(SCROLL DOWN FOR TRANSCRIPT OF VIDEO...CLOSE CAPTIONING COMING SOON)
Introducing a vaguely epic book of list poems by Alexis Pauline Gumbs that consider what it is possible to know about the most famous Black women alive including Oprah Winfrey, Condoleezza Rice, Michelle Obama, Beyonce Knowles, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Tina Turner, Gabby Douglas, and Aretha Franklin. Part prayer part polemic this project is an intervention into the consumption of Black women. (As if you can possibly know.)
Download the book for a small donation to an as yet unfamous Black feminist enterprise here: scribd.com/doc/114139208/One-Hundred-and-One-Things-That-Are-Not-True-About-the-Most-Famous-Black-Women-Alive
Sista Dr. Lex's voice: "101 Things That Are Not True About the Most Famous Black Women Alive"
Song: "You know them/you see them/ that glitter in their eyes/they searching they feenin' for that feeling of desire/they want it like addicts except its sanitized/a life that glimmers like gold..."
Sista Dr. Lex's voice: (Laughs)
Title question: What inspired you to do this project?
Lex: So I know it seems strange for someone like me who spends most of my time really lifting up the legacy of Black feminists and unsung heroines who most people have NOT heard of to write something like 101 Things That Are Not True About the Most Famous Black Women Alive, but I wrote it because I still think about these women. As Black feminist, my spiritual practice is centered on what is available through loving Black women.
Title question: What do you want people to get out of this project?
Song: Staring at them glossy pages/every one looks so fine/but them issues don't tell you...
Lex: I feel like the way that they are consumed and the way they are offered up by the media interplays with all these stereotypes about Black women. I was hoping that by using this technique of 10 things that are not true about each of these women we could think about the fact that there is some critical thinking that should be going on as we observe and participate in the media representation of Black women that often isn't going on. So for me this is about practicing and making a space for that thinking and rethinking and questioning that I think we all deserve.
Song: But those issues don't tell you/ that it all comes with a price....
Title Question: What if these women read your poems?
Lex: (Silently laughing) That would be great!!! I would be really excited if these women read anything that I wrote. Ever. (Pause) I hope that if these women were to read these poems they would feel honored that someone wanted to think about them in a particular way, that somebody wanted to offer some space between the public persona and the assumptions and stereotypes that they're viewed through and what might be their interior life...or just the gesture towards towards the fact that they HAVE an interior life that can't be known and can't be claimed by the public.
Song: Do whatever/it takes to shine...
Title question: What is one thing that is not true about Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs?
Lex: I don't know what I'm doing. :)