QBA was awesome Summer 2012 and this summer…

Last summer’s Queer Black August 2012 was a great success and by success I mean miracle and life changing gift. This summer -2013 – we are hosting two retreats – Combahee Pilgrimage and Rest and Realness. For information visit our Events page or click the retreat titles in the previous sentence.

The Overview

In the spirit of historical practices such as Black August which commemorates African liberation and revolution in the Americas and resounds as a call for freedom for all political prisoners and all of us who would liberate ourselves from intersecting and internalized oppressions and the Combahee River Collective Black Feminist Retreats which built alignment and institutions by and for black women based on an a holistic vision for freedom from interlocking systems of domination; Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Julia Roxanne Wallace are creating Queer Black August. This is a continuation of the two years and counting that Alexis has hosted free week-long gatherings where people from all over the country participated in intergenerational gatherings for healing and transformation in Durham, NC using the resources of Black Feminism.

In past retreats, our Durham community opened their homes and donated food, supplies and myriad skills to make it possible for 4 different retreats in the last 2 years to be free and accessible; first for queer people of color and allies at Combahee Survival Revival Week; women and genderqueer people of color and our children at Motherourselves Bootcamp; then queer black warrior healers at Indigo Days; and most recently community accountable anti-racist scholars at Juneteenth Freedom Academy.

The Vision

This year we bring to you Queer Black August: Ancestral Presence & Healing Poetics for QPOC and local POC allies. The thread running through the Queer Black August gathering is Accessing Ancestral Power: Healing Ourselves and Our Ancestors. There are 2 components that participants may engage over the course of the 5 days:

1) African Spirituality – spiritual practices from the Ifa tradition of the Yoruba; and
2) Healing Poetics
– arts and embodiment through dance, music, laughter and play.

Additionally, we hope to document portions of the retreat to share with our communities and invite the local community to witness and participate in some of our creations – comedic, performative and play. This event is also an opportunity to build relationships and practices that will be the foundation for creating a variety show that uses healing poetics to educate and liberate.

Historical Black August – scroll down for more


Featured Presenters and Guests:

Ifalade Ta’shia Asanti – spiritual leader and founder of Ile Ori Ogbe Egun, television star, award winning author, journalist, filmmaker, organizer and all around entertainment proficienado. Read full bio – click here or scroll down

Queen Hollins – Kundalini Yoga instructor, African dance instructor par excellance!, earth-based ritual and spiritual leader.
Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Queen Hollins, Julia Roxanne Wallace (l-r)

Schedule (Check back often. We are UPDATING many times a day.)

Arrive by 10am Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Closing Ceremony ends by approx. 5pm Sunday, August 19th, 2012
Dinner and Clean Up to Follow.

Leaving – Everyone off the property by 10am Monday, August 20th, 2012

Next Steps

UPDATE: Due to amazing response we are out of beds at the retreat site for out of town guests for the Ancestral Presence portion of retreat.   FEEL FREE TO APPLY FOR THE HEALING POETICS WEEKEND COMPONENT.  IF YOU REGISTER FOR THE FULL RETREAT OR THE ANCESTRAL PRESENCE COMPONENT WE CAN WORK WITH YOU TO FIND COMMUNITY HOUSING ALTERNATIVES. -love, lex and julia

1. To participate in the retreat please fill out this survey application which is the first step in creating this space together. The survey includes vital information for the retreat as well.

Non-Local Participants

<<Non-Local – CLICK HERE>>


Queer Black August is a retreat FOR QUEER PEOPLE OF COLOR centered on the power of ancestral presence and healing poetics. This 5 day retreat hosted by Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Julia Roxanne Wallace of the Mobile Homecoming project will be an intergenerational space consisting of two related components focusing on ritual ancestral invocation and guidance and healing through play, creativity and performance.

The event will be at the Stone House in Mebane, NC (20 minutes outside of Durham, NC) and will be an intimate gathering for an aligned group of soul searchers and light beams. We have 7 spots for out of town participants in the Ancestral Presence intensive (Wednesday August 15-Friday morning August 17th) and 15 spots for the Healing Poetics Intensive (Friday afternoon August 17-Sunday night August 19th)

2. Deposit Options

<<< Click Button on left  to Submit >>>

Looking forward to seeing you all!

Legacy of “Black August”

  • The first Afrikans were brought to Jamestown as slaves in August of 1619.
  • Haitian Rebellion a revolution leading to the establishment of the Republic of Haiti August 22-23, 1791
  • Gabriel Prosser’s slave rebellion occurred on August 30th, 1800.
  • The “Prophet” Nat Turner planned and executed a slave rebellion that commenced on August 21, 1831.
  • In 1843, Henry Highland Garnett called a general slave strike on August 22.
  • The Underground Railroad was started on August 2, 1850.
  • The March on Washington occurred in August of 1963
  • The Watts rebellions were in August of 1965.
  • On August 18, 1971 the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika (RNA) was raided by Mississippi police and FBI agents.
  • On August 8, 1978 Philadelphia police initiated a shootout against MOVE members

