The Bright Black Webinar: Ending Slavery in Contemporary Intellectual Practice

The Bright Black Webinar (facilitated by Alexis Pauline Gumbs)

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The Bright Black Webinar draws on the brilliance of black intellectuals from the era of US slavery to imagine black intellectual practice in a post-university post-non-profit ecology. Slavery is supposedly over but the conditions are strikingly similar (pun intended).  Let’s draw strength from the strategies our ancestors used.  How do the contradictory conditions of black intellectuals like Phillis Wheatley and Benjamin Banneker reflect the vexed situation of contemporary black intellectual practice in the university and non-profit industrial complexes?  How do the works of brilliance created by black intellectuals during slavery point a way past and through the limiting and liberating contexts of the present moment?  Join us on Tuesday evenings in October to draw infinite strength and tangible strategies from black genius ancestors!
Fee: $200  Reserve your spot with an email to brillianceremastered@gmail.com explaining what you hope to get out of the course and your $50 deposit:

 

We Who Believe in Freedom: Sistorians Speak!

ellabakerLast night was the first night of the Brilliance Remastered Sistorian Webinar facilitated by Laguana (Elle) Gray and Alexis Pauline Gumbs!  After reading Barbara Ransby’s introduction to Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision we had an affirming and transformative conversation about what the technology of sisterhood teaches us about self-care, abundance and love.   Many of us remember Ella Baker’s statement (immortalized by Sweet Honey in the Rock) that “we who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.”  A few years ago while doing some research at the Schomburg Library in NYC I came across a letter from Ella Baker to a friend and comrade that made that statement real in more than one way.  Ms. Ella was explaining that even though her community was begging her to take a sabbatical and had even fundraised the money to allow her to do so, she could not “find the time” to actually take a break.   When I read that letter I saw myself and so many of the organizers, educators, activists and artists that I know, and many of us in the webinar have seen the people we love work tirelessly and unsustainably.   With this poem we begin a practice of modeling abundant presence and sustainable freedom for ourselves, each other and everyone who would call us sister.

We Who Believe in Freedom

(a remix for sweet Ella and all of us)

by the participants in the Brilliance Remastered Sistorian Webinar

 

we who believe in freedom rest

 

we who believe in freedom believe in the centrality of joy

we who believe in freedom believe in the transformative power of pleasure

we who believe in freedom believe in the transformative power of silence

we who believe in freedom cultivate the faith to be still

 

we who believe in freedom nourish our souls

 

we who believe in freedom nourish our souls with deep breaths

we who believe in freedom value our breathing over our reputations, our relationships over our resumes

we who believe in freedom believe that freedom is a personal practice

we who believe in freedom listen to our bodies and take time to release what does not uplift us

we who believe in freedom allow ourselves to talk back

 

we who believe in freedom TAKE NAPS

we who believe in freedom kiss ourselves and jump back smiling!

we who believe in freedom SING for no or whatever reason!

we who believe in freedom dance in our seats…

we who believe in freedom LOVE!

 

we who believe in freedom love ourselves like we love our little sisters.

we who believe in freedom forgive ourselves as a practice of compassion

we who believe in freedom practice the power to say no

 

we who believe in freedom don’t gotta do it all ourselves!

we who believe in freedom believe our ancestors are helping us.

we who believe in freedom remember and share the stories of our past freedom struggles

we who believe in freedom believe in each other enough to share power and responsibility

we who believe in freedom speak in love and cultivate honesty

we who believe in freedom actualize the transformative power of sisterhood

we who believe in freedom don’t have to prove it we just live it

 

we who believe in freedom REST

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(Does this make you want to sign up for the next Brilliance Remastered webinar?  Get the details here:   www.alexispauline.com/brillianceremastered/webinars/)

Sistorian Webinar

The Sistorian Webinar (co-facilitated by Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Elle Gray)  

Toni Cade and books

As Toni Cade Bambara taught, sister is a verb!  This webinar explores sistering as an intellectual practice and standard for engagement in an intellectual marketplace that encourages competition, tokenization and shade.   Join sister-comrades Elle and Lex  on Wednesday evenings this September as they draw on texts by black feminist historians, lead discussions on sistering as an intellectual practice and live online interviews with black feminist historian sheroes!  

