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Say, Listen: Writing as Care

by The Black | Indigenous 100s Collective:

Circe Sturm, Jessi Quizar, Reid Gómez, Kimberly Williams Brown, Kelsey Dayle John, William Felepchuk, and Shanya Cordis

5.5 x 8.5, 140 pgs., $22

ISBN 978-1-962365-00-0

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"Open your ears to Say, Listen, and find a path toward home through words. This shimmering collection of 100-word pieces by a circle of Black and Indigenous thinkers practices care through shared writing and models a method of intimate conversation. Following an introduction that details the authors’ approach with clarity and honesty, each brief segment feels like a dispatch from our troubled times— gritty, poetic, spiritual, and real. Say, Listen is simultaneously a workbook, songbook, and critical academic treatise. It is a collection to read and then revisit for its startling beauty, keen insights, and quiet urging to 'keep doing this life' together." —Tiya Miles, author of The Cherokee Rose: A Novel of Gardens and Ghosts, and All That She Carried, the Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake


"In Say, Listen, The Black | Indigenous 100s collective offers readers a taste of their intimate conversation and writing practice that spans five years. Starting in 2019, writing through and after the pandemic, the seven-person collective has crafted a multi-tongued poetics, sustained an itinerant conversation, offered up prayers for the earth, mixed life-sustaining tinctures, and staged performance pieces in 100-word installations that offer a 'new critical vocabulary' for engaging the complexity of Black and Indigenous relations. Say, Listen is not a book to mine for critical resources. Say, Listen is a book for readers devoted to their own quiet practice of being present for what may unfold in the making of Black and Indigenous relations."  

—Tiffany Lethabo King

In Say, Listen: Writing as Care, scholars working within Blackness and Indigeneity model an innovative method for thinking, writing, and practicing care together. The Black | Indigenous 100s Collective emerged before the COVID-19 pandemic as a means to grapple with the sometimes-frustrating limits of life in the academy and the urgency for conversation between Black and Indigenous thinkers. Building on the 100-word writing experiment that originated with Emily Bernard at the University of Vermont in 2009, each entry is precisely 100 words and draws inspiration from the one that came before. Not linear or strictly analytical, the book articulates lives that are often illegible, suppressed, or misunderstood. Offering readers a glimpse into an ongoing, written conversation, the 100s foreground the relationship between writing and the body, conceptions of sharing space and living together in the midst of ongoing global pandemic, anti-Blackness, and Indigenous erasure. Unlike traditional academic modes of writing, these pieces create, imagine, and transgress, enacting and sustaining unique forms of kinship, relationality, and care.


Kimberly Williams Brown is the co-founder and director of the Intergroup Dialogue Collective, a non-profit that uses intergroup dialogue praxis to engage in critical conversations about race and racism. She is an assistant professor at Vassar College in Education, Africana Studies and Women’s Studies. She holds a Ph.D. and a certificate of Advanced Study from Syracuse University in Cultural Foundations of Education and Women and Gender Studies. Her scholarship sits at the intersection of race, gender and migration. Her newest co-written book, Rise for Racial Justice: How to Talk About Race with Schools and Communities, was released in 2022. The book addresses common issues that facilitators, teachers, and communities face as they navigate the thorny terrain of racism in schools and communities.


Shanya Cordis is a black and indigenous (Warrau and Lokono) anthropologist, poet, and writer. She earned her B.S. in Education at Pennsylvania State University and obtained her MA and PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology, with concentrations in African & African Diaspora Studies and Native American & Indigenous Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Currently, she is Assistant Professor of the African American & African Diaspora Studies Department and the Center for the Study of Ethnicity & Race at Columbia University. Her work rests at the intersections of blackness and indigeneity, examining the specific experiences of black and indigenous communities in the diaspora across the Americas.  Grounded in transnational black and indigenous frameworks, she explores the openings and possibilities of rooted dialogue on political questions like black diasporic belonging and connection, indigenous sovereignty, and black and indigenous futures. Invested in crafting spaces of truth telling for and by black, brown, and indigenous peoples that generate new ways of being in the world, she explores writing, poetry, and film as critical modes for excavating the wound, storytelling, collective healing, and joy. Her ethnographic book project, Unsettling Geographies: Antiblackness, Gendered Violence, and Dispossession in Guyana explores the co-constitutive relationship between antiblackness, gendered violence, and indigenous dispossession in the South American Caribbean context of Guyana. Her scholarly journal articles are published in Small Axe, Cultural Anthropology, and American Anthropology, along with published poetry in the Pariahs anthology and Raspa Magazine.


