(CW: rape, sexual assault 1:05:00- 1:16:00)

Ding dong! In this week’s episode, Alyssa and Brendane are talking about sovereignty, non-sovereignty, and the death of the sovereign Queen Elizabeth II to ask whether it’s possible (and desirable!) to leave the past behind while creating our collective future.

(CW: rape, sexual assault 1:05:00- 1:16:00)

What’s the Word? Sovereignty. Defined as autonomy, freedom from external control, sovereignty is typically considered a positive. Brendane and Alyssa unpack the ways the concept is also rooted in power and domination.

What We’re ReadingNon-Sovereign Futures: French Caribbean Politics in the Wake of Disenchantment by Yarimar Bonilla. Bonilla examines how contemporary activists in Guadeloupe imagine and contest the limits of postcolonial sovereignty, challenging us rethink our received ideas about freedom, independence, nationalism, and revolution, and our commitment to sovereignty itself.

What In The World?! In this segment, we discuss the death of Queen Elizabeth II and why Alyssa has complicated feelings about it; why turning to past values (that never existed) is evidence of crisis; the problem with Jeremy O. Harris’ Slave PlayBridgerton, and The Courtship; and whether you can really have love under racial or patriarchal domination.

Zora’s Daughters Podcast: Season Three, Episode 2

Co-Hosts: Brendane A. Tynes and Alyssa A. James
Title: The Death of Sovereignty
Total Length: 01:21:26

[00:00:33] BT: Hey y’all! Welcome back to Zora’s Daughters, the podcast where we tackle topics of interest to Black folks through the lens of academic scholarship and colorful insight. I’m Brendane, and I use she/her/hers pronouns.

[00:00:46] AJ: Hi everyone! I’m Alyssa and I use she/her pronouns as well. I am still in New York because of Hurricane Fiona. I was supposed to go back last week, and I left my good microphone in Martinique, so apologies for the bad audio quality again. But yes, we will get through it together.

[00:01:10] BT: At least you’re safe. At least you’re here safe. That’s what matters

[00:01:13] AJ: Exactly. On today’s episode, we will be talking all things sovereignty, non-sovereignty, and the death of the “sovereign” AKA Queen Elizabeth II.

[00:01:26] BT: In the words of Cardi B, “ding dong.” [Cardi B snippet plays.] [Laughter] I’m gonna quote her with that one. We also have some other related topics too, like color blind casting in period pieces, such as Bridgerton, Jeremy O Harris’s Slave Play, the Woman King, and more.

[00:01:47] AJ: But before we get into it, we have the part of the episode where we raise the offering—church folk will be very familiar with what this is. And I recently realized that that’s basically what we’re doing. And as our resident former church lady, I’m going to let Brendane take us to the altar because I know she got the speech, got the words, she got the flow.

[00:02:13] BT: [Laughter] I’m crying. We don’t call it that, but I can give it a try [laughter]. That might be a regional thing [laughter]. So, this season, the Lord has some—I’m just kidding—we have so many things in store for you. We do not sell advertising space, so we actually really depend on your generosity to keep this thing going, we wanna continue to pay our Black transcriptionists competitive rates, right. We wanna pay our contractors competitive rates as well. We have to keep our equipment up to date. We need to have money in the account so that way, when one of us is in a different country, needs a mic, we can do what we need to do to continue to bring the good word your way. [Laughter] And we also use this money to give our guests honoraria for their time. So, folks who have come to speak on Zora’s Daughters and we always want to honor their time and commitment through honoraria. And that comes through donations. So, one of the ways that you can continue to support us is by joining our Patreon at patreon.com/zorasdaughters, alright. You can become a monthly subscriber for $3. As the prophet used to say, that God says, there’s twenty people here with $3 [laughter] anytime we used to call for offering. Alright, but that $3 gives you access to exclusive content and conversations, including our semesterly discussion section where you get to hang out with us. And we’ll be announcing the dates for that soon. You can also buy merch which does double duty—we make a small profit, very slim profit, and you get to share our podcast with whoever sees you in it! We have some cool stuff on there. Tote bags, shirts, notebooks. So, head to zorasdaughters.com/shop to check them out. Okay, ed scene, is that—[laughter].

[00:04:21] AJ: Hallelujah, amen [laughter]. Caught the spirit and all of that.

[00:04:26] BT: Awomen, as my friend Asriel says, awomen.

[00:04:28] AJ: Oh, I love it [laughter]. This unfortunately is not my culture, the Black church, so I simply observe [laughter]. I think it was great, it was lovely. And, as always, we are grateful to each and every one of you. You are taking your time out to listen to this episode. That is a huge boost to us, you know. Sharing our posts on social media, we see you, we repost it, we love it. And just anyone who’s part of the community, we are blessed, we are thankful. And let’s get into the episode. Brendane, What’s the Word?

[00:05:16] BT: Today’s word is sovereignty and sovereignty is a sexy word right now, particularly in cultural anthropology. But, as we always do, we’re gonna start from the foundations and build it out from there. The straight up dictionary, Merriam-Webster, definition for sovereignty is “supreme power especially over a body politic; freedom from external control; autonomy.” The body politic refers to the collective organization of citizens—which is a fraught word that we’ve discussed here before—of a nation, state, or society considered metaphorically as a physical body. Historically, the sovereign—which would have been the king—is portrayed as the body’s head.

[00:06:07] AJ: So, that head, the sovereign, had the power to determine who lives and who dies or to declare someone homo sacer—which if you remember our episode Deathcraft Country, which was season one, episode six, I explained some of Giorgio Agamben’s work on bare life, and so you’ll know that homo sacer means cursed man and meant that this person could be killed without punishment but could not actually be sacrificed for any kind of rituals. So it could also mean sacred man, in the sense that the only protection that this person deemed homer sacer had was from the gods and not the rule of law. So, we’re gonna be speaking a little bit more Latin. I did not take Latin, Brendane did actually [laughter].

[00:06:59] BT: Middle school. I love Latin, oh my gosh.

[00:07:03] AJ: So, you should be telling us about the writ of habeas corpus. Nah, it’s a legal term okay. Actually habeas corpus, it means show me the body and it is a constitutional right that safeguards individual freedom against arbitrary executive power, that is, it’s the body politic’s protection against the sovereign or the head. Body politic, head, alright, protection. It was adopted to protect people from illegal and unlawful imprisonment by the word of the king or other major power like the government.

