All posts tagged: Ta-Nehisi Coates

Sweden’s Santa Lucia celebrations marked by epistemic violence against children of African decent

Ask the average Swede what the Santa Lucia celebration is about in terms of its historical/religious significance; chances are they won’t be able to give you straight forward answer because the details escape their memory. Like the below video mentions, when it comes to this Swedish tradition, “the why is less important than the how”. This morning (13 December 2016), thousands of children (and adults)–including my own three year old son–celebrated Santa Lucia by singing songs and eating pepparkakor (i.e. ginger bread cookies) and lussekatter (i.e. saffron buns) afterwards. Unfortunately, however, this year (around the 4th of December) saw an ugly controversy emerge when a Swedish department store called Åhléns posted an advertisement on its Facebook page that featured a Swedish child of African descent wearing the usual costume worn by children on Santa Lucia (a white robe and a crown of candles). The picture received a storm of racist comments (and love by anti-racists) to the point where  Åhléns removed the picture in consideration of the child and his family. Apparently, some within the Swedish society …

Decolonizing the Mind through Books

In 1997, rappers of conscious Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey (AKA Mos Def) poured their rap money into Nkiru Books, Brooklyn’s first Black bookstore, where Kweli was also an employee when their album, Black Star, was released. On the 28th of December 2015, Kweli had posted a picture on Facebook talking about how despite the fact that they weren’t able to save Nkiru’s location, he will reignite Nkiru Books online, selling books of literature, education, history and culture of people of color, through his website. Just looking at the book covers posted on his website makes me drool! Even if one chooses not to purchase these gems directly through the website, the website makes an awesome guide to books you can borrow from the library in a quest to decolonize your mind. Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Angela Davis, W.E.B. du Bois, Audre Lorde, bell hooks… the list goes on. Here’s an interesting article on why we must read the books written by writers of color, especially as they courageously stare down on the …