Monday, October 27, 2008

Thus Saith the Lorde

I am writing these words as a route map
an artifact for survival...

History is not kind to us
we restitch it with living
past memory forward
into desire
into the panic articulation
of want without having
or even the promise of getting.

And I dream of our coming together
encircled driven
not only by love
but by lust for a working tomorrow
the flights of this journey
mapless uncertain
and necessary as water.

-Audre Lorde
"On My Way Out I Passed Over You
and the Verrazano Bridge"

October 27, 2008
Gumbo YaYa/ or this is why we speak in tongues travels~~~~south!

It is that time, again. Last year Gumbo YaYa/ or this is why we speak in tongues worked magic in NYC. Almost a year to date, I sent out this email to women for support of this so fresh and so necessary improvisational, sista-circle, healing, performance opportunity.

I am Ebony Golden currently living in Manhattan and working as an arts consultant and performer. Over the last year, I had the wonderful pleasure of working with a beautiful group of women who helped me think through what Womanist Performance Methodology and Practice is about. I had the opportunity to study with, learn from, and make trouble with some of the flyest sistas around. We honored ourselves. We were able to be honest. And we participated as we could. I would not have graduated without them.

I add these sistas to my infinitely growing family of sistas around the country. I am so blessed to work and dream with you all. Thank you Ayanna, Geneva, Joi, Cammile, Chelsea, RonAmber, Crystal, Tonya, Samantha, and everyone else who participated along with the rest of my family in DC, TX, GA, NC, IL CA, LA, and in other spaces. You hold me up, thank you.

It is time to begin the 2nd cycle of Gumbo YaYa! Through the generous funding and support of SpiritHouse-NC, North Carolina Humanities Council, Healing with CAARE the 2nd cycle will happen in Durham, NC.

I am dedicated to my healing, the healing of the women in my family and extended family, and the world. This is a process we are creating everywhere, let's continue to tap in together and see what shifts.

This process will have a few opportunities for performance, live and virtual, but mostly I am interested in articulating a poetics of womanist performance process and methodology that can be reproduced by us every where to heal ourselves and this world.


1- Intern interested in arts management, performance, grassroots activism, media relations, and social justice. Applicant must be flexible, a self-starter, and dependable. Applicant must be based in Durham-NC (or close by). Course credit and possible stipend available.


Women and girls to participate. If you know of a school, community center, or pre-existing program who might be interested in collaborating, let me know.


I need you to tell our story. A small group of sistas who are not afraid to undertake this work with me, whether they understand exactly where it is headed or not. Sistas who enjoy movement, music, writing, photography, people, good food, performing, making a fuss about us (black women), and who are not afraid to say we (black women) matter anywhere in this world.


1. sistas to perform several times during a 12-week period and beyond
2. videographer/ photographer/ editor
3. choreographer
4. stage manager
5. 'zine designer
6. web designer

1. voice recorders, tapes
2. gift cards (Target would be excellent)
3. performance space
4. video recorders, tapes, dvd
5. money, frequent flyer miles, train tickets, gas cards!!!

did I say money? oh, and money!


Your stories. Some of you are far away from me right now. But I would love to interview you about you and your healing process. Let's set up some time for phone interviews. I travel often, and maybe we can get together and talk.

Every one is invited to NC in March 09 to see a pivotal step in this journey. Can't wait.

Please take a look at the updated web site and leave poems, videos, letters, and words of encouragement on the Poetic Healing page.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Cool Spirits and Calm Waters,

Ebony N. Golden, MFA, American University
Performance Studies MA, NYU
Gumbo Yaya/or this is why we speak in tongues
Creative Director

Thursday, October 23, 2008

TechnoAfroCats Read Wild Seed

Hear ye, Hear ye:

A message to all members of Quirky Black Girls

Hey all,
 Just a quick note to let everyone know that the fabulous long-distance sci-fi reading group at Quirky Black Girls will be reading Octavia Butler's Wildseed and discussing it in a forum right here on qbg!

  So go get the book from your public library or independent bookseller or or whatever and look for details on the main site.

Also If you haven't copped the new Muhsinah or The Foreign Exchange you are missing out! To check out her sound, see qbg Jah's video post of "construction" in the videos section.

Also shouts out to our growing international qbg contingent!


