riotgrrrrrrl-deactivated2012101
riotgrrrrrrl:

#blkqueerfeminist
Photo Credit: Sed Miles
By Ashley Spivey
Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a queer black feminist troublemaker from Durham, North Carolina.  Alexis is the founder of the Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind educational program and the co-creator of the Mobile Homecoming experiential archive, amplifying generations of LGBTQ Black brilliance.  Alexis earned her PhD in English, Africana Studies and Women’s Studies from Duke University in 2010 and is a prolific author.  She was named one of UTNE Reader’s 50 Visionaries Transforming the World in 2009, a Black Women Rising Nominee and a Reproductive Reality Check Shero in 2010, a recipient of the Too Sexy for 501C-3 torphy in 2011 and one of the Advocate’s top 40 under 40 in 2012.
Tell me about your journey with being a feminist. I am proud to be a queer black feminist.  I am proud to proclaim with my actions and my example that (as it says on a yellow button on my altar) BLACK FEMINISM LIVES!   For me Black feminism is a spiritual practice that was a part of my life even before I started reading sacred texts by Black feminists like Audre Lorde, Barbara Smith and June Jordan.
The practice of Black feminism has been a source of power in my life since I first started to love myself, and since I first took on the complicated task of loving the first Black woman I met: my Mama. Which means I was a Black feminist from birth.   For me, Black feminism is first the practice of holistically, relentlessly, continually, loving Black women in a way that changes the very meaning of life and second creating a world that honors the complexity that Black women’s experiences represent.  That means working to create a more sustainable loving world that values difference as a creative power and honor the fact that all people and all life is interconnected and necessary.
Does being a feminist relate to your sexuality? As a queer Black feminist, the adventure of loving myself and the transformative journey of loving other Black women are intricately tied together.  So I identify as queer, not only because my romantic love exceeds the bounds and norms of heterosexuality, but also specifically because I center all forms of my love on Black women and radiate to the rest of the world from there.   This is a queer thing in our society because loving Black women is not the norm in our contemporary society.  It is a radical for us to love ourselves and each other as Black women, and it challenges the norms of our culture.  So my queerness lives in the way I love my mother, my sisters, my community AND my romantic partner.
What social issues are you most involved in at this point and why did you get involved in them? My work at this point is most explicitly focused on fostering intergenerational relationships within the Black LGBTQ community; ending sexual and gendered violence and developing sustainable practices to support wellness and wholeness in historically oppressed communities.
In order to share and develop sustainable practice, we NEED intergenerational connected communities and the wellness of our communities not only requires but also makes possible, the end of all forms of sexual violence. As a survivor of sexual violence and as a believer in the need for self-determination on the level of our bodies, food and water supplies and everyday life these activist focuses are a part of my own healing, visioning and an expression of who I am.You do public speaking, what is the one message or idea do you always want the audience to take away? I always want the people I interact with to have a profound sense of being loved, and a renewed belief in their capacity to love.  I want them to leave the room believing in the power that their love has to transform the world.What does it mean to be queer in 2012?
To be queer in 2012 (and every year) means to put love first and to let love change everything.

riotgrrrrrrl:

#blkqueerfeminist

Photo Credit: Sed Miles

By Ashley Spivey

Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a queer black feminist troublemaker from Durham, North Carolina.  Alexis is the founder of the Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind educational program and the co-creator of the Mobile Homecoming experiential archive, amplifying generations of LGBTQ Black brilliance.  Alexis earned her PhD in English, Africana Studies and Women’s Studies from Duke University in 2010 and is a prolific author.  She was named one of UTNE Reader’s 50 Visionaries Transforming the World in 2009, a Black Women Rising Nominee and a Reproductive Reality Check Shero in 2010, a recipient of the Too Sexy for 501C-3 torphy in 2011 and one of the Advocate’s top 40 under 40 in 2012.

Tell me about your journey with being a feminist.
I am proud to be a queer black feminist.  I am proud to proclaim with my actions and my example that (as it says on a yellow button on my altar) BLACK FEMINISM LIVES!   For me Black feminism is a spiritual practice that was a part of my life even before I started reading sacred texts by Black feminists like Audre Lorde, Barbara Smith and June Jordan.

The practice of Black feminism has been a source of power in my life since I first started to love myself, and since I first took on the complicated task of loving the first Black woman I met: my Mama. Which means I was a Black feminist from birth.   For me, Black feminism is first the practice of holistically, relentlessly, continually, loving Black women in a way that changes the very meaning of life and second creating a world that honors the complexity that Black women’s experiences represent.  That means working to create a more sustainable loving world that values difference as a creative power and honor the fact that all people and all life is interconnected and necessary.

Does being a feminist relate to your sexuality?
As a queer Black feminist, the adventure of loving myself and the transformative journey of loving other Black women are intricately tied together.  So I identify as queer, not only because my romantic love exceeds the bounds and norms of heterosexuality, but also specifically because I center all forms of my love on Black women and radiate to the rest of the world from there.   This is a queer thing in our society because loving Black women is not the norm in our contemporary society.  It is a radical for us to love ourselves and each other as Black women, and it challenges the norms of our culture.  So my queerness lives in the way I love my mother, my sisters, my community AND my romantic partner.

