Friday, June 27, 2014

Mississippi Freedom Breathing (50 Years Later)

50 years ago Fannie Lou Hamer and Ella Baker were making sure all eyes were on Mississippi.  They were standing up in Mississippi churches that racists were threatening to firebomb talking about how the July 2nd signing of the Voting Rights Act meant nothing if the people in Mississippi did not have control of land and educational institutions.   They were touring the United States with the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party demonstrating how different at political party based around equality and freedom would look from the mainstream Democratic Party.   They were organizing the logistics and challenging the ideology of the thousands of students who came to Mississippi to bring attention to the racist violence and disenfranchisement that black people experienced on a daily basis in that state and in the rural United States in general.
50 years ago Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer and the thousands they mentored were breathing in Mississippi.  And some were not breathing.  50 years ago the body of James Cheney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman were found buried in Mississippi where they had been fighting for Civil Rights and investigating the firebombing of just the type of church Ella Baker and Fannie Lou Hamer were filling with vision and song.
50 years ago Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer and everyone in the revolutionary radius of their earshot was clear about the significance of Mississippi and the possibility of a Mississippi where black people and everyone who believed in freedom could vote and breathe, and explore their brilliance, and breathe,  and feed their families, and breathe,  and walk the land day or night in safety.  Where visionaries could go to sleep and wake up not firebombed but breathing.  Where visionaries could walk a dirt road and reach their destination breathing, not dragged to death.
I offer this historical context as a reminder that the Black Feminist Breathing Retreat coming up on July 4-6th in Magnolia, Mississippi occurs in a tradition of revolutionary breathing in Mississippi.   We will be filling sacred space with songs, prayers and freedom mantras from the mouths of Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker and other foremothers.  We will be acknowledging what is still at stake while breathing in the deep south.  We will be channeling our energy towards a future, already envisioned, but not yet achieved where the dignity of all people, to eat, to learn, to breath, to be safe in our different and irreplaceable bodies is guaranteed by the robust love of an interconnected community.
In honor of this connection I want to
1. Extend the opportunity for any black freedom loving queer affirming folks living in the deep south or with roots there to attend the Black Feminist Breathing Retreat.   Sign up information is here:     Any contribution you can make is perfect.  Just come.
2.  Invite you all to spread the word to you loved one in and from the deep south to come to the retreat!  (You can post this link on all your social media and email your fam!
3. Invite you to donate to the Black Feminist Breathing Retreat Scholarship Fund (share this link too!)
And in celebration while the 21 days of the Black Feminist Breathing Chorus are over, the meditations inspired by Fannie Lou Hamer and Ella Baker will be available for free on the site until July 4th (in case your mind lights on freedom!)  Share the meditations with your friends!
The meditation series ended on June 12th. If you want to be notified about future meditation experiences you can join the email list here. 
If you would like to get eternal access to the 22 meditations streaming and downloaded to use for your personal upliftment or to share with your organization or students you can become a monthly sustainer of the Eternal Summer of Black Feminist Mind at a level that feels generously sustainable to you.
Or if you want to move the meditation magic forward you can make a donation towards the scholarship fund for the Black Feminist Breathing Retreat (see more below).  Donations of $25-100 give you eternal access to the streaming meditations on the site and donations of 101 or more give you access to streaming AND downloads of the meditations as audio files.
If breathing in chorus through this virtual experience feels great, imagine what it would feel like to breathe together in person!!!  On July 4th weekend 2014 we will be gathering for the Black Feminist Breathing Retreat in Magnolia, Mississippi at the Flowering Lotus Meditation Center.
Here is a video that includes some of the power of our breathing together at last year’s Combahee Pilgrimage Retreat:

Combahee Pilgrimage Trailer from J. Roxanne on Vimeo.

We hope to see you this Freedom Summer!!!!

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