[00:07:38] BT: And now, we all know that this right is not equally applied to every person. Not only does the monarch have power over people, the monarch also has jurisdiction over territory, the principles of which became enshrined in international law via the Treaty of Westphalia. So, for those of you who are like, girl what the fuck, what is that? The Treaty of Westphalia, which I actually had an AP European History question on fifteen million—fifteen years ago. This treaty was signed in 1648 in Germany that ended the Thirty and the Eighty Years’ Wars, bringing peace to the Roman Empire, the Spanish Empire, the Kingdoms of France and Sweden, and other countries. The agreements made there are foundation to the principle in international law that states have exclusive sovereignty or jurisdiction over their territory.

[00:08:39] AJ: Another thing we know is not always applied equally. Cough, cough, U.S. imperialism, okay [laughter]. In the essay “Unsettling Sovereignty,” Yarimar Bonilla argues that sovereignty as a concept arose before the Treaty of Westphalia and originated in the colonial project. “The concept of sovereignty provided a legal technology with which to lay claim to putatively unowned lands, that is terra nullius. Sovereignty as a legal concept is thus grounded in concrete material practices of dispossession, the practical work of disenfranchisement, and the creation of legal regimes of difference.” Sovereignty, then, is always already a practice of violence, exploitation, and hierarchy.

[00:09:30] BT: Exactly. In the “Sovereignty of Critique,” Audra Simpson takes that further to say that sovereignty as a political aim is the handmaiden of capital and mercantilism that “authorized the travel of foreigners to Indigenous territories and the massive, forcible detachment of people in search of more land, more labor, and more capital. Indigenous lands and bodies were Western sovereignty’s supposed terra nullius and tabula rasa—their lands, their bodies and then minds.”

[00:10:04] AJ: Exactly. So that leads us to a point where we’re questioning is sovereignty really the end point that we should all be seeking? And we’ll talk about that in the next section but the 50s and 60s were a time of great postcolonial hope, where dominated people sought and fought for independence from the colonial empires that colonized them. In the Caribbean, the concepts of independence and sovereignty implied freedom, autonomy, and self-determination given to the people. However, Linden Lewis in “The Dissolution of the Myth of Sovereignty in the Caribbean,” argued that power to determine your destiny would be assumed by the state. Through several examples, he shows how sovereignty is neither guaranteed nor absolute. He cites the interference of the U.S. government in Haiti and Grenada, corporations in Jamaica and Trinidad, the IMF Structural Adjustment plans—which if you want to know more about that, then you can check out the documentary Life and Debt—among other things. And, of course, the U.S. has had a hand in ending many sovereignty movements around the world. Another wink, wink, nod, nod [laughter].

[00:11:22] BT: Internal and external.

[00:11:24] AJ: So, these authors suggest that we must unsettle the notion of sovereignty altogether, and consider cooperation, integration, and interdependence as a way to overcome the threats of globalization. Particularly among the “weak” class.

[00:11:43] BT: Yeah, I think that’s a great transition to what we’re reading today, Alyssa.

[00:11:50] AJ: We are reading Non-Sovereign Futures: French Caribbean Politics in the Wake of Disenchantment by Yarimar Bonilla.

[00:11:57] BT: Yarimar Bonilla is the Director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College. She is also a Professor in the Department of Africana, Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at Hunter College and in the PhD Program in Anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Bonilla teaches and writes about questions of sovereignty, citizenship, and race across the Americas. She has tracked these issues across a broad range of sites and practices including anti-colonial labor activism in the French Caribbean, the role of digital protest in the Black Lives Matter movement, the politics of the Trump presidency, and her current research on the political and social aftermath of hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

[00:12:43] AJ: So, I thought this would be a great choice because Bonilla kicks off the first chapter with the passing of Aime Cesaire, who is essentially Martinican political and cultural royalty. I mean the Cesaire name carries much weight, carries a legacy. And I actually went to Martinique for the first time just a few years after his death and there were assistants—I was an English teaching assistant—and there were other assistants who were there at that time, and they talked about how teachers took their classes outside. And they said it was in this very militant way, took them outside, lined them up, and they just shouted about how this was an historical occasion, you’ll remember this day, and remember where you were, and a lot of people were crying and upset when his passing was announced. Cesaire wasn’t just the intellectual most academics know of, know about, know about his work. He was a state representative and mayor of the island’s economic capital for nearly sixty years. Okay, so the queen just did seventy, he did sixty years nearly, from 1945 to 2001 so he saw some thangs. He saw some thangs. His death kicks off a reckoning about his legacy as a beloved intellectual and political figure, but also someone who may have been complacent at best and erroneous at worst, in his decision to “departmentalize” the overseas departments of France.

[00:14:15] BT: So, for those of you who did not have the geography teaching that you should have, like myself—

[00:14:23] AJ: Me too [laughter].

[00:14:23] BT: —France has. Look, I barely know where I am in the world [laughter]. So, France has several Old Colonies, and these colonies are named because they were acquired during the monarchical imperial expansion in the 16th and 17th century, rather than the 19th and 20th century colonizations. And so, the “land-grab” of Africa that happened in the 19th and 20th centuries. These Old Colonies are Martinique and Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, St Pierre & Miquelon off the east coast of Canada, and French Guiana in South America, and Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. And these are fully incorporated departments treated like states of France, similar to Hawaii or Alaska. This incorporation, called the ‘law of assimilation’ or departmentalization, which is a term that Cesaire coined, was passed in 1946, nearly a hundred years after the abolition of slavery.

[00:15:32] AJ: Yes, so when slavery was abolished, the formerly enslaved became citizens but, similar to in the United States, they were not extended the full rights and protections under the law as citizens of the mainland. So, when they became a department, this departmentalization marked the moment when they became fully incorporated citizens, one could say. At least in law [laughter].

[00:16:05] BT: At least in the law.

[00:16:06] AJ: At least in the law. In practice, you know, different things. And slavery was abolished in 1848 for the second time in Guadeloupe. Not the first time, but that’s another story. Y’all can read Bonilla’s book to find out more, she talks about it [laughter]. In Non-Sovereign Futures, Bonilla argues that sovereignty is an insufficient container for the future of people in postcolonial polities. We are living in the wake of postcolonial disenchantment, that is, the hope and promises of independence have been shown to be mostly false. Through that lens, she challenges our beliefs that state sovereignty or independence is the ideal that postcolonial territories should seek and encourages us to develop the language for an alternative outside of this modernist frame. To do this, she examines the experiences of contemporary labor activists in Guadeloupe and how they reckon with conceptual frames and political legacies they have been given in order to forge new visions of the future. This thread of temporality is something that I want you all to hold on to as we continue through the episode. I think the way that we can be constrained by the past, by our heritage or inheritances, and at the same time have those be something that we turn to ground us in times of crisis, is I think a little thread that you’ll see running through this episode.

