As we've said before, language reflects culture and history. So, in our effort to decolonize all facets of life, we need to also decolonize our minds* by learning about and appreciating African and African American languages and language variations. The title of this post was taken from Dr. Anne Charity Hudley's recent talk at Duolingo's Duocon, and this post was largely inspired by her talk as well. Dr. Hudley put things in words better than we ever could, so we'll offer a brief summary followed by lists of resources and action items.
*While we need to decolonize our minds through education, we also need to actually tear down systems of oppression and be careful not to metaphorize decolonization, thereby settling for symbolic justice. Language and education are just one small step in decolonizing our world - see this paper for more on the harms of metaphorizing decolonization.
Decolonizing The Mind via Language
Some key points from Dr. Hudley's talk:
These resources have been provided by Dr. Hudley and by Harvard's Introduction to African Languages and Cultures course.
Besides taking advantage of the resources above, here are some more actions you can take to de-center whiteness via language. These action items are provided by us but inspired by Dr. Hudley and Professor John Mugane.
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