Archive for January, 2008

Attention Bargain Shoppers – National Black Lesbian Conference Discount

Posted in Culture, Resources on January 31, 2008 by skyeviewtraveler

Attention Bargain Shoppers
The National Black Lesbian Conference early bird registration results in an $80.00 discount. Now that’s a bargain!

Big Up Zuna Institute for keeping our communities connected.

Maximum respect.



Zuna Institute’s National Black Lesbian Conference, the only event of its kind, is the preeminent assembly of Black Lesbian activists, educators, community organizers, and professionals. The National Black Lesbian Conference provides attendees with opportunities for leadership development and skills-building, business development, professional networking, and continues to develop and expand our platform for future advocacy. The past three conferences have fostered an environment and provided a space where hundreds of Black Lesbians have convened to enhance their skills through a holistic approach to well being, receive information, commemorate each other, and network with like-minded members of the community.

Time To Be Renewed — renew your commitment to family, community service, activism, and health awareness. Renew at NBLC 2008.

The Conference will be held at the red rock Casino Resort Spa
11011 W. Charleston Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89135

Early registration $195.00 until March 31
Standard registration $275.00 April 1st until June 30th.
Onsite registration $325.00
Includes all conference sessions, Banquet, Sunday Brunch, and Entertainment.

Direct Link to Registration:

Healing Rage

Posted in Culture on January 29, 2008 by skyeviewtraveler

“Rage has lost its respectability. We need to make rage respectable again.”
[June Jordan, A Place of Rage documentary.]


I highly recommend Ruth King’s workshop. In 2003, I participated in the workshop conducted at the National Black Lesbian Conference and was quiet transformed by the experience. Good healing medicine for those who want it.

Transforming Our Rage Inheritance
A Daylong Retreat For People Of Color
With Ruth King

February 10, 2007
10 am – 4 pm
East Bay Meditation Center
2147 Broadway @ 22nd St., downtown Oakland
Open to all People of Color
We each embody a rage inheritance—the unresolved rage of our parents and ancestors—that we live out of unconscious loyalty to them. The day’s practice will incorporate African indigenous wisdom and Family Constellations methodology as we reveal entanglements with the fate of family ancestors. We create a “knowing field” as we stand in for each other and decode these sacred legacies. Applying the Brahma Viharas:
Loving-Kindness (Metta), Compassion (Karuna), Sympathetic Joy (Mudita), and Equanimity (Upekkha), we reacquaint ourselves with our basic goodness and learn how to be at peace in our present-day relationships, lives, and service.

In this workshop, we:
• Let go of habitual pain patterns.
• Release long-standing traumas.
• Be present to and enjoy the moment.
• Expand perceptions of right and wrong.
• Balance life.
• Develop satisfying relationships.
• Rest well in body, mind and spirit.
• Embody satisfying and healing legacies.

In this profoundly intimate and experiential work, we experience the beauty and complexity of unconditional love. We discover how seeing, being, and honoring our past frees us to be powerful and genuine in our present-day relationships, lives, and service.

Cost: The teachings are offered without charge. You will be invited to support the teachings and our efforts by choosing your own level of voluntary donation to support the expenses of the East Bay Meditation Center and the teacher. Registration required: To register, please send an email (or reply to this email) with your full name, postal address and phone number to:
Registration is limited to 65 people.
Out of respect for people with environmental illnesses, please do not wear fragrances or scented products at EBMC events.

Ruth King has been practicing vipassana since 1992. She is a long-term student of Jack Kornfield and received Dzogchen transmission in 2006 from lineage holder Cecile Mchardy, fondly known as The Friendly Dragon. Ruth has a masters in clinical psychology, is a life coach and organizational
development consultant, and president of Bridges, Branches & Braids. Ruth is the author of Healing Rage-Women Making Inner Peace Possible, and the audio CD Soothing the Inner Flames of Rage-Meditations that Educate the
Heart & Transform the Mind.
Visit Ruth’s web site at
Find out more about East Bay Meditation Center at:

Cassandra Wilson @ Yoshis

Posted in Culture on January 28, 2008 by skyeviewtraveler


Who: Cassandra Wilson
When: January 29 – February 3, 2008
Where: Yoshis Jazz Club – Oakland
Cost: $32-$42


Cassandra Wilson
Jan 29, 2008 – Feb 3, 2008
Tues – Thurs all shows $32 & $36
Fri – Sun all shows $38 & $42

Reginald Veal, Bass

Marvin Sewell, Guitar

Herlin Riley, Drums

Lekan Babaloa, Percussion

Jonathan Batiste, Piano

Yoshis east bay jazz club and restaurant

Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson became one of the top jazz singers of the ’90s, a vocalist blessed with a distinctive and flexible voice who is not afraid to take chances. She began playing piano and guitar when she was nine and was working as a vocalist by the mid-’70s, singing a wide variety of material. She is a self-confessed restless spirit always eager to move on to the next project, the next sound. In a string of acclaimed, best-selling albums, she has expanded the boundaries of jazz by incorporating everything from blues legend Robert Johnson to Neil Young, James Taylor and the Monkees (“Last Train to Clarksville,” off her lauded “New Moon Daughter” CD in 1996). But last year, she felt New Orleans was the place for rebirth. Drawing from that inspiration, she will perform songs from her forthcoming CD on Blue Note when she hits the stage at Yoshi’s San Francisco for 6 unforgettable nights!

