Can We Live – And Be Modern?: Decolonization, Indigenous Modernity, and Hip Hop

Decolonization

by Kyle T. Mays

Quite frankly, living as an Indigenous person in the United States of Amerikkka is difficult. For me, adding my blackness to the mix makes it even more challenging. But this essay is not about the difficulty of living in a settler colonial society, where we live in a constant state of occupation/colonialism/racism and other forms of violence; that is a fact of life for all of us (to varying degrees): Indigenous, Black, white–everyone. Instead, this essay is specifically about how we–Indigenous people–relate to one another, and how we understand ourselves living in contemporary society, as modern subjects.

Our cultures are an important part of decolonizing ourselves in a settler colonial society. By highlighting culture, I am not excluding the material reality of the everyday needs of Indigenous communities, including land, water, food, education, housing, etc. Decolonization is a process whereby we work to cleanse ourselves of…

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