Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Refugees, USA, Xenophobia

Free movement of Jah people

Sometimes I cross post on Flip Flopping Joy written by BFP.  I’ve known BFP in Blogland for years now and we met in person during the 2007 US Social Forum in Atlanta. BFP’s work is phenomenal and though she has changed her blog a number of times and in a sense re-invented herself her work continues to be driven by  radical social action. Recently BFP posted this piece by blogger Tanglad on her observations on life and people after a year of riding.   BFP puts the post in the context of the recent racist fascist immigration law in the state of Arizona.   What has this got to do with Africa and African migrations? Well for starters many of us live in the Diaspora and face similar racist harassment particularly in Italy which has one of the worst immigration laws in Euroland – where undocumented immigrants are criminals.  Other countries in the world with similar immigration laws are Switzerland, Australia, Dubai, Japan……..  And Walls are not the only obstacles to free movement of people – not permitted whereas free movement of capital – is not only permitted but is seen as economically essential.

Some things I’ve (re)learned from a year of riding.

The climb is its own reward:

That hubs are spaces of tension. (The graffiti on this one reads “Hike, not bike.” What does that make those of us who do both?)

That property-owning humans may think they’re the most important beings in the trail:

…but they’re wrong:

That there’s no shame in dismounting if you unsure of the terrain:

But sometimes, you just trust that your body knows what to do:

That when the trail keeps getting steeper, it can actually be a good thing:


And after a year of thinking about it, I decided that on my bike, I’m a cyborg.

Neither our personal bodies nor our social bodies may be seen as natural, in the sense of existing outside the self-creating process called human labor. What we experience and theorize as nature and as culture are transformed by our work. All we touch and therefore know, including our organic and social bodies, is made possible for us through our labor.

—Donna Haraway, Simians, Cyborgs, and Women


  1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful points about movement, African migrations and diaspora. I'm very struck at how familiar the stories by Samura and of families in in Yarlswood and the work that non-white immigrants do in host countries like Spain, because they feel so familiar, so much like Filipino migration and diaspora. You've also made me think about how black and brown bodies are moved in very specific and directed ways, as commodities, as vessels of labor and capital. Salamat.

  2. Sokari

    Thank you for your inspiring post – I visited Yarlswood about 18 months ago – horrendous place. A few months later a young Ugandan asylum seeker who was a volunteer at a women's center where I too volunteered on women's asylum cases. She went to her bi-weekly sign on at the police station and was immediately detained, imprisoned in Yarlswood and deported 48 hours later. A group of activists worked liked crazy to try and stop the deportation but to no avail – the lawyers were total crap as usual. She is still in Uganda having escaped after being raped by the Lord's Resistance Army. Women especially women of colour are not to be believed.