Travelogue: Peaceful Co-existence in King City, CA

Posted in Travelogues on January 25, 2008 by skyeviewtraveler


Stormy Weather
The fierce arctic storm that pounded California on Friday (1/4) could not deter me from driving to Southern California to help celebrate my youngest sister’s 48th birthday. Mary is also my lesbian sister so we hold a special bond in that regard.

ward_lesbians_08.JPG With the aid of the California Transportation storm tracker and road conditions web sites, I calculated the normal 6 hour drive would extend to 8 hours. I managed to arrive in Los Angeles a couple of hours before the torrential rains flooded the area during the rush hour commute. Rush hour on L.A. freeways is bad enough but to experience it during torrential rains is downright ugly and frightening.

It’s not often I have the opportunity to enjoy a special evening out on the town with my sisters. The distance between our homes and the conditions of our lives make it difficult to do anything spontaneous. It takes a lot of planning and coordination for us to get together. For this reason I was determined to make the trip, however, brief. My sisters where sympathetic when I informed them I’d have to shorten our planned weekend in order to return to the bay area before the next storm system hit the state.

Early Saturday morning I mapped out a route that took me through picturesque Ojai Valley in Ventura County and along Highway 101. The dry roads and moderate to high visibility for approximately the first 200 miles made for a pleasant drive. Still, I didn’t want to take a chance of getting caught in the storm so I resolved not to make any detours for sightseeing—I’d only stop for fuel.

Jan Faulkner’s Ethnic Notions Collection

Posted in Culture with tags on January 20, 2008 by skyeviewtraveler

ajp.jpgJan Faulkner’s Ethnic Notions collection is phenomenal! I can hardly believe the collection is up for sale but I’m glad she is making it available to the public. I first viewed the collection in 2000 when it was exhibited at the Berkeley Art Center in Berkeley, California.

The Berkeley Art Center published a companion-teaching guide for grades 9-12. The guide included a series of innovative lesson plans incorporating national standards in History, Communications, and Language Arts.

Faulkner’s memorabilia might appear shocking to those unfamiliar with the genesis of her collection. But before anyone gets her knickers in a twist I recommend reading the attached press release for the complete story. Additional information on black memorabilia collectors is available here and here.

Bonus Link:

Marlon Riggs “Ethnic Notions”

Ethnic Notions” Collection Up for Sale: February 10 in Emeryville, CA

If you have been in the Bay Area for any length of time or if you have an interest in the history of racial stereotyping, you probably know about Jan Faulkner’s collection of memorabilia – some of which go back to pre-Civil War days. More than 20 years ago (1986), Marlon Riggs (now deceased) produced an award-winning documentary on the controversial items, Ethnic Notions. One scholar who had an opportunity to view the film described the experience:

“Loyal Toms, carefree Sambos, faithful Mammies, grinning Coons, savage Brutes, and wide-eyed Pickaninnies roll across the screen in cartoons, feature films, popular songs, minstrel shows, advertisements, folklore, household artifacts, even children’s rhymes. These dehumanizing caricatures permeated popular culture from the 1820s to the Civil Rights period and implanted themselves deep in the American psyche.”

Jan Faulkner has continued to research the genre, over the years and has gained an international reputation for her lectures on the way the caricatures in her collection affected and continue to affect the lives of many Black Americans and the perceptions of many White Americans. She has invested much of her life to finding and preserving these historically relevant artifacts of bigotry. and has agreed to make them available for public sale. Please help publicize the event by sharing this information with friends, family, and collectors with an interest in the racially-charged history of the United States. [Aileen Hernandez]


Posted in Events on January 11, 2008 by skyeviewtraveler


What:    A Sale Of Historic, African-American Artifacts
When:    Sunday, February 10, 2008   9:00am Until 5:00pm
Where:  Four Point Sheraton, 1603 Powell Street,  Emeryville, California  94608
Who:      Sociologist,  Historic Artifact Collector and Lecturer, Jan Faulkner
Admission is $5.00 and due to the fragile nature of the collectibles, the sale is open to ADULTS only.  Method of payment:  Cash and checks ONLY.
This critically acclaimed, historically significant collection of controversial racial depictions of African-Americans is set to be available for sale by noted collector and scholar, sociologist Jan Faulkner.  Since 1954 this collection has grown to include hundreds of items – most in mint condition.  Each item in the collection was hand selected, researched and documented by Faulkner.

