Call for Contributions: Every Heart Beat: A Podcast for Whitney Houston

19 02 2012

this is how i know

that skin is thin and bright and precious

that song can be broke

love slice the veins

that beauty is a call

and we are all responsible

-excerpt from Almost Bop for Whitney Houston by Alexis Pauline Gumbs

Falling in love is so bittersweet.  The life and death of Whitney Houston offer an emotional, spiritual and political challenge to black feminism.    How do we balance the brilliance of her voice and offer up optimism for her spirit transition while also taking seriously the issues of addiction, relationship violence and the exploitation of black women that continue to harm our communities?   How do we feel about R. Kelly having space at the altar at her funeral?  Is her long time aide and companion Robyn being written out of the story in a way that hides the complexity and depth of black women’s love?

There are many conversations to have and a lot of healing still to do.  The upcoming Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind Podcast Every Heart Beat seeks to honor the complexity of a black feminist relationship to Whitney Houston’s life, brilliance and struggles.

Please send your:

  • letters/poems and statements for Whitney
  • messages of healing for all of us who face addiction, interpersonal violence and exploitation
  • and song requests

to by Feb. 27th at 5pm to be included in the podcast.

With love,

Alexis Pauline Gumbs

Remastered Tools 101 Webinar: Rolling Applications Due Before March 1

13 02 2012

The Remastered Tools 101 Webinar is a month-long course for visionary under-represented graduate students and emerging community accountable scholars inspired by the brilliance of Audre Lorde. See

brillianceremastered for more details.

Remastered Tools 101 is an opportunity to examine our relationship to knowledge and our theories of change as they relate to the work we do as scholars and the work we empower with our scholarship. We will investigate how dependence on systems that are NOT community accountable are cultivated even in the most seemingly radical fields and support each other in creating visions for our own community accountability.

Remastered Tools will run on Wednesday evenings March 7-28

Required Reading: Audre Lorde’s The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House

The Remastered Tools 101 Webinar includes:

  • a workbook based on Audre Lorde’s The Master’s Tools
  • 4 live webinar discussion sessions facilitated by Alexis Pauline Gumbs and attended by aligned visionary underrepresented scholars
  • inclusion in an ongoing networking google-group for webinar graduates
  • group theme songs to rock to while you smash the system 🙂

Rate: $25-50 per participant per session ($100-200 for the whole course) or FREE for one-on-one coaching clients.

To apply for the Remastered Tools 101 Webinar email with your responses to the following questions:

Contact information: (phone, email)

Who are you and what are you up to?

Why do you want to take this webinar?

Announcing Brilliance Remastered!!!!!

9 02 2012

Calling all community accountable scholars and visionary under-represented grad students!

Hey there bright thunder!

Do you ever feel isolated and misunderstood in your department? Do you ever feel that the passions that motivated you to get your degree are contradicted more and more by the process of getting there?  Do you feel like you are in limbo?  That even the well-meaning advisors around you know how to help you conform to academic standards, but can’t be accountable to the ways you want to TRANSFORM?

Never fear.  You are not alone.   As Audre Lorde famously said to an academic conference filled with feminist scholars: “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”   But less people remember that immediately afterwards she reminded us that “This fact is only threatening to those who still define the master’s house as their only source of support.”

Brilliance Remastered is about going beyond our critique of the master’s tools in order to cultivate the already existing tangible forms of support that can free us up to do the brilliant work we were born to do inside the academy and beyond it.

I had the miraculous experience of a wildly successful and enjoyable experience in graduate school.  I wrote, published, traveled, presented, finished in a very timely manner and was even offered some exciting and attractive tenure track jobs.  At the same time built an ecology of community institutions and autonomous community accountable intellectual projects that allowed me to freely choose to do my passionate work in the ways that would best serve my community and my vision for a transformed planet beyond the scarcity model of academic self-marketing.

I found that the key to a miraculous experience of community accountable scholarship was

  • constantly being in touch with the deeper purpose of my intellectual work
  • remaining connected and accountable to the communities that I love

Brilliance Remastered is my contribution to shifting the paradigm of what we do as community accountable scholars.   It is my intention that your experience of graduate school is not full of paranoia, proving yourself, being misunderstood and overlooked, but rather of radiant and inspiring opportunities to bring your best intellectual resources to the issues and communities you care about.   I also intend that when you finish graduate school you are not grabbing for crumbs based on what academic institution wants to hire and tokenize and overwork an under-represented person with your specialties, but rather that you will be able to choose to continue your passionate inquiry on your own terms in ways that prioritize and support strategies of power for the communities you love.

Brilliance Remastered is a wellspring for remembering that as Audre Lorde said, the master’s house is not our only form of support.  As community, we are our primary and most valuable sources of support.    Browse our webinars, one-on-one coaching offerings, blog and podcasts for resources to affirm your vision and support your growth whether you are deciding whether to go to graduate school, struggling to finish or start your thesis or dissertation, needing tools to rearticulate your purpose or to build a community of support.    I know that working with you, bright thunder aka brilliant visionaries who are ready to transform the world, will have an impact on the meaning of scholarship and the usefulness of intellectuals for generations to come.

Let’s get started!

With love,

Alexis Pauline Gumbs, PhD

Support Unstoppable Mother/Daughter Relationships

6 02 2012

“When you first realize your blood has come, smile an honest smile, for you are about to have an intense union with your magic.” -from Marvelous Menstruating Moments (as told by Indigo to her dolls…) in Ntozake Shange’s Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo

On March 3rd 2012 my mother and I (also known as the Thicker Than Whatever Unstoppable Mother/Daughter Team) will be be co-facilitating a special love-filled workshop for kids who might be about to menstruate or who have started recently and for their mamas/main supporters called Love Overflow: Marvelous Menstruating Moment.  This will be a daylong intergenerational workshop at the new Eternal Summer space (aka the Greenhouse…where we grow!) with play, affirmation, storysharing and special spaces just for mamas and just for young folks to process their relationship to the physical, spiritual and social transformations going on at the ever-exciting time of puberty.

My mom is traveling from Atlanta in Durham to be my partner in this endeavor and we are so excited! We wanted to invite ourentire community to support this project right here:

We especially invite those of you (of any gender or identification) who have ever had an experience menstruating to add to our wisdom overflow by sharing a piece of wisdom you learned from your own experience menstruating as a note with your paypal donation below. Or just email your wisdom to me at!

Lex (and Pauline)