some love quotes for the Love Curriculum

`from the definition of “womanist”
3. Loves music. Loves dance. Loves the moon. Loves the Spirit. Loves love and food and roundness. Loves struggle. Loves the Folk. Loves herself. Regardless.

Alice Walker “Searching for Our Mother’s Gardens”

I’ll live for the people.
I’ll die for the people.
I’ll work for the people,
because I love the people.

Fred Hampton, “Black Panther Party Liberation School Morning Exercise”

In speaking of love at this point, we are not referring to some sentimental or affectionate emotion. Agape means understanding, redeeming good will for all me. It is an overflowing love which is purely spontaneous, unmotivated, groundless, and creative.

Martin Luther King Jr. “An Experiment in Love”

Agape is not a weak, passive love. It is love in action. Agape is love seeking to preserve and create community. It is insistence on community even when one seeks to break it. Agape is a willingness to go to any length to restore community.

Martin Luther King Jr. “An Experiment in Love”

Because you’re a dreamer, an incredible dreamer, with a tiny spark hidden somewhere inside you which cannot die, which even you cannot kill or quench and which tortures you horribly because all the odds are against its continual burning. In the midst of the foulest decay and putrid savagery, this spark speaks to you of beauty, of human warmth and kindness, of goodness, of greatness, of heroism, or martyrdoms, and it speaks to you of love.

Eldridge Cleaver “Soul on Ice”

I was consumed by him. That is not love.

Kathleen Cleaver (from a public speech at Columbia University in answer to a question about her relationship with Eldridge Cleaver)

I come from a world made of love. I want to take you there.

Meshell Ndgeocello

Build with lithe love. With love like lion-eyes.
With love like morningrise.
With love like black, our black—

Gwendolyn Brooks

Love would never leave us alone
in the darkness must come out light.

Could you be loved
and be loved?

Bob Marley “Could you be loved?”

my soul loves a whole love

Lauryn Hill “The Passion”

Some people don’t remember that love is
listening and laughing and asking questions
no matter what your age

Nikki Giovanni “Love Is”

The women stare
and are in love with them
selves. The sky sits awake
over us.

Amiri Baraka “The Return of the Natives”

this is you girl, something never waning or forgetting
something hard against the soul
this is where you make sense, that the sight becomes
tender, the night air human, the dull silence full
chattering, volcanoes cease, and to be awake is
more lovely than dreams

Dionne Brand “Hard Against the Soul”

when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish
when we are alone we are afraid
love will never return
and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid

So it is better to speak

Audre Lorde “Litany for Survival”

I was my grandmother’s heart. We belonged to each other. She taught me to see things unseen.

Nikky Finney

I love America more than any other country in the world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.

James Baldwin

To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of live, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the breaking of bread.

James Baldwin

and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

Maya Angelou

Love, I find, is like singing. Everybody can do it
enough to impress themselves, though it may not
impress the neighbors as being very much.

Zora Neale Hurston

Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.

Zora Neale Hurston

I try to teach my heart not to want things it can’t

Alice Walker

Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound
that it allows me to survive, and better than that, to
thrive with passion, compassion, and style.

Maya Angelou

These three words
Sweet and simple
These three words
Short and kind
These three words
Always kindles
An aching heart to smile inside.

Stevie Wonder

One of these days you’ll have to learn that love is
something that you gotta earn. Then once you earn it,
got to know how to keep it;You’ve got to want it, as
well as you need it.


Love, so many people use your name in vain,love,
those who have faith in you sometimes go astray.


Love’s in need of a love today, don’t delay send yours
in right away. Hate going ’round breaking many
hearts;Stop it please, before it goes to far.

Stevie Wonder

There’s beauty up above, the ones you never take notice
of, wake up, suddenly, your in love.

Billy Ocean

You’re just a sinner I am told
Be your fire when you’re cold
Make u happy when you’re sad
Make u good when u are bad
I’m not a human
I am a dove
I’m your conscious
I am love
All I really need is 2 know that
U believe


Did you know that true love asks for nothing
Her acceptance is the way we pay
Did you know that life has given love a guarantee
To last through forever and another day

Stevie Wonder

When you say love
You use it so lightly
But when I think of it
This is what comes to me
Loving me, where I am
How I am
Just for who I am
All my good and bad

Mary Mary

I’ve learned to respect the power of love.

Stephanie Mills

Make you do right… love’ll make you do wrong…
make you come home early…
make you stay out all night long…
the power of love…

Al Green


Time Exercise Extended

Time and the Creation of the Moment(s)

Time of Your Life
Partner exercise:
Part One:
What do you LOVE to do?
Each partner names some of their favorite things to do without stopping until the facilitators say “switch!”

