the philosophactivist

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Me and TasZlin from Blaxploitation at my Book Launch/Benefit
What can I say? It's been an interesting ride this past month fundraising in various ways for Resistencia: Sangre.

Notes from an Afro-Genderqueer 2 Book Launch/Punk Show/Benefit at MonkeyWrench Books

These past couple weeks of the indiegogo campaign have been interesting. Crowdfunding can be a real challenge, especially when you are talking about race, gender, sexuality, ancestors and the reclamation of heritage, and sovereignty. It dawned on me that the very reasons I am writing this play- to talk about suppressed brown, queer history and resistance- are probably the very reasons that make raising funds for Resistencia: Sangre difficult. 

Liberatory art is in a league of its own. As much as folks want to be all "hip" and "in the know" and supportive of "radical" art, the truth is- it's got to look a certain way most of the time. And that look is not usually brown or queer. That look also isn't about dismantling systems of oppression and helping folks to find their innate power and work toward sovereignty.

When you use the word "anarchy" in a description- you can't use it lightly. It attracts a certain crowd. Right? It conjures up a certain image. Probably a white male with a mohawk, living in a housing cooperative on one of the coasts. Am I right? 

That's exactly why these brown radicals had to be committed to a similar philosophy. So that the audience can see that before anarchy was anarchy,our brown ancestors were committed to independence and freedom from colonization. Resistencia: Sangre will explore slave revolts and indigenous (Taino) rebellions and, though it is set in Puerto Rico, it's all of our story. This resistance happened all through the Americas and the history has been suppressed. In order to understand ourselves, our present and move toward the future we've got to understand our past. White allies included. Understanding our past and reclaiming our heritage is a form of healing and resistance.

So why are the main characters punks? Punks are white. Punks are racist. Punks are about fashion...they're not really rad. Some people may already be aware that punk music actually has some roots in Jamaica. Yep. Punk culture took its cues from rudeboy culture and rocksteady and ska music. During the 60s the Jamaican diaspora to the UK led to influence in fashion and music. The social and political commentary in punk music was definitely influenced by this Jamaican least until it became black nationalist. Can't be white and influenced by and talking about black power...can you? Perhaps that's why some of the skinhead culture became neo-nazis and all about white power. Who knows. All I know is...I've seen brown folks in other countries talking about white power and heil hitler and I find it a little strange...but that's just me. Also, did you know there was an all-black punk band, called Death, that was around before the Ramones? 

There were also other influential black and brown punk bands in punk's early days who many don't hear about.


So, reclamation. Reclamation. Reclamation. 
It's a form of healing and resistance. No more suppression. No more appropriation. Resistencia: Sangre seeks to talk about our ancestors' resistance. It seeks to talk about present day resistance to the still existent colonial powers. The same colonization. This story is about decolonization in its deepest sense. It's about regaining autonomy and realizing our inherent power. It's about looking to our ancestors' struggle and healing all of our wounds.

So this is the final day of the campaign and I hope that those of you who are inspired or curious will invest in this liberatory art that will create some powerful dialogue about race, gender, sexuality, spirituality and so much more. 

Malcolm X said that the future belongs to those who prepare for it today. This is my contribution to that preparation and to a future where we know our histories of resistance and our capacity for justice and freedom today and in the future.

Here is the indiegogo campaign page:

EVERYONE who contributes will have online access to the play. For a $10 donation you'll get a 50% discount on the novel/play and for a love offering of $20 you'll get physical copies.
Will you be a co-creator and a co-visionary?

I want to give a COLOSSALTHANK YOU to these co-visionaries for walking with me on this journey:

Elisha Lim
La Loba Loca
Lizanne Deliz
Anika Fassia
Lisa Schergen
two Anonymous folks
Lotty Ackerman
Leila Plummer
Bunny Burrows
Angel Gonzalez

Shane Whalley
Isaac M.

Kit Yan

and offline contributors:

Kevin Thomas
Matt R.
Bob J.


All those from the Austin community and beyond who came out to the Notes from an Afro-Genderqueer 2 Book Launch and Resistencia: Sangre Benefit at MonkeyWrench Books.


our very own awesome, local POC punk rock band

I am so moved by the support I've received from friends and created family and even folks who don't know me at all, but that believed in this vision. I have such appreciation for all the co-creators of Resistencia: Sangre and I can't wait for you all to continue on with me during this journey to creating a radical, liberatory, brown, queer play and novel about the reclamation of heritage, resistance to colonization, and rediscovering our inherent power as a community.

I'm leaving to Puerto Rico to begin my research and writing on August 8th. I'll be documenting my visits to taino villages, pueblos with people of predominantly African descent, conversations with professors, espiritistas and healers, farmers, independentistas, anarchists, students, and others. I'm so excited! If you'd like to be a part of the creative process of developing this play and novel please contact me at gqstreetpoet at gmail dot com.

Healing and Solidarity,


** Though the indiegogo campaign is finished, you can find out more and continue to donate at the Resistencia:Sangre webpage HERE**

1 comment:

  1. Some have claimed that ? and the Mysterians--a Raza garage rock band from Michigan formed in the early 1960s--were the first group of musicians to be described as playing punk music.