Decolonize ALL The Things

The UNsettling reflections of a Decolonial Scientist in a Constant State of Rage

Cishetpatriarchy is not community

February 20, 2016
Shay-Akil

I am Black and TransI AM A GENDERQUEER BLACK TRANS MAN.  I am racialized as Black, a Trans man, genderqueer, bi, & a descendant of stolen Africans on Indigenous peoples’ stolen land ALL AT THE SAME TIME.  I know this may be astonishing to you but none of these things are choices.  They are the social, political, and historical contexts within which I live. They just are. They don’t have a switch.  They don’t click on or off. And these contexts have shaped me but I am not limited to them.

I was socialized into the wrong gender, misgendered since my birth, and socialized into a transphobic society.  Just because I was misgendered as a cis woman does not mean that I know what its like to be a cis woman.  I am, always have been, and always will be a Black Transman.  I knew that when I was a small child, I knew that when I was terrified into having to perform cisheteronormativity.  What I do know is how cis Black women are treated.  That’s all, but that does not make me a cis Black woman, I have never been one.

Continue Reading

A Short List of Articles on the Impact of Intersectional Hegemony on the lives of Black People In The US

February 1, 2016
Shay-Akil

Continue Reading

Transitioning Into A Decolonized Masculinity

November 15, 2015
Shay-Akil

Under-construction

Its been 4 months. Its been 4 months today that I’ve been on HRT. I came out to everyone else about being genderqueer about 2 years ago.  I told loved ones that I wanted to transition after the passing of my grandmother this May.  I’ve known I was trans since I was a kid.  As a child I had all senses of mystical rationales that I came up with to be “okay”.  At night I would dream that I was a baby boy in a crib and told myself that being awake was just a bad dream and in reality I was a baby boy and everything was right with the world.  I spent a large bit of my childhood and teenage years rebelling against people telling me I was a girl, telling me what women do, telling me that I need to get into place.  I stayed in trouble mostly because I was gender policed.  The majority of my troubles in school, daycare, and at home was all about me doing things that “only boys do”. Continue Reading

D.A.T.T. Freedom School Week 5 Summary – Black Feminism

August 11, 2015
Shay-Akil

Liberation Circle & Reading Summaries from D.A.T.T. Freedom School

Summer 2015 – Week 5

Black Feminism

The Storify for this topic’s Liberation Circle tweet chat can be found HERE.

Summary of “Black Feminist Thought” by Patricia Hill-Collins – Chapter 1 “The Politics of Black Feminist Thought”, Chapter 2 “Distinguishing Features of Black Feminist Thought”, & Chapter 10 “U.S. Black Feminism in Transnational Context”

Dr. Collins opens up the first chapter of Black Feminist Thought with the words of Maria W. Stewart in 1831 challenging the notions of white patriarchy limiting the greatness & brilliance of Black women by delegating them to gendered tasks based on hegemonic femininity.

“How long shall the fair daughters of Africa be compelled to bury their minds and talents beneath a load of iron pots and kettles?”  – Maria W. Stewart, 1831

“Maria Stewart challenged African-American women to reject the negative images of Black womanhood so prominent in her times, pointing out that race, gender, and class oppression were the fundamental causes of Black women’s poverty. In an 1833 speech she proclaimed, “Like King Solomon, who put neither nail nor hammer to the temple, yet received the praise; so also have the white Americans gained themselves a name . . . while in reality we have been their principal foundation and support.” Stewart objected to the injustice of this situation: “We have pursued the shadow, they have obtained the substance; we have performed the labor, they have received the profits;we have planted the vines, they have eaten the fruits of them” (Richardson 1987, 59). Maria Stewart was not content to point out the source of Black women’s oppression. She urged Black women to forge self-definitions of self-reliance and independence. “It is useless for us any longer to sit with our hands folded, reproaching the whites; for that will never elevate us,” she exhorted. “Possess the spirit of independence. . . . Possess the spirit of men, bold and enterprising, fearless and undaunted” (p. 53). To Stewart, the power of self-definition was essential, for Black women’s survival was at stake. “Sue for your rights and privileges. Know the reason you cannot attain them.Weary them with your importunities. You can but die if you make the attempt; and we shall certainly die if you do not” (p. 38).” – “Black Feminist Thought” by Patricia Hill-Collins, p. 1

Continue Reading

D.A.T.T. Freedom School Week 4 Summary – Cishetpatriarchy, Gender, & Sexuality

August 4, 2015
Shay-Akil

Liberation Circle & Reading Summaries from D.A.T.T. Freedom School

Summer 2015 – Week 4

Cishetpatriarchy, Gender, & Sexuality

The Storify for this topic’s Liberation Circle tweet chat can be found HERE.

What is GENDER?

