Wednesday, October 22, 2008

TechnoAfroCats Read Wild Seed

Hear ye, Hear ye:

A message to all members of Quirky Black Girls

Hey all,
 Just a quick note to let everyone know that the fabulous long-distance sci-fi reading group at Quirky Black Girls will be reading Octavia Butler's Wildseed and discussing it in a forum right here on qbg!

  So go get the book from your public library or independent bookseller or or whatever and look for details on the main site.

Also If you haven't copped the new Muhsinah or The Foreign Exchange you are missing out! To check out her sound, see qbg Jah's video post of "construction" in the videos section.

Also shouts out to our growing international qbg contingent!


Visit Quirky Black Girls at:


There are those, bright and visible among us, who believe in a Queer Renaissance...that we can make the world anew by loving transformation with our every action, by building our wishes into place to live, by writing our dreams in deep red pen on every wall that faces us. There are those among us who thread the present into 50 ways to reimagine life at once, teasing the future with incrementally wilder ways to be present. Queer black filmmaker, poet, thinker Julia R. Wallace is one of those.

I'm a fan. (Can you tell?)

As an outgrowth of the collaborative online community transformation venture Queer Renaissance (, and a compelling poetic filmic vision, Julia Wallace is creating Until, a poem crystallized into a short experimental narrative film about friendship, love, secrecy, shame and the possibility of freedom. And I want you to know about it. Because I love you.

After hearing the poem and reading the screenplay for Until I already have a crush on the main character. Pro, a quiet loving earnest college student wants the best for her best friend Hailey. And she's thrilled and gratified when after facing rejection from some guy on campus, Hailey wants her. As always though, it gets complicated when the lights turn on. What will it take for each woman to be true to herself in private and in public?

Y'all, reading this screenplay makes me want to be a better braver person. It scrapes up those moments when we choose our fears over each other, and when we choose each other out of makes me want to build altars and monuments to those public hand holdings and private yeses that risk everything except our integrity. And to those moments when we almost get there.

There should be a billion films like this, but there aren't, and Julia and the crew are shooting November 14-16 in Atlanta so go here to find out more about Until and how you can support that necessary process of making our love, our questions, our hope and our process visible and tangible.

love always,

Monday, October 20, 2008

Wrap your head with this material....

Anyone who knew me a couple of years ago, or even a year and a half ago, knew that I was good for ‘rocking’ a head wrap. I mean the ones that shot straight up [think of E. Badu’s “on and on”] and pointed to Allah, saying “yes, I am a refined Queen”. But I transitioned out of head wraps over the last couple of years because I started to feel confined to a piece of cloth.

I started with the art of head wrapping when I became a citizen of the Nation of Gods and Earth [Five Percenters] at seventeen—dutifully wearing my 3/4ths (rockin three-fourths of cloth never showin' your stuff off, boo—Method Man) of clothing and keeping myself refined and fly. Moving from occasionally wrapping my hair to rocking 3/4ths and sporting head wraps as an everyday part of my clothing was something that transpired during my sophomoric and junior years of college.

An African Woman from Ghana first showed me how to master the wrapping of my head, but it was an elder in the Nation of Gods and Earths that help me put meaning to what I was doing. Black Women she told me, who were Earths” in the Nation of Gods and Earth were to cover every "curve on their bodies" including your hair, so your body could not be seen. So for most of us, if any part of the body was exposed---you wrapped your hair. If legs were exposed---wrapped, if your arms and/or legs were exposed--wrapped, if skirts were floor length and arms not exposed, you could wear your hair out. It was the “Queenly” thing to do…. because dressed in 3/4ths signified the beauty of an Black woman valuing herself and setting herself an apart from other Black Women by being an illustration of a Queen, an Earth.

In my senior year of college, I stopped building with the Nation of Gods and Earths, but kept the head wraps…also around that time, I picked up a Black feminist agenda and became a Women Studies major in college. But my head wraps started to become something very fetish-like to the White girls in my class, as one White girl said to me one day “I wait everyday to see what color head wrap you have on your head”. I eventually stopped wearing my head wraps and just let my naps be exposed to the world.

