Revolutionary Mothering: Listen to Lex, Fabi and Ntozake Shange on the Radio Today

2 02 2016

1936367_224576660626_5235243_nTuesday Feb, 2  3pm-4pm Pacific Time (6-7 Eastern Time)

Use this link to listen in as co-editor Alexis Pauline Gumbs and contributor Fabiola Sandoval share about Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines the book, the concept and the community!

We are honored to be part of a revolutionary episode that also features the work of AF3irm and an archival interview with Ntozake Shange!

Alexis Pauline Gumbs was the first person to dig through the archives of several radical black feminist mothers including June Jordan, Audre Lorde, Lucille Clifton, and Toni Cade Bambara while writing her dissertation We Can Learn to Mother Ourselves: The Queer Survival of Black Feminism, a 500-page work. Alexis was named one of UTNE Reader’s 50 Visionaries Transforming the World in 2009, a Reproductive Reality Check Shero, and a Black Woman Rising nominee in 2010, and was awarded one of the first ever Too Sexy for 501c3 trophies in 2011! Alexis’s work as co-creator of the Mobile Homecoming experiential archive and documentary project has been featured in Curve magazine, the Huffington Post, in Durham Magazine and on NPR.  She is the author of Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity (Duke University Press, 2016.)

Fabiola Sandoval lives, works, and plays in Los Angeles with her daughter Amaya and three pets. Since this essay was written they have moved from Lincoln Heights to another neighborhood in Northeast LA. She’s originally from South LA and mostly understands that home is in communion and connection. Amaya is now eleven and continues to dance,
sing and no longer likes long dresses. A poet, she has an essay published in Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind, and has been a regular contributor for make/shift magazine. She blogged at (her own site) actively from 2004 to 2013. Being a part of the communities: Radical Women of Color blogosphere, and SPEAK! Radical Women of Color Media Collective was instrumental in shaping her writing life.

Feminist Magazine is on the air to educate, advocate, inform, and entertain through a variety of feminist lenses.  We provide the tools necessary to implement feminist analysis and action via interviews, commentaries, performances, news, open dialogues and other features involving activists, intellectuals, and artists, etc.


Fabiola’s brilliant daughter took this picture last Spring!

Revolutionary Mothering: Help us fund our national book tour!

29 01 2016


Motherful events coming your way!  We are getting ready for our national tour!

Donate here:

Who We Are:
We are Mai’a Williams, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, and China Martens, co-editors of the anthology, Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Frontlines and starting in February 2016 Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines will be in the world and in your hands.
Donate here:

Our Goal:

Our goal is to raise $10,000 to create a series of events, through a national tour,  that will truly embody the legacy of radical Black feminists and move their visions forward, because marginalized mothers are at the center of a world in need of transformation.

We are now so excited to bring this vital work to your communities with readings, and a national tour, where we will do not only revolutionary readings, but also motherful community events, presentations, conference panels, and interactive workshops.
Donate here:
More information on the book and the tour:

We have been working individually and collectively to center marginalized and oppressed mothers’ voices, inspired by the radical and queer Black feminists of the 1970’s and 80’s.

The challenges we face as movements working for racial, economic, reproductive, gender, and food justice, as well as anti-violence, anti-imperialist, and queer liberation are the same challenges that marginalized mothers face every day.

Starting in February 2016, the editors and contributors of Revolutionary Mothering will be on tour to share the work and spread the conversation in your community, on your campus and in collaboration with your organization.  We are excited to customize events that speak to the revolutionary power of our motherful society that will leave everyone uplifted.

Donate here:

Revolutionary Readings:
Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Frontlines shares the stories of (number of) contributors, with various experiences of mothering that challenge and transform how we think about race, class, gender, justice, intimacy and the future.  A Revolutionary Reading is an opportunity for your community, organization, department to have a whole new conversation about life, how it happens and what we mean to each other.

