From The Sea Islands to Beyonce – The Legacy of The Igbo Landing In Contemporary American Culture

Image c/o Mikael Owunna: Beyoncé in the music video for “Love Drought” marching into the water followed by a procession of black women.

One of the guests on our upcoming podcast, Mikael Owunna, is, among many things, well-known for his article on the link between Beyonce’s music video “Love Drought,” Julie Dash’s film “Daughters of The Dust” and the myth of the Igbo Landing.

[Mikael Owunna’s Image description: Donovan Nelson’s artistic depiction of Igbo Landing in charcoal. It shows the Igbo slaves marching into a body of water with the water already up to their necks and their eyes closed. Image via Valentine Museum of Art]

As Mikael writes:

For those who don’t know, Igbo Landing is the location of a mass suicide of Igbo slaves that occurred in 1803 on St. Simons Island, Georgia. As the story goes, a group of Igbo slaves revolted and took control of their slave ship, grounded it on an island, and rather than submit to slavery, proceeded to march into the water while singing in Igbo, drowning themselves in turn. They all chose death over slavery. It was an act of mass resistance against the horrors of slavery and became a legend, particularly amongst the Gullah people living near the site of Igbo Landing.

Not only is the story of Igbo Landing one of the key themes of Julie Dash’s Daughters Of The Dust, which influenced LEMONADE, but its imagery also appears to be central to the “Love Drought” video. In the video, Beyoncé marches into the water followed by a group of black women all in white with black fabric in the shape of a cross across the front of their bodies. They march progressively deeper into the water before pausing and raising all of their hands toward the sunset.

Join us TODAY 4/20 at Georgia State University’s Alliance for Gender & Sexual Diversity located in Room 467 of Student Center West located at 141 Courtland Street SE, Atlanta, GA 30303 for a screening of Julie Dash’s Daughters Of The Dust and stick around for a discussion on the legacy of the Igbo Landing as we sip on some lemonade and other seasonal refreshments.

Thank You!

SOI 2017 is a wrap!

SPARK Organizing Intensive (SOI) February 19, 2017 at the Troy Moore Library at Georgia State University

Posted by Spark Reproductive Justice Now on Wednesday, February 22, 2017


The SPARK Organizing Intensive (SOI) engages an intergenerational cohort of reproductive justice and sexual health advocates through collaborative intensive political skill development for comprehensive and sound reproductive justice policies in the Southeast. As a lead up to Legislate This!, the SOI is geared towards supporting and empowering people of color, while centering the experiences of Black Women and queer & trans youth of color. The training is an opportunity for both new and experienced organizers and activists to dig deep on pressing issues that affect our communities across identities, gain concrete organizing and campaign building skills, and directly organize and support community events and projects throughout 2017.

This year, the training was held at the Troy Moore Library at GSU and we were joined by Devin Barrington-Ward, a long-time supporter and lobbyist for SPARK as well as Sable Nelson, Esq., the Policy and Advocacy Program Manager at SisterLove, Inc.

SPARK thanks you all for your attendance and encourage you all to make your voices heard as advocated and allies in the fight for reproductive justice!

Queer South Rise UP!

There’s less than 24 hours left to register for SONG’s Queer South Revival happening in Highlands, NC, from March 3-5.

What can you expect?

In March, we’re bringing together 100 members who want to turn up with SONG both locally and regionally. Whether you are a new SONG member or Forever SONG family, if you want to move strategies, organizing, culture, and action in lockstep with the SONG formation then this is the membership gathering for you. Together we’ll imagine and enact on possibilities and plans to protect and defend our communities and to build sanctuary for southern towns and cities so we can live free from fear.

 Head on over to to learn more.

Georgia Black Caucus Hearing

In observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, SPARK and the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus will be hosting a public hearing co-sponsored by SisterLove, Inc tomorrow, Thursday, February 9, 2017, at 1:30PM in Room 415 of the Paul Coverdell Legislative Office Building at the State Capitol.

Georgia is one of 32 states that place an undue criminal liability on people living with HIV and SPARK, along with our community partners, has been working as part of a national task force, THE GEORGIA COALITION TO END HIV CRIMINALIZATION, to address the HIV epidemic in the South and help modernize HIV laws.

Join us at the hearing and learn more about how you can lend your voice to the movement.

This is the first in a series of events for our Speak Justice Take Action programing.

Up next is The SOI Advocacy Training And Brunch, taking place on Sunday FEB. 19,

and our education day at the State Capitol, Legislate THIS!, slated for Thursday, FEB. 23.

Let’s Meet At The Crossroads Of Reproductive Justice


Legislate THIS! is our annual statewide day of action and advocacy, with this year’s session taking place on Thursday, February 23, 2017. You can expect to hear from key leaders about pertinent public policy issues and educate our policymakers at the GA Capitol about many of our obstacles that meet at the crossroads of reproductive justice.

Read our 2017 Legislative Brief.

In celebration of the momentous 10th annual session, SPARK invokes Kimberlee Crenshaw’s work on Intersectionality, and calls on YOU to carry on in the tradition of grassroots community leaders who believe that we can speak truth to power and hold our elected representatives accountable through the collective power of Reproductive Justice.

Doors open/breakfast served at 8:30AM at Trinity United Methodist Church.

Register for the 10th Annual Legislate This! here.

View and share the event on Facebook and EventBrite.


kijan44 years after the US Supreme Court made the landmark decision, ROE V WADE is under attack. This is the latest in an ongoing effort to disempower women and further criminalize those most marginalized in society with restrictive laws. What can we do to protect our rights?

Join SPARK for a Facebook LIVE chat with Kwajelyn Jackson of Feminist Women’s Health Center, as we discuss how a repeal of the Supreme Court decision would impact women’s health and the fight for universal reproductive justice.


This event is part of a national series with our partners from All Above All. We Will Be BOLD.

Spark Off! Roe v. Wade

January 2017 marks the 44th anniversary of the Roe v Wade verdict and this month we talk to two individuals who have had abortions about their experiences and the future of reproductive rights. Tune in and let us know what you think!