[00:17:31] BT: Yes, and the thread of temporality is essential when we think about how decolonial movements rely on the presence of the cultural and economic modes of slavery in its supposed afterlife. So, this idea that slavery supposed to be been done but it’s still present and here in the ways that we live our lives and how our lives are structured. Bonilla actually does a really explicit tie in her work with the struggles of Guadeloupean workers and activists with sovereignty with those of enslaved people’s struggle for freedom. So, she runs freedom and sovereignty as like a parallel but intertwined track with each other. And she marks the history of slavery as important to understanding the political project of contemporary activists. Both enslaved folks and these contemporary activists knew that freedom and sovereignty were European ideals that they could never truly achieve, and yet they were constrained to use these terms to structure their own political projects. Bonilla’s intervention centers this question among many, which is how do we make futures using political categories and structures that we know cannot contain the needs we have identified in the present? She talks about the activists that are in the process of “prefiguring worlds that they cannot describe.” So, being that they’re doing this, what cultural, moral, and affective realms of political practice are developed in their struggle? How can we think past economic and, or material gains from war or struggle with these colonial powers as the markers of successful political struggle?

[00:19:25] AJ: I think that’s such an important point. Particularly something that this book does a really good job of bringing out and is a question that I think we all have to reckon with as we think about change and revolution. And we don’t. A lot of people are just like, oh as long as we’re the same as them—them having some weight to them, y’all. As long as we’re the same as them, we’re fine. But why would you want to reproduce the same politics and practices of domination that we were under in this future that was meant to be different.

[00:20:04] BT: Right, that is actually defined by your subjugation. So, it’s not just the desire but the impossibility of the desire that really intrigues me [laughter]. That really intrigues me.

[00:20:20] AJ: The mind fuck. Throughout the book, Bonilla explores the legacies of the past and the way these narratives are mobilized by labor activists, whether in acknowledging Guadeloupe’s political position, discussing slavery and colonialism during negotiations with French officials, or organizing memory walks to transmit historical knowledge of place. In the book, place and nature act as an archive that demonstrate the ways the past is “obsessively present” in the Caribbean, but also act as a testament to the power of political action, fueling hope in the possibility of a new collective future. So, at the same time that they’re walking through these sites of memory, learning about history, they’re also realizing that things have changed, and things can change, so it acts as this inspirational practice to help motivate people to continue the struggle

[00:21:18] BT: Right, yeah, it’s the springboard which is why in the U.S. alone there are so many campaigns against giving people good education because once you recognize where you’ve come from and what has changed, you work towards changing things in the future. Bonillo also explores the postcolonial disenchantment that arose, as we mentioned earlier—after the promises of freedom and sovereignty failed. And in our notes, I have failed in quotation marks because one of the things that I really like to do in my work as part of the mind fuckery is to actually take these projects seriously but that’s something that gets a little complicated to explain. But I think that freedom and sovereignty have actually achieved what they meant to achieve. But that’s just one layer of thinking through this. But in think of them as failures and thinking of them as problems, she categorizes both freedom and postcolonial sovereignty as problems and projects. Labeling them as problem calls attention to their failure, right, to provide African descended people with the rights they were promised. And this failure is because these rights were rooted in liberal European ideals that were actually based upon their subjugation. So, for emancipated slaves, once they were emancipated from slavery freedom meant participating in the capitalist market freely, having the “right” to work, and the naturalization of wanting things that you’ve worked hard for—all these capitalist principles, right?

And as one tweet I saw a while back said, the only difference between what we do now and what our ancestors did back then is we’re getting paid eight more dollars an hour. Or something like that [laughter] and I was like whew. And to know that they eight dollars now is not nearly what eight dollars back then was worth also changes the game. Sovereignty, as achieved or defined under these European liberal ideals actually equaled things like a passport, having a flag, having coin, a stamp, and the autonomous nation-state. And so, these problems, Bonilla argues, are “parallel and entwined: both have hinged upon abstract promises of codified equality accompanied by a careful escort into codified systems of intrinsic inequality.” A beautifully worded way of saying they brought us some promises that they definitely didn’t keep. So, in order to bring these to us they were escorted or accompanied by these systems that actually were intrinsically and sometimes unmovably unequal.  These problems and projects of freedom and sovereignty actually produced a form of “colonial universalism” where everybody was preaching freedom, everyone’s preaching equal inclusion, but their actions and the consequences actually showed otherwise.

[00:24:58] AJ: Yeah, as I was saying earlier because you were talking about going through this history and everything, I think one thing that’s important to note as Bonilla moves through the history of the Antillean activism is the way that activists deployed the memory and continued presence of slavery into their movements. Of course, the conditions of the time influenced this greatly, right. So, there was the rise of pan Africanism, the Algerian War, the Cuban Revolution, France’s continued false promises of economic and social integration. All of these forces pushed for a greater sense of nationalism rooted in Antillean Creole, traditions, language, dance, music, all of those kinds of things such as the use of gwoka drums in their cultural gatherings. These things were seen as backwards to the middle-class, of course, but were important for instilling a non-French centered connection among Antilleans. “Les antillais” This can be a form of resistance in and of itself but shouldn’t be the end goal of movements.

[00:26:05] BT: Right. I think that’s something that we’re definitely going to revisit in the next section, for sure, as we think with this text to really ask what does it mean to be postcolonial? The final thing I’ll highlight from Bonilla’s work, that I thought would be. Really cool segue, is the central problem of Antillean—is that how you say it or Antillean?

[00:26:31] AJ: Antillean.

[00:26:33] BT: I’ve been [sigh] the Spanish is coming out in me. The central problem of Antillean activists that actually mirrors what we’ve seen in Black liberation movements across the globe. And so, though these activists had gained so much through labor organizing in these kind of recognizable ways—so recognizable by the institution of the government and things like that—they were actually still skeptical about what could be gained through French governance. Ultimately, the activists desired not to be French any longer, perhaps because their historical knowledge and collective movements had granted them the wisdom that it was not actually equality under French citizenship that was the project, but actually a new political future that has yet to be achieved.

[00:27:28] AJ: I think that’s really important. One of the things that I do wanna say, I found it interesting that she makes these comparisons or parallels with black radical rights movements in the U.S. or the civil rights movement in the U.S. One thing that I do find is there’s often this U.S. centrism when it comes to conversation around slavery or sovereignty movements and things like that. The French Caribbean just has a completely different context and because it’s always or very often what we read are these U.S. scholars writing about the French context you tend to get these parallels that even though she—I will give her credit she’s talking about native terminology and native uses of words—but I do just want to signal to folks that the context and the histories are very different and we shouldn’t always make these parallels with the U.S. even if it helps with understanding. Because that might not necessarily be how scholars or lay people of that place will think about it.

