Monday, March 11, 2019

We're Getting to the Real Good Part



Have you subscribed to my essays, lectures, resources, and insights on Patreon, yet? If not, you're missing out on a really transformative exploration and discussion of the Ancestors. Utilizing art, written work and other media, we have been deep diving into the ancestral lives of those who came before and interrogating the ways in which their realities and fates impact ours in the present. It is painful, enlightening, inspirational, and liberating. Subscribe at any level (contributing any dollar amount available on the subscription teirs  and gain access to every resource, every lecture, every essay and every single bit of exclusive, original content that I provide for my Patreon community.

If you would rather not subscribe but just feel compelled support the important work that I'm doing to facilitate social change, create tools to disrupt and dismantle systems of oppression, and teach liberation through common sense and ethics, you're always welcome to make a one time contribution in any amount that you choose to 
paypal.me/BlakBirdPublishing.

All donations no matter how lavish or modest and patronage on any level is always greatly appreciated and simply ensures that I, a black woman, am not constantly producing knowledge and art and ultimately laboring for free. The more that I am able to be supported in my work with more than just applause and kind words (which are welcomed and valued), the more work I am able to produce. It would please the ancestors, indeed.

Speaking of of pleasing the ancestors, if you have been coveting  the shirt that I'm wearing and have the desire to support a woman of color -- which I would very much so encourage during Women's History Month -- go here, put one in your cart, add another in redfor a friend, check out, be blessed and be a blessing.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Hey, I still do poems! I'll be dusting some of my very best off on Wednesday night at The World Stage in Leimert Park at 8:30 pm to share. I hope you're able to stop by! And the night isn't just all about mywork -- you can come early for the Anansi Writer's Workshop (perfect if you have some poetry or prose your working on and want to get feedback about) and/or stay later for the open mic (if you want to share a completed work or are just hungry to hear more).

There is the request of a $5 donation at the door.

The World Stage, in case you didn't know is a cultural institution in Los Angeles and a haven for black art, located in "The Harlem of L.A.", Leimert Park. It's an important place that has fostered some important work and it is always an honor for me to read there. I look forward to hopefully seeing you there.

4321 Degnan Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90008
7:30 pm - 10 pm



For details on future performances, events, and other fun stuff, be sure to check in at the home of all things Nikki Blak,  blakisbeautiful.comand follow me on all the social medias! You can also subscribe to me on Patreonand get your learn and burn [it down] on. I'll see you there.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019


ANNOUNCEMENT!

By it's very nature, Patreon, is a space and resource that is not equitable, meaning that everyone cannot possibly gain access to the benefits and services provided there. Firstly, you have to have access to the internet, which is proving to be the most obvious divide between the rich and the poor. Then, you have to possess a device that allows you to make use of the internet. Finally, you have to have either a credit or debit card to pay for a subscription. All of these hoops that one has to jump through to even get to step one of subscribing could likely prove to be entirely too challenging. If you're saying to yourself, "Nikki, those are basic things," or have not considered that for many, internet, computers, smart phones, bank accounts and credit cards are just not accessible, congratulations, you have class privilege.

With that in mind, I was feeling quite convicted about the fact that the way that I had my Patreon set up was perpetuating so much of what I claim I despise. The idea of requiring people to pay moreto gain more accessto something that, I don't consider to even be optional or a luxury, but should be readily accessible and widely distributed. Yes, having been socialized under capitalism, it totally makes sense to us that the more you can pay, the more you should have -- however, that goes against everything I believe to be right. Some people don't have more than $5 of discretionary income that they can afford to spend on something that isn't food, rent, utilities, or transportation. Why should they be penalized or have access denied to something that I'm clearly already doing the labor of providing? It made no sense. It wasn't ethical.

As a result, last month, I re-vamped my Patreon subscription service to a pay what you can model. The lowest tier at which you can subscribe is $5 per month and currently, the highest is $150 per month. You know what you can afford to pay. All that I ask is that you put your money where your heart is. If you choose to subscribe, I thank you, encourage you to take full advantage of the private learning space and resources provided, and maybe tell a friend.

