Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Back to Purpose: The Presence of Our Politics

Greetings loved ones!!!!
I am finally home in Durham after a long time on the road and I am still processing the insights we learned on this most recent epic leg of the MobileHomecoming Journey. Last week we interviewed visionary, genuis, warrior Barbara Smith, co-founder and longtime publisher for Kitchen Table Press and co-author of the Combahee River Collective Statement. Spending time with Barbara Smith and getting the glow an energy of a Black Socialist Lesbian Feminist who has been doing collaborative Black Feminist work for decades and who is happy and alive and continuing to do crucial work in our communities with passionate purpose reminds me of how brilliantly possible we all are and makes me look forward to our years of loving transformation together.
Interviewing Barbara Smith was also the perfect set off to round @ of our Combahee Survival interactive palimpsest process here at Quirky Black Girls. A palimpsest is a surface that gets written on over and over again, and as we design our politics in the present the work of our foremothers is always there as part of the present we are creating, as part of the gift that intergenerational community and a legacy of brilliance grants us. This is also a creative digital way to release the beautiful Combahee Survival zine created collaboratively at this past May's Combahee Survival Revival Week in Durham.

So here is activity #1 in 1977 the Combahee River Collective declared :
"The most general statement of our politics at the present time would be that we are actively committed to struggling against racial, sexual, heterosexual and class oppression and see as our particular task the development of integrate systems of analysis and practice based upon the fact that the major systems of oppression are interlocking."

What would you say is the purpose of the work you are most deeply engaged in right now? What are you "actively committed to" these days?
I know that several of you are involved in projects that I find exciting and inspiring in the comments section of this forum or at

let us know the vision and purpose behind what you are up to! And check out the inspiring examples the QBG's Julia and Griffin have provided us with in the first section of the zine right here:

Combahee Survival Palimpsest Activity #1

We encourage you to print this out and use it in your organizations and groups to remind each other or clarify the vision and purpose behind the work that you are doing. Here in Durham, SpiritHouse (led by QBG Nia), is engaged in a process, designed by QBG Ebony of Betty's Daughter Art's Collaborative to revise, clarify and reaffirm our mission. We are excited to actualize the resources of our foremothers as catalysts for useful conversations in our communities right now!!!!

And to be real about, sometimes there are some things that we have to let go of in order to gain clarity about our vision and our purpose and how best to achieve it. This week for me has been clarifying and I'm excited about some insights that will help me to clarify the purpose and practice of future Eternal Summer events. Lucille Clifton teaches us that Fall itself it a divine lesson in letting go:

And so is walking around every season in a white supremacist world as a Black embodied challenge to nonsense beauty norms...


My Hair (In Progress) from L. Guess on Vimeo.

And sometimes letting go is about LET'S GO! Enacting your purpose with bravery and boldness like QBG favorites the Lost Bois do...here is Be Steady's tour diary about the Lost Bois recent trip to South Carolina....


don't you want to bring them to perform in your community/on your campus/on your porch?

And like Osa of Shotgun Seamstress does...repping the true anti-capitalist meaning of DIY. I know you want to read the current issue of the zine...email her at shotgunseamstress@gmail.com! And check out her blog


And of course one of our profound pop culture incentives for a deep healing breath comes in the form of the pending release of the Tyler Perry version of Ntozake Shange's "For Colored Girls" QBGs Fallon and Moya have started a blog carnival on the topic...so be sure to link any posts you write on that topic or email links to quirkyblackgirls@gmail.com.

AND HUGE SHOUT OUT TO QBG LIBRARIAN ALBERTA BAILEY...the person who brought us the irreplaceable MOYA BAILEY and the sponsor of a year of gold membership for us on this social network...yay for Black Librarian Mamas who love and support their Quirky Black Daughters!!!!

And speaking of which, and towards a future of much MORE understanding and support I hope to see you, Alberta, and your mom for a workshop led by me and my momma called Thicker Than Whatever: Unstoppable Mother/Daughter Relationships on January 15th in Atlanta Ga...details and a registration form here:


The present is an ongoing gift because of the brilliance of QBGs across generations making it happen! I am so excited to hear about the vision and purpose of the projects you are working on because it wakes up my soul.

Let's make Barbara Smith and all the given, chosen mothers and foremothers proud :)

so much love,


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