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How to ruin Thanksgiving with two easy talking points

A look at Land Back and decolonization

This land was Mexican once, was Indian always and is. And will be again. Borderlands/La Frontera The New Mestiza, Fifth Edition By Gloria Anzaldúa

From Borderlands to Home in the Bay, Aunt Lute has worked to uplift and center writers and artists who share critical and powerful messages about decolonization and land back movements.

Too many times we are reminded through violent events how important this work is. As we’ve said before: as an intersectional, feminist press, our place in global conversations on oppression is in support of those fighting for their rights to freedom, to personal sovereignty, to safety. There is power in words, power in speaking up, power in speaking out against violence.

Our liberation is tied to the liberation of all. Our individual safety is dependent on the collective safety of all peoples, on the understanding of our collective dignity and inherent value as humans.

Decolonization movements ask for the right and ability of Indigenous people to practice self-determination over their land, cultures, and political and economic systems. One of the greatest challenges to decolonization and land back movements is a reluctance to give up power and privilege from those experiencing the benefits of colonization. Colonial violence does not make us safer. As soon as one people, group, or community can be labeled as less deserving of autonomy, it is possible to turn that thinking upon any people, group, or community.

Art can affirm the inherent value of the words and wisdom published, of the person writing them down, whoever they may be. We do the work we do to make it possible for our systems and cultural practices to reflect the inherent value of all voices, even those marginalized and excluded today.

As we arrive at Thanksgiving time and Indigenous Peoples Month and are confronted with the violent atrocities happening all around us and halfway across the world, we encourage our readers and our community to resource yourselves to work for our collective liberation from colonial, patriarchal, racist violence.

Islamophobia and antisemitism are both on the rise today. Racial and gendered violence are present today and always in armed conflicts and active genocides around the world, whether it be in Palestine, Israel, Xinjiang, Haiti, Sudan, Venezuela, Bangladesh, Armenia, Iran, or the Bay Area’s homeless encampments.

Below are some resources the Aunt Lute staff found helpful in recent times.

Learn more:

Staying safe:

Do more:

Be social savvy:

Aunt Lute author, Nancy Agabian, recently shared some resources in her newsletter that we are sharing here with permission.

  • If you haven't made your voice heard already on demanding a ceasefire in Gaza, Jewish Voice for Peace is a very visible activist organization which has helpful automated messages to send to our leaders.

  • You can also call President Biden directly and leave a comment for the White House at 202 456 1111.

Nancy also shared information regarding attacks on Armenians.

Looking locally, you can learn more about community land back efforts and homefulness solutions from organizations we’ve worked closely with: POOR Magazine and Sogorea Te’ Land Trust. You can also find your local rep here.

Lastly, if you are a writer directly impacted by the ongoing colonial violence occurring around the world, we hope you will submit your manuscripts to us. To those in our community who know us well, we hope you will share this message with authors who you know and want to uplift. Aunt Lute is a small press, but the few books we do publish make a difference in this world we’re building. There are many roles to play in building a better, more equitable world, and publishing is ours. We hope you have found yours as well.

We leave you with the wisdom of author Melanie Kaye-Kantrowitz.

“How do we push towards a world where we are no longer victims? How, when we are taught the immutability of the social order, do we begin to imagine such a world? We don’t learn history in a way that helps us see that change does happen, has happened, is happening, and will happen no matter what we do. The question we need to ask is not, “can things change?” but “how can we push in the direction of the changes we want?” The Issue is Power


The Aunt Lute Staff


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