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Alright ayo it's @Claystanman here and for #BlackHistoryMonth we're thinking it'll be a good idea to try and spread knowledge of the history of Black American/African solidarity with and black folks' presence in #SouthAsian resistance.
Bayard Rustin, a gay black man who worked in movements for civil rights, socialism, and gay rights (later known as one of MLK's foremost organizers) organized the Free India Committee & was often arrested for protesting against British colonialism in Africa and India in the 40s.
Bayard's work in supporting the Indian independence movement was reflective of his internationalist approach.

He also participated in the March for Survival at the Thai-Cambodian border in 1980, and in 1982 founded the National Emergency Coalition for Haitian Rights.
His arguably most famous work was as one of the primary architects of the 1963 March on Washington. His history of organizing pre-dated MLK's, and he acted as MLK's mentor during the Civil Rights Movement.

But because he was openly gay, he was pushed out of the frontline.
Bayard's work spreads across a 50+ yrs of transnational and queer organizing.

He was willing to interact with and learn from lower-caste folks before many South Asians themselves were ever willing to acknowledge Dalit struggle. He understood that liberation is a global project.
Hey ayo, time for Day 2 of us spreading awareness of how South Asian and Black struggle have been intertwined (or one and the same) for #BlackHistoryMonth

Today we're discussing Quincy McEwan, current Executive Director of Guyana Trans United @GuyanaTrans.
Quincy McEwan founded @GuyanaTrans in 2012 in order to provide community and advocacy for transgender Guyanese folks. The organization includes folks of many different racial backgrounds, including folks with Indo-Guyanese backgrounds.
Racial tension in Guyana is a legacy of the colonial era; Guyana achieved independence from the British Empire in 1966. However, ethnic divides emerged between Afro-Guyanese, Indo-Guyanese and mixed folk over representation in government.

...We're gonna skip over that for now.
What's important is that @GuyanaTrans exists as a space for advocating for transgender folks regardless of race.

Pictured is Quincy McEwan (left) supporting Twinkle Bissoon (right), a transwoman the Guyanese court turned away for appearing in gender-nonconforming clothing.
Twinkle Bissoon herself is also a transgender rights activist affiliated with @GuyanaTrans. The Guyana Chronicle featured her in 2016, and she discusses her womanhood and what she believes Guyana could do better to support LGBT folk. (cn: deadnaming) guyanachronicle.com/2016/08/07/twi…
Pictured here, from right to left, is Quincy McEwan, Petronella Trotman, Twinkle Bisson, and Joel Simpson, Exec. Dir. of @SASODGuyana.

@GuyanaTrans and @SASODGuyana worked together in 2013 to support Petronella, who was also turned away from the court for appear in GNC clothes.
(And by the way, the past two photos are courtesy of @SASODGuyana, who have worked for quite some time to support LGBT folks in the Caribbean from sexual discrimination.)
In any case, Quincy McEwan has been working for years to ensure that trans rights aren't dropped by the wayside as Guyana recovers from colonialism.

To support her work, @GuyanaTrans' FB page is here: facebook.com/pg/Guyana-Tran…

Boost her shit. Thanks <3
Day 3 of #BlackHistoryMonth! Time to feature another queer black activist who has worked in unity with South Asian folks: Monica Simpson (she/her), current Exec Dir. of @SisterSong_WOC.

Photo C/O The American Prospect (where she is published prospect.org/article/anti-c…!)
First, a bit about @SisterSong_WOC. Sister Song was founded in 1997 among a network of AA, Indigenous, Black, and Latina women to advocate for reproductive justice.

The term was coined in Chicago by black women in 1994. Read: sistersong.net/reproductive-j…
A side-note: Before Monica Simpson, the Exec. Dir of Sister Song was Loretta J. Ross, a co-founding member.

Ross continues to work in reproductive justice and has worked with South Asian organizations such as @JahajeeSisters (an organization centered on Indo-Caribbean women).
For more on Loretta J. Ross you can check out her website, here: lorettaross.com/Biography.html
Getting back to Monica Simpson - she became Executive Director of Sister Song in 2012. Read here for her bio: sistersong.net/team-sisterson….

And although Sister Song has worked with many South Asian orgs (espeically @RAKSHAInc), we're gonna focus on an Event.
Monica Simpson was the Exec Dir. during Sister Song's work on the 2013 #PurviPatel case.

Purvi Patel is an Indian-American woman accused by the Indiana court of self-inducing a late-term abortion. She was convicted in 2015 for feticide and sentenced to 20 years incarcerated.
Sister Song was one of MANY women's adovcacy groups who followed Purvi Patel's case and advocated on her behalf (others included @NAPAWF, @NARAL, @PPact... - there are a lot, okay.)
In the Spring of 2016, oral arguments were heard in court to appeal Purvi Patel's conviction. In Summer 2016, Purvi Patel's felony conviction was vacated by the state of Indiana.