[00:28:54] BT: That is the intention of the anthropological project in itself, right. That like these things of translation that are actually incommensurable and that in order to translate there’s something that’s always lost from one thing to the next. And so, for these kinds of projects right that history that you mentioned, at least the nuances in the history, the differences in the history, gets lost as you try to translate outside of this like U.S. centric scope. So, that’s very real and I think that’s something that anthropologist writ large have to contend with if they’re going to continue to do these kinds of comparative moves. But me, I’m like why compare when you can just say what it is [laughter]. When you can just say what it is.

[00:29:47] AJ: I mean, of course there’s a reason and it’s showing the relevance. You are in the U.S. academy so people do want to know what is the relevance, what can we learn from this and how can we understand things in our own sphere of influence and understanding. And because these islands are French, they are very much outside the U.S. sphere of influence. It’s not like Jamaica or Grenada or Dominica or something like that, where there’s trade and or migration, you don’t really get as much. Anyways I could continue talking about this because this is my stuff that I spend time thinking about.

[00:30:35] BT: Yeah, y’all didn’t see the hair flip [laughter]. Y’all didn’t see it.

[00:30:39] AJ: Its hot, my hair is down, but let us move on. Let us move on to the next segment. The best segment. Which is what in the world.

[00:30:50] BT: What in the world [in unison].

[00:30:55] AJ: Alright, this is what in the world. [Jamaican accent] De queen dead off. That is what’s going on in the world.

[00:31:04] BT: The queen dead off.

[00:31:05] AJ: [Jamaican accent] De queen dead off. As one of my friends texted me. So, the Queen is in the ground, I watched it happen. At least, I saw the commitment ceremony. And then they sang God Save the King, which if you all know, the U.K. national anthem is, it was God Save the Queen and then it changes based on who the monarch is. And I was like too soon. It feels a little too soon [laughter].

[00:31:36] BT: [Laughter] Is it too soon? Or should—

[00:31:40] AJ:  Someone on Twitter said that like the national anthem changed pronouns faster than any trans person in the U.K. could change theirs and no one is freaking out about it being woke nonsense. So, you know, but yes, I did watch the funeral. I did get a little teary eyed, not gonna lie, we can unpack that [laughter][crosstalk]. I was watching a lot of the coverage and people were like, the queen was wonderful, she was great, she touched so many lives. There was this one pair of sisters—their late mother loved the Queen and apparently their mother used to say, “The Queen invited us Indian people here” and that’s why she loved her. And I was like, invited? Invited? Okay. If that’s what you wanna call it.

[00:32:36] BT: Whew, I’m, I mean, I don’t know. Again, me doing my Gemini thing of okay, I take it seriously, invitation, that means I call for you to come, then sure. The only way that they could come is if they were invited. But it also definitely feels like a really—I don’t wanna label things, but it really just feels like a euphemism. I think that’s the word I’m gonna sit with there. But yeah, I think there are so many things that I have thought since. I said, because people were like not trying to believe that she was dead, but I was like she’s obviously already dead. We need to stop pretending the media gives us accurate information [laughter]. Like, she’s already dead. And so, when the announcement came out after like what, a few—was it like an hour something, or something like—very shortly after I was like she’s already dead [laughter] and people were like, oh yeah, you knew. I was like yeah; I be knowing these things. I see a lot of folks’ responses to things, particularly death of famous people, as really a reflection of their own fear around death.

And so, I think for a lot of us, like I don’t—death does not scare me. I’m not afraid to die. I know that death is actually a part of what it means to be alive. Like one day I will die. I don’t know when that will happen, could happen in the next hour, could happen tomorrow, could happen years from now, but I’m not afraid of that. But I think a lot of people are afraid of death and they’re afraid of death because they’re afraid that they won’t be remembered. They’re afraid that all of their fears of being unloved or being uncared for will finally be cemented when there’s no one to celebrate them when their heart stops beating, and their brain stops working. So, I think that a lot of that projection goes onto people’s emotional responses about death, right. And that’s without having the layered cultural and you know all that stuff on it. So, like yeah, why do colonized black people morn monarchs? Because, you know, that fear. I believe it’s a space of fear because it’s not like you have a real connection to this person. You couldn’t call up Elizabeth and be like, girl my lights not on. Because you exist, I don’t have good electricity in my home, where I’m at.

[00:35:34] AJ: You probably just destroyed some souls. Some people are probably like ugh, huh, how she read me down like that? Personally, I am afraid of death but that’s just because I’m nosy as hell and I wanna know what happens. I wanna know what’s gonna happen in the story of the world. In the movie of not my life but of lives and I think it’s disappointing that I won’t know what happens in 2100, or something like that. So, it’s a nosiness for me.

[00:36:12] BT: It’s the nosiness, it’s the aquarian nosiness. No, so, I actually believe that you will know, you just won’t know as Alyssa in the flesh that you’re in now. But when we die, it’s not like we disappear—at least that’s what I believe. It’s not like we disappear. I think some folks transition and become honorable ancestors and are involved in the lives of their descendants. And like a lot of African traditional “religion” or spirituality teaches that death is just a transition from one phase to another and your soul reincarnates, and you become someone new. So, I don’t know it may be that’s why I’m not afraid of death because this is just one phase of my life, you know, so.

[00:37:15] AJ: Well, this is another episode that we might have to do, might have to talk about. I think, you know—of course there were. Lord have mercy. I will say that from among my friends there were two sentiments. Which is one, I got a text that just said, “Ding dong” [Cardi B audio] [laughter] and my other friend was like, “de queen dead off,” I was like okay. And then I also had those friends who were taken aback by the comments on Twitter, particularly from Black, Asian–from African, Asian, Irish folks, Irish Twitter. And they were just like, now is not the time. But then the question is like, so when is the time? When is the time because right now is the time. Like death is the moment where we start cementing someone’s legacy. And so why are we going to start—why are we already whitewashing her legacy right? Like for me, I have complicated feelings about it. I said it earlier, I got a little teary eyed. Because being Canadian she is part of my collective memory and there’s a loss there, right. But also, I’m the descendant of people who were stolen from their land and held captive and enslaved so that her ancestors could have sugar for their tea and make really bad desserts. Their desserts in the U.K. are not very good. So, it’s a little, you know.