Part Two:
On any week day what do you spend the most time doing?
Each partner goes down the list starting with what consumes most of their time (i.e. 1. class, 2. sleep, 3. Music Videos…) until the facilitator say switch (which they will do after like a minute or less…remember time is of the essence)

Debrief as a large group:
Raise your hand if you got to name some of the same things in part one and part two.
Share about the relationship between what you love and how you do.

Raise your hand if you didn’t get to name any of the same things in part one and part two.
Share about the relationship between what you love and how you do.

Large group question: Is time something that you spend or something that you make?

Radio Exercise Continued

1. Because I said so: Alternative Instructions
“Throw your hands in the air… and wave ‘em like you just don’t care.”

Name one song that you’ve heard on the radio recently that comes with instructions. →

By: __________________________________
What does the song tell you to do?
the last song I heard told me to : drop it like it’s hot. Hmm.

If you could give that artist some instructions of your own, what would you say?
Who tells you what to do in real life? What do they tell you to do?
If you could give those same people some instructions, what would you tell them to do? (Seriously.)
If you could blast some simple instructions for the following people what would you tell them to do?

the school board: _______________________________________________________

the President: __________________________________________________________

your supermarket: ______________________________________________________

your best friend: _______________________________________________________

the mayor: ______________________________________________________________

your neighbor: __________________________________________________________

your teacher: ____________________________________________________________

2. The Art of Interruption:
Only hip-hop artists think it’s a good idea to interrupt their own albums with public service announcements about littering (goodie mob) skits about ordering Chinese food (the fugees), random
(What is your favorite interlude? _____________)
gunshots (make a list). Interludes add more of the story and make us listen to songs differently. On a separate sheet of paper practice the poetic art of interruption.

Turn on your favorite radio station. What are the next two songs that come on?
Write an interlude to go between these two songs that says something about both of them.
Imagine that you could insert an interlude into any setting in your real life. How would you interrupt…
fast food________________ radio ad
What else would you interrupt?

Alternate Youth Leadership Curriculum

International Black Youth Summit Agenda (Structure)
Introduction: What is the history of the summit? What is the purpose of the summit.

We exist to facilitate the connection, self-expression and empowerment of young people of African descent around the world. We are young people making our visions real in our communities and exemplifying the principles of youth, transformation, love and possibility as a powerful approach to the universe.

-Two ways to participate in the training
1. How to be a facilitator of the distinctions in your life.

2. How to be facilitator of the International Black Youth Summit in your community.
Proposed: Each component of the weekend addresses each of the above two goals.

*As the participants introduce themselves, facilitators will be paying attention to who is from the same neighborhood, same school, same church same team nawmean?
*Each participant will lead something, our discussion on a question, their small group, a role play etc.

Distinctions: (for each distinction what is an example to apply to your self, what is an example for your community)
Eg: quick fix:
a. something that you do to distract yourself from the conversation (a sign that you are triggered)
b. an excuse not to change an underlying problem. a route that an institution takes in order not to live up to the potential of the people in our community.

(Later we can decide whether a large conversation, a small group, a role playing exercise or a personal freewrite is best for each issue)
What does it mean to be black? Are you a nigger? What is the possibility of being black?
What do I not want people to know about me?
Who would I have to be in order to trust? (What would trust look like made real in our communities)
What is love?
Love exists in life as a powerful, unconditional and infinite entity.
Culture creates our expressions of love, but love is not limited by culture. One manifests love as joy, passion, trust/faith, compassion and connection inclusively.

– International Black Youth Summit
August 4, 2001

(What does love look like made real in our communities?)

When I was Younger/When I grow up Exercise:
Radio Poetry: as an example of activities that you can do in your community
What are other activities that you could do? (small group brainstorm)
Time Exercise:
What do you want to spend your time on in the next year towards your vision (of love). (Try not to hear Mariah Carey in your head.)

Youth Leadership Course Template

Youth Leadership Course


introduction of the facilitators and the summit

opening go around 48/24 hours from now (starting with the facilitators)

distinctions: community and individual examples

quick fix
no out there
no right way to be
permission to engage

the being black questions:
what do other people say about black people?
what do black people say about black people?
what is the possibility of being black?

the radio exercize
groups of 4
instructions for young people in anguilla, government leaders in anguilla, world leaders


trust walk
who would you have to be to trust?
what don’t you want people to know about you?

vision exercizes (individually and in small groups)
drawing, words
goals for the year, the month, the week, the day in line with that vision

facilitator request:


A Love Movement

A Love Movement

Purpose of the love course: To provide participants with access to their lives as love. To instigate falling in love (with oneself, a community, a planet) as a new political mode of power and action.