You can read Monica Simpson's statement in support of Purvi here: myemail.constantcontact.com/STATEMENT--Pur….
The movement to #FreePurvi Patel was successful when she walked free from prison on September 1, 2016.

It was thanks to the advocacy of organizations like @SisterSong_WOC and activists like Monica Simpson that her case had the visibility to acheive justice.
#PurviPatel's case was just one of many moments where @SisterSong_WOC, Monica Simpson, and the rest of their staff have stood for RJ on behalf of all WoC.

And Monica can't be reduced to this one moment of advocacy either - she's also an artist!
Monica Simpson has performed in theatrical productions of For the Love of Harlem, Words the Isms, etc., and has a solo R&B album titled Revolutionary Love available here: store.cdbaby.com/cd/monicaraye *nudge nudge*

Support both her work and the work of Sister Song, please.
For #Day4 of #BlackHistoryMonth we're discussing several black women whose black and queer feminism set the stage for contemporary S. Asian resistance.

Recognize these photos?

- Marsha P. Johnson
- The Combahee River Collective
- Kimberle Crenshaw
- Patricia Hill Collins
Marsha P. Johnson was a black transwoman activist, one of the first on the scene during the 1969 Stonewall Riots following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn.

She worked closely with Sylvia Rivera (pictured) with her co-founded Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries (STAR).
Marsha was an active LGBT and homelessness activist throughout her life and worked on providing shelters for LGBT folk - the "STAR House." She was also an active member of @actupny, a direct action international advocacy group that works to end the AIDS crisis.
Next, The Combahee River Collective: a Black lesbian socialist organization active between 1974 and 1980 responsible for much of how modern WoC feminists conceptualize race and identity.

They had their 40th anniversary last year: shadowproof.com/2017/07/10/aut…
The Combahee River Collective Statement is an integral document of contemporary feminism: circuitous.org/scraps/combahe…

They highlighted the importance of identity politics to make visible the simultaneous experience of oppression that Black, Third-World, and working class women face.
The concept of "simultaneous" oppression would be illustrated by Kimberle Crenshaw in 1989.

She coined the term "intersectionality " to describe the unique, interwoven experience of oppression that black women live through due to simultaneously being both black and women.
Barely a year later in 1990, Patricia Hill Collins would expound on this idea with the dynamic of the "matrix of domination," describing social settings as being built off of interlocking systems of oppression operating simultaneously.
The term "matrix of domination" comes from Patricia Hill Collins' book Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment. You can read more about the term here: blackwellreference.com/public/tocnode…
Both Kimberle Crenshaw and Patricia Hill Collins continue to act as foremost critical race theorists in their fields. Crenshaw is a professor at Columbia Law, and Patricia Hill Collins is a professor at the University of Maryland.
These Black women's works are listed chronologically, but it's important to remember that they all worked in similar and contemporaneous contexts, learning from and building off of each other's work.
And furthermore, Black women's work is the reference for contemporary S. Asian resistance and analyses of oppression.

For example: @AditiJuneja3's great analysis of what allegations against Aziz Ansari mean in the context of South Asian sexual culture:
In the case of trans rights advocacy, it was the work of women like Marsha P. Johnson who paved the path for contemporary LGBT organizations who include Indo-Caribbean transwomen and transmen in their work; see the @CaribEquality Project, for example: facebook.com/CaribbeanEqual…
As always, you can find more resources for every individual mentioned in this thread on @solidaritysummr's Facebook Page: facebook.com/eastcoastsolid…

Day 5 of #BlackHistoryMonth? How about learning how local Black politics intersected with S. Asian politics during the CRM?

We're going to talk about Robert Williams, an "obscure local @NAACP leader from small town North Carolina," as described by Stokely Carmichael.
Stokely Carmichael details the history that made Robert Williams a "symbolic, revolutionary leader" in his autobiography Ready for Revolution.

Basically, Williams managed to get then-Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru to tell local NC governments to fuck off.
Carmichael became aware of Williams later, shortly after the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Williams as President of the NAACP Chapter in Munroe, NC had then told Cuban Ambassador Raul Roa to tell the US and JFK to fuck off (Politely).

Also, shoutout to Carmichael's footnote here.
Williams' brush with Nehru came in the 50s.

Williams was organizing black folks in Munroe when the state began an urban renewal program.

That targeted the Black organizers who already owned their homes.

Mysteriously, the program wouldn't renovate poorer housing projects. 🤔
Since Eisenhower had told Nehru during a visit to India that he wanted the people of Asia to have water and housing, Williams asked Nehru to say the same to Eisenhower about Black folks in Munroe.

It worked, and Eisenhower stopped the urban "renewal" program.

So wha'd we learn for #BlackHistoryMonth besides that Williams gave no fucks?

