1 September 2015


by Dubian Ade

via emanuelamechurch.org

Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in 1816 in the midst of protests. White Methodists in Charleston announced plans to build a shed directly on top of a black burial ground. In response over 4,000 blacks decided to part from the white Methodist church and to establish a religious institution of their own. Under the ministry of Rev. Morris Brown and Denmark Vesey, Mother Emanuel came to be the epicenter of black religious life in Charleston.

The church was a target for white citizens and city officials. City and state ordinances prohibited black worship after sunset without the presence of a majority white congregation. White terror consistently descended upon Mother Emanuel. Service was routinely interrupted and dispersed. Charleston authorities accused the ministry of teaching blacks reading and writing, which was against state policy. By 1818, whites had stormed the church and arrested 140 freed and enslaved blacks in violation of the state's anti-literacy policy. Ministers were fined and given lashes.


Why would Dolezal go to such extreme lengths to escape her white identity?

by Paula Ioanide

via ABC News

I interpret Dolezal's move to pass as Black to be motivated by a number of factors. One of those factors has to do with the fact that whiteness is afforded numerous privileges, but moral authority is not one of them. That is, when it comes to pursuing anti-racist justice, white identity is rightfully suspected of potential fraud, co-optation, and of fleeing back into white advantage when the going gets tough. This does not mean individual white people can't genuinely pursue justice; it simply means that sustaining moral integrity as a white anti-racist activist requires a perpetual confrontation with the ways white embodied identity is virtually equated with (and continues to benefit from) the oppression of white supremacy. Dolezal's move into a Black identity sought to escape this burden of having to prove her commitment to anti-racism through actions rather than an embodied identity.

Most people forget that the structure of white advantages in the U.S. was obtained at a monstrous moral price. It was gained through the active and/or complicit processes of denigrating, excluding, and violating people of color. This moral price is regularly concealed in U.S. society through the perpetuation of systematic ignorance about the country's real history. Its cover-up requires a normative structure of denial and disavowal in most white Americans. Even with this systematic ignorance, many people somehow know and feel that white supremacy, and its entrenched association with white identity, is grounded in moral illegitimacy. This is unconsciously betrayed each time a white person preemptively states, "I'm not racist" long before anyone has accused them of racism.


by Emilio Paqcha Benites

via Decolonization Wordpress

It is hard to believe but my culture, along with many other indigenous cultures around the world, continues to suffer robbery at many levels by the new colonial powers just the same way our ancestors did. Incalculable amounts of gold, silver, copper, diamonds and other material goods were among the first few things that were (and continue to be) exploited with little or no opposition and with little or no benefit to indigenous peoples.

A greater crime, which persists today is one much more valuable than any material goods. Since the beginning of the exploration conducted by European colonialists, indigenous knowledge was seen as inferior, archaic, backwards and non-worthy of development. Ironically, indigenous knowledge has been the equal victim of robbery and exploitation without any compensation for those who own it, which, by the way, is communal ownership. Obviously, this indicates that our knowledge was not as inferior as they said it was but it is this ideology which has kept us indigenous people from opposing this greater crime. Although in my culture, the past, present, and future are one, it is important to analyze them as separate in order to have a clear understanding of what is happening today with our knowledge and pride as well as the present robbery which we continue to be victims of.

Documentation has finally confirmed that the information presented by indigenous people for centuries is not a folklore or tale. In it, it says that colonial powers stripped away our pride and implanted shame and dependency. This was accomplished by following three stages of terror, which are still used today. The first stage was to simply kill Indigenous people for practicing their indigenous traditions and costumes. Once their labor was found useful, torture and terrorizing was implemented. Finally, if this did not do the job, conversion to the inferiority and superiority ideology were presented by schools, missionaries, anthropologists and of course by community members with colonized mentalities. Although the three stages continue to be used by those in power, the last stage is the greatest threat to indigenous pride and knowledge.


Concerning Violence

This 2014 documentary written and directed by Göran Olsson is based on Franz Fanon's famous 1961 essay "Concerning Violence." The film explores through archival footage the mechanisms for understanding Third-World decolonial struggles in Africa. Narrated by Ms Lauryn Hill, the film relies almost exclusively on excerpts taken from Fanon's landmark essay.

Decolonizing Culture

September 2015

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Between the World and Me

In his latest work Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates gives a masterful personal and literary account of race in America. Coates writes of his experiences and realizations in the form of letters to his adolescent son. Powerful, griping, poignant, and timely, Coates writes during a era when black bodies become hashtags on social media outlets, and the violence of state policing is caught on mobile video. In great strides Coates comes to terms with the construction of race as a fixture of American empire.

Decolonizing Culture

September 2015

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This months word is multiculturalism. Many use this word to legitimize structures of power, superficially promote inclusion, and erase the experiences of people of color. THE DECOLONIZER has come up with their own definition.

