Daily Bread: Nourishing Sustainable Practices for Community Accountable Scholars

31 07 2012

(images by Mekhi Baldwin)

Audre Lorde’s contemporary and interlocuter James Baldwin talked about the passion of making love and breaking bread as equal versions of presence and purpose.  Last night during the LAST (sniffle) session of the first every Brilliance Remastered Webinar on a Sustainable Erotics of Community Accountable Scholarship we talked about how to make passionate and connected work our everyday practice and how to put spaces, places, times and reminders in our lives to bring us back to passionate purpose whenever we feel disconnected from the source of our transformative brilliance.

This may look like a group poem, but it is really a spell, blessing everyday forward and binding our love-filled Brilliance Remastered crew together forever!!!!!!!

Daily Bread

By the Sustainable Erotics Crew


connected to purpose like daily bread

giving thanks like daily bread

poetry like daily bread.

forgiveness like daily bread.

laughter like daily bread.

creating is my daily bread


loving like daily bread

making love like daily bread

loving my muscles like daily bread

(especially especially my heart)

smiling from the inside out like dailybread

celebrating me like daily bread

celebrating us like daily bread


embracing the now like daily bread

moving the body like daily bread, making new shapes

living in my body like daily bread


claiming my breathing like daily bread

shining my light like daily bread

affirming my being like daily bread


dancing like daily bread

sitting in silence like daily bread

listening like daily bread

listening to hear like daily bread

profound connection like daily bread.

sharing truth like daily bread



drinking water like daily bread

eating fruit like daily bread

good food like daily bread

deep breaths like daily bread

bubble baths and candles like daily bread


books on the bedside like daily bread.

feet on the ground like daily bread

walking with loved ones like bread (daily)

thanking my ancestors like daily bread


reaching out with love like daily bread.

showing affection like daily bread

touching things lightly like daily bread

being accountable like daily bread

being aware of surroundings like daily bread

immersing in the process like daily bread


questions rising like the bubbles of yeast in daily bread

speaking my mind even when my voice shakes like daily bread


thankful for another day’s daily bread

Video Recap: The Broken Beautiful Conference in Boston

31 07 2012

Check out this recap video of the inspiring amazing Broken Beautiful
Conference. I’m so affirmed and honored that the legacy of
BrokenBeautiful Press is growing in such healing ways and led by
brilliant young women of color!!!!!

This is What it Feels Like: Cultivating Our Measure of Passionate Purpose

24 07 2012

Last night was the third session of Beyond the Feel-Good, our Brilliance Remastered webinar on cultivating a sustainable erotics of community accountable scholarship.  We are right in the midst of it, using Lorde’s definition of the erotic to create new standards of brilliance for our work as love-fueled intellectuals.   Helped along by Lorde and also by Aretha Franklin’s Dr. Feelgoodwe created this group poem to affirm that we KNOW what it feels like when it is right and we do not need to “sit and chit chat and smile” i.e. waste our time with anything less than profound, passionate, purposeful, presence in our work!  Feel free to feel it!!!!

This is What it Feels Like

“It is an internal sense of satisfaction to which, once we have experienced it, we know we can aspire.  For having experienced the fullness of this depth of feeling and recognizing its power, in honor and self-respect we can require no less of ourselves. “

-Audre Lorde  Uses of the Erotic

When it’s right it feels like a note Aretha just sang.

When it’s right it feels like dancing in warm rain.

When it’s right it feels like the ocean, ever deep, ever lifting me up.

When it’s right it feels like still waters rushing nowhere, knowing its source is the same place it must return.

When it’s right it feels like a “first” experience.

When it’s right it feels like a longing for something true, true feeling.

When it’s right it feels like a yearning, like intimacy without physical contact, a yearning of the spirit.

When it’s right it feels soft.

When it’s right it feels like fresh air.

When it’s right it feels like air gently bristling in the hairs on the back of my neck.

When it’s right it feels complicated sweet, freshing sweet, like lemonade.

When it’s right it feels abundant and free.

When it’s right it feels limitless.

When it’s right it feels timeless.

When it’s right it feels deep and endless.

When it’s right it feels like a way out of no way.

When it’s right it feels like something out of anything.

When it’s right it feels like gospel choirs singing!

When it’s right it feels like Nina and Jill and E. Badu and Ella getting together for a jam session.

When it’s right it feels like the music of the heart.

When  it’s right it feels like lovers.

When it’s right it feels like a mother’s hug.

When it’s right it feels like everyone is there, ancestors, future beings, everyone I love.