*available for bookstores, campuses, living rooms and community spaces

“Love is Lifeforce” Interactive Workshops:
In 1977 black feminist poet June Jordan wrote “Love is lifeforce” as the opening sentence of a lecture she gave on the creative spirit and children’s literature. Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Frontlines is the first book to have published June Jordan’s speech in its entirety.

We’ll build a custom workshop based on the needs of your community that allows you to learn about black feminist love practices, dive into the ways life-force flows in your community and facilitates you through the process of creating a work of art, poetry or performance together.

*available for campuses and conferences

Motherful Reality: An All-Ages Coloring Workshop:
The Sisterhood of Black Single Mothers decided to change the language in the 1980’s.  Instead of describing non-patriarchal families as “fatherless” they described them as “motherful” families.  Riffing on the genius of those mamas the Revolutionary Mothering crew is creating Motherful community events around the country, which are open to everyone!  We will bring the crayons and revolutionary activities, you bring your generations of brilliance and you’ll leave with intergenerational learning tools to keep the revolution alive!

*available for partnering community organizations, conference kids tracks, and loved ones

The Paper Quilt: A Revolutionary Mothering Zine Workshop:
Before there was the book Revolutionary Mothering there were the zines Revolutionary Motherhood and The Future Generation and Outlaw Midwives.   The Paper Quilt workshop is an interactive workshop in which a group of people will quilt together a motherful publication in 2 hours or less!  This workshop is a great way to make your insights shareable and is part of our mission to expand the idea of what stories about mothering circulate in our society.

*available for community organization, bookstores, publications, living rooms and

Conferences Panels and Keynotes:
Are you planning a conference about mothering that could use a dose of revolution? Are you hosting a convening about the revolution that is missing the perspectives of marginalized mamas?  Is your conference about movement building, sustainability, future generations, radical history, black feminism, queer liberation, transnational solidarity, embodiment, risk, love, failure, dreams or transformation? Invite us to craft a custom presentation that will bring the core reasons for your gathering right home.

Campus Workshops and Class Visits:
Bring us to town for Mother’s Day season, women’s herstory month, queer awareness month, black history month, latin@ history month…or really any time.  We are excited to ramp up the conversation about mothering and transformation in your class, in your department and on your campus!  Our editors and contributors are available to give workshops and lectures and to visit courses listed in Women and Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, Literature, History, Creative Writing, Medicine and more!

We are creating a generous space for life in the face of life-threatening limits.  We are activating a powerful vision of the future while navigating tangible concerns in the present and moving towards collective solutions.  We live for more than ourselves and remain accountable to a future that we cannot always see.

Revolutionary Mothering is a movement-shifting anthology committed to birthing new worlds, full of faith and hope for what we can raise up together.

Donate here:
Find out more about the book and order it: Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines

Stay up to date with our blog!

Our gifts to you for supporting the Revolutionary Mothering tour:

Donate here:

In return for your support:

with a $10 or more donation, receive a postcard

$25 or more, postcard and magnet

$75 or more, postcard, magnet and mug

$100 or more, post card and totebag

$250 or more, postcard, magnet, mug and t-shirt

Queer Blood Relations: The Thickness of Witness

2 11 2015


Last month in Detroit I had the honor and pleasure of co-facilitating a workshop with Sangodare (aka Julia Roxanne Wallace) and Alexis De Veaux called “Queer Blood Relations: The Thickness of Witness” a tthe historic Fire and Ink IV celebration.  During the course of our workshop the 20 participants

*found the ways that we were related to each other in the room

*learned the song “Mojuba” in the context of Sangodare’s explication of a bapticostal, queer visionary, Yoruba Ifa-Orisha spiritual calling

*witnessed Alexis De Veaux’s family tree of literary precedents that made her book YABO possible

*engaged my black feminist breathing collages as examples of creating visual sacred space for our work in the context of our literary ancestors

*and created Mojuba prayers to honor the lineage of their own creativity as black queer literary geniuses which they are now using to create sacred space every time they write.

