Y’all going? I am!
I just downloaded my copy of K-Rho: The Sweet Taste of Sisterhood by La Toya Hankins and I’ll be ready for Summer Book Club next week. I’ve only got a few days left to read the book, but I’m sure I can do it. 🙂
Hope to see some of you there!
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,
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.
Thus far, I’ve just been posting photos for the Black History Month Photo Challenge, but I’d like to offer a word or several about the book I’ve chosen for today’s challenge. As a really young adult, Alice Walker was the Black woman writer that I read more than anyone else. This may have been at the height of her writing career, I really don’t remember, but all I know is that I devoured pretty much everything she wrote. I remember finishing The Temple of My Familiar for the first time ( I was 19 or 20) and wondering what the heck I had just read. I didn’t “get” it.
So I read it again.
And this time, when I finished the novel, I knew that I had been changed forever. I cried at the end, because I knew that Lissie and Hal would be together forever, regardless of the form their bodies would take. That love could transcend our earthly bodies and had the power to change lives, although that might sometimes mean leaving your lover. That we are intimately connected to our ancestors, animal and human. Every time I read the book I cried at the end, and looking at the cover for the book this morning brought tears to my eyes. The image of that little red slipper on the lion’s foot just does it every time. I love this book so much that for the next several years, I read it again at least once a year.
I also knew after reading this book that I would write about Black women’s writing for the rest of my life. It took me a few years to do it consistently, but now I can truly say that my life’s work revolves around reading and writing about Black women’s literature, and even writing a little bit of my own. Although I haven’t read a new novel by Alice Walker in a few years, I credit her with introducing me to the myriad ways that we can experience life and love on this earth, and the ways in which words have the power to impact our lives. She is a master storyteller, and although it was very difficult for me to choose one book to celebrate today, I chose The Temple of My Familiar because more than anything, it is love.