When it’s right it feels like a prepared-perfected-my-craft-ready-to-serve orgasm!

When it’s right it feels like the word “YES!” bursting in my chest.

When it’s right it feels unstoppable.

When it’s right it feels like I was meant to be no other place in the universe.

When it’s right it feels like Audre whispered this to June once, full of hope.

When it’s right it feels like a dream I had that must have never ended.

When it’s right it feels.

This is what it feels like!

Here: Remastering Presence (Beyond Sensation Thru Inspiration)

17 07 2012

Audre Lorde and students at Hunter College

Last night was the second session of our Brilliance Remastered Webinar Beyond the Feel-Good: A Sustainable Erotics of Community Accountable Scholarship.   Amazingness.  Last night we worked with Audre Lorde’s clarity that “the erotic offers a well of replenishing and provocative force to the [person] who does not fear its revelation, nor succumb to the belief that sensation is enough.”  And for those of us remastering our presence in academic spaces it is important for us to clarify that within an economy that wants to tokenize our brilliance, BEING a sensation, a shining exception, a validated symbol is not enough.  We are doing the intellectual work we are doing for much bigger reasons.  Betta recognize!


I am not just a sensation

I am inspiration

I am here to ignite a flame

I am here to change the world

I am not just a sensation

I am inspiration

I am here to sow seeds of magic

I am here to love

I am not here to settle

I am here to set the tone

I am not just a sensation

I am inspiration

I am knowing as an act

I am here to expand the limits

of what counts

as knowledge

I am not just a sensation

I am inspiration

I am here to unshackle brilliance

wherever it grows

I am here to make manifest

the dreams of my ancestors

I am not just a sensation

I am inspiration

I am here to imagine

I am here to create

I am here to dance

I am here to laugh to sing to share

I am not just a sensation

I am inspiration

I am here to be myself

I am here to be connected

I am here to engender vulnerability

and to make it possible

for those in the room to do the same

I am not just a sensation

I am inspiration

I am here to find a path to reconciliation

I am not just a sensation

I am inspiration

I am here to be accountable

I am here to hold others accountable

I am not just a sensation

I am inspiration

I am here to humanize

I am here to become more human

I am here to make meaning

I am here to be love

I am not just a sensation

I am inspiration

I am here to glow

I am here to know and to share

that to be young gifted and black AND queer

is a MARVELOUS thing to be

I am here to steal back the goodies

I am not just a sensation

I am inspiration

I am here to interrupt injustice

Yes I’m here to demand answers

and to ask more questions

and to ask and ask and ask and ask

I am inspiration

I am here to be like water

nourishing, remembering what you chose to forget

reflecting back to you your own image

I am inspiration

I am here to be a question mark

I am here to be an x that marks a spot

where love will outlive everything

I am here to make fertile the soil of our dreams

planting for a harvest I won’t ever reap in my lifetime

I am inspiration

I am not just a sensation, a temptation a distraction

I am unstoppable love in action.

Reclaiming YES!!!: Opening Affirmation for the July Brilliance Remastered Webinar

10 07 2012

Last night was the first session of the Beyond the Feel-Good Webinar on Sustainable Erotics of Community Accountable Scholarship.  And oh my goodness did we go beyond!  The Brilliance Remastered process never ceases to amaze and reawaken me!

As Audre Lorde says in her essay Uses of the Erotic: Power of the Erotic, “We have been raised to fear the yes within ourselves…”  Not at all coincidentally when we are out of touch with that YES within ourselves we are also more easily manipulated, bamboozled and led astray by the external maybes of capitalism, especially within the academic marketplace.   Our first step as a community in touch with our collective erotic power, our passionate purposefulness and our deep love for our communities is to reclaim YES and affirm YES in each other.  Here is our group poem. Feel free to read along (best articulated through grunts and screams).

Reclaiming Yes

YES!!! to acting on the impulse inside

YES!!! to defining the erotic as strength

YES!!! to claiming what we know deepest inside us as KNOWLEDGE

YES!!! brilliance remastered means brilliance unchained visible everywhere NOW!


YES!!! to our deepest desires

YES!!! to our power

YES!!! to being love

YES!!! to being me and not caring

YES!!! to being embodied in our classrooms and not being ashamed of that eros

YES!!! i tell my story. a black girl story without apology

YES!!! YESSSS to not apologizing!

YES!!! to facing fears

YES!!! to living in the moment and embracing all it brings

YES!!! to feeling even if it hurts

YESSS!!! to feeling

YES!!! i will create

YES!!! i will write. i am an author.