Other links:
(this is not an endorsement of organizations or information but represents some of the things we’ve been reading to get more perspective on historic “Black August” and the revolutionary energy of August.)
http://sfbayview.com/2009/black-august-1791-bwa-kayiman/ – SF BayView Article on Haitian Revolution
http://www.revleft.com/vb/black-august-t24631/index.html?s=7542cbfd4352b7459bb385cc10ebfdf2&amp; – Conversation about San Quentin “Freedom Fighters”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWAPE2Q4Sik – Mumia on Black August
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZK7Blk3ztpI – Mumia on Black August (2004)
http://mxgm.org/blackaugust/blackaugust-history/ – Black August Hip Hop Project



Ifalade (E-fah-lah-day) Ta’Shia (Tah-Shee-ah) Asanti (Ah-sawn-tay) is a nationally celebrated spiritual teacher, master intuitive and Orisa/Ifa Priestess.  An award-winning novelist, journalist, filmmaker, TV producer and cultural educator—Ta’Shia’s work has been written about in Entertainment Today, USA Today, TV Guide &many others.  When writing about Ifalade Ta’shia’s work, the New York Times said, “Iya Ta’Shia is a priestess with a good head on her shoulders.”

Ifalade Ta’Shia Asanti, began her journey in the Orisa tradition in 1992 under the guidance of her Padrino, Angel Lebron and Madrina, Norma Lebron of the House of Pimienta, Havana, Cuba.  Ifalade was initiated to Orisas Yemoja (Head) and Shango (Feet), as well as to Isefa (Ifa) in 2001 by Oloye Ifa Karade whose lineage extends to Ile Ife, Nigeria, Oyotunji Village (the late Oba Oseijiman I) and the Valdez of Puerto Rico.  Ifalade Ta’Shia Asanti received supporting Orisa initiations under the guidance of Iyanifa Ifalola Omobola whose lineage extends to Ode Remo and the Matanzas, Cuba and Awo Ifasola Odunade from Atlanta, Georgia.

Culminating 18 years of study, practice and worship in the Orisa & Ifa tradition, Ifalade made her journey to Atlanta, Georgia to receive Itefa initiation from the late, great Chief Baba Medahochi (Ibae).  She and her mat brother were among the last few to receive the healing medicine of this frontrunner in the Orisa traditions before he passed on the great Ile in the sky….

Ta’Shia and her temple members, organized and produced the first International Ifa Conference which featured speakers from Ifa, Voudoun, Curandera, Candomble and Lukumi spiritualities.  The International Ifa Conference recognized 22 Colorado leaders in business, culture, the arts and non-profit during the conference.  The International Ifa Conference received a beautiful letter of congratulations from former Denver Mayor, Wellington E. Webb for their efforts in producing this conference.

In 2004, following the wisdom and guidance of Orunmila given through divination, Ta’Shia accepted a part in the internationally aired reality TV show, “Mad, Mad House,” which aired to 85 million homes across America making her the first priestess to appear on a primetime TV show.  While Ifalade experienced both joy and struggle as a result of her participation in the show, Orunmila guided many new students to the Ifa/Orisa tradition as a result of Ta’Shia’s role on the show.

In 2006, the temple Ta’Shia founded reached 27 Ifa initiates and 50 members nationwide giving it the right to establish an official lineage in the State of Colorado.  Thus, the Ogundeji Ajake Lineage supported by Irete Meji was officialized before Elders and the community at the Cleo Parker Robinson Theatre with support of local Orisa elders and priests.

Following the charge of her teacher, Oloye Ifa Karade to, “Return the People to the Tradition,” Ifalade and Ile Ori worked diligently to present a positive and healthy image of not only Ifa but all African and indigenous spiritualities.  Thus, Ifalade created the National Institute for Indigenous Cultural Studies which invited local, national and internationally recognized spiritual and cultural teachers to come to Denver to educate communities on indigenous spirituality.  Guests of the Institute included Iya Oyafunmike Ogunlano, star of the internationally celebrated film, Sankofa and the late Awo, Afolabi Epega, Junior (Ibae).

Ta’Shia is the author of three books including:

The Sacred Door: A Spiritual Guide to Power Living, an inspirational textbook for self empowerment; her debut novel–The Seer: Legacy of Stone & Spirit and forthcoming novel, The Bones Do Talk.

A commentator on Fox News Good Day Colorado with Emmy-award-winning anchorwoman, Shaul Turner and a regular on PBS’s, Colorado State of Mind, Ta’Shia has made numerous appearances on TV and in film providing education on the issues she’s passionate about including spirituality, women’s rights, marriage equality and issues related to health and wellness.

Ta’Shia is the recipient of the African Americans Who Make a Difference Award from Urban Spectrum Media; the Audre Lorde Black Quill Award for creating positive images of African American women in the media and the Kathleen Morris Award for best contemporary fiction by a woman of color.

Ta’Shia was presented with the UCLA Seed Scholarship Award for Outstanding Writing on Culture and the Arts by the International Black Writers and Artists Organization to attend college for creative writing.

With a career spanning two decades, with milestones in radio, TV, print journalism, creative writing, filmmaking and theater arts, Ta’Shia is excited to share her journey as an activist, spiritual teacher and Iyalocha.