This week's Friday Friends are on a road to preserving herstory. Julia Wallace
and Alexis Pauline Gumbs
are embarking on the Mobile Homecoming Projec
t, an essential and inspiring project for queer women of color of all ages. It's inspiring to know that these herstories aren't dying.
This is a time when I sometimes wonder if the history of queer people of color vanishes as soon as it's created -- fears echoed by the other folks present at last weekend's Black Queer Society. When asked by co-founder Essex Lordes
why a gathering like Black Queer Society is important, we all had our own words for the difficulty of finding other black queer folks in San Francisco, in spite of promises
of a city of diversity and equality.
When the Mobile Homecoming Project touched down in the Bay Area last weekend, they stopped in to the Black Queer Society gathering. And I'm so glad they did. In their bright smiles I saw hope, that at least part of our journey to finding and supporting one another lies in our connections to other generations, and in our preserving of history. History, that is, in the form of herstory that is still alive and within our reach if we just open up and talk to one another.
So that's what we did. We shared delicious Afro-vegan food (plus decadent mac 'n cheese), talked about everything from music to gentrification to quirky black girls
, and of course fed on learning about what the Mobile Homecoming Project has been setting out to accomplish.
Julia and Alexis are taking a trip in an eco-friendly RV, surviving from the kindness of others
with our elders. They're calling Mobile Homecoming "an innovative and loving response to a deep craving for intergenerational connection" as they set out finding the stories of black women, trans men and gender queer visionaries in the generations before theirs. But I'd refer you to their website
to read more, in their own insightful words, about why their journey is so important.
I can share from my experience why spending time with the women of Mobile Homecoming and their friends was so enlightening. It was the reminder that histories that are erased from mainstream circles cannot be erased from our memories. We hold the power to preserve our stories and draw our family trees as we know them. Folks like Julia and Alexis are spreading this idea throughout the country, and once we start sharing our stories, we can't be silenced. It's just as June Jordan said, in words that guide the Mobile Homecoming Project: "We are the ones we have been waiting for."