Compiled in 1996 by Carolyn GagePublished in
Womanist Theory and Research
, Spring/ Summer 1996, Athens, GA.
TERRI LYNN JEWELL1954-1995
Terri Lynn Jewell, a self-described "Black lesbian feminist poet and writer," died on Sunday,November 26, 1995, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Jewell's work has appeared inmore than 300 publications, including
Sinister Wisdom, Woman of Power, Sojourner,Kuumba, The American Voice, Calyx, The African-American Review,
The Black Scholar
. Her writings have also appeared in the anthologies
A Lesbianof Color Anthology.
Her calendar of Black women's history, Our Names are Many, isscheduled for publication by Crossing Press in 1996, and at the time of her death she wasediting a collection of Black lesbian poets.Jewell was the editor of
The Black Woman's Gumbo Ya Ya
(Crossing Press, 1993), ananthology of quotations by Black women. In her introduction, she writes: "This collectionwas born out of my personal need for affirmation as a Black woman. I needed a copingmechanism for the growing conservatism in this nation... We are all here, calling out to andreaching one another, gathering at one another's feet and sharing the sustenance that haskept us alive and moving in the directions we must go."The quotations she selected are a testimonial to the values she expressed in her life and inher writing:"There's nothing neat and tidy about me, like a nice social revolution. Withme goes a mad, passionate, insane, screaming world of ten thousand devilsand the man or God who lifts the lid off this suppressed world does so at hisperil."- Bessie Head"From my own study of the question, the colored woman deserves greater credit for what she has done and is doing than blame for what she cannot sosoon overcome."- Fannie Barrier Williams"... victory is often a thing deferred, and rarely at the summit of courage...What is at the summit of courage, I think, is freedom. The freedom thatcomes with the knowledge that no earthly power can break you; that anunbroken spirit is the only thing you cannot live without; that in the end it isthe courage of conviction that moves things, that makes all change possible."- Paula Giddings"The woman who takes a woman lover lives dangerously in patriarchy."- Cheryl Clarke