Contributing at the lower levels gives you access to the following:

  • Aquarterly "Experience List" loaded with thoughtfully curated resources that provide the foundation for our discussions in the private learning space
  • Access to that learning space
  • A quarterly study guide designed to challenge you in your critical thinking about and connection to our areas of exploration as we metabolize the materials in the Experience List
  • Video lectures in which I dissect and provide insight about current events and pervasive social issues as they pertain to our areas of exploration
  • My own original written work that further analyzes, interprets, and interrogates our resources
  • Access to me for any questions or further dialogue
  • Tools, goals, and inspiration to go forth and co-create a more just, equitable society.
Subscribing at the higher tiers gives you access to the same cirruculum, space, and resources. However, you have the added benefit of knowing that by contributing more, you're ensuring that I am compensated fairly for the labor and time that it takes for me to curate resources and generate exclusive content, as many subscribers may not have the means to pay more than the minimum. You can think think of it as a sort of scholarship that you're making possible. When we all contribute what we are able to in a collective effort, everyone is able to benefit and no one goes without.

I'm trying to do my part to create and live in a world where that is the expectation and the practice.

I thank you for doing your part as well.
If you would rather not subscribe but just feel compelled to support the important work that I'm doing to facilitate social change, create tools to disrupt and dismantle systems of oppression, and teach liberation through common sense and ethics, you're always welcome to make a one time contribution in any amount that you choose to paypal.me/BlakBirdPublishing.

All donations no matter how lavish or modest and patronage on any level is always greatly appreciated. It's Women's History Month and I hope you're in the spirit of supporting businesses, organizations, and movements run by women as well as women artists. If not me, take your pick! There are so many of us out in the world doing great things.

Friday, February 1, 2019



Happy Black History Month! Just checking in to let you know about what's going on for the month of February and to give you something to look forward to besides constant shivers and general dreary weather.

This Monday, February 4th (Rosa Parks' birthday), I'm one of the featured poets at Poets and Allies in Altadena. I always love reading at this spot and would love it more if you would join me for a night of poetry, that is if you happen to be in the area. Details:


Sidewalk Cafe
7:30 PM – 10 PM
2057 N. Los Robles Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91104

In other news, this month in Patreon, we will be discussing the ancestors -- mine, yours, er'body's. I'm really excited to get into this topic with the exploration of art, written work and other media and encourage you to jump in with me. If you have yet to subscribe now is the perfect time because it's only gonna get better and better from here. If you would rather not subscribe but just feel compelled support the important work that I'm doing to facilitate social change, create tools to disrupt and dismantle systems of oppression, and teach liberation through common sense and ethics, you're always welcome to make a one time contribution in any amount that you choose to paypal.me/BlakBirdPublishing.

All donations no matter how lavish or modest and patronage on any level is always greatly appreciated and simply ensures that I, a black woman, am not constantly producing knowledge and art and ultimately laboring for free. The more that I am able to be supported in my work with more than just applause and kind words (which are welcomed and valued), the more work I am able to produce. It would please the ancestors, indeed.


Speaking of pleasing the ancestors, if you want the shirt that I'm wearing and would like to support another woman of color, amazing artist, mama, and good friend of mine, go here, put one in your cart, check out, and be blessed. 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Let's Go Steady



Something that I've had in the works for quite some time is figuring out how we can see more of each other. By "see more of each other" I mean, I share what I'm passionate about and well versed in, namely, facilitating social change through education that is radically womanist, intersectionally feminist, and anti-global white supremacist in nature. I've wanted the interactions to be meaningful and valuable. I wanted them to be edifying for you, but I didn't want them to deplete me. I struggled with how to make this possible.

