RaceBaitR is a platform created to explore the various ways race is expressed and defined with the goal of creating a world without all of its intersecting oppressions.
Some might call this race baiting. Okay.
This space is dedicated to imagining and working toward a world outside of the white supremacist cisheteropatriarchal capitalistic gaze with a particular attention to the function of anti-Blackness. Those who insist on wielding that gaze can call us what you like. We aren’t talking to you.
RaceBaitR is a community of people genuinely interested in learning more about Blackness, race, anti-Blackness, intersectionality, and their relationship to those subjects. Our audience is committed to learning with us, so pieces should not be expected to address non-marginalized people who haven’t yet dedicated themselves to joining the fight for justice.
Hari Ziyad is an artist, writer and the Editor-in-Chief of the digital publication, RaceBaitR. They received their BFA from New York University, where they concentrated in Film and Television and Psychology.
Their work is informed by their passion for storytelling and wrestling with identity as a Black, non-binary child of Muslim and Hindu parents while growing up in Cleveland. Hari primarily creates art engaging with identity, race, gender and sexuality, ally politics and the arts.
Their work has been featured in Gawker, Out, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Ebony, Mic, Paste Magazine, in the peer-reviewed academic journal Critical Ethnic Studies, and in the anthology co–edited by Michael Dumas, Ashley Woodson and Carl Grant entitled The Future is Black: Afropessimism, Fugitivity and Radical Hope in Education (upcoming 2018), among other publications. They are also the Managing Editor for Black Youth Project, an Assistant Editor for Vinyl Poetry & Prose, and writer for AFROPUNK.
Location: New York, NY
To arrange to have Hari speak at your event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch soon. Their presentations include:
The Limitations of Representation – This presentation poses the questions: can visibility, based as it is in a notion of shared humanity, work for Black people if we aren’t seen as fully human? What if the many campaigns rooted in drawing power from, or even weaponizing visibility, such as the campaign for marriage equality, benefit those most closely associated with humanity under white society (white, male, cisgender and affluent)? What if they do little for Black queer communities still ravaged by more pressing concerns like HIV and homelessness epidemics, while also actually reinforcing the violence facing us? What if Black queer folks making ourselves “seen” to a hostile state provides yet another opportunity for our bodies to be further criminalized?
What Are You Abolishing?: Prison/Police Abolition in Action: This talk/workshop poses questions centered around the notion and practice of abolition. Why is prison and police abolition necessary? How do we enact abolition on a practical, every day level? What are alternatives for safety? In a world rifled with anti-Blackness, white-supremacy, and queer antagonism, the question “What are you abolishing?” is as much a call to arms as it is an inquiry.
Beyond Ally Politics – This workshop discusses the pitfalls of non-marginalized identities allying with marginalized groups and offers tools and techniques for avoiding them. Why do allies seem to always co-opt causes and take up space, and adopt the role to ignore that they are part of the problem? How do we move beyond allyship?
The Role of Pessimism in Black Liberation – Through Afro-pessimism and the theories guiding the framework, this talk/workshop analyzes how Black pessimistic/nihilistic politics have been dismissed as impractical for refusing to compromise and rejecting piecewise reform, as too theoretical because they propose a future that is unimaginable under the imperial project of whiteness, and as too demanding in that they call for a complete refusal of that project. By analyzing events such as the Baltimore, Ferguson, and Charlotte uprisings, I dispel myths and misunderstandings around what it means to “think negatively” and the hope required of knowing this world will never be enough so we must create new ones.
All topics can be adapted to be presentations, keynote speeches, or workshops and can be tailored to the audience. If you don’t see a topic that quite meets your needs but think we can cover it, just let us know. We are also willing to create a signature talk or workshop for groups.