it is pronounced like trying to re
member the shape of an unsafe life.
-Lucille Clifton "In the Mirror"
For me this summer has been about re-membering. Seeing what is broken and loving it whole...which is a major risk. This summer...like every summer is eternal and unsafe. It is a summer where every act of violence I mourned in a post a month ago happened, and where violence continues. QBG Leana raised a discussion between friends about street harassment, and threats of violence especially towards queer black women who reject the advances of men in our own neighborhoods, and as the youtube and facebook synapses have surely informed you, a mother who woke to the shock of a would-be-rapist sneaking into bed with her and her child was treated like a joke by our wider community. (See QBG Fallon's take here: http://www.blackyouthproject.com/blog/2010/08/the-bed-intruder-song-is-not-an-r-kelly-jam-so-stop-bobbing-your-head-to-sexual-trauma/)
What is the shape of an unsafe life? How do the violences we experience and expect shape our relationships to each other? How do they inspire us to reshape life by creating new structures. After being in Anguilla for a month I have been excited to come back to Durham and feed my community of loved ones with healthy delicious local food, I am excited about the ways we are creating more and more spaces and mechanisms of mutual support. It feels like we are creating a new world here, a world unsafe for the hunger, poverty and desperation that destroy community as a practice and a concept. And as a beautiful multi-generational crew of Black artist, healer, cool-kid, warriors from Durham get ready to head to the North Carolina mountains for a week of psuedo summer camp (the Alternate ROOTS annual gathering) I am thinking about how we turn our wounds into deep places for healing each other, our tears into touchstones and our fears into a ferocious love that can do anything.
As the MobileHomeComing project gets ready for the second leg of our journey we are realizing how the dismemberment of our communities, the taking of generations away from us, as had such a major cost. And how the risks the queer (and also quirky) black elders have taken create an immersive roadmap for remembering the shape of what life can be, beyond safety towards the full regenerative exuberant expression of our deepest and most dangerous purpose: to love each other.
What do you re-member in summertime?
Summer is a round time, waxing towards the eternal, reaching to kiss every summer you have lived before, with days so long they seem like forever. The shape of summer gives space to reflect, to change your mind, to remind your community what love means, to dream yourself into a whole new person.
What is the shape of your summer? How are you re-membering your legacies? Join the discussion here: http://grou.ps/quirkyblackgirls/talks/3965062
Maybe this Lucille Clifton Rebirth Broadcast on reflection (using the poem quoted above) will help you to gain even more insights. Check it out here: http://vimeo.com/13975993
QBG's do summer for all that it is worth!
Let us know about any end-of-summer (but not really end of summer because summer is eternal) activities for QBGs!
Boston QBG's just finished their Queer Women of Color and Friends WEEK of activities.
Mid-month out in the Bay area QBG's Melissa and QBG mentor Redbone Press publisher Lisa Moore (www.redbonepress.com) will be scheming and dreaming at the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (http://www.grassrootsfundraising.org/) training...learning how to sustain amazing project while be accountable to the people!!
And here in North Carolina the Alternate ROOTS gathering
of arts activists (or transformative healer warriors) nurtured by QBG ancestor Nayo Watkins and co-coordinated this year by QBG Ebony of bettysdaughter arts collaborative (http://www.bettysdaughterarts.com/)
starts tomorrow. We know the badass QBG's of the Saartje Project and SpiritHouse and the MobileHomeComing will be in the place to be...anyone else planning to be there? (http://alternateroots.org/programs/annual_meeting)
And if you are in or around Durham, NC (or you can be) don't forget to sign up this week for the Lucille Clifton ShapeShifter Survival School (http://blackfeministmind.wordpress.com/survival-school/) and the Juneteenth Freedom Academy (http://blackfeministmind.wordpress.com/juneteenth-freedom-academy/)!
AND AND AND if you want to help us shape FALL into all it should be email firstname.lastname@example.org about the ATL Pride festival and the possibility of a QBG retreat!
AND finally...though summer is eternal...and we are eternal, we are also interrupted from the experience of eternity in many ways. And corporate social networking sites is one of those interrupters. QBG Moya wants you to know that if you want to get content, music, images from the old Ning site...please do it by THIS Thursday (not the 23rd) because Ning is shutting us down on Friday!!!!
I love you with your dangerous eternal QBG swag. Keep shaping the summer fabulous.