Finally, after much consideration and brainstorming lots of ideas, I decided to create a subscription service through Patreon (which houses  a ton of subscription programs from many amazing makers, educators, and creatives). Thanks to Patreon's internet magic, you can get a monthly dose of yours truly for as little as $5. At the moment, subscription tiers are available for up to a nominal cost of $25 and give you access to reading lists, my essays, and lectures. In case you weren't already well aware, I'm pretty colorful, so these are anything but your typical, tedious, dry readings and talks. I like to laugh, I've been told I have good taste, and I'm quite the smart ass. You and I are gonna get along, fine.




More content and benefits are soon to come and that will mean more levels at which to subscribe in the coming months, so stay tuned! If you're on a tight budget and can't subscribe but would like to support the important work that I'm doing to facilitate social change, create tools to disrupt and dismantle systems of oppression, and teach liberation through common sense and ethics, then you can subscribe at a $1 level or simply send any one time contribution in the amount that you choose to paypal.me/BlakBirdPublishing. All contributions no matter how lavish or modest are always greatly appreciated and simply ensure that I, a black woman, am not constantly producing knowledge and art from which others are benefiting and ultimately laboring for free. The more that I am able to be supported in my work with more than just applause and kind words (which are welcomed and valued), the more work I am able to produce. Issa win-win, friends.






If a radical womanist, intersectional feminist, anti-global white supremacist, sociological, critical race theorist subscription is not your jam, per se and you're not in the position to just throw money at me because you think I'm great, you can always purchase one, a couple, or all of my books. They make great gifts for yourself or someone you don't hate, all year long. Actually, they're perfect for people you hate, too.

I think that ultimately, the takeaways for this particular entry are: 

(1) Don't have black women and other marginalized people laboring for free. It's not right. Even if they love the work they're committed to doing, it is not equitable to benefit from it without some form of compensation, because it does cost them something, whether it be time, money for materials, physical exertion, sleep, attention diverted away from other endeavors and relationships, and energy in general to provide, produce, and create. My lived experience was hard earned. My formal education is something that I'll be paying lots of real American dollars for for for many, many years. None of what I possess and feel compelled to share is actually free, so let's value it in a way that doesn't foster feelings of exploitation and allows me to keep sharing it. 

(2) Put your money where your heart is. As always, I want to encourage you to invest in the things that nurture you and those around you and to strive to make your bank statement a reflection of your values and priorities. If you don't provide financial backing for the things you say that we individually and collectively need, then it won't exist. 

This is important. May we all prosper. 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Hi, Stranger.

It sort of looked like I fell off of the planet, but I didn't.


I'm still here. Still ain't got no hair. Still swarthy. Still surly. I moved bunch of times, aged, but didn't look like it, kept on raising my kids, sent one to college and the other to kindergarten, and finally got my degree. I still write, but they are rarely poems, nowadays. I hope to be a conduit for that type of thing again one of these days and other forms of art but in the meantime, my focus is the social sciences, radical womanism, intersectional feminism, reproductive justice, anti-violent parenting, and disrupting and dismantling systems of oppression. My favorite color was pretty much always blue, but it went to green, then back to blue, and now, I'm fond of purple. My favorite flowers are stargazer lilies. I love apple pie and ice cream. One of my pet peeves is people that don't read. Oh, and anti-intellectualism. Sometimes I like animals more than people but I think a part of the problem with people is that we often treat animals better than we treat each other. So, I just try to treat people right and we'll see where that takes me.

I'll be back here in this space, sharing randomness on a fairly consistent basis.

If you feel like you want to observe my shenanigans pretty much day in and day out or interact with me, I'm on the Twitter, the book of faces, and the Instagram. If you want love notes from me, sporadically appearing in your email inbox as if by magic, I have a mailing list that you can sign up for. If you want to know where I "reside" on the interwebs, there of course, is a website, blakisbeautiful.com. And finally, if you would like to learn from and with me as I create tools to disrupt and dismantle systems of oppression, you can subscribe to me. You can donate to me. You can buy books written by me. You can wish me well, send me good energy, praise the creator for allowing us to live in community with each other, and thank my ancestors for their good DNA and protection as I'm on my journey.

I appreciate it all. Be well.