University of Arizona

Episode 6
Making the Story Speak: Reid Gómez

Can language practices break down the separation between “us” and “them”? Reid Gómez, a native speaker of Black vernacular English and Navlish (Navajo-English), shares her multi-lingual writing practice. To “make the story speak,” she criss-crosses the boundaries between languages, embracing various linguistic structures and vocabularies simultaneously. Her writing moves away from oppositional colonial frameworks and toward a more fluid poetics of relation. This allows each of us to perceive one another as related rather than separated. In this final episode of Season 1, she explores the idea of “quantum entanglements” and shows how the relationship between writing, translation, and the nature of being are not fundamentally different.

Dr. Gómez is a writer and scholar from San Francisco, CA. She currently is an assistant professor at the University of Arizona. Her latest writing project, The Web of Differing Versions: Where Africa Ends and America Begins, engages with Silko studies, Indigenous studies and Critical Black studies.


Amelia (Amy) Kraehe Race/Remix

gloria wilson This is Race/Remix, a podcast that pushes forward enriching and challenging conversations about the arts in racial justice. We talk with artists, poets, writers, directors, dancers, designers, performers, and creative practitioners from the Arizona community and beyond. As you listen, be inspired to advocate and activate in your community. Together, we can create a more just joyful and sustainable world. Welcome to Race Remix. 

Okay. Welcome to Race Remix. I’m your host, gloria wilson. Co-hosting this episode is Amy Kraehe. And visiting with us today in the studio is Dr. Reid Gomez.

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe Welcome to the show, Reid. It’s great to have you with us.

Reid Gomez Thank you for inviting me. It’s an honor and a pleasure.

gloria wilson Dr. Reid Gomez is a brilliant scholar and human who is currently assistant professor in Gender and Women’s studies at the University of Arizona. Reid has put a wealth of time and research in writing, teaching and speaking widely about quantum entanglements, slavery, colonization, black Indian and storytelling translation. Her latest book project The web of differing Versions Where Africa Ends and America Begins.

This monograph challenges the limits created by the grammar of colonialism. Her work is in conversation with Silko studies, Indigenous Studies and Critical Black Studies. Her central intervention is an understanding of language and land as an archive based in Indigenous epistemologies.

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe I’ve been looking forward to talking about this book with you so it’s such a pleasure to have you here.

Reid Gomez Thank you. Very gracious introduction.

gloria wilson So to start off, can you tell us a bit about yourself and the work that you do?

Reid Gomez I always say my superpower is that I was raised by my grandparents and that it really did take a village to raise this child. So I was passed around a lot and I’m with all the females in my family line, but my home base is my grandparents. And then when my grandmother died when I was nine, I was raised fully by my mom at that time.

But I feel like that’s my superpower is I know my people. Nobody ever took me from my home. And it’s super prescient right now with the Indian Child Welfare Act being under attack. But how important it is to know where you come from and to have all those stories. And even though my grandparents are like the war of the Roses and they had so many different worlds that I navigated, I just went from one world to the other, like upstairs, This is how it was.

These were the rules downstairs. This is how it was: There was, were the rules inside the house. This is how it was. These were the rules outside the house when you had attic. Cause it’s like this when you had to be just like this and that. I feel like I do feel like that’s my superpower. And the other thing that I always say is that I will never deny my people, which is challenging for some people because I have a lot of people and sometimes they want you to be one person or come from one person.

And I don’t because I was raised like how I was raised and I fully inhabited each world as opposed to try to have one world that I filtered all of the worlds through. So I’m from San Francisco, and that’s probably a defining characteristic of mine. I say I live in language, but my life is music is my other way of talking about myself.

And like I said, those are my people. I am Dine, I am Congo and I am Mexican. And I’m not half of anything. I’m fully everything. So that’s a brief introduction of myself. The streets are my playground and the radio is probably my. I love the radio. Contrary to podcast. I love having to be there at the time and missing it if I miss it, because then I got to talk to people and ask them about what I miss.

gloria wilson Amazing. I was fascinated by reading your bio on the University of Arizona website. Tell us more about quantum entanglements.

Reid Gomez You know, it’s one thing I love about that is I came to Karen Barrett’s work partially because this is an interesting move. And I think when when you said you want to hear about my book and what I’m doing now, I really needed a way to say what I was saying, because every time I said what I was saying, folks would say it didn’t have any structure.

gloria wilson Or.