But one of the things that I want people to realize is that two things can be true at the same time. You can hold two competing feelings and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I think that we are writing the story of her legacy—the media is and all of those kind of things—so why should it be whitewashed. Why would we whitewash the history of the monarchy, the violence done in the name of queen and country, the violence done in the name of queen Elizabeth. And while I—again another competing truth, I recognize that heavy is the head that wears the crown. You know, she didn’t choose this life, she was tasked with continuing this monarchy whereas other monarchies have had their head chopped off and okay, fine. But she is this woman, her drip is made up of blood diamonds, she had the opportunity to actually make a difference. She could have stood up for rights and ideals that benefited more than just her and her family, but actually benefited the world as a whole. She could have apologized for hundreds of years of colonial atrocities, she never did, never said the words, I’m sorry. She could have returned stolen treasures but instead they were buried with her. So, you know, there are two competing truths and like you said, just because you’re afraid of death and you’re afraid of what will come, what will be cemented after that, doesn’t mean that you can’t tell the truth about somebody after they die.

[00:40:42] BT: Yeah. And she also—didn’t she try to take her dogs with her [laughter]? I saw that. Like I don’t want my dogs to survive me, and I was like wow, PETA, where you at?

[00:40:51] AJ: No, she said she didn’t want any new puppies. She said she didn’t want any puppies because she didn’t want to leave them behind.

[00:41:00] BT: Oh. Okay. That’s not what I saw. I saw somebody be like, oh she wants to take the dogs to the grave with her. I was like [laughter] but anyway.

[00:41:10] AJ: They were at the funeral. So was her horse.

[00:41:14] BT: Wow. And you know, I hope that they feel free. [Laughter] I honestly don’t have any kind of affections. Like this just feels so far removed from the realm of things that I’m invested in and care about. I only know these people—like the entire family—just from walking past the tabloids in Walmart, like people magazine or whatever the fuck. So, I really just don’t. I would be forcing it to be interested beyond the intellectual what is happening here. And I think also just like my political orientation is like just—despite whatever struggles she might have had, like ma’am you were still queen of England. You still got pictures with Hitler, you and Hitler were still friends until the war started, World War II started, so [laughter].

[00:42:40] AJ: I think that was her uncle [laughter].

[00:42:41] BT: That was? No. Okay, see people be posting pictures and being like, this her and Hitler hanging out

[00:42:49] AJ: I saw people posting pictures of how she bowed to Haile Selassie in Ethiopia, and I was just like that’s historically inaccurate but [laughter] I’mma let y’all do it. I’mma let y’all do it.

[00:43:06] BT: But like put the money back.  

[00:43:08] AJ: I think one of the things—this is my critique of the, of some of the tweets, of some of Twitter. And I am not judging anyone. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t tweet. I mean I tweeted that the queen was dead, so like the queen dead off, alright. But, from a political standpoint, I’m just like what are you celebrating? Cause people are celebrating her death like they had something to do with it. [Laughter] I’m like, she died of old age and maybe of like long-term Covid complications, right? Her death was not the result of armed struggle. You’re not a revolutionary. Her death doesn’t represent the end of the colonial system, but actually it represents its succession. You didn’t do anything, and nothing changed! So, what are you celebrating exactly?

[00:44:06] BT: I mean the group chat was popping off. The jokes, the jokes. We have been—[crosstalk]

[00:44:14] AJ: The jokes are one thing, but people were like, yeah, yay, she’s dead. And it’s like okay, I’m glad that you’re happy but you didn’t have anything to do with it and it doesn’t change anything. Literally five seconds after they were like King Charles III.

[00:44:32] BT: Yeah, I think the political significance—cause I’m thinking about the professor, Uju Anya, whose family was murdered by order of the monarchy in Africa and I’m thinking about her and all the backlashes she experienced for saying that she hoped the queen suffered a horrible death. I’m not exactly, you know what I think it’s more of like an affective thing, right? Like folks feel like death can be a form of justice but I think what I’m hearing behind your question is there is no sense of justice or change, so then why celebrate. And maybe the celebration is—maybe two things, maybe the death doesn’t have to have a significant meaning in order to celebrate it. And the celebration in and of itself is to mark that like this symbol—this particular symbol of colonial violence is gone. Not that the colonial violence is gone but the symbol of it is too [sic]. Which I don’t know. I mean in the same way, the way people celebrate kind of like voting victories or things like that where it’s like okay this is a symbolic victory right, not a actual tangible one. So, what are we celebrating? A new white supremacist in charge?

[00:46:15] AJ: I think that feeling satisfaction is one thing, I think feeling justice is another thing. I think you’ve captured what was behind the question very well, but Queen Elizabeth is, she’s sitting in this seat of what is the hand of power. So, her death doesn’t mark the end of –what did you say? The end of that colonial period, or colonial? What did you say again?

[00:45:55] BT: I think I said colonial violence or something like that.

[00:45:58] AJ: Yeah, her death doesn’t mark the end of a particular period of colonial violence because the crown is. She was just the person wearing the crown. The crown is the ongoing structure and institution. So, she just happened to be sitting in it for the number of years that she was. And so, her death doesn’t represent the end of it because Charles is now. He is the face of the crown, that’s what I should say. That’s what it is. They’re the face of a larger institution and that’s not to say that they don’t have power, or they are only figureheads, but I don’t think that their deaths represent the end of anything. The end of the crown represents the end of the colonial violence and he’s just the next person wearing it.

[00:47:59] BT: I don’t disagree with you. I think that as someone who likes to celebrate when my enemies face whatever they need to face, you know, even if I’m not the one that brings it to em, I see value in it, even if it’s not the end. Now should it be the end? Like all of it. Like I—which is also, I think an extension of your question, right? Like is a celebration in and of itself a political act of revolution? Absolutely the fuck not, right? It’s like, okay, like you send off your tweets and if you are that professor right, you face a lot of racist, anti-Black misogynoirist backlash. Or if you’re me, you just tweet it and you move on with your life, right? It’s definitely not something that brings about the end of empire, but I do think that it, the symbol—I think the symbol is important. And so yeah, it’s just a question of like, what do symbols do? Especially when you say, like, the actual violence behind it is ongoing and it’s ongoing to someone who most people dislike for some reason or another. Again, I don’t know these people outside of what I see on the magazines at Walmart. So, I’m like, oh, people are upset with him?

