You might want to print this out and read it when you can sit
comfortably and take it in. I personally recommend the toilet. You can
close the door and be quiet and most likely no one will disturb you,
especially if you tell them "I will be in here a while!" Also, you
might be "moved" in some spots because this is an ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF
YOU AND THE DIFFERENCE YOU HAVE MADE IN, FOR THE INTERNATIONAL BLACK
20 Yeas of the International Black Summit? Really?
By Lorraine Warren
Hi Summit Family (this is the first time I comfortably say this
without being "triggered" I used to say "they ain't my family" and
that's the nice version, shift happens),
I have been thinking. In fact, this thought has crossed my mind
several times over the last few months. The thought is: "Is it really
20th Years of the International Black Summit?"
Then a whole other series of thoughts come forth such as:
"My first Summit was 19 years ago!"
"I grew up in the Summit!"
"Who I was in 1992 Highland Park (my first Summit) is a different
person now!" I remember crying from Thursday thur Sunday at that
Summit! Yes, if any of you remember, I was the "crying woman" in
Highland Park. I was so moved by all that I was experiencing.
Then a flood of memories come to me:
Crying my ass off as Kathyrn would ask me some "ON POINT" question like
"What is LIFE saying to you RIGHT NOW!?" Being clueless and when I
got what she was saying crying my eyes out.
Anthony Randolph emerging from the back of the room and telling
someone that they were "full of shit!" After a big verbal battle,
they would later (2 or 3 days later) acknowledge him for telling them the truth.
Or Anthony's famous line, "There is too much English being spoken
here! You are indulging yourselves in BS! Maybe what there is to do is
"stop talking and listen!"
Being on the rooftop in Kenya all dressed in white and that wind
started blowing out of no where: the ancestors. (I have photos of that)
Or the acknowledgement ceremony of the ancestors in South Africa. Few
know what really occured in generating that process...Rosemary, Petal,
Sharon Burt, Charlee, Meredith, and me. Wow!
How many of you remember the "OH SHIT" moment in Highland Park
with J. Kenneth?
Our "Kings and Queens" Conversation and when the ancestors showed up.
"Umbuntu' in South Africa!
"Harambe' in Kenya!
Our dancing, laughing, crying, singing all together in one room!
Adora Dupree telling us stories.
Aloma, that look she got when she would stand up to interact with someone.
The emergence of the "trigger" conversation and people waving
coasters in the air.
Trevor holding "Council" with folks in the lobby. Topic:
relationships, sex, money, you name it...
I acknowledge all the conversations we have had in the
lobbies and suites of hotels around the world for 20 years! Just
bein' and hangin' out!
Do you remember the year J Kenneth "took it all off?" (I have
pictures for a price)
Remember Danita nka Llenar's reaction when ANYONE would stand at the
mic and talk about something "OUT THERE!" All Danita had to do was stand
up and people would be like, "Oh, okay, yeah, no out there, but that's
what I meant...you know..."
Susan catching the "Holy Spirit!"
Remember the hotel in NYC that when Conrad pulled the dresser drawer
open, it fell off? We never did sue them and there was lots of
conversation about it. We just couldn't get "aligned!"
Meredith and the "International Black Summit Gospel Choir" trained and
organized in a few minutes. Nobody knew they hadn't been on the road
Do ya'll remember the Summit when Chekesha walked in the room with
that BIG ASS church hat on and everybody just fell on the floor
laughing? I laugh just thinking about it...
The youth from South Africa who shared that he was "reborn" through
the Summit and he now knew that there was another way for South
Africa to heal beyond the violence.
Or the parents in Kenya who thanked the Summit for giviing their young
daughters a voice. They felt that their daughters found the "voice" in
the Summit space.
Do you remember Perry and how he facilitated the "conversation for
alignment" for hours, and hours and hours...or ANY conversation for
hours and hours and hours. I totally get how he loves this
The Summit embracing Wambui and raising money for her to go to Spelllman.
The "first line" in New Orleans? Nuf said...
THE JAMAICA SUMMIT! If I told you all I know about the Jamaica
Summit, I would have to kill you!
How many of you remember "Naiji's Song?" I think that was his name. He
so captured the Spirit of the Summit some folks heard violins and saw
angels. Really, many of us heard music from heaven. It was that some
sort of time and space barrier was transcended.
Who could forget that bus ride to Highland Park? A lot of stuff went
on on that bus...watch out Chicago 2010 and be careful what you ask
for or say on that bus...
Harry Rosenberg showing up at the Summit and helping to set up the
room. I acknowledge Landmark for allowing us in NYC to use the Center,
giving us the list of Black folks who had completed the Summit and
supporting the Conversation around the USA and world.
I remember in NYC when a youth stood in front of the room when many
people said the Summit was hard for them to describe. This 9 year old
girl ( I wont say any names Henrietta) said, "It's a bunch of people
sittin' round in a room talkin?"
What about that Lakeview Hotel aka "Mosquito Coast Hotel" overlooking
Lake Victoria? We were all so excited to go to Lake Victoria because
of some spiritual leader at the National Black Threatre in Harlem said
something about the lost city of Atlantis being under Lake Victoria.