Black CRM organizing provided a critical analysis of hypocrisies of US empire, leveraged to achieve local goals.

When we talk about empire, remember who spoke first - Black and Indigenous folks.
As far as Stokely Carmichael goes, he was a Chairman of the SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), pan-Africanist, and the man who brought Black Power to the national stage.

He also discusses growing up Trini around Afro- and Indian folks, but THIS STORY THOUGH.
As usual, more resources available on the FB version of this thread: facebook.com/eastcoastsolid…
Day 6 of #BlackHistoryMonth - do ayo know about the Sri Lankan Kaffirs?

"Kaffir" is an offensive term in S. Africa, but is also the chosen name for a community of African Bantu and partially-Portuguese folks living in Sri Lanka for centuries.

Photo C/O Leah Worthington.
African presence in Sri Lanka is pre-colonial. Bantu soldiers and mercenaries joined European & Arab empires to defend the region & merchants migrated there to do business.

However, overlapping Arab & Portuguese slave trades in the 5th & 16th C were vital contributing factors.
Oral histories preserve Sri Lankan Kaffir history.

Ana Miseliya, a matriarch of the Sirambiyadiya community, recalls her ancestors as Bantu soldiers employed by the European colonists in the 19th C.

Today, fewer than 1,000 self-identified Kaffirs still live in Sri Lanka, but their contributions to Sri Lankan culture are significant.

Baila, a genre of Sri Lankan pop that mixes Kaffir, Portuguese, & Sri Lankan elements, owes Kaffirs its inspiration.

You might notice that contemporary Baila sounds similar to Caribbean calypso - Baila has been influenced by calypso since the 60s. sri-lanka.saarctourism.org/sri-lanka-musi…
And even though contemporary Baila is somewhat removed from its Kaffir roots, Sri Lankan Kaffirs still uphold "manja," an African polyrhythmic genre of vocal & percussive music.

Pictured is Sherine Alexander, a member of the Ceylon African Manja band. roar.media/english/report…
Between the Caribbean and South Asia, it's almost as if diasporic African cultures have been influencing and interacting with South Asian cultures all over the globe...? 🤔

Also we're talking chutney soca later this week, just keeping it level.

Happy #BlackHistoryMonth!
I feel comfortable saying that you should all know the person we're discussing for Day 7 of #BlackHistoryMonth: the late Xhosu President of South Africa, apartheid revolutionary and global activist, Nelson Mandela.

But did you know about the solidarity he expressed to Kashmir?
For S. Asian folks who aren't familiar with Kashmir's history, here are some notes from last year's #ECSS2017 workshop, "Diaspora on the Margins", facilitated by @gormintchachi (they/them)!

The summary is that the region has been contested by India and Pakistan since Partition.
(I'm really sorry for how shitty my map is. Here's a better one from The Economist. They're neoliberals, but they make good maps.)

Source: economist.com/news/asia/2170…
Mandela's support for a resolution to the conflict over Kashmir pissed off the Indian Bharatiya Janata Party (the party of now-Indian PM Modi).

He also pissed off Israel (in the same summit!) for criticizing their treatment of Palestinians.

Hmm. 🤔

But as @gormintchachi says, for Kashmiri people, he was - and is - considered a hero.

B/C Mandela always emphasized the importance of self-determination for oppressed people, his words resonated for Kashmiri, Black South African, and Palestinian folks.

So...what did we learn today for #BlackHistoryMonth?

If you believe Nelson Mandela was a great man (and you should), you should also believe in a #FreeKashmir and a #FreePalestine because that's what his steadfast principle of self-determination means.
We're discussing Angela Davis and her ongoing solidarity with Dalit struggle for Day 8 of #BlackHistoryMonth.

Angela Davis has been an active Black Marxist lesbian feminist and abolitionist for decades since the Civil Rights Movement.
In 2016, Angela Davis was invited by the Anuradha Ghandy Memorial Committee (sidenote: look up Anuradha Ghandy) to give a lecture titled "Black Lives, Dalit Lives: Histories and Solidarities" in Mumbai.

The lecture is viewable here:

Davis' lecture recounts the history of contact between Dalit and Black American struggle (since 1873 with Jyotirao Phule's Gulamgiri, which discussed anti-slavery activism in the US and asked Dalits - he coined the term - to resist caste similarly).

At the same time, Davis advocates that Dalits should not be reduced to "Black Indians" (a critique of MLK's connection of Dalit and Black struggle); the systems should be seen as distinct.
Davis' retelling includes folks like Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, a Dalit reformer who popularized the term & inspired the Dalit Buddhist Movement.

