Deep, dark joy interviewing Alexis Pauline Gumbs for the African American Intellectual History Society blog. Spill is a ceremony and we need it right now, always.
“And yes. I was interested in creating a text that troubles a reader’s desire to assimilate into a world that requires something other than assimilation. I do actively disrupt the development of a coherent character that can allow any reader to say this is about someone specific who is specifically not me. As always, in text and in practice, I want to create a space that invites us to relate differently to the act of reading, to the usual practice of differentiation. You can’t skim it. But you can’t really skim Spillers either. What if all you had was a narrative that intervened? Again and again and again. What would it teach us. How could it liberate us from the narratives that kill, maim and destroy us? Could it? What if I never ask if I am “doing it right” ever again. Then what Capitalism? (To quote Spillers again.) “What you gonna do?”
“For us, for my colleagues who are also black feminist theorists, I do want to ask about what it would mean for us to write with black feminist theory. Every footnote in Spill goes back to Spillers and the “bibliography” does not cite one white person or one man. Not one. It is a challenge to my colleagues, to those of us who claim that our primary accountability is to black women. What if we created forms that prioritized being with each other, being with the work, being with the possibilities, more than they prioritize the gymnastics of trying to get it right in a structure built on our wrongness?”