Visit Quirky Black Girls at:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


There are those, bright and visible among us, who believe in a Queer Renaissance...that we can make the world anew by loving transformation with our every action, by building our wishes into place to live, by writing our dreams in deep red pen on every wall that faces us. There are those among us who thread the present into 50 ways to reimagine life at once, teasing the future with incrementally wilder ways to be present. Queer black filmmaker, poet, thinker Julia R. Wallace is one of those.

I'm a fan. (Can you tell?)

As an outgrowth of the collaborative online community transformation venture Queer Renaissance (, and a compelling poetic filmic vision, Julia Wallace is creating Until, a poem crystallized into a short experimental narrative film about friendship, love, secrecy, shame and the possibility of freedom. And I want you to know about it. Because I love you.

After hearing the poem and reading the screenplay for Until I already have a crush on the main character. Pro, a quiet loving earnest college student wants the best for her best friend Hailey. And she's thrilled and gratified when after facing rejection from some guy on campus, Hailey wants her. As always though, it gets complicated when the lights turn on. What will it take for each woman to be true to herself in private and in public?

Y'all, reading this screenplay makes me want to be a better braver person. It scrapes up those moments when we choose our fears over each other, and when we choose each other out of makes me want to build altars and monuments to those public hand holdings and private yeses that risk everything except our integrity. And to those moments when we almost get there.

There should be a billion films like this, but there aren't, and Julia and the crew are shooting next weekend in Atlanta so go here to find out more about Until and how you can support that necessary process of making our love, our questions, our hope and our process visible and tangible.

love always,

Friday, October 17, 2008

Southern Feminism Alive and Thriving: The Charis Review

Hey all,
The Charis Review is an awesome publication born out of the oldest feminist bookstore in the South (which also happens to be the place where I was born into a writer.) The current issue features an interactive on the SONG storysharing project, an awesome piece on "bad poetry" by Dorothy Allison, a beautiful meditation by Shay Youngblood, advice and musings on pasties by Atlanta's most fabulous burlesque dancers, recipies, tomato seed saving advice, stencils, coloring mandala's and more! So get down with it!

So below is the call for submissions. Check out the link on the Circle website: also if anyone wants to buy it online they can do so here

Charis Review
Call for Submissions (or, How to Become a Charis Review Contributor) :

What do we want?
The Charis Review is a multi-media, multi-generational southern feminist response to culture. It is founded on the belief that sharing knowledge is a feminist principle and that swapping stories is an intrinsic aspect of Southern culture. We believe in the value of all forms of culture and media: "high," "low" and everything in between. This means we want both your poetry and your recipes, your critical essays and your stencils, we are interested in your skills, your passions, the knowledges and stories that enliven your communities and your homes.

Some kinds of things we are hoping to publish:
Fiction, Poetry, Essays, Recipes, Original Games, Paper dolls, How-to articles or drawings, Recommended reading lists, Book Reviews, Pop Culture Criticism, Artwork, Articles on how to be an ally, Anti-oppression organizing tips, Interviews, and more....

When do we want it?
Please send all submissions for our Winter Issue to by no later than Dec. 1st, 2008.

Please share the love with your friends and community members. We are interested in showcasing the skills and stories of our overlapping communities. The more the merrier!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Celebrate the Birth of Quirky Black Girls Magazine!

Quirky Black Girls is a network of fierce black women. We share our dreams, visions, and thoughts with you by producing the feminist publication QBG (Quirky Black Girls) Magazine, a quarterly ezine focusing on politics, cultural criticism, and social change. QBG Magazine features our art, poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and our ruminations on popular culture and social issues.

QBG Magazine aims to provide a forum for Quirky Black Girls - and those who love them - where feminist dialog is the only norm and following your truth is the the only rule.

QBG Manifesta

Because Audre Lorde looks different in every picture ever taken of her. Because Octavia Butler didn't care. Because Erykah Badu is a patternmaster. Because Macy Gray pimped it and Janelle Monae was ready.

Resolved. Quirky black girls wake up ready to wear a tattered society new on our bodies, to hold fragments of art, culture and trend in our hands like weapons against conformity, to walk on cracks instead of breaking our backs to fit in the mold.

We're here, We're Quirky, Get used to it!

.... Quirky Black girls don't march to the beat of our own drum; we hop, skip, dance, and move to rhythms that are all our own. We make our own drums out of empty lunchboxes, full imaginations and number 3 pencils.

