With your help, we will be able to bring African Lesbian Activists fighting for the rights of LGBTQ people in 11 African countries to the U.S., so they can tell their stories, be part of the revolutionary performance, Mother Tongue Monologues, and so we can build solidarity across gender-justice movements.
We cordially invite you to contribute to Black Women's Blueprint's Mother Tongue Monologues for Lesbian Ancestral Wives and Revolutionary Women Speaking the Unspeakable, as we make a critical pivot in the movement for gender-justice, speak truth to power and link our local stories to the global voices of women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people and allies who want to love freely and without persecution. February 16-18 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York, NY.
This play is for you. This play is about us. Women-loving-women, men-loving-men, human-loving-humans who have had to love, in secret, in shame, and far too often, in fear. This work of daring truth telling is about those of us who have watched love ones live in isolation, trepidation, and with too few affirmations. And, this night is about those of us who by the grace of the universe and beat of our boots, fought to create spaces where we could love, live, and lust in full bloom. Cause like it was said in the 1990’s: every time we make love, we win. And anytime we mouth the words to our wives, husbands, or gender non-conforming sweethearts, we rewrite the story and defy the status quo. Tonight, we are here to celebrate, rage, and honor the courage it has taken to persist. This production is our moment.
Poets, drummers, dancers and actors dramatizing and performing community will speak of gay and lesbian identities of people in Black communities that remain even today, hidden, intensely controversial, and/or dismissed as an insignificant aspect of their lives. The Black lesbian in particular, who stands at the crossroads of two well-developed ideologies in America, one about women and one about “the Negro”, remains a dangerous site saturated with the belief that female sexual energy deserves punishment.
The performance shatters the dominant paradigm that insists on seeing only tragedy in lesbian existence, by lifting up the narratives of ancestral wives—lesbians of pre-colonial Africa, contemporary lesbians, and defiant lesbians like Barbara Smith, Audre Lorde, Cheryl Clark, and Jewelle Gomez. These women are among many who’ve contributed to liberation struggles, the American civil rights, Black power, feminist and gay rights movements and whose existence continue to take on a particular poignancy of courage. For Black women, trapped in families, communities, and internalized hatred, their words have been a place of solace, understanding, and validation. Their words for some have been the breath needed to keep living---affirming the right to exist and revel in our splendor.
Transgender men and women, gender non-conformers and straight allies will also share center stage as a force to demand an end to domination. Visitors from 11 African countries, funded by your generosity, will also be present at the production to bear witness to these stories, tell their own, build bridges and solidarity with gender justice movements across the Atlantic, and ensure that this evening is the start to a movement.
When you open your wallet to contribute to Mother Tongue Monologues, you send a powerful statement that our sexuality will not be silenced. If you have ever been paralyzed by fear, uncertainty or ignorance, now is your time to step up and show support to someone you were not able to do that for before. Stand with us in solidarity. The costs of a high-impact show, however, are not low.
Now in its third year, Mother Tongue Monologues has been wildly successful-- a critical catharsis for the Black community and allies to gather and speak truth to power. This year, we want to speak the unspeakable.
We lay claim to all that is lush, rich, warm, hollow, happy and somber. It is all ours. We lay claim to moving freely, from shore to shore and land to land. Every place belongs to us. We lay claim to intimacy. We lay claim to love.
Join us on our journey. Please donate.
We understand that times are difficult for many, but that ability to pay should never interfere with the ability to give voice to our collective demands. If you are unable to donate to the production, there are a few other actions you can take to help us reach our goal. We'd be forever grateful if you could:
- Share our campaign on your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or other social networks and ask your contacts to donate on your behalf (you can use the Indiegogo buttons right on this page!)
- Write a blog post about Mother Tongue Monologues and ask your readers to donate.
- Talk about Black sexual politics with your friends, family, neighbors and young women in your sphere and tell them about the campaign.
Have questions or want to collaborate on outreach? Shoot an email to email@example.com