Letter from the Publisher: Black Love Convergence

Posted by – February 28, 2019
Categories: General

“Loving blackness as political resistance transforms our ways of looking and being and thus creates the conditions necessary for us to move against the forces of domination and death and reclaim black life.”
—bell hooks

Dear readers,

North Atlantic Books is proud to support the work of the Black Love Convergence. In lieu of our normal Letter from the Publisher, we’d like to highlight the voice of At-Large Acquisitions Editor Lisbeth White, who attended last year’s Convergence and will be facilitating a workshop in 2019.

It’s a tale as old as the 2016 elections: I awoke that Wednesday morning frayed and raw, feeling terrified and defeated, and, along with so many others, bereft of hope. Of course, this experience is truthfully much, much older for many folks living in America. And that post-election morning, the fear I was feeling was not only for Black communities but for all people whose history in this country has been one of exploitation and abuse. But as I sat and struggled and sifted through what had happened and what might happen next, a clarity of purpose arose (through sheer grace!). For me, it has become vital to remember what it is I am fighting for more so than what I am railing against. For me, it has become clear that the key to life and liberation is to infuse the communities that are important to me with care, resources to thrive, kindness, attentiveness … love.

So obviously when the Black Love Convergence broke ground last year at Franklinton Center at Bricks (a former plantation turned civil rights hub), it didn’t take much to get me there. This convening sought to create a space of deep refuge for people across the Black Diaspora and, in my experience, the replenishment and upliftment that is the promise of deep refuge sprung forth. With Blackness as a unifying identity marker that includes experiences from Africa, the Americas, Europe, Canada, our Afro-Latinx/a/o family, Caribbeans, and those of Mixed Race experience, and a definition of love as all the relationships sustaining us to continue to live into freedom, the convergence opened inquiry into liberation with both challenge and tenderness.

I left the convergence feeling a sense of empowerment light on my shoulders, easy to carry and enact in the world. As someone with firm commitment to healing justice, the reminder of the legacy of Black Life—the potency, the joy, the tenderness—is not only a respite from current and historical trauma, but the antidote to suffering. It is, as bell hooks and many others assert, the alchemical element that fuels transformation, an alchemy that is not to be slept on in these times full of potential for great harm and great healing.

In 2019, Black Love Convergence will be hosting five activations centering Black Diasporic healing/art justice practice for restoration, creativity, and innovation in our movements. This freedom work can be supported by donating or sponsoring today. Sponsorship starts at just $250, and perks include a free ticket to the Black Love Convergence Weekend.

Donations of any amount are accepted here. If you’re interested in joining NAB as a sponsor, click here. And if you have any questions, you can contact the Founder of Black Love Convergence, Eb. Brown (he/him) at info@carestrategies.com.

About the Author

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Lisbeth White spent her childhood in the natural splendor of the Pacific Northwest. The deep awe and intimacy she experienced with landscape at an early age is the root of her passion for engaging in creative communities that center ecology/the environment, transformative healing practices and studies of ancestry. After obtaining her BFA in Creative Writing at University of New Mexico, she hit the Northern California coast to complete her Master’s degree in Expressive Arts Therapy and spend some time performing with the Tika Morgan Dance company in San Francisco. Lisbeth joined NAB for an editorial internship in 2017 after realizing she had read a solid two-thirds of NAB’s authors and needed more people with whom to nerd out about healing. She’s currently wandering about the woods of the eastern seaboard, offering workshops in decolonizing relationships to nature for women of color and eating chicken-fried tofu.