Organize Your Own Temporality: Notes on Self-Determined Temporalities and Radical Futurities in Liberation Movements By Rasheedah Phillips


1 Early on, many of us are taught to map out major events, world history, and even our own lives onto a timeline that runs from past to present to future. The timeline typically looks something like a straight line, with major events representing points on the timeline, where time comes from behind us and moves forward. The straight line moving from past to future also represents cause and effect.

2 Wright, Michelle M. Physics of Blackness: Beyond the Middle Passage Epistemology (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015), p. 57.

3 McAdam, Douglas and William H. Jr. Sewell, “It’s About Time: Temporality in the Study of Social Movements and Revolutions,” in Aminzade, et al., eds., Silence and Voice in the Study of Contentious Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2001), p. 112.

4 It is important to note that temporal-spatial traditions varied widely across cultures, countries, groups, and individuals across Indigenous Africa, but that the observations presented in this essay are based on extensive research on space, time, and spiritual traditions of a number of African cultures and groups that yield basic generalizations and assumptions.

5 A Comparison of the Western and African Concepts of Time.

6 A Comparison of the Western and African Concepts of Time.

7 Fisher, Jerrilyn. “Teaching ‘Time’: Women’s Responses to Adult Development,” in Taking Our Time: Feminist Perspectives on Temporality, p. 137.

8 Femalear Explorations: Temporality in Women’s Writing, in Taking Our Time: Feminist Perspectives on Temporality, p. 162.

9 Wright, Michelle M. “Physics of Blackness: Beyond the Middle Passage Epistemology” (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015), p. 56.

10 Wallace, Amy. “War of the Worlds,” Wired (November 2015), p. 97.

11 Butler, Octavia E. Bloodchild and Other Stories (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2005; second edition), p. 134–35.

12 Metropolarity Journal of Speculative Vision and Critical Liberation Technologies (March 2013), Season 1, Episode 1 (zine).

Half the land in Oklahoma could be returned to Native Americans. It should be.

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