He critiqued Indian Hinduism and the caste system, and also corresponded w/ W.E.B. DuBois on similarities between caste and race oppression.
The correspondence between W.E.B. DuBois' letter to B. R. Ambedkar is available here: saada.org/tides/article/…
Davis' arguments reference Dalit sociologists such as Sharmila Rege (1964-2013), who developed the importance of a "Dalit Standpoint Perspective" (of women) in Indian discussions of caste, class, religion, and sexuality.

Writing Caste/Writing Gender: books.google.com/books?id=p4-oD…
Davis continues to discuss #DalitWomenFight and the All India Dalit Mahila Adhikaar March in 2015 and praises their critique of caste apartheid and caste rape. dalitwomenfight.com
This is all leading to - yep - the importance of intersectionality.

Davis argues caste, class & patriarchy are explicitly linked as oppressive systems by Dalit movements.

She wants US movements to provide the same simultaneous critique of sexual, class, and racial violence.
(It's worth noting that in 2000, Davis and Kimberle Crenshaw co-formed the African American Agenda 2000, an alliance of Black feminists.)

Source: books.google.com/books?id=MLz7j…
We'd be remiss not to mention that the Dalit Panthers were formed in 1972 to conduct direct action in resistance to caste apartheid, inspired by the Black Panthers (with whom Davis worked in the 60s).


Their manifesto is here: ir.inflibnet.ac.in:8080/jspui/bitstrea…
That was A LOT to, so we'll leave you this take-away for #BlackHistoryMonth:

Black American & Dalit oppression are systems operating on multiple levels of violence. It's Black & Dalit non-cismen who made intersectional movements required to combat that violence.

Remember it.
We should also note Davis has developed these arguments through study & lived experience for decades.

Intersectionality is what Black women lived (and forms the basis of Davis' critiques of the BPP and SNCC).

Read this excerpt of Women, Race, and Class:
More resources on Angela Davis, Black/Dalit solidarity & movement building, etc. available on the Facebook version of this thread: facebook.com/eastcoastsolid…
Day 9 of #BlackHistoryMonth: It's Audre Lorde - another Black lesbian feminist and womanist who lived intersectionality before it was named, provided queer-centered critique, and was a writer of poetry and prose.

(Sorry in advance for the S. Asian connection. You'll see.)
One of Audre Lorde's arguably most widely-shared works is Sister Outsider - a work of essays and speeches that discuss racism, homophobia, classism, sexism - you name it.

She explicitly states the perspective of the book comes from her status as an outsider to most communities.
The quote pictured below from Sister Outsider is as succinct a summary of how Lorde identified intersectionality-before-intersectionality-was-a-thing as key to anti-oppressive movements:

If the differences in a group are not acknowledged, oppressive structures are replicated.
Lorde's intuitive understanding of the necessity of intersectionality to acknowledge and include difference in social movements led her to publish "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House" in 1984. collectiveliberation.org/wp-content/upl…

The image below happened.
Because Lorde prioritized intersectionality in queer women's movements, she, interacted with women internationally, especially lesbian women of color. Difference, for her, was an opportunity of learning and solidarity-building.

Take for instance the Nov 1984 issue of Spare Rib.
So, Spare Rib was a grassroots women's lib mag that ran from the 1772-1993, published monthly in the UK. The archives are (mostly <-- this is the problem) available here: journalarchives.jisc.ac.uk/britishlibrary…

Basically, queer and GNC women and folks across the globe were published here.
It's a great mag, conversational and accessible to anyone.

According to the linked source, the Nov 1984 issue featured a piece called "...NO, WE NEVER GO OUT OF FASHION ... FOR EACH OTHER!", an "Interview with Audre Lorde, Dorothea, Jackie Kay and Uma."
But, when I went to go look for the interview in the Nov 1984 issue, this is what I got...
Yeah, that interview is not available content. :(

Sorry, all.

The reason it would be great to have is because, given what little info I can find on Uma (Kali Shakti), she was a New Zealand national of Indian descent who was the ILGA's Oceania representative in the 80s.
(The ILGA is the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association, established in 1978 to advocate for LGBT folks in global policymaking.) ilga.org/about-us
Ah well. Even though the interview between Audre Lorde, Uma, Dorothea, and Jackie Kay isn't available, that the event happened at all shows the international solidarity being forged in queer women's movements during the second-wave feminist period.

It wasn't uncommon.
Suffice it to say that Audre Lorde was another precursor to contemporary understandings of intersectionality and the necessity of transnational, equal discourse among women and GNC folks, esp. among PoC.

She wrote for queer women of color and forged bonds across the periphery.
As usual, more resources are available on the Facebook version of this thread: facebook.com/eastcoastsolid…
Let us edit Tweets @jack this was supposed to be 1972 😩

Sorry for the error, all!

Okay so, for #BlackHistoryMonth Day 10, we're doing something a little different and sharing @MuslimARC's #BeingBlackAndMuslim 5th Annual Twitter Town Hall!