YES!!! my body knows and share its magic in my dance

YES!!! music and poetry, I will write and sing, play and work and dream a new world with you

YES!!! i will find the language to write within my community and not simply at my community

YES!!! to flying free and teaching others to soar

YES!!! to knowing that i don’t know if ya’ll don’t know

YES!!! to creating together!

YES!!! to blurring and even better erasing boundaries

YES!!! to you in me and me in you and US!

YES!!! to learning and teaching!

YES!!!! i don’t know if y’all dont know!!!

YES!!! to the communities to which we are called!

YES!!! to creating community wherever we are

YES!!! to love that circulates!


YES!!! to risking to love without guarantee or compromise

YES!!! i will love me even when I am pushed not to

YES!!! i love her even when its dangerous

YES!!! i will love the work even when it is difficult!

YES!!! i will embody my faith, even in the face of institutional judgment

YES!!! to knowing we were never meant to survive BUT thrive we must!

YES!!! love is lifeforce and I am meant to LIVE!

YES!!! to growing

YES!!! to conflict

and YES!!! to being angry

YES!!! to kicking ass 🙂

YES!!! to entering the room as a full being and when the door is too small for that, to break it down


YES!!! to bleeding….a cleanse

and bless the blood that has already been shed! YES!!!

YES!!! to new soil not stained in blood


YES!!! to imagining

YES!!! to exploding the closed circulation of capitalism with love that circulates

YES!!! to open not closed economies, yes to there being ENOUGH for everyone

YES!!! To knowing that there is NO ZERO SUM GAME, you are not required to die so I might live

YES!!! to loving and being loved 🙂



YES!! to FAITH in YES!


Queer Black August Retreat! Apply today!

9 07 2012


The Overview

In the spirit of historical practices such as Black August which commemorates African liberation and revolution in the Americas and the Combahee River Collective Black Feminist Retreats which built alignment and institutions by and for black women; Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Julia Roxanne Wallace are creating Queer Black August. This is a continuation of the two years and counting that Alexis has hosted free week-long gatherings where people from all over the country participated in intergenerational gatherings for healing and transformation in Durham, NC using the resources of Black Feminism.

In past retreats, our Durham community opened their homes and donated food, supplies and myriad skills to make it possible for 4 different retreats in the last 2 years to be free and accessible; first for queer people of color and allies at Combahee Survival Revival Week; women and genderqueer people of color and our children at Motherourselves Bootcamp; then queer black warrior healers at Indigo Days; and most recently community accountable anti-racist scholars at Juneteenth Freedom Academy. [/half]


The Vision

This year we bring to you Queer Black August: Ancestral Presence & Healing Poetics for QPOC and local POC allies. The thread running through the Queer Black August gathering is Accessing Ancestral Power: Healing Ourselves and Our Ancestors. There are 2 components that participants may engage over the course of the 5 days:

1) African Spirituality – spiritual practices from the Ifa tradition of the Yoruba; and
2) Healing Poetics – arts and embodiment through dance, music, laughter and play.

Additionally, we hope to document portions of the retreat to share with our communities and invite the local community to witness and participate in some of our creations – comedic, performative and play. This event is also an opportunity to build relationships and practices that will be the foundation for creating a variety show that uses healing poetics to educate and liberate.[/half]

Next Steps

1. To participate in the retreat please fill out this survey application which is the first step in creating this space together. The survey includes vital information for the retreat as well.


Non-Local Participants

<<Non-Local – CLICK HERE>>




Local Participants

<< Local Participants – CLICK HERE >>


Queer Black August is a retreat FOR QUEER PEOPLE OF COLOR centered on the power of ancestral presence and healing poetics. This 5 day retreat hosted by Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Julia Roxanne Wallace of the Mobile Homecoming project will be an intergenerational space consisting of two related components focusing on ritual ancestral invocation and guidance and healing through play, creativity and performance.

The event will be at the Stone House in Mebane, NC (20 minutes outside of Durham, NC) and will be an intimate gathering for an aligned group of soul searchers and light beams. We have 7 spots for out of town participants in the Ancestral Presence intensive (Wednesday August 15-Friday morning August 17th) and 15 spots for the Healing Poetics Intensive (Friday afternoon August 17-Sunday night August 19th)

2. Deposit Options

Non-local Participant Deposit$50.00 USD Local Participant Deposit -$25.00 USD Local Participant Deposit$50.00 USD

<<< Click Button on left  to Submit >>>Looking forward to seeing you all!