This response essay argues that the hyperfocus on what defines appropriate behavior among Afro-descended populations issues from structural white supremacy. One of the messages in the author’s Colonial Phantoms: Belonging and Refusal in the Dominican Americas, from the 19th Century to the Present (2018) is that efforts against antiblackness (and a concomitant anti-Haitianness) in the Dominican Republic cannot be accompanied by the tired chastisement that Dominicans do not perform their African descent in ways appealing to the US gaze. In other words, the faster we can accept that subjects of the African diaspora have been damaged by white supremacy and colonialism differently, the faster we can figure out how to sprout out of the rotting episteme created by Man. Plants can and do grow from rot.
Mushrooms and Mischief: On Questions of Blackness
Dixa Ramírez D’Oleo is an assistant professor of transnational African American literatures in the American Studies and English Departments at Brown University. She is the author of Colonial Phantoms: Belonging and Refusal in the Dominican Americas, from the 19th Century to the Present (2018). Her second book project is tentatively titled “Mountain Indigeneity, Horror, and the Photographic Negative.”
Dixa Ramírez D’Oleo; Mushrooms and Mischief: On Questions of Blackness. Small Axe 1 July 2019; 23 (2 (2)): 152–163. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-7703392
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