What social issues are you most involved in at this point and why did you get involved in them?
My work at this point is most explicitly focused on fostering intergenerational relationships within the Black LGBTQ community; ending sexual and gendered violence and developing sustainable practices to support wellness and wholeness in historically oppressed communities.

In order to share and develop sustainable practice, we NEED intergenerational connected communities and the wellness of our communities not only requires but also makes possible, the end of all forms of sexual violence. As a survivor of sexual violence and as a believer in the need for self-determination on the level of our bodies, food and water supplies and everyday life these activist focuses are a part of my own healing, visioning and an expression of who I am.
You do public speaking, what is the one message or idea do you always want the audience to take away?
I always want the people I interact with to have a profound sense of being loved, and a renewed belief in their capacity to love.  I want them to leave the room believing in the power that their love has to transform the world.
What does it mean to be queer in 2012?

To be queer in 2012 (and every year) means to put love first and to let love change everything.

riotgrrrrrrl-deactivated2012101
riotgrrrrrrl:

A group of protesters fighting for the release of the amazing Angela Davis.

Angela Davis (born January 26, 1944) is an American political activist, scholar, and author. Davis emerged as a nationally prominent activist and radical in the 1960s, as a leader of the Communist Party USA and Black Panther Party, and through her association with the Civil Rights Movement. Prisoner rights have been among her continuing interests; she is the founder of “Critical Resistance”, an organization working to abolish the prison-industrial complex. She is a retired professor with the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz and is the former director of the university’s Feminist Studies department.[2] Her research interests are in feminism, African American studies, critical theory, Marxism, popular music and social consciousness, and the philosophy and history of punishment and prisons.[3]
Her membership in the Communist Party led to Ronald Reagan’s request in 1969 to have her barred from teaching at any university in the State of California. She was tried and acquitted of suspected involvement in the Soledad brothers’ August 1970 abduction and murder of Judge Harold Haley in Marin County, California.
She was twice a candidate for Vice President on the Communist Party USA ticket during the 1980s.

riotgrrrrrrl:

A group of protesters fighting for the release of the amazing Angela Davis.


Angela Davis (born January 26, 1944) is an American political activist, scholar, and author. Davis emerged as a nationally prominent activist and radical in the 1960s, as a leader of the Communist Party USA and Black Panther Party, and through her association with the Civil Rights Movement. Prisoner rights have been among her continuing interests; she is the founder of “Critical Resistance”, an organization working to abolish the prison-industrial complex. She is a retired professor with the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz and is the former director of the university’s Feminist Studies department.[2] Her research interests are in feminism, African American studies, critical theory, Marxism, popular music and social consciousness, and the philosophy and history of punishment and prisons.[3]

Her membership in the Communist Party led to Ronald Reagan’s request in 1969 to have her barred from teaching at any university in the State of California. She was tried and acquitted of suspected involvement in the Soledad brothers’ August 1970 abduction and murder of Judge Harold Haley in Marin County, California.

She was twice a candidate for Vice President on the Communist Party USA ticket during the 1980s.

12 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Marry Him

Cross-posted from: Sisters of Resistance

Under patriarchy, expectations of monogamy and compulsory heterosexuality mean women are conditioned from childhood to be on the lookout (or compulsively searching) for “the one,” her “soulmate,” or Mr. Right.  This is a fantasy induced by a combination of Disney princesses, white dresses and storybook weddings, as well as social and cultural influences, public discourse, mass media and celebrity culture.  What this means is that many of us are so eager to get married, and so conditioned to be the damsel in distress or unconditionally self-sacrificing for “love,” we often overlook some basic things that illustrate how, far from being a prince or knight come to rescue you, your intimate partner may be in fact dangerous to your sense of self, your individual identity and your independent thought.  You do not need rescuing, and no one should make you feel that you do.  If any man in your life exhibits the below behaviours, he is at worst an abuser or at best an emotional/financial drain; you are better off without him.  In particular, don’t marry him. He is so not worth it.  See also: How to Leave a Bad Relationship.

12 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Marry Him

Blame the Patriarchy

“It will be a different life
We can salvage what we will
But a lot is lost for sure.”

Dear Mother,

If you will blame the man who molested me
for my queer sexuality
you might as well just
blame the patriarchy.

Blame my father for the nights
he didn’t come home to you,
and I learned what love meant
falling asleep next to your sweet breath.

Blame your father
for his strictness and harshness
that he passed on to you
in the form of a hard line
on my spirit of dissent

Blame your second husband
for his depression, and sex addiction,
that caused another marriage to collapse
before my eyes.

Blame the Catholic Church
for covering up its scandals
and failing my tests of faith.

Blame the boys who touched
my private parts in public,
the ones who spent my money
freely while they told me
that they loved me,
the ones who scared me, scarred me,
raised their voices to call me ugly names,
took advantage if I ever shed my inhibitions,
made fun of me or refused to listen
when I spoke my mind.

Blame the ones who left me lonely
and the ones who never called back.

Blame the young man
who raped me because I dared
show up in his dorm room
when invited.

Blame the men who fought me
till I bit my tongue,
who taught me with their words
and actions that they could never
love me like you did.

Blame them, and then
tell me
if it makes
any
difference.