HOW WE ENVISION OUR WORK
Apocalyptic Education encourages us to re-member that the world has already collapsed many times for us. Our Root Work reminds us that, like Mother Earth (whom we are tied to through Ubuntu), our primary enemy is civil society itself because it is, “...predicated on our...mutilation and death” (Wilderson, 2017). In this way, the end of the “world,” provides us with health and a means of dealing with what some are fearing and attempting to cope with as the inevitable, but Black people, in touch with our epigenetic memory, call the already. Thus, the anarchy of blackness and the anarchy of the Earth (via global warming) can be understood as palpable, collective protestations against our common foe.
Here-in lies the silver lining at the end of the mushroom cloud (Tsing, 2016) hovering over our 1,398 years-long death-march through the entrails and residue of our captivity, dispersals, abuses and dis-memberings. And, having existed outside of civil society, Black people have crafted new ways of being and uplifted collective social organizations much like the ongoing collapse of the west would require us to do either way. Apocalyptic Education offers an extension of this work, centered in the “hope” and “imagination of our ancestors.” It helps us come to terms and rejoice in the truth that for us, the end world is not a bad thing.
Rather than mask the smell of death and decay within our current world, we embrace a humanizing effort informed by Dancy II, Edwards, and Davis, (2018):
The only way to establish Black human agency is to exit the system that insists upon Black dehumanization. Black counterintellectual and economic spaces would prioritize the survival and edification of all Black people. These spaces would center African ways of knowing and being in the world, as well as an exploration of the theoretical and technological legacies of African descended people (p. 190)
Moving forward, we follow the wisdoms of moss. When looking at different structures covered in moss, it does not always register that they are in fact alive. However, mosses, small flowerless plants found throughout the world, are relevant to our Apocalyptic Education efforts in that they retain and dispense water (the lifeblood of the planet). As indicators of pollution, they refuse to build in toxic environments, and they can stop their metabolism almost completely during the hot periods of the year when water is not available. They provide us with lessons on how to move more deliberately through the past and present disasters. Armed with the awareness that, like our ancestors who’ve transitioned, (social) or actual death is never more than a period of dormancy.