Mai’a Williams

Mai’a Williams is a writer and poet and lives in the U.S. with her daughter, Theresa.  She worked in Quito, Ecuador, in 2014 and 2015 as a journalist for teleSUR English, the global Venezuelan revolutionary news agency. In 2013, she lived in Berlin and worked as a writer and editor. From 2009 through 2013, she was a community organizer and journalist before, during, and after the Egyptian revolution.  In  January 2009, she spent three days in Israeli detention with her one-year old daughter, during the bombings of Gaza, and after being freed from Israeli jail, she moved to Cairo and organized outreach programs with Sudanese teenage refugees/gang members. She lived and studied in Chiapas, Mexico, in 2007-2008 for six months and attended the Zapatista Women’s Encuentro with her baby daughter. In Minneapolis in 2007, she worked as a doula (birth assistant) for working poor Black American and recent west African refugee young mamas.  In the summer of 2006, she was a print and radio broadcast journalist for International Middle East Media Center, during the Israeli-Hezbollah war. In the autumn of 2005, she researched the effects of the of war on local communities, especially on women, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. That year, she also worked on staff as the anti-oppression consultant and training director for Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). In 2004, she lived in Jerusalem, Hebron, and the village of at-Tuwani in the southern Hebron hills, Palestine, accompanying communities under the threat of Israeli military violence. During 2002-2003, she founded and directed Cosmic Sun Theatre, an experimental community theatre and gallery, in Roanoke, VA. The theater became one of the primary loci for anti-Iraq War organizing in southwest VA. She participated in a delegation to Guatemala and Oaxaca, Mexico, investigating the effects of the Plan Puebla Panama on local indigenous communities in 2001. It was her living and working with Palestinian, Congolese, and Central American indigenous mothers in resistance communities, that initially inspired her to become a mother and continues to guide her as she practices this life-giving work, called radical mothering.

She is author of two books of poetry, No God but Ghosts and Monsters and Other Silent Creatures. She is the instigator of the Outlaw Midwives movement, zines, and blog which shifts the discourse around birth, life, death and healing by offering a vision of radical empowerment and accountability. In 2008, she published the Revolutionary Motherhood anthology zine and the corresponding group blog, a collection of writing and visual art about mothering on the margins, which became the inspiration for Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines. Check out her website HERE.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs guest-hosts The Laura Flanders Show and talks Revolutionary Mothering with China Martens, Mai’a Williams, Victoria Law and Cynthia Dewi Oka


This Is How We Survive: Revolutionary Mothering, War, and Exile in the 21st Century

SKU: 9781629635569
Author: Mai’a Williams • Foreword by Ariel Gore
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 9781629635569
Published: 1/2019
Format: Paperback, mobi, ePub, PDF
Size: 5 x 8
Page count: 224
Subjects: Politics-Activism / Memoir

Praise

“Mai’a’s ongoing journey is about mothering as a daily revolution, brought into focus by living and loving at major revolutionary sites of our contemporary world. From Palestine to Egypt, Chiapas, Berlin, and especially the U.S. Midwest, Mai’a shares her experiences of navigating the intimate intergenerational impact of a constant state of political and personal war with detail and a crucial side-eye. This book is an opportunity to see the life you are living, and lives you would never see otherwise, in new and interconnected ways.”
—Alexis Pauline Gumbs, author of M Archive: After the End of the World

This is How We Survive redefines revolution beyond the headline grabbing events to the everyday resilience of families living under ever-present threats of bombings, assaults, arrests and disappearances. This book will push you to expand and reimagine your definitions and ideas of revolution.”
—Victoria Law, author of Resistance Behind Bars  

“Magical, poetic, adventurous, eye-opening tales of global community organizing and resistance. Mai’a breaks the hold of American mind control, despair, and isolation with tales of gatherings around the world of everyday revolutionaries who do not have the privilege to decide whether or not to engage or fight for their lives.”
—China Martens, author of The Future Generation: The Zine-Book for Subculture Parents, Kids, Friends & Others

“I drank down Mai’a Williams’ This Is How We Survive like a glass of delicious water hitting me where I was the most thirsty. Williams gives us the story we’ve been waiting for and deeply needing, about the ways Black, Indigenous, and Brown women and mothers across the globe birth freedom struggle as they open their homes, hold late-night cigarette conversations, and insist that everyone be present to the work of liberation. Her work, and her life’s story, is crucial to what will bring us home.”
—Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, writer and organizer, author of Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home

“In reading the work of Mai’a Williams, it’s hard not to be excited by the sense of possibility.”
Hip Mama



Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines

SKU: 9781629631103
Edited: Alexis Pauline Gumbs, China Martens, and Mai’a Williams • Preface by Loretta J. Ross
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 9781629631103
Published: 3/2016
Format: Paperback, mobi, ePub, PDF
Size: 6 x 9
Page count: 272
Subjects: Women’s Studies/Family-Parenting

Praise

“This collection is a treat for anyone that sees class and that needs to learn more about the experiences of women of color (and who doesn’t?!). There is no dogma here, just fresh ideas and women of color taking on capitalism, anti-racist, anti-sexist theory-building that is rooted in the most primal of human connections, the making of two people from the body of one: mothering.”
—Barbara Jensen, author of Reading Classes: On Culture and Classism in America

“For women of color, mothering—the art of mothering—has been framed by the most virulent systems, historically: enslavement, colonialism, capitalism, imperialism. We have had few opportunities to define mothering not only as an aspect of individual lives and choices, but as the processes of love and as a way of structuring community. Revolutionary Mothering arrives as a needed balm.”
—Alexis De Veaux, author of Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde

“Although it is primarily written for mothers of all ages, the issues that are raised—about family, love, struggle, sacrifice, and acceptance—are universal as they speak to the revolutionary that exists within all of us.”
—Karsonya Wise Whitehead, PhD, assistant professor of communication and African and African American studies, Loyola University Maryland

Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines is juicy, gutsy, vulnerable, and very brave. These women insist on having their children in a society that does not welcome them, in a world that is rapidly falling apart. Their dream for their children, based on their love of them, encompasses the sorrow and the joy that mothers everywhere, whether human, animal, or plant, feel at this time. 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. Here, revolution, love, and mothering are an inseparable unity.”
—Faith Holsaert, coeditor of Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts of Women in SNCC



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