Starts 2PM on Tuesday, Feb 13.

Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative was co-founded in 2014 by @Margari_Aziza & @namirari to center Black Muslims and combat racism in nonblack Muslim communities w/ faith-based education.

(Picture: Promo for Race Matters 2016, featuring Margari Hill, Namira Islam, and Blair Imani)
In 2015, @MuslimARC co-penned w/ Muslims for Ferguson "Call for Justice," an open letter criticizing anti-Blackness in the US & police killings of Eric Garner, John Crawford III, and Michael Brown in the past year (pictured).

The co-signatories to their 2015 letter include organizations that are multi-ethnic and work with Muslim folks of varying backgrounds, so I recommend reading the letter, references, and co-signatories. @MuslimARC's leadership and volunteers are multiethnic as well.
Resources available on the FB version of this thread: facebook.com/eastcoastsolid…
Today for #BlackHistoryMonth Day 11 we're going to discuss Indo-African migration and interaction in the South Asian subcontinent.

Specifically, we'd like to share a bit about Siddi communities in Pakistan and India.

As in the case of the Sri Lankan Kaffirs, Siddi folks arrived in India & what-is-now-Pakistan from SE Africa during Arab slavery, then Portuguese slavery & colonialism in the 15th-19th C.

Their history is also primarily an oral history.

The Siddi people are a Scheduled Tribe in India, and their most populous community in India is in Gujarat. There's also communities in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andra Pradesh.

They are primarily Sufi Muslim, with the rest of the population adhering to Catholicism and Hinduism.
When Siddi people lived in precolonial South Asia, like the Sri Lankan Kaffirs, they were visiblized as mercenaries and generals.

See: Jamal ud-Din Yaqut of the Delhi Sultanate, believed to have been the lover of Delhi Sultan Raziya Sultana (~1200 AD). mukundsathe.com/tag/jamal-ud-d…
Siddi labor is also responsible for the construction of the Sidi Saiyyed Mosque (1572 AD):
Siddi folks also fought against the British during the 1857 Indian War of Independence.

In spite of the long history of African peoples in India, systemic and interpersonal anti-Blackness is a feature of South Asia.

Racist, casteist, colorist, and Islamophobic hierarchies impede Siddi folks from accessing social networks & resources outside their communities, which is one of the reasons they are a Scheduled Tribe in India (but not without savarna complaints, like, right now 😒).
(For those who don't know, Scheduled Tribes/Castes are communities recognized as disadvantaged in India due to casteist, racist, or anti-Indigenous systems, and thus for whom funding and quotas are reserved.)
Racism still guides the programming and funding that India allocates to Scheduled groups

The most visible allocation in the 80s and early 90s was for sports programming for the Olympics (closed in 1993).


[Pic: Siddi youth from the athletics program.]
Some Siddi youth were successful in the early 90s program (eg. Kamala Babu Siddi, 1993 South Asian Federation games, or Philip Anthony Siddi, 800M - pictures not available. :()
And Siddi folks have also maintained African cultural heritage in the form of Goma dance and song.

You can watch a 2012 performance of Goma by the Goma group. The Siddi Gomas of Bhuj, here:
This thread started off as being about Black & S. Asian solidarity/resistance, but we must acknowledge how systemic and interpersonal anti-Blackness is ongoing in our communities.

We shouldn't need people to work with us to be for them, especially during #BlackHistoryMonth.
For Day 12 of #BlackHistoryMonth we're discussing the 1955 Bandung Conference, the 1st major global Afro-Asian Conference.

Remember how Mandela expressed solidarity w/ Kashmir at the 1998 Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit? The Bandung Conference was the precursor to the NAM.
The Bandung Conference took place during the Cold War btwn. the USSR & the USA. It centered nations of the "Third World," here meaning ppl tertiary to the conflict of Soviet communism & US capitalism.

And those endangered by both their colonialisms.

The conference took place in Indonesia, and the primary organizer was Ruslan Abdulgani, former PM of Indonesia.

Richard Wright, a Black American writer, attended the conference w/ funding from the Congress of Cultural Freedom & published his observations in The Color Curtain.
Wright was funded by Burma, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon), Indonesia, & the Philippines. He writes on attendees like Nehru, Zhou Enlai, Gamal Abdel Nasser, and Kwame Nkrumah.

Pic, L to R: Nehru (India), Nkrumah (Ghana), Nasser (Egypt), Sukarno (Indonesia), Tito (Yugoslavia)
Those five would go on to found the Non-Aligned Movement a year later in 1956, which still exists today. The name refers to their non-alignment with either the Soviet Union or America.
There's too much to say (and criticize, honestly - for one, yes, this is a very man-centric story and the regimes of the Bandung Big Five reflect that) beyond what we've said here...