Multiculturalism (noun): The radical reintergration of experiences across ethnic, geographical, historical, gendered, sexual, class and racial lines which centers the oppressed and their experience of systemic oppression.

Multiculturalism is NOT people of various skin tones standing next to each other in a brochure. Multiculturalism is NOT that one Black guy at your job. Multiculturalism is NOT that one Bengali friend you have. Multiculturalism is NOT ordering Chinese food. Multiculturalism is NOT talking salsa classes. Multiculturalism is NOT drinking fair trade coffee. Multiculturalism is NOT wearing dreadlocks. Multiculturalism is NOT converting to Buddhism...

We could go on and on.

Multiculturalism used in a sentence:

"The active recruitment of people of color and centering of their voices in the organization was a wonderful show of multiculturalism."

Decolonizing Culture

September 2015

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The Emotional Politics of Racism

With stop-and-frisk laws, new immigration policies, and cuts to social welfare programs, majorities in the United States have increasingly supported intensified forms of punishment and marginalization against Black, Latino, Arab and Muslim people in the United States, even as a majority of citizens claim to support "colorblindness" and racial equality. With this book, Paula Ioanide examines how emotion has prominently figured into these contemporary expressions of racial discrimination and violence. How U.S. publics dominantly feel about crime, terrorism, welfare, and immigration often seems to trump whatever facts and evidence say about these politicized matters.

Decolonizing Culture

September 2015

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Dominican-Haitians flood processing centers as DR prepares for mass deportation.

by Dubian Ade

via Al Jazeera

You are an undocumented Haitian who has lived in the Dominican Republic for generations. Your family has made a home here, your children born onto this soil. You moved here for work; in fact you were recruited here by the Dominican government under its bilateral agreements of 1959 and 1966. You and your relatives have worked on Dominican plantations cutting sugar cane for more that thirty years.

June 17th was the deadline declared by the Dominican government for you to register for a two-year visa. After this date you face mass deportation. The lines stretch around the corners of buildings with people who had camped outside of the registering offices since 3 AM in the morning. People are confused and pleading. Some whisper the need for special documentation from Haiti. You have no documentation from Haiti. You have no connection to Haiti as you have lived in the Dominican Republic for most of your life. You have no place to go back to in Haiti. You and your children will most likely be homeless.


Here's an easy recipe for nutritionista-approved, Seasonal Farro Salad!

via New York Times, Andrew Scrivani

Farro is a type of wheat grain that you can use just like rice. It is high in vitamins A, B, C & E. It's been used for thousands of years in the Fertile Crescent, and has even been found in Egyptian tombs. This recipe takes about an hour to make, serves 8, and can be made ahead to enjoy throughout the week for a delicious snack or side to any meal.

Base: 1 1/ 2 cups dry farro, cooked in salted water. Cook until it's soft but still slightly chewy, drain and place in a bowl to cool.

Dressing: The classic ratio is 1:3, acid to oil. Mix up 1/ 2 C olive oil with 2 tablespoons acid (favorite vinegar, lime or lemon juice,add more if you'd like). Add two hearty pinches of salt, black pepper, a clove of minced garlic and 1/ 2 cup finely diced onion. Let this sit while the onion and garlic mellow.

Mix- Ins: Start with two cups of favorite herbs, like torn basil and chopped cilantro, or mint and parsley. Add a 1/ 2 cup of chopped nuts or seeds such as pistachio, sunflower, walnuts, or cashew. Make this recipe seasonal by adding local fresh vegetables, aiming for 5-6 total cups of vegetables. Sautée or roast what you don't like to eat raw. In late summer, try leeks, eggplant, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes or whatever vegetables are in their second harvest of the season. For fall and winter, greens like kale or collards, beets, winter squashes, apples, pears, are all great choices. Pair this salad with proteins such as a lentil and bean stew, grass-fed cheeses, or sustainable-sourced seafood.

Decolonizing Body

September 2015

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by Shanta Carr

Macro Mamasita, Casual Farmer, & Whole Community Project Intern

Now that summer is coming to a close, it's really nice to make late-night pastas with FRESH marinara sauce. Or roast tomatoes, onions, garlic and hot peppers to make a delicious salsa to store for the chili seasons ahead.

What's in season? Almost everything!

