durham resident and student of Lucille Clifton offers urgent experimental resources for Black feminist time travelers and our cluttered pockets. As a scholar and artist her work allows us to speak with historical figures, re-meet ancestors we thought we knew and challenge the ways we internalize space. Half-Red Sea is featured in the Mobile Homecoming web series The Real Reading Rainbow’s Kwanzaa poetry recommendations video (actually along with the books by the other poets featured in this series! Check it out here: http://bit.ly/KQByHZ
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Audre Lorde (via nomames)
I can never read this too much.
Alexis Pauline Gumbs, quoted by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha in a transformative justice workshop at Hampshire earlier this year.
Stuff I’m finding as I “clean” my room.
This, basically. I’m trying to figure out how to do this.
Yesterday was the second session of the Brilliance Remastered Eye to Eye Webinar on Radical Collaboration for Community Accountable Scholars.
We talked about what is at stake our collaborations, nothing less than the world we want to live in and create together. We supported each other in holding ourselves to a standard where our collaborations themselves embody the values we have for our future, and where the impact of that collaborative work on US is not sacrificial, but also consistent with the nourishing vision we have for our species on the planet.
We made ourselves poets with this similie standard for what our collaborations can feel like, what our futures can feel like, what our days right now can feel like.
Be Like: A Poetic Vision for Collaboration
by the participants of the Eye to Eye Webinar on Radical Collaboration for Community Accountable Scholars
like breathing, like recognition, like gratitude
like manna from heaven, free and plentiful for all
like eye contact, like risky breath, like skin
like ease, like willingness, like welcoming
like food on the table, like real justice for all, like freedom
like deep earthy soul bearing funky togetherness
like sisters I never had, like a family we are making everyday
like the joy of decoding a secret language
like celebration, like faces touching, like cherished communion and congratulation
like everyday cheer for your graduation from another insight-filled day of being you
like a shower, refreshed remembrance that I don’t have to be everyone
like a rub on the back looking at me eye to eye
like face to face, foreheads pressed in affirmation
like life sustained, like clean water, like no more premature deaths
like being excited and grateful you exist
like love, like love, like loving
like coming home at last
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