But we must recognize the Bandung Conference for the movement of global solidarity it hailed.
For Day 13 of #BlackHistoryMonth ayo are gonna read and listen to everyone in this thread. 👇🏽

Okay, Day 14 of #BlackHistoryMonth - sorry it's a little late, happy Valentine's Day ayo - we're talking West Indian labor movements.

Folks, meet Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow, founder of the British Guiana Labour Union (BGLU) and the modern Guyanese trade union movement.
The BGLU was the first registered trade union in the Caribbean, founded in 1919 to protect the interests of Black dockworkers in Georgetown.

Under Critchlow, the BGLU won rent reductions, built intl. worker solidarity, and fought for min wage increases.

Ethnic division btwn. Indo-Caribbeans and Black Caribbeans is a complicated story to which we've alluded before - but workers movements did display racial unity.

We're also talking about a time where worker's strikes were heavily suppressed in the West.

In 1947, Critchlow won a legislative seat in Guyana. One of his co-legislators was later President of Guyana, Dr. Cheddi Jagan, Indo-Caribbean.

Both became known as co-agitators for Guyana's working class.

[Pics: Critchlow, Jagan]

After Critchlow passed in 1958, Jagan later as Premier unveiled a bronze statue of Critchlow in 1964 (1st pic of thread).

Critchlow is today hailed in Guyana as the father of the Caribbean union movement, and is honored annually on May 1st for Labor Day/Worker's Day/May Day.
The lesson for today in #BlackHistoryMonth is that colonialism and capitalism have demonstrably in history unified the interests of Black and S. Asian folks, especially in the Caribbean due to the British systems of African slavery and Indian indentureship.
Day 15 of #BlackHistoryMonth - time to discuss Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of the National Council of Negro Women in 1935, teacher, & anti-segregationist.

@anirvan covers some of this here: blackdesisecrethistory.org/post/109654411…

[Photo: Mary McLeod Bethune, C/O Carl Van Vetchen, 1939]
Bethune was born in FL, 1875 to parents who had been enslaved. She grew up in poverty, but pursued education at Scotia Seminary in NC & Moody Bible Institute in Chicago before returning to FL as a teacher.

She founded the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute [pic] in 1904.
The Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute is now known as the Bethune-Cookman University, in part to honor Mary McLeod Bethune's work.

[Pic of Bethune-Cookman University, C/O visitflorida.com/en-us/cities/d…]
McLeod became a stateswoman after working on FDR's campaign and as a member of his Black Cabinet in 1932.

As co-founder and leader of the NCNW, she fought against lynching, Jim Crow, poverty, etc. She later worked with President Truman as well.

McLeod retired in 1949, when she also met Madame Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, Ambassador of India to the US and the first woman to hold a Cabinet position in colonial India. Both received awards of outstanding citizenship.

[Pic: L to R: Truman, Bethune, Pandit, C/O prev. link]
A portrait of Madame Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit can today be found in the Mary McLeod Bethune Foundation in Florida. richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/sh…
This story of #BlackHistoryMonth centers what WoC globally were doing within racist and unequal regimes.

Bethune criticized the racism of the U.S., while Pandit criticized both British colonialism and, later, her niece Indira Gandhi, who she (and many) saw as authoritarian.
Day 16 of #BlackHistoryMonth - plz critically engage w/ anti-Blackness in S. Asian communities while reading.

Rmbr #BlackPowerYellowPeril? Critique by @writedarkmatter & @nubluz_nick asks us 2 check how we create anti-Black systems b4 seeking solidarity.

In the subcontinent, casteism/colorism pre-date colonialism & dovetailed in2 anti-Black systems.

In the Caribbean, same attitudes brought over fueled anti-Blackness & ethnic tensions btwn. Indians/Indo-Caribbeans & Black Caribbeans.

S. Asians had agency, even in colonialism.
And now, as S. Asians from w/e diasporas've developed communities in Canada, the US, the UK, etc., manipulating anti-Blackness to achieve social acceptance, capital, & political power (not an accident that there's so many Indian collaborators in the current admin...) is common.
Those same attitudes of anti-Blackness WILL (and often do) creep into activism & resistance if we're not careful - we always gotta check why we're seeking solidarity.

'Cause solidarity isn't about the promise of mutual benefit - it's about the mutual understanding of wrongness.
Hey - we were quiet yesterday - it was the the 17th, and we should remember the Charleston mass shooting on July 17, 2015 at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historically Black church.

Pictured are the nine victims.

(C/O pridepublishinggroup.com/pride/2015/06/…)
About three years before, on August 5, 2012, the Sikh Temple shooting in Oak Creek had taken the lives of six Sikh folks. (Name obscured in photo: Sita Singh, 41.)

C/O: sikhnet.com/news/wisconson…
This shared experience of violence at the hands of white supremacists has led to expressions of solidarity between members of the Sikh community towards Black folks impacted by the Charleston shooting.

