Revolutionary Mothering: Reading & Book Signing with China Martens
with Special Guests: Mama Sana Vibrant Woman (A Project of Mamas of Color Rising), tk karakashian tunchez (Las Ofrendas), and Noemi Martinez
Inspired by the legacy of radical and queer black feminists of the 1970s and ’80s, Revolutionary Mothering places marginalized mothers of color at the center of a world of necessary transformation. The challenges we face as movements working for racial, economic, reproductive, gender, and food justice, as well as anti-violence, anti-imperialist, and queer liberation are the same challenges that many mothers face every day. Oppressed mothers create a generous space for life in the face of life-threatening limits, activate a powerful vision of the future while navigating tangible concerns in the present, move beyond individual narratives of choice toward collective solutions, live for more than ourselves, and remain accountable to a future that we cannot always see. Revolutionary Mothering is a movement-shifting anthology committed to birthing new worlds, full of faith and hope for what we can raise up together.
“Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines is juicy, gutsy, vulnerable, and very brave.… A radical vision, many radical visions of how to mother in a time of resistance and of pain.”
—Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and activist
“This is the book for readers who know mothering is not just about a baby and a mother or parents in an isolated suburban nursery, but that mothering happens in a context of generations, a context of racial history, and in a spiritual context; that it takes place from the shore line to the front line, in times of scarcity and abundance; that it is queer and love-filled.”
—Faith Holsaert, coeditor of Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts of Women in SNCC
China Martens is a writer, glamazon, and empty-nest low-income anti-racist white radical single mother. She is the author of The Future Generation: The Zine-Book for Subculture Parents, Kids, Friends and Others (Atomic Book Company, 2007), and coeditor of Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements and Communities (PM Press, 2012). Since 2003, China has cofacilitated numerous workshops to create support for parents and children in activist and radical communities at universities, conferences, and healing spaces across the United States and Canada including the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Conference, Allied Media Conference, and book fairs from Montreal to New Orleans; Minneapolis to Santa Fe; and New York City to San Francisco. She also was a cofounder of Kidz City, a radical childcare collective in Baltimore (2009–2013) and is connected to a national circle of radical childcare collectives established at the 2010 US Social Forum in Detroit.
For more about China: http://www.pmpress.org/content/article.php/ChinaMartens
Noemi Martinez is a writer, poet-curandera and media myth maker with Mexican and Caribbean roots living in the militarized borderland of deep South Texas, birthplace of Gloria Anzaldúa. She is a radical single mami with punk tendencies. Martinez is a long time zinester, starting her first zine, Making of a Chicana in 2000 and Hermana, Resist in 2001. She has also written the zines Aged Noise, Homespun and Sofrito Pa’ Ti. She edited the collections Voces, MAIZ and was co-editor of the collection For Colored Girls. She creates workshops and distros and has been a part of larger collaborative networks to share independent media and activism. She founded and directed two community groups, CAFE Revolucion and Voices Against Violence. She is a cofounder of the Gloria Anzaldúa Legacy Project. Noemi ran a distro for zines and work created by women and people of color (Chicana Stuff then later named C/S Distro). She was involved in the Allied Media Conference, in the years that they first started having child care on site. She was also a presenter on zines and media and women of color created media. As part of SPEAK! a group of radical women of color comprised of mujeres from different states, they created zines, curriculum and a spoken word CD. Some of her poems can be found in ¡Ban This! The BSP Anthology of Xican@ Literature and essays in the following collections: Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements, Communities, Labor Pains and Birth Stories: Essays on Pregnancy, Childbirth and Becoming a Parent and Just Like a Girl: A Manifesta! Recently her poems and photos have been published in Make/Shift, Hip Mama, Xicana Chronicles, Pentimento: Journal of All Things Disability, The Perch and *82 Review. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas-El Paso and a Master’s degree in writing and history.
Jonathan River Martinez-Hernandez is an aspiring teen photographer from South Texas.
Mama Sana Vibrant Woman, A Project of Mamas of Color Rising, is a collective of working class and poor mothers of color based in and around Austin, TX. We are interested in organizing ourselves and other women/mamas of color around issues with accessing needs like food, housing, education and safety, finding out together what our larger ideal community looks like and building it together. We are living in a world where the labor of caretaking is INVISIBLE socially and economically. It’s no surprise that most of the world’s poor people are mothers and their children. Imagine all the hours of UNWAGED work that is not counted in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The GDP would almost double if unwaged domestic work were counted. Working class mothers, particularly single parents and women of color are caught in low-wage work that barely provides enough income to cover childcare, much less other basic rights. And the Welfare “social safety net” scrutinizes and polices poor mothers instead of providing support to all families and recognition that “mothering” is work.
In this country, most interactions with social services and institutions have become a WEB of discrimination and humiliation, a WEB difficult to get out of. Our vision of organizing around motherhood is not a biological one, it’s not just about bio moms, or even moms, but about all of those members of a community who share in the often undervalued and invisible work of caretaking and parenting. But it’s not just symbolic either, because unfortunately right now its mothers and other women who do the vast majority of the work of taking care of children, elders, and sick folks who cannot take care of themselves. As Mamas of Color Rising, we want to bring out these issues to public conversation and struggle. We see this work as a way to challenge the patriarchal and isolating model of nuclear family units AND as a way of creating social justice for everyone because a society is only as good/strong/just, as how it treats its children and elders. We are currently documenting stories of welfare abuse (from Medicaid, to Subsidized Childcare, to Child Protective Services, to Birthing while Low-Income). Check out our zine, Revolutionary Motherhood, which we wrote in collaboration with Young Women United. With the Revolutionary Mamas of Color National Survey we will continue to gather and document these stories in order to build our local membership base and identify a local organizing campaign.
Mama Sana is a pilot project seeking to support the individual and collective empowerment of low-income mothers of color while also improving pregnancy and birth outcomes for communities of color in Austin.
For More information: https://mamasanaclinic.wordpress.com/
tk karakashian tunchez is artist, organizer, single m/other, multi-media maker, truth-teller, personal and organizational capacity builder and transformative justice worker. As well as a book contributor she will be tabling with Las Ofrendas—unique, organic based artisan pieces to adorn your mind, body and soul. Always handmade with love and good intention. “Las Ofrendas” are Spirit-Infused, hand-crafted, wearable art pieces to adorn your mind, body, and soul!
Contributors include June Jordan, Malkia A. Cyril, Esteli Juarez, Cynthia Dewi Oka, Fabiola Sandoval, Sumayyah Talibah, Victoria Law, Tara Villalba, Lola Mondragón, Christy NaMee Eriksen, Norma Angelica Marrun, Vivian Chin, Rachel Broadwater, Autumn Brown, Layne Russell, Noemi Martinez, Katie Kaput, alba onofrio, Gabriela Sandoval, Cheryl Boyce Taylor, Ariel Gore, Claire Barrera, Lisa Factora-Borchers, Fabielle Georges, H. Bindy K. Kang, Terri Nilliasca, Irene Lara, Panquetzani, Mamas of Color Rising, tk karakashian tunchez, Arielle Julia Brown, Lindsey Campbell, Micaela Cadena, and Karen Su.
For more about the book: http://secure.pmpress.org/index.php?l=product_detail&p=746
This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.