[00:49:34] AJ: I mean, I think, I think about the show Burn Notice. Maybe folks don’t know, but I love spy things, spy movies and books and all that kind of stuff. And in a lot of those books, people are like, I need to kill the head of X organization because they ruined my life or they killed, you know, this organization killed my family member. And they get to that person, and they kill them and then they’re like, well damn now five more people have just popped up in their place and they’re continuing the same system. So, I think what’s kind of underlying my sentiment about it is just like there’s just five more heads popping up, that’s it. I mean the way that the whole situation was treated is just kind of like relegitimizing monarchies. And there’s an article in the New York Times about the Italian monarchy and how there’s a fight for it between two competing houses. And it’s like the monarchy, they don’t have one in Italy. Like it’s not even a thing anymore. It’s a Republic, so. I think that the attention—the attention that we give to it also adds to the legitimacy, which is similar to something that you had posted on Instagram about the “Period Ahh, Period Uhh” girl. But we’re not gonna talk about it because of what you said. And yeah [laughter]. What we do wanna talk about [laughter] is

[00:51:15] BT: That disturbs my whole spirit.

[00:51:16] AJ: Bridgerton. Bridger-ton, and these, you know, ’cause we were talking about whitewashing the legacy and the history of the Crown. And is, you know—what is Hollywood doing colorwashing—I don’t know–the history? You know, like Black people were Dukes and elite during the Regency in Georgian Era? And I watched those shows and I’m like, you would have been a slave! Like you would have been a slave. I’m talking about The Courtship, which is like a dating show—it’s on Amazon Prime, I believe—that Mia, our social media assistant, put us on to. Mr. Malcolm’s List, I do wanna watch but haven’t. You know, Ann Boleyn with Jodi Turner Smith playing the titular character. What I wanted to say is I feel like this all started with Belle. Do you know the movie? [Pause] Featuring—okay so it was a movie that came out in 2013, with Gugu Mbatha-Raw. It was directed by Amma Asante and it’s the true story about the illegitimate daughter of an English nobleman and an enslaved African woman. Belle is the name of the character—of the woman—and she was born into slavery but then she raised an heiress and free gentlewoman in London after her dad went and, you know, freed her. And I think that that kind of just unleashed peoples’ imaginations about how there could have been Black people in the Regency and Georgian and Victorian Eras as noble people

[00:53:12] BT: Yeah, I feel like that’s partially true. And one thing that Ashley had shared with me is that there are people who are dedicated to finding some historical threads here. Who have the time and the energy for it. And one of the things that was true, I guess, early on as they started to do their whole imperialist thing was that they couldn’t just kill all the nobles in all these foreign lands. They couldn’t just kill everybody, so they integrated some of them into kind of English noble society. But I think you’re absolutely right in the sense that they wouldn’t be integrated with equal standing, right. It’s like what we talked about, what Bonilla talks about, this kind of integration but it’s not, and inclusion but it’s not actually something that puts you on equal standing with the other folks. And so, it’s like a mix of this is a possibility because it was a strategy to take over places like India where they didn’t kill everybody who was in charge over there. There were some folks that they allowed to live, and they allowed to—invited, I’mma use that woman’s word—invited to live in England as a way of like—and also in China I believe too, that was a lot the mode. But then when it moved to places in Africa, right, that was almost definitely not the case.

[00:54:57] AJ: Okay, okay.

[00:54:58] BT: And so, yeah.

[00:54:58] AJ: I was very skeptical about that because I was like, I believe that would have happened in India and in Asia, but I would not believe that the place that they were like this place is just full of savages, I couldn’t see that. I mean is anyone has an answer to this question, one of the things that I think about sometimes is why in the U.K. is Indian food so deeply entrenched in the culture there, but Caribbean food is not. And I think it’s because they also had this similar monarchal structure, this caste system that was similar that could be read as a class system and therefore the British were like, oh, alright, we can relate. There are some people who are higher in the hierarchy than us, so your food is cool, we’ll eat it. Whereas they’re just like Caribbean food is just scraps [laughter] or something. That’s one of my secret food anthropology questions that I hope to answer one day.

[00:56:07] BT: We know that anti-Blackness underruns everything so it’s like where do we draw that line in the past that we really don’t know. You know [laughter]?

[00:56:16] AJ: yeah, okay so, I believe that. But historian folks who know better than I do, feel free to send us a message on Instagram or Twitter and let us know. Tell us that we are wrong. One of the things I will say is I think that people actually don’t really know how these titles work. The whole like Duke, Baron, Viscount, Marchioness, all of that stuff. Because I feel like there is this kind of like desire to go find an ancestor who might have had some noble blood or something like that. And I’m like you guys don’t know that actually all of those titles are not just honorary, they also give you title to land and from that land you derive revenue and yeah, it’s a lot of exploitation. Exploitation and theft that undergirds the whole—what is it?—lord system, or title system. I forget what it’s called.

[00:57:24] BT: Oh, I’m like serfdom [laughter].

[00:57:26] AJ: The theftdom [laughter]. Y’all being like, Ah, I wish I was a Baron, I wish I was a Duke, um, yeah, you were just stealing money from peasants basically is how they got their money. That’s why they’re rich.

[00:57:47] BT: Yeah. That disconnect from history is so important. It’s such an important thing, something that we’ll keep coming back to over and over again [laughter].

[00:57:57] AJ: So, I, on the advice—I watched The Courtship on the advice of Mia, our social media assistant, and one of the things that they said is—well, first of all, let me set the stage. It’s one black woman and she is going back into the Regency era. Her family a.k.a the court—so, her parents, her sister and her best friend—they stay in a castle with 16 suitors, 16 gentlemen, and they all dress up in Regency era outfits, and the men are meant to be courting her. I watched the first episode and half of the second one, or something. I—actually right at the beginning they say, “On this dating show we want to see whether looking for your future may lie in the past,” and I was like here we go with the temporalities again. Here we go with that again.

[00:58:54] BT: Wow.

[00:58:56] AJ: I think I wanna hear you talk little bit about what you said about this whole like turning towards the past signaling anxieties about the future, anxieties about contemporary current crisis. Yeah, I mean, it’s similar to something that Bonilla said in Unsettling Sovereignty, that like the renewed attention to sovereignty is actually an anxiety about globalization and the porosity of nation states borders and things like that, so.

