The Time is Now

A few posts ago, I mentioned that I was working on a few projects and that I’d be sharing more details soon. Well, soon is now!

For the past several months I’ve been working on starting a small press, and I’m happy to say that BLF Press is now live and open for submissions.  It has been a labor of love, and I know that I’m wandering into treacherous waters. However, I believe that I am moving forward under the power of my Black feminist foremothers, who also did the improbable and lived to inspire generations of writers and book lovers all over the world.

I also take my cues from Jewelle Gomez, who wondered in her now famous essay, “But Some of us are Brave Lesbians: The Absence of Black Lesbian Fiction,” what would become of Black lesbian writing. I am also reminded of Audre Lorde’s difficulty trying to find a publisher for her biomythography, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name.  I dare say that today, Black lesbian fiction seems to be thriving, and that the ability to self-publish has given more women the power to see themselves in print.  But I believe that we must do more. Our lives, our stories, and our experiences are still marginalized. So many of us have stories to tell, and I’d like to help writers develop and get their work into the hands of readers who will love it as much as we do.  I believe this work is necessary.

We are building a team of experienced editors and designers, and we are ready to help you create your best work. Come see us over at BLF Press, and if you like what you see, help us spread the word.

Love and light,

S.O.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference: “But Some of us are Brave Lesbians: The Absence of Black Lesbian Fiction.”
Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology. Eds. E. Patrick Johnson and
Mae G. Henderson. Durham: Duke University Press, 2005. 289-297. Print.

Reasons

Reason #239,473 I love my girlfriend:

Me: Guess what? I started a new story today!

Her: Story? Don’t you have something else you need to be working on?

Me: I knew you were going to say that! (Sheepishly) I’ve reworked my schedule, I’m reading for the diss after lunch.

Her: Mmmm hmmm. Don’t make me put you on restriction!

Welp! Back to diss work it is! 

Back to Work!

After a glorious two-week break, I’m back at home and sharpening up the pencils (figuratively of course, who does that?), to get back to work on the dissertation.  We had a wonderful time in Florida, and we also got to spend a little time with T.’s family on our trip down.  She’s back across the pond, but will be back in a couple of months on her next rotation.

In the mean time, I’ve got work to do, and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m almost there y’all, almost there!  It’s been difficult to get back on my writing schedule, but I’m finally starting to feel like myself again and able to focus on my work.

For your viewing pleasure, here a couple of photos from the trip. :)

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Oh, did I tell y’all I am a space geek? We stopped by the U.S. Space and Rocket Center on the way back home!

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Summer Plans, Or Nah?

Summer is upon us, and while some of us are off to do fieldwork, working on articles for publication, visiting family, or whiling the days away on nothing at all, I’ve decided to devote this summer to completing and starting a couple of new projects, as well as having a bit of fun.

  • First on the list is wrapping up this dissertation. I am so over grad school and its attending melodrama, and I’m just ready to move on with my life.  I’ve mostly enjoyed my experiences there, and I am grateful for the friendships I’ve forged and the lessons I’ve learned in graduate school. But it’s time, y’all. It’s time.
  • Related to the grad school shenanigans is the cancellation of my summer course due to low enrollment. I was pretty hyped about teaching this course on LGBTQ identities and popular culture, but I do believe that this is a blessing in disguise. My diss completion timeline just got a boost,  and I’ll have time to work on some other writing projects I’ve started. More on this later.
  • The JOB SEARCH.  I’ll go on the academic job market this year, but I’m also looking for alt-ac and post ac jobs. A girl’s gotta have options, ya’ know?
  • I don’t want to reveal too much about all the pots I’ve got on the stove right now, but I can share one thing:   I’m thinking about starting a podcast on Black lesbian literature and writers, past and present. What do y’all think? Would any of you listen? Be a guest on the show? I’d love to hear your suggestions. I’m in the planning stages, so email me if you want to talk about it.
  • Me and the Mrs. are heading to Florida next week to celebrate her birthday and one year of relationship bliss. We are looking forward to the R&R!
  • I’ve just come back from a couple of weeks with the fam, which is always a blast. I didn’t get to see many of my friends, but not for want of trying.

This is about the extent of my plans for the next couple of months. What are YOU doing this summer?

Dr. Maya Angelou was America’s most phenomenal woman

Originally posted on theGrio:

Dr. Maya Angelou, who kicked down the door for many African-American and other female artists, passed away Wednesday morning. She was 86.

Born Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, but raised off and on in Stamps, Arkansas, by her paternal grandmother, Annie Henderson, as well as in various cities in the Midwest and on the West Coast, nothing in Maya Angelou’s early life or the times in which she lived hinted at the global stature she would one day attain.

A poet, memoirist, dancer, singer, actress, playwright, producer, director, teacher, civil rights activist and women’s rights advocate, there were no limits to her outlets for creative expression or her capacity to champion justice and equality. Her life was a testament to the power of possibility as well as an affirmation of courage and daring.

The journey she memorialized in her six autobiographical books, including the…

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Bay Area Lesbian History Archives Project

Hey y’all! This post is a shout out to my friend Lenn Keller in support of her latest project. She is an activist, filmmaker, historian, and community archivist.  She is also the founding organizer of the Bay Area Lesbian History Archives Project, and I am honored to be able to support her work.  Lenn is working to expand the historical record to include Black lesbian histories and experiences, and you all know I’ve written about the lack of Black lesbian representation in lesbian historical texts, as well as in certain archives.

I met Lenn in 2009 while doing research for my dissertation. I came across the website for her film, A Persistent Desire, and contacted her about doing an interview. After talking with Lenn for hours on the phone, I realized that what I thought was simply a research problem was actually a larger issue: the lack of accessible archival material that documented Black lesbian lives and experiences in the United States. Very soon after our first talk, I made a trip to the GLBT Historical Center, and what I found there supported my hunch: If we want to make sure that the artifacts that make up our lived experiences are valued, we need to create our own archives. This is why the Bay Area Lesbian History Archives is so important. Barbara and Beverly Smith wrote in 1977, “As Black women, as Lesbians and feminists, there is no guarantee that our lives will ever be looked at with the kind of respect given to certain people from other races, sexes, or classes. There is similarly no guarantee that our movement will survive long enough to become safely historical. We must document ourselves now.” This what the BALHAP seeks to do, and we must support this work now, before our histories are lost.

So, please visit the Bay Area Lesbian History Archives Project Facebook page, and contact Lenn if you want to help with this important work.  I’ll be posting an interview with her on this blog later this summer.

The struggle continues,

Sista Outsider