We couldn't wait to get out of there. The first time in history we did
not have to wait to load the bus, with one exception, Conrad and "torn
towel saga." We waited because Conrad refused to pay for a towel he
had torn in half because the hotel did not provide two towels for him
and Bill Patterson. lol
I wish I could call all the names. I can call many. I am just seeing a
flood of faces come before me...
- Pat Reid Porter and Aloma Marquis
- Kuumba holding the space as "Summit Elder" for so many years
- Mrs. Una Gumbs and her cane. Love sitting next to her in the
Summit. She had comments ya'll...funny commnets. That's all I got to
- The Famous Five: Kat, JK, Perry, Anthony and Robbin---no one was
spared when they were in front of the room.
- And the years of the groups of 5 facilitator groups, calls, meetings,
travel arrangements, hotels, etc. I fully got the distinction
"trigger" during those years.
The Summit roommates, romances, roaming and rrrrr....which produced
"Summit Babies and Marriages." Not necessarily in that order...
In its 20th year, I want to honor and acknowledge the Summit, all
facilitators, administrators, finance managers, enfoldment managers,
coordinators, host committees, youth, and others who contributed to so
many Summits over so many years.
Much healing took place in the Summit, much transformation, much loving.
There have been years when we have used the analogy of chronological
life years to distinguish where we were in the Summit Conversation. I
also thought about that...I first attended the Summit when she was
two. I could say that that Summit was in the Spiirit of the energetic,
lively, demanding, not to be controlled two year old.
I began my "out of body" experience with the Summit when she was just
about to turn 13. Similar to my own life as a youth and began to come
back into my own when I turned 20 -21. I started to look at an
evaluate my entire life at 21. I cried and cried and cried because I
thought my friends had forgotten my birthdate. During that time we
were into pulling pranks on each other and they waited to the last
hour of my birthday to bring on the full
celebration and party fo me.
This was actually perfect because during my time of my crying of
thinking I had been forgotten, I totally assessed my life up until
then. When my friends found me in tears and asked what was the matter?
I said, "I am 21 years old and I haven't done anything with my life!"
They reminded me that I had traveled across the ocean to Africa, I
had volunteered and contributed
to children, adults, and organizations as a young activist and
visionary. I had been on the forefront of many protests at my school,
won many awards and so on and so on and so on...I still did not accept
all of my accomplishments at that time. I don't think I had the
capacity to hold myself in acknowledgement and loving during that time
of my life. I now realize I held as much acknowledgement and love as
I could for myself at the time.
In relationship to the Summit, I honor, acknowledge and appreciate her
as she turns 20 and begins to embarks on her 21st year. She has
accomplished more than we will ever know.
Next year the Summit can DRINK! The Summit is LEGAL! The Summit is
GROWN! The Summit can even move out on her OWN (like Oprah Winfrey Network)!
When I was 21, after I had shed my tears about my life up until then,
ate some cake, got a few hugs and gifts from my friends, I settled
into my twenties. I have many fond memeories of those years. For me
they represented going on adventures, taking risk, trying new things,
and standing on the ground that had been laid for me by my parents,
sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles and ancesters and craving out and
creating my own way.
As I have engaged in clearing myself to attend the upcoming 2010
Summit, I have had many memories of past Summits. Many would not be
appropriate to share in an e-mail.
Yesterday, after having a Conversation with Perry in which he said he
may not make it to the Summit. I noticed that a great sadness came
over me. As I sat with this feeling, I realized that in my
invitations to past Summit participants I was inviting them to come to
and participate in the upcoming Summit based upon what I knew the
Summit to be "in the past."
What a revelation. Then I thought, the Summit of my stories, my
memories, and that I knew from the past is over. The Summit will
never be THAT again. My dear friend Bill Patterson will not be there
in "body." Many of the people whom I
identified as "my Summit people" will not be there in "body." Yet,
for me, I know they will be there in "Spirit, my Spirit!"
So, as I have been clearing myself to participate in this upcoming 20
Years of the Summit, I have come to a new clearing in which I am
present to being present in the present AND exploring what is the
International Black Summit NOW? Where has the I/Conversation shifted,
changed, transformed or remained stagnant? I am more in the
question...and thank you Claudy, I have been relooking at the Summit
questions and noticed that how I answer them today is totally
different from how I did in the past.
The Summit is in a new place with new opportunities and you and I are too (NO
OUT THERE). I am also inquiring in my own life as I transition into
the space of being a nine year old with 50 years of experience (thanks
for that distinction Chekesha), how my participation in the Summit
will look. Will it be a conversation in my mind, my body or my spirt?
If you have made it to the bottom of this e-mail and read everything
prior to getting here, you probably have your own Summit stories and
As the Summit turns 20 going on 21, I want to acknowledge the Summit,
YOU personally, and everyone who has been instructmental in bringing
the Summit into being. I acknowledge YOU for things you did that
everyone knows about and the things you did that nobody knows about,
perhaps not even YOU!
For now, I wish to say "Thank YOU for the difference YOU have made in
my life. The Summit is a Conversation and the Summit is the people
who engage and bring life to that Conversation.
If it is in divine order, I pray I see you at the Summit so I can
acknowledge YOU in person.
I love you.
aka Summit Participant, Coordinator, Administrator, Senior Facilitator,
Enfoldment Manager, and a few other things I can't mention in this e-mail
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