There is no decolonization without uplifting Black lives.

Jun 19, 2018 · 6 min read

By Whitney Sparks

As a black woman of Turtle Island I am asking EVERYONE to STOP speaking of “Decolonization” without explicitly naming and confronting Antiblackness.

Image for post
Image for post

Antiblackness is deeply, unshakably inherent to colonization as much as land theft, rape, genocide, white supremacy, hierarchy.

“In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist — we must be antiracist.” — Angela Davis

It means taking the following actions:




In action the praxis of being antiracist is a lifelong process and unending series of practices, experiments upon oneself, developmental excercises, personal risks, education, labor, exchanges, pauses etc. The actual steps are as diverse as they are multitudinous. For example I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention:


5. RESPECTING ( SUPPORTING, LISTENING TO) WOMXN+ / femmes, feminine energies, beings, bodies, words, spaces, practices, and actions.

Antiracism in the United States and/or on Turtle Island necessarily, critically, crucially involves the above acts (I’d argue that they are in fact globally required), in addition to explicit:

1. Acknowledgement of Native Indigenous land sovereignty and our presence on unceded territories, inheritors of settler colonialism. This involves learning and self education on the Indigenous people native to the land where you reside — locally and continentally. What’s their name? to begin. Listen to, defer to, respect and Pay Indigenous people. This is a lesson applicable worldwide.

2. Acknowledgement of the enslavement of Black ancestors and everything that has entailed and enabled against people of the African Diaspora and their descendants in the Americas/ Turtle Island, and Black people worldwide. The peculiarly cruel racism experienced by Black people, especially in the US but also globally is among the worst and most noxious forms of violent white supremacy that ever existed. This cannot be said or emphasized enough. Along with the genocide of and land theft from Native Americans this vicious violent antiblack white supremacy is both the origin and the basis of the hegemonic, hyper-capitalist white supremacy that is destroying our planet (from the ground up) and deliberately destabilizing communities and cultures of color around the world.

The US war power that so many decry, lament, and protest, righteously and passionately — was and still is developed, tested, strengthened, and emboldened by oppressing and enslaving and dehumanizing Black people, of African descent, over and over and over again (worldwide).

Your job as an aspiring antiracist accomplice (whether white or non-black people of color, but especially if you are white presenting) to begin is to educate yourself on Black history, via the voices of black people living and dead, of all genders and walks of life, and very importantly to pay reparations to black people. You can start by paying the black people and organizations who educate you on our history. You may also pay reparations directly to any Black American who accepts. I recommend setting aside a regular recurring amount of money in your budget for this purpose. If you feel lost on where to start giving I cannot recommend the FB group “Reparations: Requests & Offerings” highly enough.

Resources Referenced:

“So initially when Europeans arrived to the Americas, they tried forcing Natives into what would become chattel slavery. This didn’t work because they were essentially trying to make them prisoners in their own home. The Natives knew the land and escaped regularly and successfully.

That was one of the chief motivators in going to West Africa to steal Africans to enslave. They were bringing people who were looked so distinctly different from them and who were in what amounted to a new world for them. We were separated from our land and our people, making it easier to keep us captive.

So when we look at racism and capitalism, understand there is a hierarchy and Black people were always intended to be and have always been at the very bottom. Non-Black people of color who experience racism, particularly that racism driven by capitalism, are victims to a system of circumstance rather than intent. They realize these people aren’t white so they can exploit them without consequence, but with Black people the intention is not only profit, but punishment.

With us, they not only know we can be exploited, but believe that is our sole purpose. We exist only for profit and pain. We are here to satisfy their needs and indulge their sadistic fantasies of torture through sexual, physical and emotional abuse. To them, we are not collateral damage.

The mission is to damage, destroy and control us. So please understand that racism does not function the same for all non-Black people. And never, in your non-Black ass life, try to police a Black person’s response to anti-Blackness because the perpetrator is a non-Black person of color.”

“It always cracks me up when people say that, “not everything is about race.”

Um yes. Literally every goddamn thing in this country is about race.

This country was literally born in the genocide of the people of color who lived here first and built by the horrifically violent enslavement of people of color — all justified by whyte supremacy.

Absolutely nothing that has happened in this country or will happen in this country since then will ever not be about race.

Like, If I go to your house, burn it down, murder you, and rebuild a new house from your bones — I can’t pretend like anything I make in that house isn’t about murder.

“Oh no, this table sitting on your bones isn’t about murder, it’s just a table.”

“Oh, this money I made in the office I built from your bones isn’t about murder — I’m a computer programmer!”

Nah bitch, it’s all about murder. And as long as that house still stands, it’s about murder. As long as you think you own the land it’s on, it’s about murder. And even after you die and you pass that house on to your kids, everything they do in that house will be about murder. And if they sell that house, everything they buy with that money will be about murder. And you don’t get to sit in your human bone chair and complain that people won’t just “get over” the fact that you built your entire life out of the bodies of their kin.”

Support my work and become a subscriber!


Written by


making stories visual + leading outside yoga + telling art narratives


Written by


making stories visual + leading outside yoga + telling art narratives

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store