Each retreat is a seven-day reprieve for self-care and study; a free vacation during which the only requirement is reading.
There are fragments of time in which the hairs on one’s body rise and one’s skin breaks out in goosebumps, at which one feels simultaneously full of sorrow and joy, at which one’s belly becomes warm with the promise of laughter and one’s heart becomes heavy with the premonition of heartbreak. We have a responsibility to fully live and acknowledge such moments.
400+1 is not simply a Black, cooperative federation in its infant stage, but also a theory. It’s the theory that we can, indeed, develop a blueprint for revolutionary change and map our way to freedom, but only if the African Diaspora, in its entirety, participates. Beyond a theory of change, 400+1 is a lifestyle; a way of living that unconditionally rejects survivalism, throwing back in the face of oppression the culture of desolation that it has imposed upon those with skin like the earth and forests of black, brown, red curls for crowns. We know that it is only by the grace of the Black imaginary, of Black fealty to ancestors crowding heaven, crowding paradise, of Black magic-practiced, determinedly in the dark, and more and more often, freely, in the light-that we have the space to do this specific work.
400+1’s reading retreats are experiences intentionally crafted with the idea that the examination of the Black experience and the naming of the phenomena that comprise it are prerequisites to the collective healing that serves as a crucial component of building Black capacity for mass movement.
We hope that, together, reading retreat attendees can take a stab at what Mama Toni accomplished when in The Bluest Eye she grappled with the complex and pathological nature of the relationship between Black parent and Back child; when in Sula, she pushed into our vocabulary the language with which to describe the way that the trauma of Black death and Black violence manifest when we are complicit; when, after election day 2016, she wrote “Mourning for Whiteness”; a short essay that describes the terror with which white Americans cling to their privilege and the lengths to which they’ll go to preserve it.
This sounds great! What is the application and selection process?
Applications are now open. Please fill out the following forms (located above) to apply to be selected for the upcoming Reading Retreats. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling schedule. All applicants will be notified via email.
It says it is completely free for Black folx. What does that mean?
This event is only for Black folx. Each ticket is paid for by white allies members of The Ally Ship who purchase a Reparations Supper Club ticket. Each supper club ticket makes this experience accessible to those most in need of it.
Tickets include food and lodging for the full duration of the retreat as well as up to half of the traveling cost for each attendee. We provide full travel assistance to those in emergency cases. Please read the application form for additional information.
I am a White ally. What can I do to help further this work?
1.) Purchase a reparation ticket at https://www.paypal.com/paypalme2/fourhundredandone.
2.) Join The Ally Ship, the reparations focused-ally component of the 400+1 federation. Your membership dues will go directly to building political and economic power for Black folx.
If you have more ideas about how to contribute or would like to meet with us email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a non-White ally. What can I do to further this work?
In full transparency, we are still thinking through how the 400+1 federation can be in relationship to non-White allies. We understand that holding multiple group memberships complicates the ally dynamic. We would love input from non-White allies on what this relationship looks like for you. Email us at email@example.com.
How are the locations selected?
Each retreat space has some relevance to the subject of the retreat and was handpicked by the L1 collective.