[00:59:30] BT: Yeah, mean. I think there’s a lot to say. I don’t know. This black woman in our family history or things like that. So, I’ll just speak from my own and from my father side of the family. My father was born in Louisiana. His people are Creole. And when I went to the family reunion in 2016, per my father’s request, in Covington, Louisiana I was—me and like my older sister were like the two darkest people there. And not that anybody treated me like I didn’t. I don’t. It’s not like a color struck story at all. No one treated me that way. But I was shook when I walked into the room and saw. I was like, you know, who these white people? And then, you know, they’re my cousins. Come to find out they’re my cousins. And one of the ceremonies of the family reunion was like the reading of the Ancestry and Me report, where my uncle was talking about, well, you know, we’re part French, we’re part this, we’re part that. And to me that really signaled this sense of like, okay, these are like Black people who have some internalized self-stuff going on for sure but also find that there’s no grounding in their African past, right? There’s no like, how do you find out about that past, right? Like, the past that has purposely been scrubbed and taken away from you. And so why not dig deeper into these roots where you can actually go to an archive and trace things back and read these things.

So, my thought is like, you know, this kind of way that a lot of Black American people express anxiety about not knowing where they come from, not knowing who they are because they don’t know where they come from. And so, part of that anxiety being quelled by saying, well, we’re French and we’re this and we’re that. And they also mentioned some of the African countries that we may be from. And there’s like a lower around that too just, you know, but I’m not even get into that because I was like family drama stuff, but yeah, so like I think that. I mean, I don’t know this woman, but part of what people do when they—what I see Black people doing when they reach back is, I know I can’t reach back into this because it’s dark or it’s violent or it’s, you know, there’s an assumption that is just a history of subjugation, right? That, all the negative things that come with Blackness. So why not reach back to this past that I know was better or brighter? And then there’s some kind of like psychic—cause the psychic break, right, is that like in order for these white people to have the riches and glory in the past, like all of that shit, it had to come from the extraction of our ancestors, right? So, the creation of that darkness is what undergirds that kind of bright looking past. And then the erasure of that history also is what helps uplift that. So, yeah, I think it’s just a lot of different things that come into that, but it’s of course a past that like never really existed. And if I think about the history of Creole people—elite Black people especially in the U.S. South—of like really clinging to these kind of Victorian ideals and values, it was an aspiration to a life that they knew they couldn’t have and that they were always could approximate. I’m so. Yeah, I mean, I don’t know girls. Like I would not want to be in no 17th century relationship.

[01:03:45] AJ: Yeah, I mean there’s a lot of romanticization about that period of time and it’s like, did you wanna urinate and defecate in a bucket and then throw it out the window? Like is that really a period that you want to return to?

[01:04:03] BT: Right and that’s when they were met the Moors.

[01:04:05] AJ: And mind you, and mind you, I am not—listen, I know that we have not always had toilets, but there are societies that had irrigation. There are societies that knew about hygiene. Hygiene. [Crosstalk] Like, who taught y’all? That’s what you wanna return to? Okay.

[01:04:26] BT: Like the Moors.

[01:04:29] AJ: But I think another place that we’re seeing that return to traditional values of course is in—and we keep coming back to i. This is gonna be the third time we’ve talked about it this year at least, but it’s in the whole divine femininity, masc—like Black masculinity stuff, where it’s like I am masculine. I am the man. I’m the head of the household. And you know, I expect a woman to be submissive if she’s going to be with me. I have to be the caretaker. I have to be the one who provides comfort for her because femininity cannot thrive in discomfort. But I think, you know who took it way too far in my opinion is this return to the past in terms of relationships is Jeremy O’Harris [laughter] who is the writer. He wrote—screenwriter for. Sorry, the playwright, not screenwriter. Playwright for Slave Play. Which, yeah, that one. It broke barriers, apparently, and had a lot of people talking on Broadway. So, Slave Play, it’s a three act play about race, sex, power relations, trauma, and interracial relationships. It follows three interracial couples undergoing antebellum sexual performance therapy because the Black partner is no longer feel sexual attraction to their white partners. I saw it last December. It was uncomfortable, I will say. There were some points, but there were not some points. So basically, these three couples, they’re at a retreat and they have to dress up and act their role-playing like they are in, you know, in the slave times, in the antebellum period. The Black partner is playing a slave and the white partner plays a master. Or I think there was a white woman, so she was playing the mistress that the slave was having an affair with. And there’s like, there’s a safe word. So, if someone’s like, okay, this is too much, they can stop. And then, you know, all of the Black couples, they have what’s called anhedonia, they’re not feeling pleasure and they’re trying to like play out this interracial relationship dynamic and take it to its roots where like the psychologists think that the foundation of this anhedonia is coming from, which is like their association with slavery. So, they’re trying to take it to it’s like complete end, like continue that feeling until they worked through it. And I guess what the play is supposed to do—is trying to do is like make whiteness visible because the assumption is that whiteness is unmarked. And by turning the white characters into the slave masters, and the mistress, it’s meant to make this whiteness and make this history visible for white people. That’s what I understood about it. It was odd. Y’all should see Brendane’s face right now, she’s just like what the fuck is this.

[01:08:18] BT: I just remember when it came out and hearing about it, reading about it. And I said this sounds like one of those things that was written by someone who is only attracted to white people, so let me not. Cause why is this actually a dilemma right? Like, you are with someone you no longer feel attracted to? Leave them [laughter]. You know that’s—

[01:08:48] AJ: They’re married Brendane, okay. You don’t just leave a marriage, alright [laughter].

[01:08:51] BT: Yes, you can, okay, you can go. All these laws that have passed now, y’all better do it before they really make it [crosstalk]

[01:09:01] AJ: You gotta work on it. As someone who is pre-married—[laughter] I’m kidding—you’ve gotta work on things.

[01:09:03] BT: I’m just saying that. Anyway, I’m gonna just be like the way things are headed if you are not happy and you still in something, you might wanna get out before you have to stay. But anyway, so I. Yeah, so then I read about Jeremy O’Harris and lo and behold, he is a queer Black man who—as self-reported—only experiences attraction to white people and can’t understand for his own self how to release that bond. And so, what was particularly troubling about me in especially this characterization of the play is something about race, sex, power relations, trauma, interracial relationships. When we—when you understand chattel slavery as a structure of power and domination in which love cannot exist, right? Like you cannot love someone who has power and dominance, like total and complete power and domination over you, right? So, to characterize it as sex when it is rape, to characterize like these power relationships as anything but, you know, this like structurally violent thing. That’s one book on the shelf. Somebody’s already written it, I’m sure. And I, like, so that really troubles me. And so, I know that there are scenes with Black women being violated as part of the like play, right, the race play, sex play, whatever. Race rape, sex play, right? And then. And but that being a tool that allows this black person to interrogate their own unceasing attraction to white men. Like that, that in and of itself was like, I’m out. I’m clicking out, I’m not even going to spend no money on this, because no. Why? Why do Black men continue to treat us like pawns to work out their psychological issues? I don’t understand it. If you see that there’s a major problem in the way that you’re attracted to people. That you only seem to be attracted to people who violate you, talk to a therapist. Don’t imagine Black women being raped as a way to help you work through that. Like I that’s so, it’s just odd to me. I think too, like I think it’s interesting to just zoom out of that and think about interracial relationships in general as something that people think as like a microcosm form of resistance against these kind of colonialist histories.