 

This course is in session and no longer available for sign-up.  See other webinars here: www.alexispauline.com/brillianceremastered/webinars/

Here is some wisdom from the Sistorian Webinar Participants:

We Who Believe in Freedom: A Remix Poem for Sweet Ella and the Rest of Us

Sister is a Verb: Some Clarifications from the Sistorians

Enough: Affirmations that Sustain Sistorians

 

Love it?

 

 

Elle and Lex have collaborated on a number of projects and are co-authors of the companion curriculum for SPEAK! a CD featuring a collective of radical women of color writers.  We are excited to invite you to participate in our newest collaboration…the Sistorian Webinar!!!

(you can sample the CD here by the way: http://sfonline.barnard.edu/polyphonic/gallery/speak.htm)

p

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laguana “Elle” Gray is an assistant professor of history at UTSA.  She received a B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Houston and an M.A. from Louisiana Tech University. Dr. Gray teaches courses on recent American history, African American history, women’s history, and race. She plans also to teach courses in labor history. Her current research areas include the (U.S.) South, black women’s history, labor history, and black-brown relations. Her research interests lie in centering the roles women of color play in social movements, social policy, feminism, and creating alternative media. She is working to publish a book that chronicles the history of the lives and labors of black women in the southern poultry processing industry.

agumbs120x160Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a queer black troublemaker, a black feminist love evangelist, a prayer poet priestess and has a PhD in English, African and African-American Studies, and Women and Gender Studies from Duke University.  Alexis was the first scholar to research the Audre Lorde Papers at Spelman College, the June Jordan Papers at Harvard University, and the Lucille Clifton Papers at Emory University, and she is currently on tour with her interactive oracle project “The Lorde Concordance,” a series of ritual mobilizing the life and work of Audre Lorde as a dynamic sacred text. Alexis has also published widely on Caribbean Women’s Literature with a special interest in Dionne Brand. Her scholarly work is published in Obsidian, Symbiosis, Macomere, The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Literature, SIGNS, Feminist Collections, The Black Imagination, Mothering and Hip Hop Culture, The Business of Black Power and moreAlexis is the author of an acclaimed collection of poems 101 Things That Are Not True About the Most Famous Black Women Alive and poetic work published in KweliVinyl, Backbone, Everyday Genius, Turning Wheel, UNFold, Makeshift and more. She has several books in progress including a book of poems, Good Hair Gone Forever, a scholarly monograph on diaspora and the maternal, and an educational resource called the School of Our Lorde. She is also the co-editor of a forthcoming edited collection on legacies of radical mothering called This Bridge Called My Baby.

 

Bright Thunder Lightning Strike: One on One Intensive

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“Some women wait for something

to change   and nothing

does change

so they change 

themselves.”

- from Audre Lorde’s “Stations”

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New in 2013 Brilliance Remastered is offering one on one all-day intensives for community accountable intellectuals at a major turning point in their purpose vision and mission.  This vigorous intensive is only for visionaries committed to making a major shift and requires a phone assessment to determine eligibility.

The one day intensives take place virtually and are ideal for the busy (often overloaded) community accountable intellectual who can not add a long-term coaching session to their life, but is ready for the breakthrough!   The one day intensive requires an indepth survey in advance and consists of a series of customized activities facilitated by Alexis on one day for 4 hours (not including breaks).  The Bright Thunder Lightning Strike Intensive is guaranteed to provide

  • real, loving and critical space to reflect on the consequences of isolations contradictions and barriers to your community accountability
  • tangible ways to connect to your inspired purpose for being a community accountable scholar
  • concrete steps for building and connecting to community
  • an ongoing support plan to keep you accountable

Fee:   $1000-1500 sliding scale (Lex can assist select folks in crafting a crowdraiser to help with the fee)

Email Lex at brillianceremastered@gmail.com to set up a phone assessment.

May 2013 Updates!

Greetings Bright Thunder!

