With the awful realization that we are indeed in a fight for our very survival coming over me for the past few years, I’ve asked myself this question: what can I do right now, today? With my resources limited or tapped out, I’ve often felt helpless, especially when I’ve had to go to others for help so many times. But today, I realized one thing I can do.
I know that everyone is doing syllabi right now and the idea might seem trite or trivial, but this is what I can contribute. A Black Feminist Apocalypse/Dystopian Survival Syllabus. (Wow that’s a mouthful.) The reason I feel this is necessary because I keep thinking of Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents. She wasn’t trying to be prophetic, but she was. And the refrain I’ve been seeing since the November election: Black women tried to tell us. Well, yes we have.
So in this spirit, I am putting together some works that address the issues we face now in hopes of providing a good resource to help us get through these coming days and survive together. This is not an exhaustive list. I need some help putting together resources in many areas here, so I am making this a Google Doc. However, I am making it “view only” to moderate and prevent trolls and other assholes from putting bogus information or other derailing tactics here. If you have something to contribute, please @ me on Twitter @IndasCorner so I can include the links.
A few words and disclaimers: not all these references are Black women, but most of them center the marginalized in a useful way. If you are aware of where to get these sources as low or no-cost, please send that information. If you are able to buy or contribute to these sources for yourself and/or others, please do so. I am including many POC and WOC, particularly in QUILTBAG communities who are already underpaid and struggling, so please make contributions to them when you can. I am also trying to include links to sources other than Amazon or other big box stores to help.
Furthermore, if you have local resources and organizations for many of the blank areas such as urban farming and self-defense, please send them with links to these sources. National organizations are great, but there are many local orgs doing the work with little to no resources at their disposal. Also, if you know DIY sources, please send them along.
So in this spirit, let’s start the syllabus and keep it going as long as necessary.
@yeloson – Fist of the Southside (self-defense podcast)
Bibi Bourelly – Riot
Jamila Woods – Blk Girl Soldier
Labelle – Something in the Air/The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Lauryn Hill – Rebel/I Find It Hard to Say (2016)
Nina Simone – Pirate Jenny
Sate – Feel
Vita Elizabeth Cleveland – Hell Y’all Ain’t Talmbout
Blogs and Websites
@so_treu – Antiblackness Is a Theory (suspended but plans to revive)
Jennifer Marie Brissett – Elysium
Nalo Hopkinson – Brown Girl in the Ring
Octavia Butler – Parable of the Sower
Octavia Butler – Parable of the Talents
Film and Television
Ava Duvernay (dir.) – 13th
Jennifer Phang (dir.) – Advantageous
Lizzie Borden (dir.) – Born in Flames
Gillo Pontecorvo (dir.) – The Battle of Algiers
Luchina Fisher (dir.) – Danger Word
Alexis Pauline Gumbs, China Martens, and Mai’a Williams (eds.) – Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines
Audre Lorde – The Cancer Journals
Ching-In Chen, Jai Dulani and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (eds.) – The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activists Communities
Ella Shohat and Robert Sham – Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media
Mariame Kaba and Billy Dee – Black/Inside: A History of Captivity & Confinement in the United States
Monica Trinidad (ed.) – A Support Zine for Marissa Alexander (zine)
No Selves to Defend: A Legacy of Criminalizing Women of Color for Self-Defense (zine)
No Selves to Defend: Poems About Criminalization and Violence Against Women (zine)
Self-Care and Healing
I’Nasah – Death Valley, Or How to Not Kill Yourself in Less Than Ten Days (zine, out of print)
Ntozake Shange – for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf
Se’mana Thompson (ed.) – Queer Indigenous Girl (zine)
Third Woman Press Zine – Calling All Goddesses (zine)
Web Series or Shorts
Need More Sources for (please indicate whether these are book, zine, film, etc. sources):
Sewing/Making Clothes, Fabrics
Podcasts and web vids specifically about survival, decolonization, any of the above subjects such as self-defense, etc. that center marginalized people