Conjunctural Insurrections – “Homeplace: A Site of Resistance, Revisited”

Being home feels a little like stolen pleasure and liberation, like a reclamation of Black woman time. Notwithstanding the anxious hellos and begrudging hand waving of my white neighbors who are eager to perform solidarity with the real life Black/queer/trans family who moved onto their predominantly-white Boston street (with no welcome or hello) a full year ago, I gather the day and mobilize it to serve my needs and desires, knowing this is a hard-won privilege for a Black queer woman from one of the countless ghettoscapes that dot the African Diaspora. In the morning I savor coffee on the patio, read political theory, listen to Ari Lennox, and deliberately take in and savor the fresh air that passes through my mouth before slowly settling into my body. My ears perk up to catch the erratic and musical chatter of the birds who insist on conversing over and against the sounds flowing from my laptop. I inhale fresh air that smells of fresh cut grass, tinged with a bit of the jasmine I planted in my teeming garden a few months ago. I have deep thought conversations with my brilliant partner and intently follow the logic of his words and inflections, examining his ideas, imbibing his feelings and feelings about his ideas and words. I look over at our tediously constructed patio table – it contains a fake plant from the clearance section of Target; expensive ass Anthropologie coffee mugs I spent way too many hours perusing the internet to find; a dreamy, purple and turquoise oracle deck, and Pika’s feet. I rub the little feet of my precocious Black non-binary femme child, watching her thick, wispy hair jutting out from her scalp, challenging, refusing, and embracing the morning wind that attempts to rush through it. As she tilts her little head and puts on her best-impression-of-a-grad-student voice, we talk Black feminism, transgender studies, the racial politics of biology, ecology and species mutation. The brown patio chair envelopes her caramel colored flesh, and her big brown eyes twinkle as she defines Black feminism as “Black people’s writings and rights” and transgender studies as “the study of pronouns”. She says she wants to learn more about species mutation; I suggest that we begin to use our morning patio time to study some work by Sylvia Wynter, Octavia Butler, and Akwaeke Emezi.

Shoniqua Roach is an Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies & Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University ([email protected])

For more on Antipode’s “Conjunctural Insurrections” series – an experiment to amplify voices often unheard and invisibilised in politics, daily life, and academic discourse – see