What does a black feminist who spends her time lifting up the legacies of obscure black feminist geniuses do about her complicated feelings about hypervisible famous black women like Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey?
"Alexis Pauline Gumbs’s book of list poems, One Hundred and One Things That Are Not True About The Most Famous Black Women Alive, then, is an intervention into black women’s relationships with the list form, with truth-telling, with public personages, and with each other." Sarah Mantilla Griffin (See full review here)
One Hundred and One Things That Are Not True About the Most Famous Black Women Alive by Alexis Pauline Gumbs"The theme of flight is an important one for Gumbs and places her work in conversation with writers, including Toni Morrison, who have explored the trope of the flying African. As they provide spaces for flights of the mind, for escape, for rising above, or simply for elevating and expanding our perceptions of whom these women could be, the poems enliven what were essentially static public figures." Sarah Mantilla Griffin (See full review here)
101 Things That Are Not True About the Most Famous Black Women Alive from Alexis Pauline Gumbs on Vimeo.
"These powerful poems punctuate the necessity and significance of the interior lives of famous black women, reminding us that like us (everyday folk) they have feelings, families, concerns, and emotional requirements. In what can be described as love poems, 101 Things captures the humanity and versatility of lives the media sells us as one-dimensional. Dr. Gumbs’ poems allow us to imagine, ever so briefly, what it might be like to be a black woman whose strongblackwoman mantle is put on display for the world to see, interrogate, and try to define. She offers our larger-than-life women back to us as a reflection of ourselves: vulnerable, regular, and seeking/needing/deserving sister love and protection." Crunk Feminist Collective's Robin Boylorn
Here is a conversation about the meditation of LOVE that is this book with Crunk Feminist Collectives R. Boylorn.
And here is a fun video I made with excerpts of the poems this morning.
101 Things That Are Not True About the Most Famous Black Women Alive Excerpts from Alexis Pauline Gumbs on Vimeo.