[01:12:08] AJ: I think we might have to save this one for the Patreon. [Music] Okay so wow, we got really personal for that little Patreon aside. Head to patreon.com/zorasdaughters to subscribe and listen. But what I did want to do, I wanted to go back to what you were saying about not—about there not being loved in structures of domination. And I wanna ask you then, how does that work with a heterosexual relationship with a cis man? Cause that is—patriarchy is also a structure of domination. So, can a woman be in a in a consenting relationship with a man? Of course, there are like the radical third wave feminists that I remember reading. I’m trying to remember their names, but I cannot. Who wrote that sex with a cis man is rape, regardless of whether or not you consent because of said structure of domination. Thoughts? [Laughter]

[01:13:22] BT: That is so. People are so interesting. Are these black people that said that? I just.

[01:13:23] AJ: No. I wanna say that it was like Cherríe Moraga and Adrienne MacKinnon [sic]? It might be, might be Adrienne Rich. Sorry.

[01:13:30] BT: Okay. I’m like, I don’t know what these people look like, but I will say most Black feminists, whether it be for the good or the bad of the race, whatever TM, believe that Black, cishet men should be carried along with us. That’s all that. And I’m gonna leave it there. But I think that, like a is contextual in the sense that like—I guess I can’t say this. So, I’m in relationship with this cishet man right and not something I ever would have picked for myself. But you know.

[01:14:28] AJ: The ancestors. The ancestors.

[01:14:31] BT: The cards in the stars or something. Something else for me. So, and I would say that I don’t feel—unlike my relationships in the past with cishet men who, because of their—Black cis het men who were so insecure about themselves and so felt like in order to prove that they were men TM they had to exert violence and dominate me. He does not do that. And so in in those relationships I would characterize—I would say that many of the times that we had sex it was in fact. It was rape, right? It was not sex that I wanted to have. And so being in a relationship that is completely different has shown me that love with men is possible, but I think that it just really depends on the man. Like, is the man in relationship because he really loves you and values you, or is he in a relationship cause he’s trying to prove to his homies that he’s a man? Like he’s trying to prove to the white man in his head that he’s a man, like. And if you’re not, you don’t have those experiences, then you’re not in a relationship where someone is, like, actively dominating you. Like we can’t do anything about—I mean, we can do lots of things about the structures that be. But like, you know, I can’t really change the fact that like on a structural level, cis men experience privileges that like non cis men don’t so. Yeah, that’s my complicated answer to that. Depends on the man.

[01:16:07] AJ: Well then, so how is that is it different from an interracial relationship—I guess is maybe where I was going with that?

[01:16:16] BT: Whew, gender compare gender. Gender and race.

[01:16:23] AJ: Fair enough, that’s fair.

[01:16:26] BT: I think. I think racial like, I mean, we could bring Hortense Spillers into this. So, like for Black people, if we’re thinking about Black gender. Right, which is like a different kind of gender than like what I would say gender with a capital G, which is white supremacist patriarchal capitalist construction of gender that says that cis men are dominators, they’re violent. They prove that they’re men by doing violent stuff, right. Whereas everyone who’s not that is dominated, is violated, is in the position of—but also protected, right—underneath the structure. But what Blackness does is actually negates all of that and compresses people who would be considered Black men and Black women into a gender category of Black gender in which everyone can be violated, no matter what genitals they may have. And so, this is getting into some real theoretical, yeah.

[01:17:35] AJ: If y’all are like what are you talking about, you’ll have to listen to our episode where we discuss we discussed Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe—the episode number I cannot think of it off the top of my head, but I will put it in the show notes so you all can click right to it, since this episode is essentially finished. We did say—did we say we were going to talk about The Woman King? [Pause] I was going to be like, yo, the queen I’m done talking about. I want to talk about The Woman King with Viola Davis playing a Dahomey warrior queen. There were some ADOS conversations—that is African descendants of slaves? Is that it? Is that American descendants of slaves?

[01:18:23] BT: Yeah, American descendants of slaves. I mean—

[01:18:24] AJ: American, ADOS, arguments about that. That we should boycott it because those are the people who sold Africans into slavery. But we might just have to save it for another episode.

[01:18:38] BT: Yeah, I think the last thing we’ll say—the last thing we should say is that, you know, we are real time sitting in the midst of the “aftermath” of “colonialism” with what’s happening with Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico and so sending the love and the peace that we can from where we are in the privileged positions that we are in. But just knowing that we are going to have to figure out as a community. How are we going to support the people of Puerto Rico post this. Maria was devastating. But this is like cataclysmic, and I am just like. It just lingers in my mind just like, what are we going to do? Particularly for the Black people on the island who were already in such a precarious place post Maria. Like what are we gonna do? What are we gonna do?

[01:19:45] AJ: Thank you for that. That’s all we have for you today. Thank you for listening. This episode was produced by Alyssa James and Brendan Tynes and distributed in partnership with the American Anthropological Association. This season of the podcast is generously funded by a grant from the Arts and Science Graduate Council, the Heyman Center, Public Humanities Graduate Fellowship, and donations from listeners just like you.

[01:20:13] BT: Thank you all for your support. If you liked this episode, please give us a five-star rating and review on Spotify and Apple podcasts. It really helps with our podcast being shown to other people. And we just like reading the reviews in our free time.

[01:20:29] AJ: That’s true, that’s true [laughter].

[01:20:33] BT: And so, of course, you can show us more love directly to people by sharing our podcast episodes on social media, dropping a link in the groupchat, or Slack—y’all I just found out about slack and people need to be educated—or even adding a little note to your email signature!

[01:20:51] AJ: Tell them your favorite podcast.

[01:20:52] BT: Get the tote bag. Be like the reason I have this tote bag is ‘cause I listen to Zora’s Daughters. And if you do any of these things, please let us know on Instagram at zorasdaughters and on Twitter at Zoras_Daughters. And for transcripts, merch, this season’s reading list, and information on how to cite us or become a Patron, visit our website zorasdaughters.com.

[01:21:17] AJ: Last but not least, be kind to yourselves. Bye.

[01:21:19] BT: Bye.

[01:21:21] AJ: Bye. Bow.

[01:21:25] BT: [Laughter]

[01:21:27]  [END OF RECORDING]

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