A couple of days ago, I found a bag at the bottom of my closet, with my colorful head wraps and I started to question why I had even stopped wearing them in the first place. Had I transitioned from Queen Mother Earth in undergrad to Black feminist academic Sistah in graduate school, where I NEED to actually show my naps on my head, because I was now in a place where acculturation looked good to even the most confident person? *maybe* Or, was I tired of the stigma attached to them (external representation of Afrocentricity—which I do not ascribe to)? *shrugs* Or, was it because of the rampant Kemars and Muslim Women in Philly that I wanted to distance myself from? *Nodding*

Although those questions may have had some bearing on my decision, I think the real reason I stopped wearing head wraps, was due to way that I got caught up with attaching “Queen” to a piece of cloth…it became gimmicky. Between the ages of 17 and 22, I kept hearing that real Queens never exposed themselves….real Queens wore their hair covered for their righteous Black man, (even though he never had a dress code)….real Queens never let their bodies be exposed to the White man’s eye…blah, blah, blah….it was like my crown or something…my cape… and if I didn’t have it on, my super Black Woman powers were juiced out….so the head wraps had to go, because if my self-worth was tied to a head wrap, then I was in big trouble.

But I say to the Sistahs that rock head wraps, keep rocking on (I may rock one tomorrow), but know that ¾ths nor a head wrap starts with a mental elucidation, nor does a mental understanding starts and then a head wrap follows…with or without the head wrap, we still can shine as beautiful Black women.



Monday, October 13, 2008

What the Hell is a Radical Woman of Color?

What the Hell is a Radical Woman of Color?
Real stories by Radical Women of Color and Allies
An Anthology

Key points to consider:

• What does being a Radical Women of Color mean to you? (i.e. community, race, gender, motherhood, activism, silencing, diversity/intersectionality, movement building, etc.)

• What does it mean to be an ally?

• How would you devise new strategies for cross-cultural dialogue, theorizing, and alliance-building?

• Global perspectives are welcome

• Topic suggestions are welcome

Deadline: Sunday, November 9, 2008

Format: There is no format; the piece can be in the form of a short story, a personal experience, an essay, a poem, a collection of thoughts, photography, art, or a collaborative work. 4000 words maximum.


Since we are now in the process looking for a publisher, we still don't have an exact rate of payment for contributors. Although, we will be negotiating a payment of $25-$125 per piece.

A handwritten hard copy of the project agreement must be mailed before submission of final work (email address below to be sent project agreement). Once we make our final decisions, we will fill in our portion of the project agreement and send them back to contributors for their records. Contributors will be contacted with complete details once the publishing agreement is reached.

Please feel free to e-mail us with further questions or need for clarification. We look forward to hearing from you.


QBG 'Zine!

What it do good people of QBG'dom?!

The 'zine is finally here! Thanks to all who submitted!

Do to technical difficulties, we weren't able to work the picture submissions this issue so everyone who submitted pictures, we got you next issue.

So enjoy all and spread the quirky!

Quirky Black Girl

Thursday, October 9, 2008

i scream. you scream.

(i don't know why, but moya axed me to post there here. i was a lemming in my former life.)

(from 18. september. 2008)

Hi Gayle,

Apparently, yesterday was dagger night out in downtown Oak Park, IL, a wonderful western suburb of Chicago, known as Ernest Hemingway’s hometown and for its Frank Lloyd Wright homes. I wasn’t there, however, to trace literary ancestors or look at architecture; I was there for ice cream. And nothing screams suburban more than a nice little overpriced ice cream chain. Yes, Coldstone Creamery.

I’ll admit, I’m a Dairy Queen kind of girl. Nothing assuages my ice cream jones better than some soft serv from the 'Q. My order of a chocolate chip cookie dough blizzard sans chocolate syrup hasn’t changed in years. Since there was no Dairy Queen within decent driving distance, I had to settle. Besides, the company I keep doesn’t share the same enthusiasm I have for DQ. Plus, since I can be sort of demanding when it comes to my palate’s desires, I decided to employ a rule or two I learned back in kindergarten and let someone else choose.

Technically, this was my third time to Coldstone Creamery, but my first time actually attempting to figure out what all the fuss was about. On my prior two visits, I’d settled for the most basic milkshake on the menu. This time, I chose a flavor and a topping.