Love exists in life as a powerful, unconditional and infinite entity.
Culture creates our expressions of love, but love is not limited by culture. One manifests love as joy, passion, trust/faith, compassion and connection inclusively.

– International Black Youth Summit
August 4, 2001

Set-up: quotes and pictures of love-lee things around the room, people can do love shout-outs and add quotes and pictures throughout. Also have a love bag so that people can write notes to each other.

Musing: Focusing exercise. Everyone writes on a piece of scrap paper (and may or may not share it) for the length of one song. A smart facilitator might choose a love song…broadly defined. (Though right now…I’m thinking Sade’s “By Your Side”…the Fela Kuti Remix from Red Hot Riot)

*be sure to underline what part of the curriculum we are in
Love exists (10-15 minutes): Each participant introduces themselves using their name, where they are from and by invoking the presence of a loved one. Who do they want to dedicate their time here to (it could be to themselves) and why? (I think that this dedication can serve as what the participants have at stake…what do you guys think?)

Ground rules: (5-7 minutes) Offer participants the opportunity to choose their own participation. Ask people what ground rules we need to have in the room for them to feel safe. If no one says, confidentiality, speak for yourself, don’t interrupt, don’t attack anyone, step up/step back…the facilitators should request these things. Facilitators should explain the phrase “permission to engage”.

Introduction: (5 minutes max) The facilitator(s) do a brief introduction of what the International Black Youth Summit has been up to. And what the purpose of this day is. Introduce the distinctions (which should be written on a large piece of paper that everyone can see).

In Life: (15 minutes)
Include the distinctions trigger, quick-fix, listening, no right way to be and no out there and love. For each distinction ask the participants to think of examples of how those distinctions show up individually and on a broader social level. (eg. trigger could show up individually when someone mentions something that I am struggling with…like skinny girls aren’t really black, and on a social level trigger could show up when the United States responds to Sept. 11 with a war on terror instead of with a re-evaluation of foreign policy.)
Spend more time on the love distinction. Find out if people want it.

Powerful, Unconditional, Infinite (15 minutes)

Break into partners and share with your partner everything that represents love for you. (Cupcakes, hugs, lemonade, my mom taking care of me when I’m sick, sunsets, babysitting, going to concerts etc. etc.) Encourage participants not to stop listing things until the facilitator says that it is time to switch.
In the big group share your experience of the exercise.

Culture creates our expressions of love: (as long as it takes) Still in the big group have a conversation about what love sounds like. Participants take turns name songs that they associate with love. Facilitators should ask participants what that song teaches us about love. Does that live up to the distinction we’ve made about love? Is anybody triggered by that version of love?

…but love is not limited by culture. (as long as it takes) The facilitator chooses a music video for a “love” song. Everyone watches. This introduces a conversation called “Lies you told me about love”. Why is love dangerous? How have we been betrayed? When have people given us something called love that was not love? What did we make that mean? How can the lessons we have learned from this allow us to love ourselves? How can we relate to these experiences in a way that affirms love as infinite, powerful and unconditional. What would it take to forgive…..ourselves.

break/ revolutionary interlude:
over the break everyone gets a handout with a quote about love by someone like Audre Lorde, Angela Davis, Che Guevara, James Baldwin, Fred Hampton, Ghandi, Assata Shakur or some other revolutionary. The homework is to read the quote and present it to the group when you get back. How can you apply this quote to your life…to your love?

One manifests love as: This conversation is a recontextualized version of “what is your vision?” The question is “What would your life and the world look life in a full manifestation of love?

kiss around the world

Stop in the name of love? Fear is the opposite of love. What are you afraid of. (Hint. It is most likely a conversation you are having that is insisting on the exact opposite of your vision.) So if your vision of love is “people connecting in full trust everywhere all at once” your stopmode conversation is probably something like “people can’t be trusted’.
What do you declare instead of this stopmode conversation. (Stopmode isn’t really a word. Does it work? What should we call this?)

joy, passion, trust/faith, compassion and connection inclusively…
Each participant stands and powerfully re-declares their love-vision (The World Is…) and sets a specific measurable goal of something that they are going to do that fulfills on their love-vision.
Each participant chooses a buddy (who hopefully lives near them) and gets their information and sets a check-in date. They should choose this partner because their vision speaks to them. The facilitators will pass around a sheet on which people put their names and contact info and their partners contact info..

Love this? Invite folks to become members of the facilitator body. A facilitator shares about how their participation in the body is love, and invites anyone to sign up to be a facilitator and invites them to the next call, and adds them onto the email list. (should this happen before the buddy exchange? Could the participants declare their visions and say that one do the things that they are doing to fulfill it is becoming a youth facilitator?)

Group hug up, squeeze up, love up photo.