Gender is the range of mental and behavioral characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between and across, masculinity and femininity.  In Western societies, the accepted cultural perspective on gender views women and men as naturally and unequivocally defined categories of being with distinctive psychological & behavioral propensities that can be predicted from their reproductive function.  (The idea that women do feminine things, men do masculine things & it is just ‘natural’) (Doing Gender, West & Zimmerman, 1987:126)

What is SEX/BIOLOGICAL SEX?

Sex is a determination made through the application of socially agreed upon biological criteria for classifying persons as females or males.  The criteria for classification can be genitalia at birth or chromosomal typing before birth, and they do not necessarily agree with one another (Doing Gender, West & Zimmerman, 1987:127).  & its important to recognize that binary ‘sex’ is not supported by biology, if genes & genitalia are the criteria for binary biological sex, then even Eurowestern colonial binary biological sex is false and not supported by biological evidence.

What is SEX CATEGORY?

Placement in a sex category is achieved through application of the sex criteria, but in everyday life, categorization is established and sustained by the socially required identificatory displays that proclaim one’s membership in one or the other category.  Sex & sex category can vary independently; that is, it is possible to claim membership in a sex category even when the sex criteria are lacking (Doing Gender, West & Zimmerman, 1987).

What is SEXUALITY?

Sexuality is a person’s sexual orientation.  Many sexual orientations exist including but not limited to asexual, pansexual, bisexual, gay, lesbian, and heterosexual.  (Its important to remember that sexuality is not the same as gender or romantic orientation)  Some describe sexuality as what you do or don’t do with your genitalia.

– From Patriarchy & Gender by Shay Ture (@They_berian)

Continue Reading

COMING THIS SUMMER: D.A.T.T. Freedom School

May 2, 2015
Shay-Akil

Its about to go down.
DATT School Announcment Tweets

DATT School Announcment Tweets2

The goal is for the freedom school to function as a work study program that provides people with the basics of critical thinking skills & begin their political education process.  The DATT Freedom School will host weekly tweet chats where the basics of how to understand hegemony is taught & discussed by guest educational coordinators & a DATT Freedom School Team Member as well as tweet chats reviewing the chosen book of the week or month.  I also plan on setting it up where participating educational coordinators & community activists record video sessions that easily breaks down concepts and applies them to historical & contemporary examples.

If you would like to participate DM me on twitter or email me at decolonizeallthethings@gmail.com!

MORE DETAILS COMING SOON!!!!!!!!!!

“The Blacker The Berry” Is A Black Pathology Anthem

February 11, 2015
Shay-Akil

kendrick-lamar-the-blacker-the-berryKendrick Lamar recently dropped the track “The Blacker The Berry”, what has been called a “Black Anthem” that deals with the hypocritical racial self hatred in the Black community.  As a hip hop head I was hype to first listen to the song, hoping that it would say something critical, contextually accurate, reveal the true issues at hand & I was unfortunately immediately disappointed.  The song left a bad taste in my mouth, it was disrespectful, lecturing, and inaccurate.  “The Blacker The Berry” has been quickly gaining traction since its release and its for a very particular reason: Black pathology sells (H/T @thetrudz). Continue Reading

Under Construction: Decolonizing Queer Masculinity(ies) Part II – Depatriarchalizing The Body

February 7, 2015
Shay-Akil

Under-construction

Introduction

I have decided to turn my initial blog post “Under Construction: Decolonized Queer Masculinity(ies)” into a series where I deconstruct colonial notions of gender, sexuality, sex category, & the many intersections with other identities & systems of domination.  In my first blog post in this series I discussed unhinging my identity from patriarchal notions of gender & situating myself within my queer masculinity.  In this blog post I want to discuss what that is like when it comes to decolonizing my own eyes & the ways in which I view, theorize, & engage with my own body. Continue Reading

Gotta Catch ‘Em ALL!: How Liberalism Turns Oppressed Peoples into Pokemon

February 5, 2015
Shay-Akil

download (4)This is something that a good friend of mine & I have been talking about for years!  Years I tell you!  We have had so many discussions with people about this.  So I figured it’s about time for me to share this amazingly accurate (as well as hilariously entertaining) concept to help people understand the problems with: diversity, multiculturalism, and colorblindness.  So if you are reading this article I am going to assume that you have heard of Pokemon, get the general concept of how Pokemon works.  So enough of the nerd love, let me get the overall point.

Continue Reading

Under Construction: Decolonized Queer Masculinity(ies)

January 3, 2015
Shay-Akil

Under-construction

This is something that I have been discussing with close friends and working on what this means for myself.  As somebody who is considered an academic in some sense, a lot of figuring this out means I’ve been reading loads of research articles, books, and articles online to look at loads of different perspectives and see how that looks next to the many conversations that I have had with close friends and family.  The academic portion of this journey has proved to be difficult as a consequence of the white history of the term “queer”.  As a Black person whose gender identity is queer masculine, I have been wrestling with what this means to me and working on constructing a queer masculinity that is decolonized.  And by that I mean depatriarchalized, a masculinity that isn’t defined by or nested in patriarchal domination. Continue Reading

Blog at WordPress.com.