Protected: Interdependence in Octavia Butler’s Fledgling (by D. Hagen)

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Theorizing the Politics of Interconnectivity for Transformative Grassroots Organizing (Lenora Knowles)

Cause it do be about living. It be about all of us living together.

Dealing with each other. Loving each other.

-Sonia Sanchez, a/needed/poem for my salvation


I returned to the academy to elaborate, clarify, and work through questions concerning how we, queer working-class womyn of color, are to organize today given our current political moment, the conditions of our communities, and the state of resistance and liberation movements in the United States. I yearned for the time and space to be able to rigorously, thoughtfully, and unapologetically engage knowledge creation to build my own analysis—or to delve deeper into what Gloria Anzaldúa named as conocimiento[1] in this bridge we call home: radical visions for transformation. Moreover, it is important to me to create knowledge that travels, reaches, and forms connection with other creatures. This is to say, I aim to formulate knowledge that is rooted in my own experiential specificity but extends through and beyond my identities to build bridges, and bolster a shared analysis and vision for larger radical and transformative grassroots movements. Anna Tsing offers in the introduction of Friction: an ethnography of global connection,“The knowledge that makes a difference in changing the world is knowledge that travels and mobilizes, shifting and creating new forces and agents of history in its path” (p.8).I would posit the value of knowledge that also organizes, not only mobilizes. I see my current task to be one of becoming a more effective, self-aware, mindful and informed facilitator of local grassroots social movement building based in Baltimore, MD.

Engaging in this task in the space of the neoliberal public university such as the University of Maryland, I acknowledge that the academy, like all institutions, is ridden with problematic and death-dealing practices and ideologies. Nevertheless, I trust that I can carve out a space and forge relationships for love, meaning, and justice making. Therefore, perhaps, it is not surprising that this semester’s readings implore me to transverse on familiar and new paths (for instance, notions of inter-being and erotic) for theorizing grassroots organizing to collectively undo state-sanctioned violence and collective holistic liberations. Continue reading “Theorizing the Politics of Interconnectivity for Transformative Grassroots Organizing (Lenora Knowles)”