Pinned toot

"The dilemma for social movements on the Left is this: ‘how can we instrumentalize Black energy & Black bodies for our agendas, without our having to be authorized by a Black radical agenda?’"

— Frank Wilderson, “Radical Cities/Radical Lives” panel at the Oakland Book Fair, June 15, 2015

Pinned toot

On Afroindigeneity and acknowledging the Indigeneity of Black peoples, the descendants of enslaved Indigenous Africans and their relationships to these lands.
[Public post]

Ejemplos de barriles de Bomba. Puerto Rico.

Image source:

Image 1: 4 Musicians in front of various traditional Bomba style drums.
Image 2: 3 Musicians in front of traditional Bomba style drums and a 4th individual holding traditional maracas.

Grupo Changüí de Guantánamo at the National Folk Festival in Havana, 1962.


Image: 5 traditional Afrocuban musicians, 3 standing and two sitting, play for an audience. Black and white image.

Image: Big Chief Allison Montanta in his 1997 suit.

Image 2: 1997 Super Sunday on Orleans Avenue
left-right: second liner and former Yellow Pocahontas Spy Boy Fred Johnson with tambourine; Big Chief Allison Montana; Gina Montana, Big Chief's First Queen and cousin; and David Crowden, member of Yellow Pocahontas. Photo by Chandra McCormick.

Image 3: Detail of 1992 suit. Photo by Keith Calhoun.

Image 4: Big Chief Allison Montana dancing on Super Sunday in his 1997 suit. Photo by Keith Calhoun.

Image: Big Chief Allison Montana sewing on 1997 suit.

Image 2: Chelsi Stevenson, Big Chief's granddaughter; Big Chief Allison Montana, Chantz Stevenson, Big Chief's grandson.

Image 3: Big Chief Allison Montana in 1984 suit.

Image 4: Second Chief Edward Montana and Big Chief Allison Montana in their 1986 suits.

Photos by Keith Calhoun.

Image: 1947 Montana family portrait
left to right: Big Chief Alfred Montana and Eighth Ward Hunters, Allison Montana's father; Big Chief Alfred's First Queen Anabe; and Indian Allison Montana.

Quote by Barbara Bridges in the catalogue for the exhibition Caribbean Festival Art.

“The Mardi Gras Indians exemplify the creolization at the heart of the pan-Caribbean [& NAm] influences converging to create a fresh aesthetic is similar to what occurred in the West Indies. And although the Amerindian form appears with variations in Toronto, Brooklyn, ...Trinidad, St. Kitts-Nevis, Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica, Bermuda, and the Bahamas, nowhere else is it accompanied by quite the same musical refrains, aesthetic form, & artistic technique that characterized New Orleans' Black Indians.”

Image 1 : Big Chief Allison Montana with his 1990 suit.

Image 2: Detail of 1993 suit.

Image 3: Detail of 1990 suit.

Photos by Keith Calhoun.

Image: Big Chief Allison Montana in 1997 suit on Super Sunday.
Photo by Chandra McCormick.

Cw: outdated language use

“Also, as Smith notes, both active collaboration between Indians and Africans as well as the "imaging" of Native-Americans by African-Americans dates back to the 1700s. Drawings by A. Debatz suggest the merging of African and Native Indian cultures in Louisiana as early as 1735.”

Source: “He's The Prettiest: A Tribute To Big Chief Allison "Tootie" Montana's 50 Years Of Mardi Gras Indian Suiting”,

“Autonomy was at the heart of their project and exile the means to realize it.”

— Sylviane A. Diouf, Slavery’s Exiles: The Story of the American Maroons, (New York: NYU Press, 2014)

This is the afterlife of slavery - skewed life chances, limited access to health and education, premature death, incarceration, and impoverishment. I, too, am the afterlife of slavery.”


— Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2000)

“Slavery had established a measure of man and a ranking of life and worth that has yet to be undone. If slavery persists as an issue in the political life of Black America, it is not because of an antiquarian obsession with bygone days or the burden of a too-long memory, but because Black lives are still imperiled and devalued by a racial calculus and a political arithmetic that were entrenched centuries ago.


“Rather than celebrate Blackness as a cultural identity,” writes Wilderson, “Afro-Pessimism theorizes it as a position of accumulation and fungibility; that is, as condition—or relation—of ontological death.” Further, and due to this insight, “the Afro-pessimists are theorists of Black positionality who share Fanon’s insistence that, though [Black people]...

“It may be that the remedy to dispossession lies not in the spirit of claiming or reclaiming possession but in the paradox of an even greater and willed dispossession. But how, under constant assault, to defend what cannot be possessed?”

— Jared Sexton, “Afro-Pessimism: The Unclear Word”

I love reading this and seeing how this Indigenous knowledge has been retained in the diasporic Afroreligions.

... In return, the ancestors and deities bless, protect, and influence the affairs of their posterity, as there is no future without the past, that is, the ancestors, and gods and goddesses.”

- Anthony Ephirim-Donkor, “African Religion Defined: A Systematic Study of Ancestor Worship Among the Akan”

“In praxis, ancestor worship is tenable because living descendants are genetically linked to their ancestors and deities, making it possible for Africans to revere and honor their ancestors periodically in personal ways. Therefore, whenever life’s problems become overbearing individuals invoke the names of their loved ones of blessed memory, believing that the ancestors are aware of their problems intimately. ...

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