The TOP 5 Ways Faculty Can Support Student Activists

You want to jump up and shout because the students on your campus or the individuals in your community are calling out structural bias and even protesting, organizing, and making real headway against it.   Or you’re wondering what the hell is going on. Either way the young people need …

The Feminine Pronoun Series #25: Ferguson is Everywhere

In this episode I reflect on the impact of Michael Brown's murder and the Ferguson Uprising on my social justice advocacy, my writing, my teaching and my parenting.

An extra special thanks is owed to the ARTIVISTS and to Reverend Sekou and the Holy Ghost for the incredible song, "We Comin" that appears toward the end of this episode.

ARTIVISTS STL can be followed on twitter at @ArtivistsStl

Reverend Sekou and the Holy Ghost's music can be purchased at http://wearefarfetched.net/album/the-revolution-has-come

 

The feminine Pronoun Series #24: The Winds They Are A’changing

You may think this sounds all "woo woo," but there is a spiritual shift in the universe. I think we all feel it. Even the violent images of black death to which we've been subjected, are harbingers of spiritual ills that need a strong medicine. In this episode I attend a retreat for women of color who are activists and healers (or both) in order to recenter, recharge, and strengthen eachother for what is inevitably to come. The retreat, named WIND AND WARRIOR, was held at The Flowering Lotus Meditation and Retreat center in Magnolia, Mississippi. It is a wonderful space that is centered around Buddhist practice and owned by a black woman. There were 24 of us from all over the country. We were Latina, Somali, and black women/spirits. We were writers, and yoga practitioners, and priests. We were working to help our communities, heal, navigate immigrant status, counter mass incarceration, respond to white supremacy and heal.

Do enjoy this journey with me!

 

The Feminine Pronoun Series #23: These Are the Times That Try Women’s Souls

In this week's vlog I watched the democratic convention and spent time with the Hurston Hughes Scholars. HHS is a self organized group of black parents and teachers who read black literature and invite guests like me and fellow poet Cheeraz Gormon to share our work with them. Coincidentally, I was in the presence of the Mothers of the Movement in Ferguson and then I watched them speak at the Democratic 2016 convention. I was both moved and frustrated by their appearance. #StrikeForBlackLives

 

Here’s Why Anger is the Ultimate Glow Up. Oh, and #StrikeForBlackLives

One of my favorite podcasts is Another Round, featuring a writer for Buzzfeed, Tracy Clayton and a writer for the Stephen Colbert Show, Heben Nigatu. The show features guests of color talking about a wide range of subjects, but with a keen eye on culture. One part drunken conversation and …

The Feminine Pronoun Series #22: How Does One #StrikeForBlackLives?

In order to create the societal pressure for real police reform, a movement must happen. Movements are built one step at a time. organizing, conversing, writing, and publicizing are all a part of movement building. Over the last week, I have made a commitment to talk with as many smart people as I can about the #StrikeForBlackLives and how we can use work strike out and economic boycott to pressure the president to create an executive order that will tie police federal funding to measurable reform. I learned so much in a short time, and just like I predicted the #StrikeForBlackLives has become a better, more targeted and more complete idea as a result. Check out this journey. And join with me at strikeforblacklives.com

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In the wake of the homophobic and racialized killings of the 49 patrons of the Pulse nightclub, and of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, we are realizing that the culture of policing must change. To that end, a nationwide work strike called #StrikeForBlackLives is being planned. Slated to begin the day after labor day, and last the remainder of the week, #StrikeForBlackLives asks US to have AT LEAST ONE day of absence (Tuesday, September 6) which is the #BlackFolksOffDay. The remainder of the week can be taken off if you can RISK or AFFORD it. The minimum sacrifice is ONE DAY of work strike and ONE WEEK of economic boycott. We Can Do This!

 

“Labor Pains” and the #StrikeForBlackLives

When Africans were enslaved, one popular narrative used to justify their enslavement, was that they were “lazy.” “If we don’t enslave them they won’t work” was one of the fears expressed pre-emancipation. In fact, black men found without a job could be remanded to forced labor post-slavery. In a strange …

How to Grieve and Dream at the Same Time

This week's vlog follows me through a day of workshop with the inimitable Bhanu Kapil.  Bhanu Kapil is a conceptual poet who recently worked for 15 years at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Sponsored by the Pulitzer Arts Center, this day long experience for metro area poets was named "How to Grieve While Dreaming."  Of course, both themes -- dreaming, and especially grieving -- are particularly resonant after the letter after last month's racialized gun violence. It seems the whole country is grieving.  In the midst of that grief the dream of a U.S. that denounces toxic white supremacy and violence must be nurtured, however.