This is the season of transition that every species participates in!  Everything around us is growing pollinating and responding with unbelievably bright enthusiasm to grey skies and rain.  And what about us? This life-changing May Brilliance Remastered has a number of ways to honor transition and to prepare for the best summer ever! Scroll down or click on the links below to learn more about:

Locally Grown Garden Walks Continue

Special Online Office Hours in May

Community is Not A Luxury Summer Cohort Sign Up

Summer Lovin’ Custom Organizational Retreats in NC

Remastered Tools 101 Downloadable Course

Garden Walks Continue!!!

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I enjoyed April’s Garden Walks so much that I am continuing to  celebrate my favorite season in Durham, focusing my energy on the community I love!!!!!  Are you or someone you know someone who could benefit from a personalized Brilliance Remastered Conversation this Spring?

Maybe you are about to graduate from something or about to embark on your own social justice minded project.  Maybe you are ready to have a breakthrough around making your creative or intellectual work more community accountable.  Maybe you are hoping to launch an art project that will make our world a better place.  Maybe you need to quit your job and are looking for a way to transition out.  Maybe you want to make your side project the center of your life.  Maybe you just know a walk and conversation with Sista Docta Lex about your passionate work would increase its value for our whole community.  If that is you or someone you love you should sign up for a garden walk!  (Also if your accessibility or allergy needs call for it we can certainly sit in a garden or walk near a river or do something else.)

So here is how it works!

1.  Sign up for one of only 6 available one hour walks (Monday and Wednesday afternoons from May 8-27)

2.  Send an email to Lex at brillianceremastered@gmail.com about what you are up to right now and your hopes and dreams for our conversation.

3.  Recirculate the love!  Donate $50 to Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind (the same donation that folks not lucky enough to live in or near Durham pay for a phone consultation) OR donate $25 and a delicious healthy vegetarian meal that can feed Lex and Julia!

Talk with Lex During Transition Time: Special May Office Hours

Since May is a time of major transition for many intellectuals, during May 2013 I will be conducting special online office hours on Wednesdays 10am-2pm EST free for existing participants and at the regular hourly ($50) rate for new folks!

The theme for May’s office hours is transition.  Has Spring outside shown you how much you have grown inside this season?  Have you outgrown a previous intellectual/activist role and into something new?   Are you starting a new organization? Are you graduating from a program and thinking about how to prepare for what is next?  Are you simply determined for next semester to be significantly more sustainable and community accountable than this semester has been.   Holler at your girl :)

Email brillianceremastered@gmail.com with the subject heading “office hours” to sign up.

Community is Not a Luxury Summer Cohort:

It is about time to sign up for the Community is Not A Luxury Summer Cohort!!!!

“Look how you print yourself on my heart.” -Audre Lorde

This intermediate stage of the coaching curriculum trains you to implement and build a community of accountability outside of the limits of your university setting.  Community accountability is what distinguishes meaningful intellectual labor from elitist word games.  This coaching module is for scholars who are committed to making a difference in the lives of the communities that inspire them and also activates community as a superpower to sustain your wholeness and to support and celebrate you in your degree process.

The cohort model allows a set of aligned visionaries to experience the life-changing curricula and to benefit from one-on-one attention from Sista Docta Lex while building community with each other.   Doing it together also allows Brilliance Remastered to provide this service at a lower rate.  (However the one-on-one version of this curriculum is still available for those of you who want me all to yourself! :)

Cohort Participants Commit to a 3-Month Experience with:

  • weekly transformative assignments
  • bi-weekly google-hangout discussion sessions with fellow cohort members facilitated by Lex
  • weekly email check-ins with Lex
  • access to Lex’s online office hours
  • song dedications and motivation

all for $750 per participant.  Payment plans are available.  I am committed to making this accessible to you!

Participants join the cohort through a phone assessment conversation where we will determine the best way to engage the curriculum.  Email brillianceremastered@gmail.com to schedule a phone assessment for $25.  More on phone assessments here.