You can read more about that here: chicagotribune.com/suburbs/arling…
The perpetrators of both the Sikh Temple shooting in Oak Creek and the Charleston shooting outspokenly identified as white supremacists, and this is a severe reminder that white supremacy continues to put the lives of all nonwhite folks in precarity.
Day 20 of #BlackHistoryMonth - This one's a letter out to South Asian Indian-Americans and other privileged South Asian groups here in the U.S.

Indians’ Debt to Black America: huffingtonpost.com/neil-padukone/…
Day 21 of #BlackHistoryMonth - Many S. Asians praise Bengali Harlem by @losthistories, right?

We think it might also be a good idea for us to learn about the & engage with the histories of resistance to police violence in Harlem by its Black residents:
For Day 22 of #BlackHistoryMonth we're gonna boost two online publications that center QTWoC feminism and thought and which have significant Black leadership:

@WearYourVoice Magazine: wearyourvoicemag.com

and @galdemzine: gal-dem.com
Starting with @galdemzine: Founded in the UK by @livlittle in September 2015 (Guyanese by descent 🇬🇾~), gal-dem comprises the writing and thought of over 70 women and gender nonconforming folks of color, launched from a Black feminist standpoint.
.@WearYourVoice Mag, on the other hand, was co-founded in 2014 by @RavneetVohra and Monica Cadena (who also works with @hackthehood and @oaklandlocal).
Both magazines have tons of work from women, trans, and gender nonconforming folks of varying sexual identities, ethnicities, and nationalities, so, if you need your history, personal narrative, and sociopolitical critique fix from QTWoC, head on over to those sites! 👆
For Day 24 of #BlackHistoryMonth - check out this call @aliciagarza of #BlackLivesMatter hosted with @Seed_Change to discuss Black and non-Black Asian Solidarity: seeding-change.org/wechooseresist…
Other speakers included Fahd Ahmed of @DesisRisingUp and Kabzuag Vaj of @SEAFN1!
The discussion takes the standpoint of noting that just as we should show up for Black folks who experience invisiblized struggles, we should also stand up for queer & trans women & gnc folks, low-income folks, and victims of police/state violence in our own communities.
Okay ayo, we're gonna do a long one for Day 25 of #BlackHistoryMonth - we're sharing some history of Dougla people in the Caribbean. This is @Claystanman, again.

Dougla is a Caribbean (Trinidad & Guyana, mainly) racial category denoting folks of mixed African & Indian descent.
The term comes from the Bhojpuri word for "mixed" and "many," also originally a slur for "bastard."

The term originally described inter-caste mixing, but has since been reclaimed by Dougla people (similarly to the Sri Lankan Kaffirs, or how "coolie" is used by Indo-Caribbeans).
You can read about some Dougla folks' experiences in the Caribbean here: warscapes.com/opinion/dougla…

(via @gbahadur)
That the term "Dougla" extends from caste is an example of how caste was brought to the Caribbean by Indian folks during indentureship.

The exclusion of Dougla folks from Indian communities was a result of casteism and colorism. guyana.hoop.la/topic/wow-chec…
British colonialism also contributed to this exclusion, because the indentured labor system de facto segregated African and Indian communities.

However, it's important to also acknowledge South Asian agency and the cultural systems that pre-date colonialism.
Indian indentured laborers casteism/colorism to maintain "cultural purity" (and they had the privilege to maintain their culture).

However, the "cultural purity" logic is still used today by Indo-Caribbeans as a means to exclude Dougla folks: legacy.guardian.co.tt/archives/2005-…
...Don't be South Asian talking about the need for cultural purity, okay?
In any case, Dougla folks are not a negligble community. 8% of the population of Trinidad and Tobago is identified as Dougla (guardian.co.tt/sites/default/…), for example.
Calypso, a genre of Afro-Caribbean music originating in Trinidad, had been influenced by Indian rhythms since the early 20th century.

In the 70s, Lord Shorty, a Black Caribbean, innovated soca (soca = SOul + CAlypso) with "Indrani" .
Soca had been developed contemporaneously alongside Indian chutney, a fusion of temple music and Caribbean rhythm and creole starting from the 40s.

