Monday, August 16, 2010

Fleshing it Out: The Light that Stays

the light that came to lucille clifton
came in a shift of knowing
when even her fondest sureties
faded away. it was the summer
she understood that she had not understood.

-Lucille Clifton

How is Fearless Weirdos already having their back to school sale? As an eternal summerian, I watch in wonder as the rest of the world prepares to fall. Some of us were already in school this summer receiving and processing deep revelations about who we have not been and who we suddenly must be to have received these messages our purpose our urgency our callings and our self-care so profoundly.

Some of the urgency of these messages in encapsulated by Lucille Clifton's poem "The Last Day" featured in this week's Rebirth Broadcast. Watch it here:

Urgent times, and full of revelation! I almost need a new composition book (because everyone knows that the empty notebook is the sexiest thing about back-to-school) to catalog everything I learned this summer. And it remains to be seen I how I will walk these lessons out come Fall. For example it is now clear to me that everything I have learned up to this point in my life has provided a skeletal structure for my mission in the world. As QBG ancestor Nayo Watkins taught us "you know everything you need to know. it's in your bones." And my faith has been renewed. But I have also been given a new assignment. After the process of remembering my bones, and working to feel safe in my skin as a survivor of sexual violence and racial oppression, so much work still remains to be done. I am in the process of fleshing out my purpose and my actions...(this must be what my Nana means when she encourages me to eat and points out that it is as if I am just skin and bones.)

I am excited about what it will mean to flesh out the implications, the practices and the content of my profound purpose. They say the devil is in the details, but I think "they" just saw the trickster goddess Zora Neale Hurston up in there and misinterpreted the mojo. The content of our lives is ever unpredictable and therefore miraculous. And I am being called to never take those spiritual practices that form my core and have allowed me to reclaim my own skin for granted. I am being called to prioritize and elaborate those self-loving mechanisms that can replace my old shady and defensive survival skills and to fill my life with the elaboration of that love.

So I am asking that first day of school question slightly revised in the voice of the ancient and perpetual black lady school teacher. What did you learn this summer vacation? Join the conversation here:

And how do we elaborate on the love that fills us? With intentional self-reflection and passionate engagement with EACH OTHER. Thank you for re-teaching me how to articulate my self love every week just by being yourselves and by taking the time to look at these words.

And as always, as QBGs we fill the waking world and the cybersphere with loving ways to interact, and to learn more about each other and ourselves. I keep on reminding you :) this is the week that the Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind really does go Back to School with the Juneteenth Freedom Academy (
and the Lucille Clifton ShapeShifter Poetry Intensive ( kicking off in Durham. Please do join us if you are in the area!

Also, QBG Almah shared the site "Refuse the Silence" for women of color determined to raise their voices in (and despite) the dynamics of elite liberal arts colleges in the US. Learn more about the project here:

and QBG Melva has invited us all to participate in the crucial conversation about HIV/AIDS and gender in our communities by inviting us into the process of creating and attending the first Women's Advocacy and Leadership Summit of the Campaign to End AIDS
find out more here:

also bring your QBG B-girl brilliance to the upcoming Black and Brown Feminisms in Hip Hop Media Conference which promises to be an engaging conversation:

AND do email us to let us know if you'll be joining the Quirky Coven (just made that up) in ATL on Labor Day weekend. We'd love to see you at the 3rd Annual Queerky Black Girls Cookout and to include you in our plans to create space to build, bond and evolve together. Email if you plan to be in the ATL area Sept 3-5.

And keep being your amazing self all week long.
Infinite love,
QBG lex

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