Summer Lovin’ Organizational Retreats in NC

Another part of the Brilliance Remastered Durham Advantage!  Summer 2012 is all about the brilliance of deepening and strengthening relationships.   As part of my long-term investment in the important and experimental community institutions in and around Durham, NC  I am offering custom organizational retreats focused on relationship building for shared leadership and long-term victory.

DSC_0277Drawing on a unique curriculum based on Audre Lorde’s body of work these retreats will be customized to the emergent breakthroughs of your organization or group and will use embodied, creative techniques that will allow your group to access many dimensions and generations of wisdom.  These retreats are an especially timely opportunity for organizations transferring leadership, working through conflict, changing structures or just getting started.

To see if your organization is a good match for some Summer Lovin’ and to start a conversation about designing a retreat set up a phone consultation.

Remastered Tools 101 Available for Do It Yourself Download!!!!

After the major success of the Remastered Tools Webinar Series,  I am offering them as downloadable courses that you can do anytime with my love and support at about half the rate of actually taking the webinar.  Get started now with Remastered Tools 101 with special audio support, brilliant poems and mantras by the Remastered Tools 101 graduates and full access to my online office hours included!

Remastered Tools 101 Course for Community Accountable Intellectuals by Alexis Pauline Gumbs

 

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.

 

I also have a couple coaching slots so if you want to set up one on one coaching set up a phone consultation so we can see if we are a perfect match and as always if you want specialized feedback on your thesis, dissertation, statement of purpose or syllabus hit me up for a PhDoula belly blessing!  Hope to hear from you soon!

Love,
Lex

 

Talk with Lex During Transition Time: Special May Office Hours

Since May is a time of major transition for many intellectuals, during May 2013 I will be conducting special online office hours on Wednesdays 10am-2pm EST free for existing participants and at the regular hourly ($50) rate for new folks!

The theme for May’s office hours is transition.  Has Spring outside shown you how much you have grown inside this season?  Have you outgrown a previous intellectual/activist role and into something new?   Are you starting a new organization? Are you graduating from a program and thinking about how to prepare for what is next?  Are you simply determined for next semester to be significantly more sustainable and community accountable than this semester has been.   Holler at your girl :)

Email brillianceremastered@gmail.com with the subject heading “office hours” to sign up.

Summer Lovin’: Custom Organizational Retreats for NC Community Organizations

Another part of the Brilliance Remastered Durham Advantage!  Summer 2012 is all about the brilliance of deepening and strengthening relationships.   As part of my long-term investment in the important and experimental community institutions in and around Durham, NC  I am offering custom organizational retreats focused on relationship building for shared leadership and long-term victory.

DSC_0277Drawing on a unique curriculum based on Audre Lorde’s body of work these retreats will be customized to the emergent breakthroughs of your organization or group and will use embodied, creative techniques that will allow your group to access many dimensions and generations of wisdom.  These retreats are an especially timely opportunity for organizations transferring leadership, working through conflict, changing structures or just getting started.

To see if your organization is a good match for some Summer Lovin’ and to start a conversation about designing a retreat set up a phone consultation.

Love,
lex

 

Locally Grown: Brilliance Remastered Garden Walks (Fall Edition!!!)

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Another part of the Brilliance Remastered Durham Advantage!   It is FALL!!!!  I am celebrating the gorgeousness of Durham by focusing my energy on the community I love!!!!!  Are you or someone you know someone who could benefit from a personalized Brilliance Remastered Conversation this Fall?

Maybe you are at the beginning of a new semester or from something or about to embark on your own social justice minded project.  Maybe you are ready to have a breakthrough around making your creative or intellectual work more community accountable.  Maybe you are hoping to launch an art project that will make our world a better place.  Maybe you need to quit your job and are looking for a way to transition out.  Maybe you want to make your side project the center of your life.  Maybe you just know a walk and conversation with Sista Docta Lex about your passionate work would increase its value for our whole community.  If that is you or someone you love you should sign up for a garden walk!  (Also if your accessibility or allergy needs call for it we can certainly sit in a garden or walk near a river or do something else.)

images-1So here is how it works!