First, like a fellow yelper I read the other day, I resent when places compel you to order in sizes other than small, medium, and large. I don’t think it’s cute; I find it obnoxious and stupid. Further, I don’t appreciate it when employees attempt to “correct” me. (“Listen, asshole, I know what the board says. I can read. I want a SMALL iced chai. And for the record, calling something a ‘chai tea’ is redundant. Now shut that ‘tall’ shit down and give me my over-priced beverage.”) I will confess that upon sampling the cake batter flavor, I agreed that CC had in fact found a way to replicate cake batter taste in ice cream form. Despite being impressed, I just settled for a SMALL sweet cream with oreos.

Second, I am skeptical about the consistency of the product here. Frankly, I don’t appreciate folk I don’t know—official-uniform or no—fondling my ice cream. I don’t care if one can logically explain how the employees can perform this feat without turning helado into a milky, dairy mess. I do not like it one bit. Just plop my scoop on a cone and keep it moving.

Third, I can’t believe I paid this much for what I just witnessed. Given the way the thing tasted, surely the extra coinage was merely for the show. Four dollars to watch someone scoop ice cream onto a counter and beat an Oreo into submission? I stood there, arms crossed, unimpressed and could only think of random Barack Obama and integration jokes suitable—but having different meanings, mind you—for Value Voters and cynical, satirical Negroes such as myself. Satire in the wrong hands isn't satire. But I digress.

I am not a fan of Coldstone Creamery. As far as ice cream goes, I suppose a lil DQ soft serv will suffice for an Indiana black girl like me. Now that little spot in the Paris Hotel? The ice cream there is worth a plane ticket to Vegas alone. Trust me. I’ve had lots of ice cream. That makes me an expert.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Combahee Survival: Black Feminism Lives!!!!

Check out the new Combahee Survival Project from BrokenBeautiful Press!

We were never meant to survive. None of us. We were never meant to find each other, love each other, remember the warriors that came before. We were never meant to know these histories. We were never meant to turn our trauma into a map for transformation. We were never meant to survive. But we do it anyway.

Break it down. Sur viv al. Life underneath waiting to embrace all of us. Survival is a poem written in a corner, found waiting in a basement, forgotten. Survival is when the timeliness of your word is more important than the longevity of one body. Survival is spirit connected through and past physical containers. Survival is running for your life and then running for Albany city council without consenting to the State. Survival is shaping change while change shapes you. Survival means refusing to believe the obvious. Survival means remembering the illegal insights censored in the mouths of our mothers. Survival is quilt patterns, garden beds. Survival means growing, learning, working it out. Survival is a formerly enslaved black woman planning and leading a battle that freed 750 slaves from inside an institution called the United States Military. Survival is out black lesbians creating a publishing movement despite an interlocking system of silences. Survival is a group of black women recording their own voices, remembering a river, a battle, a warrior and creating a statement to unlock the world. Survival is like that.

We were never meant to survive. And we can do even more. This booklet moves survival to revival, like grounded growth, where seeds seek sun remembering how the people could fly. We are invoking the Combahee River Collective Statement and asking how it lives in our movement now. And the our and the we are key to this as individual gains mean nothing if others suffer.

We were never meant to survive but we will thrive. We want roundness and wholeness, where everyone eats and has time to be creative has time to just be, What tools does it give that are necessary to our survival? What gaps does it leave us to lean into? Black feminism lives, but the last of the originally organized black feminist organizations in the United States were defunct by 1981.

Here we offer and practice a model of survival that is spiritual and impossible and miraculous and everywhere, sometimes pronounced revival. Like it says on the yellow button that came included in the Kitchen Table Press pamphlet version of The Combahee River Collective Statement in 1986 "Black Feminism LIVES!" And therefore all those who were never meant to survive blaze open into a badass future anyway. Meaning something unpredictable and whole.

We were. Never meant. To Survive. And here we are.

And beyond survival, what of that? In 1977 the Combahee River Collective wrote "As Black women we see Black Feminism as the logical political movement to combat the manifold and simultaneuos oppressions that all women of color face." They also said "The inclusiveness of our politics makes us concerned with any situation that impinges on the lives of women, Third World and working people." And they concluded: "If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression."

Today we, a sisterhood of young black feminists, mentored in words and deeds by ancestors, elders, peers and babies, assert that by meditating on the survival and transformation of black feminism we can produce insight, strategy and vision for a holistic movement that includes ALL of us. So while this is a project instigated by self-proclaimed (and reclaimed) black feminists, our intention is that it can be shared and changed by everyone who is interested in freedom.