Quirky Black girls are not quirky because they like white shit; rather they understand that because they like it, it is not the sole province of whiteness.

Quirky black girls are the answer to the promise that black means everything, birthing and burning a new world every time.

Sound it out. Quirky, like queer and key, different and priceless, turning and open. Black, not be lack but black one word shot off the tongue like blap, bam, black. Girl, like the curl in a hand turning towards itself to snap, write, hold or emphasize. Quirky. Black. Girl. You see us. Act like you know.

We demand that our audiences say "yes-sir-eee" if they agree and we answer our own question "What good do your words do, if they don't understand you?" by speaking anyway, even if our words are "bruised and misunderstood."

Quirky black girls are hot!
Whether you're ready to see it or not.

Quirky means rejecting a particular type of "value," a certain unreadiness for consumption and subsumption in an economy of black heterocapital. This means that Quirky Black Girls act independently of dominant social norms or standards of beauty. So fierce that others may not be able to appreciate us just yet.

No matter what age we are, we hold onto that girlhood drive for adventure, love for friends, independent spirit, wacky sense of humor, and hope for the future.

Quirky Black Girls resist boxes in favor of over lapping circles with permeable membranes that allow them to ebb and flow through their multiple identities.

Quirky Black Girls- Embrace the quirky!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Combahee Survival: Black Feminism Lives!!!!

Check out the Combahee Survival Project at!

Check out the Combahee Survival Project at!

We were never meant to survive. None of us. We were never meant to find each other, love each other, remember the warriors that came before. We were never meant to know these histories. We were never meant to turn our trauma into a map for transformation. We were never meant to survive. But we do it anyway. Break it down. Sur viv al. Life underneath waiting to embrace all of us. Survival is a poem written in a corner, found waiting in a basement, forgotten. Survival is when the timeliness of your word is more important than the longevity of one body. Survival is spirit connected through and past physical containers. Survival is running for your life and then running for Albany city council without consenting to the State. Survival is shaping change while change shapes you. Survival means refusing to believe the obvious. Survival means remembering the illegal insights censored in the mouths of our mothers. Survival is quilt patterns, garden beds. Survival means growing, learning, working it out. Survival is a formerly enslaved black woman planning and leading a battle that freed 750 slaves from inside an institution called the United States Military. Survival is out black lesbians creating a publishing movement despite an interlocking system of silences. Survival is a group of black women recording their own voices, remembering a river, a battle, a warrior and creating a statement to unlock the world. Survival is like that. We were never meant to survive. And we can do even more. This booklet moves survival to revival, like grounded growth, where seeds seek sun remembering how the people could fly. We are invoking the Combahee River Collective Statement and asking how it lives in our movement now. And the our and the we are key to this as individual gains mean nothing if others suffer. We were never meant to survive but we will thrive. We want roundness and wholeness, where everyone eats and has time to be creative has time to just be, What tools does it give that are necessary to our survival? What gaps does it leave us to lean into? Black feminism lives, but the last of the originally organized black feminist organizations in the United States were defunct by 1981. Here we offer and practice a model of survival that is spiritual and impossible and miraculous and everywhere, sometimes pronounced revival. Like it says on the yellow button that came included in the Kitchen Table Press pamphlet version of The Combahee River Collective Statement in 1986 "Black Feminism LIVES!" And therefore all those who were never meant to survive blaze open into a badass future anyway. Meaning something unpredictable and whole. We were. Never meant. To Survive. And here we are. And beyond survival, what of that? In 1977 the Combahee River Collective wrote "As Black women we see Black Feminism as the logical political movement to combat the manifold and simultaneuos oppressions that all women of color face." They also said "The inclusiveness of our politics makes us concerned with any situation that impinges on the lives of women, Third World and working people." And they concluded: "If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression." Today we, a sisterhood of young black feminists, mentored in words and deeds by ancestors, elders, peers and babies, assert that by meditating on the survival and transformation of black feminism we can produce insight, strategy and vision for a holistic movement that includes ALL of us. So while this is a project instigated by self-proclaimed (and reclaimed) black feminists, our intention is that it can be shared and changed by everyone who is interested in freedom.

Special note to great would it be to teach with, study groups and work with this amazing document? Let's do it!

Saturday, October 04, 2008