1.  Sign up for one of only 7 available one hour walks (On select Monday and Wednesday afternoons in October and November )

2.  Send an email to Lex at brillianceremastered@gmail.com about what you are up to right now and your hopes and dreams for our conversation.

3.  Recirculate the love!  Donate $50 to Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind (the same donation that folks not lucky enough to live in or near Durham pay for a phone consultation) OR donate $25 and a delicious healthy vegetarian meal that can feed Lex and Julia!

That’s it!!!!  Looking forward to your locally growing brilliance!!!

Love,

Lex

Been There Lecture #2: Anjail Ahmad

The Been There Online Lecture Series is a series of inspired interactive conversations with experienced community accountable scholars offering their lessons learned while navigating multiple institutions and putting their brilliance to work with and in honor of oppressed communities. These lectures are open to scholars, writers, activists and folks in all walks of life ready to be inspired!

Been There Lecture #2  Dr. Anjail Ahmad  Tuesday, April 16th 7pm ET/6 CT/ 5 MT/4 PT

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Dr. Ahmad is a poet, educator and activist writing, speaking and teaching in venues throughout the United States. She received her PhD in African American Literature and 20th Century American Poetry from the University of Missouri-Columbia, her MA in Creative Writing from New York University and her BA in Creative Writing from Agnes Scott College.

She is also a blind woman advocating for disability justice in collaboration with a diverse community of disabled activists in Greensboro, NC and a Mobile Homecoming superstar.

Her areas of interest include: African American Literature and Oral Traditions; Twentieth Century American Poetry; The Poetics of Resistance in African American Poetry; Spoken Word and the poetics of Performance; Poetic Entrepreneurship; E-Texts and Publication; Women’s Voices; Social Justice and Disability Rights Advocacy

She has written two books of poetry, is published widely in journals and has won numerous awards. She teaches writing classes at North Carolina A&T State University where she is also Director of Creative Writing. In 2010, she has used her depth of writing knowledge and experience in working with writers to found The Fractured Writer: A Creative Resource for Writers (http://www.thefracturedwriter.com). She also leads writing and publishing workshops and sees clients in her home office in Greensboro, North Carolina where she offers training, coaching, consulting, and mentorship to groups and individuals of all ages.

As Artistic Director of The Fractured Writer aka The Loving Boot Camp for Writers, she leads writers through the Sunday 5-Week Writing Intensives, a year-long, workshop series designed to support writers through the completion of a writing project.  In her unique approach to creative writing, she offers a blend of spirituality and creative pragmatism to writers seeking to transform their creative ideas  and aspirations into work suitable for publication and performance.

This workshop is free for one-on-one and cohort coaching clients.  Other geniuses are free to sign up for the lecture with an email about your interests to brillianceremastered@gmail.com by April 14th and a donation of $20-50 to Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind

Response: The Need Ensemble Responds to Audre Lorde’s Call for Healing

Last night was the final performance of the Need Ensemble streamed live on the internet and then dissolved into the ether.  Thank goodness for poetry. Thank goodness for our profound past and future presence.  Thank the Lorde for this moment.  Last night we celebrated, affirmed, showed in our bodies what this week has given us.  Testifed and held hands across space and time.   We also engaged Audre Lorde’s poem “Call” where she repeats that the rainbow serpent representative of all the unnamed and forgotten dieties aka Aido Hwedo is coming.   What is the name of the divinity that is coming for us?

 

Response

“We are learning by heart

what has never been taught.”

-Audre Lorde “Call”

 

light is coming

justice is coming

peace is coming

fearless mothers and happy babies are coming

gardening time is coming

fresh spring days, long summer nights, cozy winter cuddles and fall leaves are coming

 

a safe harbor is coming

a soft place to fall is coming

 

release is coming

reprieve is coming

a party with cake is coming

celebrating your miraculous body-self every morning as soon as you awaken is coming

 

khahlia is coming!

 

clean ocean water is coming

miracles are coming…

a lifetime of labors of love is coming

new adventures are coming

more understanding, more grace, and more listening is coming…

more feminist visionaries are coming…

fully accountable telepathy is coming

more community-building (like this) is coming