We closed the workshop with a ritual group poem based on the concept of YABO-the unbreakable thread, binding our intergenerational circle with intention laughter and affirmation.  After you read a line that resonates with you, you can shout YABO! like we did to affirm the unbreakable thread and if you are anything like our interconnected group of queer black geniuses at the end you will laugh and rejoice.

The Unbreakable Thread (YABO)

spoken by the participants in the Queer Blood Relations Workshop at Fire and Ink 2015 in Detroit, MI

I bind myself to you with joy and revelation.


I bind myself to you with the truth of who we are: divine one.


I bind myself to you with the spirit and energy of freedom.


I bind myself to you with purity and with wisdom.


I bind myself to you with the magic of wildness and the sweetness of nature.


I bind myself to you with the magic of who were, who we are and who we will be.


I bind myself to you with electric positivity and reverence.


I bind myself to you with spirit, energy, freedom and love.


I bind myself to you with the power of our history and the potential of our future.

I bind myself to you with the unbroken thread of love.


I bind myself to you with patience and dance.


I bind myself to you with healing and love as we build in afrofuturism.


I bind myself to you with dignity and respect.


I bind myself to you with fearlessness and confidence.


I bind myself to you with determination and legacy.


I bind myself to you with the roots of all the hairs that we’ve ever had.


I bind myself to you with the miracle that is playfulness and laughter.


I bind myself to you with unbound creativity.


I bind myself to you with the hope for liberation.


I bind myself to you with an erotic life and the joy that having an erotic life brings to us.


Who’s Going to Sing a Black Girl’s Song: A Conversation on Black Girlhood (NYC)

29 10 2015

WGSBS“Who’s going to sing a black girl’s song?”: A Conversation on Black Girlhood

Screen shot 2014-02-15 at 7.20.20 PM

Featuring Asali Solomon ’95 and Alexis Pauline Gumbs ’04
6:30 PM

Distinguished Barnard alumnae Asali Solomon and Alexis Pauline Gumbs read from their novels, stories, and poems as prelude to a discussion about the pleasures and dangers of black girlhood. Asali Solomon is the author of the recently published, critically acclaimed

In 2007, Asali Solomon was named one of the National Book Foundation's "5 Under 35." Her previous book, Get Down, is a collection of short stories. She teaches English literature and creative writing at Haverford College.

In 2007, Asali Solomon was named one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35.” Her previous book, Get Down, is a collection of short stories. She teaches English literature and creative writing at Haverford College.

novel Disgruntled—a comingof-age story centering on Kenya, a daughter of black nationalists who finds herself navigating both radical politics and elite white educational institutions on her way to adulthood—and Get Down!, a collection of short stories. Alexis Gumbs, queer black troublemaker, black feminist love evangelist, time traveller and space cadet, is a poet, independent scholar, and activist. She is the co-editor of the forthcoming anthology Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines and the author of a forthcoming work of narrative black feminist theory called Spill. She is the founder of the Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind intergalactic community school, and was recently named one of “6 Scholars Currently Reimaging Black Politics” by The Nation.


Dreambook Oracles: A POC Workshop on Dreams, Poetry and the Deep Dark Future

27 10 2015
Dreambook Oracles: A Workshop for People of Color on Dreams, Poetry and the Deep Dark Future!
2pm-4:30 pm on Saturday, November 7th
Libre Wellness Collective

2642 Banks St, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119

This workshop is for people of color and it is about our sleeping dreams as resources for the evolution of the species and the transformation of our collective relationship with the planet.    This workshop is about our beautiful unstoppable existence as the nightmare of capitalism and the fantastic victory of our ancestors.   We will be working with dreams as survival technology and evolutionary oracles together and individually using poetry, interactive engagement and the darkest parts of our love.

