Free

Heart is broken. But I am free. And perhaps, most importantly, I have been transformed.

I am stubborn and typically only listen once I hit a bottom, I also listen if two different people tell me the same thing, I listen to the person I am dating, I listen to people who are more spiritually evolved than I am.

What I have learned is that I have an intimacy ceiling, that I keep most people at arms length and that if I want to grow, I need to figure out how to deal with at shit. stat.

The good and the bad news is that I will be going to see Erykah next week, to perform Mama’s Gun. What the fuck was I thinking?

Anyhoo.

A LOT of work on the back end here, than you all for supporting me.

The Black Girls Are from the Future Manifesto is coming…right now it is titled “The Historical Origins of Black Girls Are from The Future: BGFTF is a Fancy Way of Saying Fuck You..I’m From the Future”…..or “Black Girls are from the Future: An Oppositional Consciousness Rooted in the Day to Day Lives of Working Class Black Girls”<<< Or maybe these are subheadings FOR the essay. #WorkinProgress.

I am on deck to do some collaborative work  on why I think, as a Black Feminist, that Aaron Swartz is important, in spirit and in action to me and my work and to a lot of the digital Black feminist work.

There is a Black Girls Are From the Future short video Doc in the works.

Black Girls Are From the Future: Essays on Race, Gender and Pop Culture will be complete and for sale this summer.

Oh, and Black Girls are from the Future has been trademarked. #sayword. #Word.

However, in the midst of all of this, all of this gina, is that I have do deal with this ability to connect, to no sort people in inside and outside, rigidly because I don’t trust them. I cannot, write, blog, cook, eat, burbon, think, theorize swim my way through this. I simply have to address this shit. And I resent it. I resent having to do it. But I also know that I have been given a unique opportunity. Why is this a unique opportunity? Because, most people wrap folks in their own misery for years, rather then go deep into themselves and do that archival work. To find out the historical origins if your own/my own rage buttons.

How can you love another human being if you don’t understand that your first need is to trust. THE FIRST GINA. I haven’t been betrayed or anything like that. Quite the opposite. I simply have a hard time trusting. Now, some people ain’t shit, and you can’t trust them as far as you throw them, but some people CAN be trusted, and that is some shit that I have a hard time with. The rigid groups I put people into are no longer serving me, and I know I need to change.

I am also really clear on how much my work is worth, down to the cent, and I am moving about in the world with a very clear understanding of that.

I will not turn myself into an object. I will do my damnedest to do the work.

When I say everything for Oakland, I mean that shit. Doing that interior work will evolve me, when I evolve and can do the artistic work for myself and for Black girls in Oakland that I know I was put here to do. When I do that work, the connection, I believe, the ability to connect will become easier.

Thank you for the support.

You will be able to buy a BGFTF Bag and pre order the book here next week. Here is the BFGFT Facebook group, like if you wish 🙂

 

New Model Minority: The Book Survey….Questions for Those Who Filled it Out in 2011:)

So. About 30 of you filled out the survey which is wonderful, but I don’t know who you are. Let’s remedy this.

Send me an e-mail to m.dotwrites dot gmail or you can fill out the Nmm labs form here to receive updates.

Thank you again for filling it out. When I have thought of giving up, I have kept you all in the back of my mind. There is really nothing like knowing that people actually give a shit about the words you write!!!

Oh, and if you are a new reader, and would like to tell me the topics you are most interested in me writing about in my book projects you can fill out the survey here as well.

I appreciate ya’ll and it is nice to have some traction moving into 2013 even though my wrist is hella stiff. Stiff but working. < New tag line. o.O

Oh, and here is a post from Black Girl Everything on “Scandal.” Check it out “Thinking About Black Women’s Sexuality on the Show “Scandal”: The Liv and Fitz Affair.”

~R

Big Announcement: New Blogs – Race in DC.com and BlackGirlEverything.com

As many of you know I fractured my wrist in a car accident earlier this year. In the above photo I am at breakfast, having been out of the hospital for about a week. The wrist fracture sucked not only because my wrist was broken, but because it set me back in terms of my projects.

