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july hive mind update

Happy Saturday y’all! I hope the 4th of July is providing you a brief respite from capitalism’s claims on your time. If you’re taking out the grill this weekend (and making veggie burgers or elote) hit my line! Summer sixteen is here, and it’s just as fire as Drake prophesied. Scroll down for:
  • [belated] #FBF with pics from AfroPunk Paris and my Eurotrip last month
  • Peep This Poet featuring Alice Walker’s reaction to Jesse Williams’ BET speech. Also: revisit Frederick Douglass’ “What to the Slave is the 4th of July” and hear about the public reading I participated in
  • Updates + Upcoming Events with deets on where you can find me and my poems, online and IRL

Before I sign off, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the victims of the Istanbul bombing/shooting attack that injured and killed nearly 300 innocent people. Attacks on brown people across the ocean usually don’t get the same airtime on western media, which makes it even more important to stand in solidarity with them.



#FlashbackFriday: AfroPunk Etc

Some of you may know that I lost my phone at the end of my trip to Europe. In the end it turned out fine—I have a replacement phone and, more importantly, all my pics! Check out some of my faves below:
Amsterdam: biking everywhere, gorgeous canals and cray calzones
Paris: AfroPunk snapshots, creme brûlée, Angel Haze, and Saul Williams 
Porto, Portugal: vistas and street art for days 
Lisboa, Portugal: festivals and views from the other side of the Atlantic 

Peep This Poet

Alice Walker
Most people will agree: Jesse Williams took us to church that BET acceptance speech –all the praise hand emojis- (Meanwhile Stacey Dash continues to coon for the cameras, spouting reheated supremacist-sympathizer rhetoric and once again prompting black folx everywhere to wonder: Who asked you anyway? #clueless #takeaseat) Lucky for us, worthwhile writers like Alice Walker took to the internet to praise Williams’ speech. Here’s a piece of a poem she wrote in reaction. Click the pic to read the whole text.

          blackness is not where whiteness
          wanders off to die: but it is
          like the dark matter
          between stars and galaxies in
          the Universe
          that ultimately
          holds it all


Frederick Douglass

On Thursday the Museum of African American History and MassHumanities partnered with various organizations to hold their 8th annual community reading of Frederick Douglass’ “What to the Slave is the 4th of July” on the Boston Commons. I lined up with fifty-two other people to read sections of his famous speech. So many of his words still ring true. Peep my piece below:

Fellow-citizens; above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, to-day, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not faithfully remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, “may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!” To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs, and to chime in with the popular theme, would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world. My subject, then fellow-citizens, is AMERICAN SLAVERY[...] Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future.

A quick google search showed that Hollywood’s Wise Black Dads have lent their voices to contemporary readings of the speech. Click here for a reading by Morgan Freeman, and here for another by James Earl Jones. (Find the full text here.)

Updates + Upcoming Events

  • Earlier this week a few of my poems were published online over at Public Pool! Click here for a preview of some poems from Testify (plus a bonus clapback at dusty dudes, just in time for sundress season)
  • I’ll be reading at the Boston Poetry Marathon on Friday, July 15 around 7:30pm. The Boston Poetry Marathon gathers one hundred poets together to bring you a weekend jam packed with more poetry than you know what to do with. Check out the fb invite here for the full schedule and updates. Click the pic below for deets on the after party Friday night 
  • In the last update I mentioned I’ll be presenting at the NBWS Next Generation Women of Color Summit. Later this summer I’ll be rolling out free worksheets and resources on topics like defining values and goals, energy management vs. time management, and the hustle commandments of being a freelance creative. Keep an eye on your inbox and pre-register for the conference below!
  • My hustle homie and I are dreaming and scheming some dope daylong retreats in the near future. –cue Birdman handrub- Follow Whole Soul Health on facebook and IG to get the deets when they drop and hear about upcoming events. (Or sign up for the newsletter here.) In the meantime in between time, catch us at Make Shift this Wednesday for a POC yoga class inspired by Bey & K. Dot’s BET performance. The playlist is going to be fire! Click the pic for the fb invite, and I’ll see y’all on the mat!
Copyright © 2016 simone ivory john, All rights reserved.

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