Angelica De Jesus
Readings in Interdisciplinary Studies
Lately I've been reading a lot. In small chunks, for sure, but a lot. It feels important to note what I am reading now, before I let myself forget.
I read v e r y slowly, in part because parenting is a temporal landscape of stops and starts and interruptions and loops and repititions on repeat. And also because I let myself be led by spirit to the footnotes and the footnotes of the footnotes, and the shady articles, where the good bonchinche is and important asides are gifted to those curious (and perhaps out-of-pocket) enough to search them out.
Below is a list of the books I've read, am beginning to read, and am now rereading (or will be in the future. These texts and videos and poems and stories I read together like a hamaca in the making; a woven technology comprised of tension and space to hold and not hold me.
Some of these I am reading/or have read as part of graduate seminars, some I read as a person w/ many questions about her own role as someone w/ blurry but also deep roots in the Caribbean (if such roots are possible) and as a person w/ love for the intimacy some texts engender.
Here they are, in no particular order (perhaps except their visibility from where I am writing), a list of books I've read or reread or started to read in the last year and a half. Texts listed in purple bold are in route to our pandemic house:
Decolonizing Diasporas: Radical Mappings of Afro-Atlantic Literature by Yomaira C. Figueroa-Vásquez.
Red Skins, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition by Glen Sean Coulthard
Theft is Property: Dispossession and Critical Theory by Robert Nichols
Intimate Justice: The Black Female Body and the Body Politic by Shatema Threadcraft
Wicked Flesh: Black Women, Intimacy, and Freedom in the Atlantic World by Jessica Marie Johnson
Mohawk Interrupts: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States by Audra Simpson
Black Skin, White Masks and Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon
Discourse on Colonialism by Aimé Cesáire (who taught Fanon at some point in time)
Various essays and articles by Fred Moten, including this panel featuring Moten and Saidiya Hartman
Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route and Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Riotous Black Girls, Troublesome Women and Queer Radicals by Saidiya Hartman
The Sociology of W. E. B. Du Bois: Racialized Modernity and the Global Color Line Book by Jose Itzigsohn and Karida L. Brown
Black Reconstruction and The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois
As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
Progressive Dystopia: Abolition, Antiblackness, and Schooling in San Francisco by Savannah Shange
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock by Dina Gilio-Whitaker
Many poems and articles by June Jordan and Audre Lorde and Alexis Pauline Gumbs and singers and songwriters of the Caribbean and AfroDiaspor (but not Lin, never LMM---- i just can't stomach that this man claims the kind of nation that kept my family on "the outside")
The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies by Tiffany Lethabo King
We Do This 'til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice by Mirame Kaba
Mouths of Rain: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought by Briona Simone Jones
On Property by Rinaldo Walcott
Archival census data that lists my Boricua family as "de color" (which /might/ mean that they are Black and Indigenous (Arawak?Taino? Something else?), and if so that census category is an erasure of both their Blackness and their Indigeniety extending from the US-to-the-territories project of "melting pot nationalism" aka blanquiamiento. I say /might/ because there is so much I do not know about my own family, and I'm learning to/ have been encouraged to lean into the spaces/gaps/unmemories of Caribbean archives). I read archival documents that list my family as farm hands and another which lists them as renters of a farm property I was led to believe was always "in the family". I read archival policy that highlight the mechanisms and philosophies that justified violent and still-felt enclosures on human-nature.
I read an innumerable amount of tweets/social media posts about climate justice that center decolonizing/anti-colonial strategies, and that centers and/or engages Indigenous resurgence beyond the settler state, and that centers and/or engages Black political thought and that addresses and accounts for mechanisms of racialization in the US and places otherwise.
I read environmental sociology, political ecology texts, and ecology texts, and soil science texts, and stats books like Indigenous Statistics. (And yeah, I've read a lot of Marx).
The Combahee River Collective Manifesto
I am "reading" texts from family and friends who are sick and dying and forgetting and getting engaged and getting divorced and getting laid off and getting interviews but no calls back and getting tired and getting steps in and getting diagnosis and getting misdiagnosed and staying at home (because it is our responsibility).
I read the plants in my house.
I read this blog post, to edit for clarity with the hopes that this list is understood to be an archive. A peek into the backgrounds of my mind, a reminder to rest/sit with the texts with enough time to make meaning, in the way that Black and Indigenous citational practices ask of readers and listeners.
I read my last sentence as a closing, a letting go, knowing this list will be missing something. Knowing I cannot be fully known in one blogpost, and opening up myself to response (from my future self and more).
Image description: A full face selfie of the writer from slightly below. They are wearing blue and sea-foam green earrings in the shape of a flower with petals, and a lime-green scarf around loose, dark hair. Angélica wears winged black eyeliner with a pop of lime green eyeliner overlaid that matches the scarf. The selfie is superimposed onto an illustration of "space" which shows slightly through from behind the selfie image.