Well, I am happy to announce that I have completed two of the projects that I have been working on, the blogs BlackGirlEverything.com and RaceinDC.com.

I created Black Girl Everything, because I wanted to see a space online for Black girls that looked good and had good content. I created RaceinDC because many of the spaces online that discuss race in the city leave me wanting.  I also think that there are not enough conversations that are archived publicly about race and the city. If we can’t name the issue we can’t change the issue, and so I see RaceinDC as a space for social change.

Lastly, I am self publishing two books next year. The first one will be The Miseducation of All City: Essays on Race, East Oakland and Prep School.  If you want to receive updates on my new projects, sign up to receive the NMM Labs updates newsletter. Needless to say, I am excited. Here is a preview of the book cover.

I am also putting together a set of essays of a book about Black women in popular culture. I haven’t decided on a title yet, but I will share that once it becomes available.

So thank you for your kind words and for telling me “I will not pay for blog  posts but I will buy whatever you sell.” I listened and I am producing and selling my work.

Let me know what you think about the blogs. I told myself that I would launch on 12.12.12 and I kept my word. Keeping my word to myself feels awesome.

You working on anything creative? Let me know. #blackgirlsarefromthefuture.

~Allcity

Black Women’s Hair & Gabby Douglas: Standing Straight in a Crooked Room

In the book, Sister Citizen, Dr. Melissa Harris Perry argues that many Black women in the US find themselves standing straight in a crooked room because of how we experience both racism and sexism. According to Harris-Perry, Black women are standing straight in a crooked room

when they are confronting race and gender stereotypes, black women are standing in a crooked room, and they have to figure out which way is up. Bombarded with warped images of their humanity, some black women tilt and bend themselves to fit the distortion…To understand why some Black women’s public actions and political strategies sometimes seem titled in ways that accommodate  the degrading stereotypes about them, it is important to appreciate the structural constraints that influence their behavior.

This is immediately what came to mind when I saw the conversations about Gabby’s hair, conversations, many initiated by Black women about who thought it wasn’t straight enough.

No Gabby’s hair does not look like the Black women on Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, and that is fine. The women on LHHA stay fried died and laid to the side and Gabby’s pony tail is the pony tail of a young Black woman Olympian. Full stop.

And just in terms of Black girl visibility politics, Gabby Douglass is a Black girl who had global media attention and she does not look like a well kept video vixen and she doesn’t have to. She is petite, muscular and brown with a high voltage smile. When was the last time you saw a Black girl like that getting mainstream attention? I’ll wait.

I know that some Black women felt that because Gabby was on a global stage she was “representing us.” My retort to that is Gabby belongs to herself, not to you.

Hair is serious for Black women because the mainstream standard for beauty in the US and arguably pop culture globally is long, preferably blond, straight, wind swept hair. If you think I am wrong, check out the magazine covers at your local grocery store check out stand.

I always find it peculiar when the ways when which Black women regulate on each other finds its way into mainstream media conversations. It is not that we don’t like each other. I think that socially women are not taught to like each other. Openly liking and being nice to women is a political act for this reason. The culprit in many ways isn’t Black women per se, but that many of us have internalized what White standards of beauty AND we tried to hold other women to these standards,we are also taught that the work that women do isn’t valuable.

But, let me tell you. #Blackgirlsarefromthefuture.

I also think it may may make some Black women uncomfortable to see another young Black woman who is so clear about both her purpose and focus. A young Black woman who is clear that her investment in being an Olympian is more important than having music video bone straight hair, at this moment. I am not talking about human beings here, I am talking about what happens when you encounter a spirit that is so clear you can see yourself in its reflection. It ain’t no joke. #ChangeJobs. #ChangeGods.

Gabby Douglas put herself first and her desire to be an Olympian. You can’t become an Olympic champion by being raggedy.

I also know that as Black women we are socialized to put our mothers, our children, our husbands, our wives, our girlfriends, our boyfriends, our step-children, our brothers first. But never us, and we suffer for that. Our lives are constrained in particular ways when we do that.

So Gabby, I see your gravity defying, futuristic Black girl self.

Gabby Douglas give you goosebumps?

Why is it so hard for people to acknowledge how White mainstream beauty standards figure into this conversation?