Ramdew Chaitoe, a chutney artist, released the first published chutney album in 1967:
Chutney soca, essentially a fusion of...the two fusions, soca and chutney, emerged in the 80s when Drupatee Ramgoonai released Chutney Soca in 1987:
And chutney soca was also a platform for folks who identified as Dougla to share their experiences and interpretation of their culture:

Chutney Bacchanal by Chris Garcia:
Or Brother Marvin's Jahaji Bhai:
You can read more details on Dougla folks' contributions to chutney soca in @majinnuub's thread here about chutney soca and Dougla singers:
And here's a blog by a woman who identifies as Dougla which focuses on soca music critique: dougladiaries.blogspot.com
You can also check out @DiSocaAnalyst for What It Says On The Tin if you just wanna get more into contemporary soca.
Beyond music, here are some examples of other forms of Dougla art:

Dougla: Afro Caribbean Patterns and Textures africandigitalart.com/2013/08/dougla…
Mark Hendrax's Dougla (2015) photoseries: callerunknown.tumblr.com/post/141050622…
With that last tweet, I should note:

Dougla identity is beyond phenotype and is by nature not monoracial either; not all Dougla folks might identify as Black, or East Indian; some might identify as neither. That conversation is for Dougla folks.
I bring this history up as a non-Dougla Indo-Caribbean because:

1) Indo-Caribbeans often fail to account for Dougla folks in their politics.
2) S. Asian thought needs to account for ALL of its diasporic interactions.
3) We can't pin everything on colonialism.
S. Asian organizing means making room for EVERYONE who is part of this diaspora and visiblizing their identities in engaged, meaningful ways. That includes Black S. Asians of all ethnicities.
Final note - there's a significant Dougla presence on Twitter, so if you wanna know more, look up those folks.

There's also a lot of diversity in how terms like "Dougla" and "coolie are applied, so be aware of that when reading.
We'll return to the Caribbean a bit later...for Day 26 of #BlackHistoryMonth we're instead looking at Toronto, Canada.

Remember when #BlackLivesMatter Toronto (@BLM_TO) got the South Asian stage at @PrideToronto reinstated last year? Yeah, that happened.

Returning to the Caribbean for Day 27 of #BlackHistoryMonth to acknowledge folks there b4 Indian indentured laborers.

Arawak Taino folks're the more populous Indigenous population in the wider Caribbean, but in Guyana, Suriname & Trinidad, Arawak Lokono folks are the main group.
The distinction btwn. Arawak Taino folks and Arawak Lokono folks, aside from homelands, is their respective Arawakan language families - Taino, or Lokono.

Many Lokono folks are also Afro-Indigenous (descended from and culturally identified with African and Amerindian origins).
Currently the Lokono langauge is considered an endangered one, and efforts are being made to preserve it:
As well as art featured on George Simon's blog on Indigenous and Lokono art: george-simon.blogspot.com
And read about some work on Caribbean Indigenous feminism and organizing, including Lokono folks, here: guardian.co.tt/lifestyle/2017…
And also, a bit about Afro-indigenous life in Guyana is written in this article: cifor.exposure.co/wildmeat-in-gu…
Okay, for the last day of #BlackHistoryMonth we just wanted to go over some of the lessons that can be learned from this thread:
One thing that's easy to pick up from that thread is that both Black/African diasporic and South Asian Diasporic and Indo-Caribbean histories are global - and have run parallel, intersected, and merged all over the world and throughout history.
Any interpretation of Black, African, South Asian, and Indo-Caribbean histories that sees the two as entirely separate is flawed from its premise. The reality is that the history has coexisted before, during, and "post" colonialism.
For those of us who are non-Black S. Asian/Indo-Caribbean/etc., we need to dispel myths of S. Asian exceptionalism that place Black/African movements as counter to or separate from "our" own.

Effective action means solidarity and a unified, full acknowledgement of history.
That means treating anti-Blackness not as something foreign to South Asianness or Indo-Caribbeanness, but as something that has its own endemic causes within our histories of casteism, colorism, and, yes, racism which either pre-exist or subsist separately from white influence.
We gotta take responsibility for our own shit, and make space for Black folks and Black South Asian/Caribbean/Indo-Caribbean folks in our own movements who share our history and have been historically excluded from it.

That means learning the history and building upon it.
It also means acknowledging the solidarity Black folks have already shown towards S. Asian movements - in labor, immigrant, diversity and identity, trans and queer and feminist movements, whatever.

The history was visiblized in this thread, and can't be ignored.
You can support the organizations and listen to the individuals we named in this thread.

We made a purposeful effort to center Blk folks as much as possible (because it's #BlackHistoryMonth, for one) instead of the S. Asian folks they came into contact with.
We also made an effort to avoid Indocentrism - many of the historical moments we describe take place beyond India/Pakistan - they involve Indo-Caribbean folks, Sri Lankan folks, Kashmiri folks, immigrants, etc.

Diversity within S. Asian identity must be acknowledged too.
Finally, there was a significant effort made in this thread to decenter cismasculinity.

We discussed Angela Davis, Quincy McEwan, Audre Lorde, and other folks. Much of the history of multi-racial solidarity is initiated by women, queer folks, and trans folks.
A global and diasporic S. Asian resistance can't and won't be galvanized and sustained within one racial identity, one religious identity, one ethnic identity, one national origin, etc. No "us" versus "them," because "us" is diverse as hell.

That's why solidarity is necessary.
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