In 1982 and 2000 this rare collection was exhibited at the Berkeley Art Center and the Macon, Georgia Art Museum, establishing its importance in the historical arena. An award-winning documentary on this controversial subject matter was produced by Marlon Riggs in 1984 and international research continues on its sociological impact on contemporary life.

The February sale will include many functional, museum quality items:  cookie jars, tobacco tins, toys, lamps, kitchenware (shakers, utensils, fabric items) etc.   Many are extremely rare and some never before shown in public.  Many items were produced in the U.S. by noted artists, illustrators and manufacturers and the prices are firm.

In the first of several public sales, this rare offer provides a special opportunity for history buffs, collectors, sociologists and educators to obtain a unique piece of important history.   
Cheryl Ward
Cynthia Turner

Global Sisterhood In Full Effect

Posted in Transnat'l Feminism/Solidarity with tags , on January 11, 2008 by skyeviewtraveler


I had the immense pleasure of attending a welcome dinner this week for Samoan poet and scholar Sinavaiana hailing from Oahu’s Manoa Valley, Haiwai’i. I found her poetry in Alchemies of Distance to be powerfully evocative and meditative as is the poetess herself. She is definitely a conjuring woman. I feel fortunate to have experienced the fullness of her spirit during her Bay Area visit.

I enjoyed reading this poem so much I felt moved to share it with others and post it on Skyeview.

May the circle be unbroken.

Skye & Sina


  from “Alchemies of Distance”

  (for Ria & the Afro-German sisterhood)

  may your sleep be blessed
  with fragrance: ginger blossoms, white, gold
  & pink/ in the garden where one day we will
  work & play together/ where i will make a bed
  of rainbow petals for your back, & a pillow
  of blue cloud for your head, may your sleep
  be blessed/ with the shade of mango & coconut
  leaves/ where i will hold you & watch/ over your dreaming.

  may your sleep be blessed/ with birds nesting in tall
  trees/ their naked, spindly arms flung out/ in
  wintry benediction/ over all spirits at rest on
  welfenstrasse, in gesing, in heidhausen/ in
  muenchen, in deutschland, in europa, where
  you lie down with your brave heart this night.

  may the sleep of our sisters be blessed
  this night. black daughters/ in the cell block/
  in the crazy house/ in the hospital/ on the sidewalk
  in the rain/ in the snow/ in the dirt/ in the camp
  in the barracks/ on the border/ on the road/ black
  sisters/ with your sons/ with your daughters/ with
  your fine beauty, the colors of earth & sun & shade/

  may your sleep bring strength.
  may the sleep of our sisters be blessed
  this night. & their children, & their lovers
  & their brothers. & their loved ones/ lost
  in burning houses/ spirits leaping out
  of flames/ into black nights of diamond stars
  out of burning rooms where the door stuck
  shut, where the window stuck shut, where
  bright threads of smoke laced the eyes shut.

  may their sleep be blessed/ with cool breezes/ &
  streams of clear water dancing over deep forest stone.
  may the sleep of our sisters be blessed
  this night. warrior sisters/ armed with
  broken hearts & spirit medicine/ warrior
  sisters/ armed by spirit guardians riding
  horses of wind/ warrior sisters/ armed
  with shields of ancestor wisdom & street
  wisdom/ with mother wisdom/ & baby wisdom,
  with girlfriend wisdom & grandma wisdom,
  with hip-hop/ be-bop/ & boogie-woogie wisdom
  with/ audre lorde, billie holiday & bessie smith
  wisdom/ with sojourner truth, rosa parks &
  aretha franklin wisdom/ with tap-dancing,
  sashaying, wide-hipped, brazen hussy wisdom/ warrior
  sisters/ may your sleep be blessed
  on this night/ on all nights/ forever
  & ever, amen.

Caroline Sinavaiana-Gabbard was born in Utulei village, Tutuila, Samoa.  Her poetry and scholarship have appeared in national and international journals, and current projects include co-editing a mixed-genre collection of indigenous writing by Pacific women.  She teaches literature and writing at the University of Hawai`i and lives in Manoa Valley.  She is the mother of two, and grandmother of Gian Kaur, whose name in Punjabi means “one having knowledge of the divine.”
Excerpt from
A L C H E M I E S _ O F _ D I S T A N C E
By Caroline Sinavaiana-Gabbard 2002 $12
subpress/Tinfish/Institute of Pacific Studies