Cherry Tomatoes

All kinds of kale

Ground Cherries



Green Beans


All kinds of tomatoes



Snap Peas

Sweet Corn

All kinds of melons


Shanta Carr

Decolonizing Body, Shanta Carr

September 2015

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by Natasha Eziquiel-Shriro

Nutrition, Foods & Wellness Consultant

Many of us know from experience that the way we feel mentally and emotionally is deeply intertwined with our physical health. The 'brain-belly' connection can manifest as that euphoric feeling after eating cheese and chocolate, or the gut-wrenching pains of digestive distress when our anxiety reaches a new plateau. Often we find media instructing us to address our weight using food, and our mental health using drugs--while past and emerging research on more holistic practices suggests that food and the nutrients locked within can solve both physical and mental health problems. Nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin C, healthy and balanced dietary fats, iron, selenium,magnesium and zinc have all been implicated in depression, anxiety, and a range of other mood disorders. Evidence suggests that for some, these nutrients in either normal or mega-dose quantities can preclude the need for or enhance the intended effects of pharmaceuticals in healing the mind and body. Self care through eating a whole foods, minimally processed and plant- focused diet is peaceful and personal way of breaking your reliance on Big Pharma, living sustainably, and improving your quality of life.

Natasha Eziquiel-Shriro, MS

Decolonizing Body, Natasha Eziquiel-Shriro

September 2015

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By Bud Gankhuyag

The highly publicized disruption of a Bernie Sanders speech on August 8th in Seattle, Washington, caused by Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists Marissa Johnson and Mara Willaford, has sparked widespread condemnation and even outright dismissal of the entire movement for black lives. Many are unable to make sense of why these activists interjected a speech of an outspoken socially progressive candidate; others have reasoned that this act was indeed senseless. By taking such a reactionary and antagonistic stance, however, critics are bypassing any consideration of the perspectives of the activists and importantly the very reasons behind their choices. Instead, what has taken the place of critical understanding is an ignorant ascription of lack of intelligence and political acumen, accusations that are racial and gendered. Demonizing BLM and movements for racial justice only serve to bolster the relative privilege and myopia of white progressivism.

Elaine Thompson / AP

As activists Marissa Johnson and Mara Willaford firmly stood on stage, juxtaposed to a silent, deferred Sanders. They welcomed the Senator to the city that has spent $200 million to imprison black children and houses a police force riddled by use of force, racial profiling,and scandals throughout the year. They left the stage after five minutes, but not before commemorating the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown's death and declaring to Sanders that the BLM movement will persist regardless of who is elected president. The crowd of mostly white Sanders supporters quickly expressed their outrage; when Johnson pressed to the crowd that "it is time that we honor [the life of Michael Brown] here and now," one heckler claimed "we've already done it!" On public facebook comments responding to videos of the incident, angered Sanders supporters called the two women "uneducated on politics" and "Idiots... This is why you do your research, so you don't make yourself, cause and people look like idiots. What a shame."


by Nicole LaFave

On July 24,2015 the Movement for Black Lives Convening took in Cleveland, Ohio. Approximately 1,500 brown and black bodies flooded the Cleveland State University campus. Black people from across the globe traveled to the Midwest in hopes of garnering the rejuvenation to continue the movement for Black Lives. The purpose of this convening was to empower people of the African Diaspora to lead their own movement to dismantle structural and systemic racism. The very essence of this convening was to create a safe space for black voices and concerns to be heard; a space filled with love, healing and resilience.

via Twitter, Laila Nur

Beautiful afros, dreadlocks, Senegalese twist and other forms of African hairstyles were sported by the beautiful black men, women and children in attendance. "Good morning beautiful black people," was heard by a group of teens from the Greater Ithaca Activities Center summer camp. Huge smiles filled the faces of this group of teens. How often does one hear such a greeting on the streets from a stranger? This greeting set the tone for the rest of the weekend which was filled with black love, hope and strategic planning for the rebirth of what it means to be Black in America.


THE DECOLONIZER transgresses all introductions.

THE DECOLONIZER is the frustration of the people.

THE DECOLONIZER does not explain themselves.

THE DECOLONIZER is the thorn in the side of cis-heterosexual domination.

THE DECOLONIZER does not answer any questions.

THE DECOLONIZER remembers history.

THE DECOLONIZER seeks liberation.

THE DECOLONIZER is hot water in the face of patriarchy.

THE DECOLONIZER is a series of negations.

THE DECOLONIZER is the yell of the people.

THE DECOLONIZER is the interruption of white supremacy.

THE DECOLONIZER is the stone in the shoe of imperialism.

THE DECOLONIZER does not care if you are not a racist.

THE DECOLONIZER does not care about your one friend of color.

THE DECOLONIZER does not care if you are uncomfortable.

THE DECOLONIZER is not interested in your white liberalism.

THE DECOLONIZER is concerned with freedom.

THE DECOLONIZER is an act of love.

THE DECOLONIZER is the return of the Third World Solidarity Front.

THE DECOLONIZER #cannotbreathe

THE DECOLONIZER is the thumb in the eye of empire.

THE DECOLONIZER says "Viva La Raza."

THE DECOLONIZER is the aggression of the people.

THE DECOLONIZER transgresses all introductions.


September 2015

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