It seems like a miracle to me, to witness millions of people around the world coming together to demand change, demand justice. To witness the sustained gatherings day after day.
I have spent the past several years following leadings of the Spirit which have helped me learn about indigenous peoples. One way I try to organize things I’m learning is to create diagrams, such as the following.
The events of the past several weeks made me think how the treatment of black people fits into this diagram. This morning I added the block “Black” and how White people enslaved black people. And how White people intentionally built racism into our political, social and economic systems.
I had not thought about decolonization being related to people of color until I saw where systemic racism might fit into this diagram.
An Internet search for “black” and “decolonize” brought me to the website Decolonize ALL The Things, The UNsettling reflections of a Decolonial Scientist. (I really like the capitalization of UNsettling).
The description of the website indicates the goal is “the complete liberation of all peoples from white patriarchy, capitalism, oligarchy, colonialisms, settlement, as well as orientalism.” The same goals as my native friends.
As a Nkrumah Toureist, I am interested in seeing all of the continent of Africa and peoples of African descent united under scientific socialism. I am also interested in the complete liberation of all peoples from white patriarchy, capitalism, oligarchy, colonialisms, settlement, as well as orientalism. This aligns me with Indigenous peoples all over the world who have and continue to suffer injustices of dispossession, disconnection, and dehumanization. And I am of course aligned with those who are victims of the ‘modernity’ that brought destruction to them, their homelands, bodies, & then stole them away for enslaved labor. This website is called “Decolonize All The Things” and I stand by that political statement. I am interested in transforming the nature of the relationship with the self, others, resources, and all other forms of life.Shay-Akil McLean (@Hood_Biologist)
Shay-Akil McLean (@Hood_Biologist) is a Queer Trans man racialized as Black, on stolen Indigenous land, educator, writer, public intellectual, human biologist & sociologist. Shay-Akil is an Ecology, Evolution, & Conservation Biology PhD student in studying Du Boisian sociology, STS/HASTS, race, human health demography, evolutionary genetics, & theoretical population genetics. He holds degrees in biological anthropology (BA & MA) & sociology (BA & MA) which he uses to study STS/HASTS, bioethics, medical ethics, philosophy of biology, population genetics, evolutionary theory, health inequities, & knowledge production. As a developing scholar, Shay-Akil studies how systems of human practices result in the differential distribution of health, illness, quality of life, and death.
His Master’s work in biological anthropology looked at the impact of food insecurity, poverty, & racial residential segregation on the dental health of low-income Black people in the 4th poorest city in the United States. It is through this work that Shay-Akil began developing community-based grassroots interventions that focus on changing marginalized’s people’s relationships to knowledge & power.
The goal of Shay-Akil’s work is to create spaces for strategic gains toward organizing communities against the structural violence that heavily effects disease risk & life determinants.
So we are there, we need to be in solidarity. This country was built upon a premise that all people are equal and should have the right to liberty and should have the right to freedom. We understand that because we lived those ways prior to colonists coming to this continent, we need to bring that back. We are here, we are standing in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.”Laura John (Blackfeet and Seneca)