We will be using Alexis’s poetic dream memoir After Brightest Star to prompt, ground and excite us during the workshop.  It is not necessary to read the memoir in advance, but if you want a digital copy when you register choose that ticket option.

Space is limited.  Get your ticket here.  (To attend this workshop individually, the cost is $10-15 sliding scale.):


Under any circumstances should people who do not self-identify as people of color attend this event?


Is it possible to pay for the workshop the day of?

Yes. If there are spots remaining, you can pay in advance (non-refundable) or in cash at the workshop.

Is it possible to get a digital copy of After Brightest Star at the event?


Create the World Anew: Science Fiction Direct Action Training: Durham

27 10 2015
“Create the World Anew”:  Science Fiction Direct Action Training
3pm-6pm Ella Baker Conference Room, American Tobacco Campus 

American Tobacco Campus

318 Blackwell St, Durham, North Carolina 27701
What kind of direct action would you create if you were in the world of Star Trek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Harry Potter?
On Election Day in Durham we will continue the visionary action of doing what Grace Lee Boggs called “creating the world anew” in the Ella Baker room at American Tobacco.   Please join Adrienne Brown (co-editor of Octavia’s Brood and former director of the Ruckus Project), Alexis Pauline Gumbs (contributor to Octavia’s Brood and founder of Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind) and the SpiritHouse family for a 3 hour training in direct action strategies based on our wildest dreams.  We know that for Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer and many others our participation in elections was visionary fiction that they helped achieve through brave direct actions.  We also know that we have quite a ways to go to fulfill their vision of justice.  Drawing on the work of Octavia’s Brood and our own nerd-obsessions, we will draw on the sci-fi and fantasy worlds that inspire us and work together to glean insights for how we can create lasting change here in Durham.
Sponsored by Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories by Social Justice Activists,  SpiritHouse and Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind

(what we know, don’t know, pretend to know, wish we knew and where): 125 Sites of Knowledges from Maroon Studies Session 2

24 07 2015


Last week Maroon Studies Session 2: Necessary as Water confronted what we know, what we cannot know, our desires around knowledge and how place and relationship transform the possibility of knowledge.  Jacqui Alexander and Chandra Mohanty in particular challenged us to produce alternative sites of knowledge and to knowledge how the knowledge we know gets made.  Here are 125 affirmations, desires, questions, places, and possible and impossible knowings we remembered, found and articulated together.

things I know

I know I am loved.

I know my ancestors are with me.

I know I am loved by my ancestors.

I know that I am loved and loving.

I know how my lover takes their coffee.

I know love.

I know that my name is a prayer that carries love.

I know loving on the land.

I know how I’m not supposed to love.

I know refusal.

I know that it was not always this way and that this too shall pass.

I know contradiction.

I know loss.

I know that plants are medicine.

I know swimming in water is good for my soul

I know that every living thing and being is connected.

I know my own little secrets.

I know the power of prayer

I know that dreaming holds me.

I know what I am here to be.

I know how to change a flat.

I know how to build a fire.

I know survival.

I know very little about most things and infinite amounts about a thing or two.

I know that somehow this is enough.


 things I don’t know


I don’t know my grandmother, my father’s mother.

I don’ t know the stories of my grandmothers.

I don’t know my great great grandmother’s story.

I don’t know pathways.

I don’t know survival.

I don’t know who in the hell set things up like this.

I don’t know what childbirth feels like.

I don’t know what giving birth will feel like.

I don’t know exodus.

I don’t know what happened to the journal I lost so long ago but still miss

I don’t know what of what we planted will grow, and what will just not.

I don’t know if the rain will come.

I don’t know how deep the deepest point of Seneca Lake is (even though Wikipedia says it is 618 feet).

I don’t know utopia.

I don’t know how to fly a plane.

I don’t know edges.

I don’t know what kind of spider bit me or why.

I don’t know how to talk back to harassers.

I don’t know what my face will do.

I don’t know what I can and cannot accomplish in any given day.

