Monday, July 02, 2007

Radical Love Letters

If love is a radical force, then let your love flow.
Here are three radical love letter formats. To publish your own email a pdf or a jpg or both to

Letter to a (Newark) Jail

This is a love letter that I wrote for the four black lesbians in Newark, New Jersey who are serving jail time for defending themselves from a homophobic attacker. As a queer black woman from New Jersey who was raised to stand up for herself, I know that they could be me.
Use this as an example in your classroom/workshop/support group. For a pdf of this letter click here

If you'd like to send your letter directly to these sistas, please follow the instructions from FIERCE below:
You can also check out for more upcoming info.

At the moment we are receiving mail at Human Rights Watch for the four women, until they have a permanent address in prison. Their names are Terrain Dandridge, Patreese Johnson, Venice Brown, and Renata Hill.

Please address all letters: Newark 4
350 Fifth Avenue, 34th floor
New York, NY 10118-3299

We have also started an email group to put community members in touch with one another and to send updates.
Please accept our invitation, or ask to join.

Hi, everyone. I hope we can start a letter-writing campaign to
Governor Spitzer. Here's a template we can use, but it will be much
more powerful if we all send different letters, so please add to or
change this letter to express your own feelings about this case.

*** If you want to e-mail the governor, you should do that here:

*** If you'd rather call the office of the governor, here's the
number: (518) 474-8390

*** Or you might want to print your letter and mail it to:

The Honorable Eliot Spitzer
Governor of New York
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Spitzer:

In the summer of 2006, seven young women from New Jersey, Venice
Brown, Khamysha Coates, Terrain Dandridge, Lania Daniels, Renata
Hill, Patreese Johnson, and Chenese Loyal, were spending some of
their leisure time in New York City's West Village when Dwayne
Buckle, a man selling DVDs on the street, sexually propositioned
Patreese Johnson. Refusing to take no for an answer, he followed the
young women down the street, insulting them and yelling threats. He
spat in Renata's face and threw his lit cigarette at her, then he
yanked another's hair, pulling her towards him, and then he began
strangling Renata. A fight broke out, during which Patreese Johnson,
4 feet 11 inches tall and 95 pounds, produced a small knife from her
bag to stop Buckle from choking her friend.

Two male onlookers, one of whom had a knife, ran over to physically
deal with Buckle in order to help the women. Buckle, who ended up
hospitalized for five days with stomach and liver lacerations,
initially reported on at least two occasions that the men���not the
women���had attacked him. What's more, Patreese's knife was never
tested for DNA, the men who beat Buckle were never questioned by
police, and the whole incident was documented on surveillance video.
Yet the women ended up on trial for attempted murder, throughout
which the judge, Edward J. McLaughlin, ridiculed and expressed open
contempt for the women in front of the jury. As a result, four of the
women ended up being convicted and sentenced in June 2007 to jail
terms ranging from 3 1/2 to 11 years.

It is difficult to justify these women being brought to trial for
anything, much less murder, and almost impossible to credibly explain
the sentences brought down on them. This letter is to ask you to
consider clemency for these women, who have been in jail for over a
year despite having committed no crime. Thank you for your
consideration of this matter.


The Philosophical Love Letter: This letter was created by Marquetta Dupree about how a certain understanding of love can change the ways we experience life. What is love to you? How is love a social force that can respond to poverty, violence and pain? For a pdf of this letter click here
Love letter to the world:
This letter is by Diedra and states her love-learned vision for here relationship to the earth.
For a pdf of this letter click here

1 comment:

Dark Daughta said...

Hi there,
Has anyone looked into changing the gubernatorial addressee of the original letter? It's clear that no one needs to be writing to Mr. Spitzer about this matter, anymore.