William Leonard Felepchuk is a son, father, husband, and brother from Ottawa, in the watershed of the Kichi Sibi, on unceded Algonquin territory. His ancestors came from Ukraine, Russia, England, Italy, and from Protestant communities in what is now Northern Ireland. He is a practicing Muslim who strives to be of service to his relations in Ottawa and in the Muslim community. He is a historical geographer with a PhD from the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies at Carleton University. His ongoing research focuses on racial necrogeographies, examining how the burial places of the racialized dead (Anishinaabe, Black, and Muslim communities) have been threatened, destroyed, or disallowed by white settlers, including in areas colonized by his ancestors, and how communities have resisted and reclaimed sites. His work has been published in the International Journal of Islamic Architecture (2022) and American Indian Culture and Research Journal (2019), as well as in edited volumes published by the Centre for Critical Heritage Studies at the University of Gothenberg (2021) and the Canada Center at Károli Gáspár University in Budapest (2021). William is a co-founder of Archipel Research and Consulting, an Indigenous-owned social science and equity research company, where he is currently a senior advisor. 

Reid Gómez. Writer, Dancer, and Percussionist. Congo; Mexican; Diné. ’Ádóone’é nishłínígíí ’éí Naahiłií Lucumí Congo. Tł’ízí lání ’éí bá shishchíín. Assistant Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Arizona. Published in the following: Time, Space, Matter in Translation, Lingering, Auburn Avenue: The Gender Issue, Still Here San Francisco, Reckonings: Contemporary Short Fiction by Native American Women, Bay Poetics, Latina: Women’s Voices From the Borderlands, Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of MALCS, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Diálogo, an Interdisciplinary Studies Journal, Wicazo Sa Review, Studies in American Indian Literatures, Reading Native American Women: Critical/Creative Representations.


Kelsey Dayle John (Diné) is an assistant professor at the University of Arizona with a joint appointment in American Indian Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies. She studies equine/human relationships in Native American communities. She is a 2021 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow and is working on a book project about equine/human relationships in Indigenous methodologies. She completed her Ph.D. in Education at Syracuse University. She has published in the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Humananimilia, Edge Effects and several edited volumes, including Decolonising Animals, Indigenous and Decolonising Studies in Education, and Indigenous Religious Traditions in Five Minutes. She is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and in her spare time, she runs with her dogs and plays with her horses.  


Jessi Quizar is a scholar of racial capitalism, grassroots planning, and urban land and resource struggles in the U.S.  Her work centers on the organizing and theorizing of Black and Indigenous communities to shape cities and is included in Antipode, American Indian and Culture Research Journal, The Detroit People’s Atlas, and the award-winning edited volume Racial Ecologies.  She is currently writing a book that explores the ways that anti-Black racism and settler colonialism operate together in processes of gentrification in Detroit.


A practicing anthropologist and Mississippi Choctaw descendant, Circe Sturm has spent her career trying to better understand how race shapes lived experiences of social belonging and political citizenship. Most of her research has been in collaboration with Native and African American communities. She is the author of two award winning books, Blood Politics (UC Press 2002) and Becoming Indian (SAR Press 2011), and editor of Blackness and Indigeneity in the Light of Settler Colonial Theory (AICRJ 2020). Her work has been profiled in the New York Times and on various local and syndicated NPR programs. She has lectured in a range of public and university venues, including for the US Forest Service, New York Public Library, and Indigenous Law and Policy Center. As a public intellectual with a deep commitment to ethics, social justice, and community engagement, her work has been read, debated, and cited by scholars, tribal citizens, journalists, lawyers, judges, and a broader reading public. She has taught about race and racism in the US for nearly 25 years, first at the University of Oklahoma and now at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is a Professor of Anthropology and core faculty in the Native American and Indigenous Studies program.

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