I don’t know when and how long.

I don’t know what day I will die.

Or the days that everyone I love will die either.

I don’t know how the story ends.

I don’t know how to make it right.

things I pretend to know


I pretend to know that the sun will keep rising, even though I am sometimes surprised.

I pretend to know my own enoughness.

I pretend to know who I am.

I pretend to know why I am pretending to know who I am.

I pretend to know why I am doing what I’m doing.

I pretend to know where I’m going.

I pretend to know directions in general.

I pretend to know how to handle difficult situations, right in the midst of them.

I pretend to know what’s wrong and how to fix it.

I pretend to know ethicality.

I pretend to know how to make choices that impact my children.

I pretend to know how to cook.

I pretend to know how to garden.

I pretend to know that I am hungry when it’s eating time.

I pretend to know the meaning of heart murmurs.

I pretend to know community.

I pretend to know people whose names I cannot remember.

I pretend to know what all the initials stand for.

I pretend to know militancy.

I pretend to know who my congress people are.

I pretend to know how to write academic papers.

I pretend to know how to act at an academic conference, and other approximations of upper-middle class professional environments.

I pretend to know survival.

I pretend to know loss.

I pretend to know why it hurts.

locations that challenge what I know



my lower back

my left knee, which challenges what i think i know about healing

western medicine

my left big toe.  (people always step on it.)

places where i feel small, insignificant, unworthy, and un-belonging

boxes, corners, squares

my mother’s bed

1321 Highland Ave.



colonial spaces

classrooms–sometimes more and sometimes less

meetings with my supervisor



my Beloved and our partnership, in more ways than i can count

the Rothko chapel


the airport, which challenges what i know about human goodness, and the essential kindness and decency of humanity

Tel Aviv Airport

5 Edgegrove Street.

Anguilla BWI (emphasis on the BWI)

my altar


things I wish I knew

I wish I knew my Uncle Fred better, he’s hardly ever around.

I wish I knew how Malcolm felt approaching Mecca.  Do I?

I wish I knew that I would finish my dissertation.

I wish I knew that the decisions I am making now will be the best ones for my three children and myself.

I wish I knew how to grow tomatoes.

I wish I knew how to say no with more ease, less guilt, and with a forgiving heart

I wish I knew what it felt like to be deliberate and afraid of nothing.  Do I?

I wish I knew how to best be of service in any number of moments

I wish I knew the undercommons.

I wish I knew how to give without taking.

I wish I knew forgiveness.

I wish I knew how to unburden my mother.

I wish I knew survival.

Where does being a granddaughter go, when your grandparents leave this world?

I wish I knew the stories of my Indigenous grandmother and grandfather.

I wish I knew how to pray right.

I wish I knew how to access my dream knowing inside of my bone, and sinew

I wish I knew what my great great great great great grandmother felt like when she was dancing.  Maybe I do.

I wish I knew how to relax into sleep when it is time for these things.

I wish I knew that this too shall pass, that that possibility is a given.

I wish I knew mourning.

I wish I knew why lovely loss rises up in moments least expected.

I wish I knew love in exactly the moments I forget it.

I wish I knew how to make my love work in the world.

I wish I knew love.

Maybe I do.  Maybe I do.


Now is the time to sign up for August’s Maroon Studies Session #3

Intensive #3: Blood, Water and Land August 10-12, 2015 (12pm to 2pm Eastern)

This webinar is for ride or die radicals who live to love the people. Drawing on the legacy of Sisters in Support of Sisters in South Africa, the solidarity journalism of Alexis DeVeaux, the blood ecologies of Jewelle Gomez and Audre Lorde and the salience of spit, saltwater and sangre, we will explore connections, contradictions and discursive possibilities across imperial divisions towards tangible outcomes.

8 spots are available. $175-225 sliding scale (payment plans available).

You can reserve your spot by offering a $50 non-refundable deposit here (please include the name of the webinar in the notes):


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