Reid Gomez It was too convoluted. And I like that. I love convoluted, like the Walter Benjamin idea of the convoluted. And I needed an externally validated, officially as Maxim Maximus person that I could say, look at some science and I could point to with my finger since I’m really into pointy things with my finger with the P-Funk. And so when I found Karen, somebody pointed me to Karen Barrett’s work, and it’s sort of it’s a the blending that I understood in life.

Reid Gomez It’s the the way like I used to write this blog called My Grandpa knew that. It’s like my grandpa knew that. But by Karen Barrett writing it and publishing it, it gave me something to to show people. And I could handle the physics because people get afraid of the physics, but I could handle it. And because it’s science, it makes people go and and I work in language which makes people say, you’re an India, you tell stories.

And so the thing that I love continually about Karen’s work is this idea of when you cut things apart, you actually cut them together. And so this for me, which because I’m working in black India and especially and people like to think of Black Indian in terms of lineal descendants are people like to think of Black Indian in terms of who’s your mother, who’s your father?

And I’m thinking black Indian in a quantum way, which has that when you cut us apart, you cut us together and we can’t be thought without each other. And so I love that when you cut things apart, you cut them together. The other thing that I love about the quantum is the idea that when the when a quantum leap is made is like, poof, now it’s gone.

It was there and now it’s somewhere else and the linearity of it is gone. And the temporality of it’s gone. And that is all makes sense to me with how I think, how I, how I know and I want to say how I know, like how I was raised up that that was the world I was raised that things were and they were this they appeared that disappeared.

Things were cut together and cut in apart. So that’s why I love that quantum like legibility. They gave me legible language. You know, I just published a piece about writing, I call it I’m calling it writing translation because I don’t think this is all these things what Karen’s work does. I went back to work does this allows you to move away from ontology And I’m like way away from a download.

And so it allows you to say writing and translation are not ideologically different, just like black and Indian and ontologically different. Just like, you know, slavery, colonization are not ontologically different, and we tend to racialize those or we’re comfortable in other izing everything, including those, those things. So with that, even with writing in translation, that they we like to cut them apart, but we would cut them together.

I like that idea a lot and a lot of the work about the queerness of physics and particles and it is that inability to be fixed, which kind of think to me, doctor based work on transition being a verb, like call the verb penis. I’m about I’m all about language and grammar. So I’m like, things are verbs where verbs the words that Philip said, what if it’s all about verbs? And I’m like, Yes, it is all about verb-ing. And so Barrett’s work is, is like that. And so.

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe So can I ask you, has I’m imagining there might be folks who’ve not heard the word ontology before. Can you explain how you’re using that? Yeah.

Reid Gomez You know, that’s a good question. See, that’s a good restatement. Can you explain how you’re using that? Because I this is what I always say. Like we use words the way we want to like books has that I use the language that you’ve given me and I like to know a chair is like, I’m going to make it.

Do what? I’m a writer. I’m going to make it do what I wanted to do. And so because I’m not into anybody owning any language and I’m not into language, I’m into language like even that that I have a wealth of languages at my disposal and I just grab what I want and I use it and I make it do what I want.

So that’s my long Yes, sorry. Excuse me. That’s my long answer for why I what I mean by that with ontology, I think this to me and Michelle Wright’s work on physics of blackness also help me with some of the language and get to where I could. I think for me, running right right in is running naked in the fields of joy.

And so every time somebody corrects my pronunciation or corrects my English or corrects my grammar, I am not running naked in the fields of joy. And I really like to run naked in the fields of joy. I do not like to have clothes on and I do not like to be in that joyful. So you like don’t disturb this groove.

You are really disturbing this groove. So with Buried where it gave me that. And then Michelle writes, I’m answering your ontology question. This is how I go at a is what? What is it? And for those folks that live life, the way that I’m I’m a what is it? That’s a really ugly thing to say but I am a what is it you know with the way that I what is visible.

Right. And we’re obsessed with the ability to have with what we can see. And I am not obsessed with what we can see because I grew up with the unseen and respect for it and the ancestors and, and the gods and Orisha. And so the ontology is the what? It’s the being. So like in Spanish, it’s the said.

It’s what you are and it’s not. So it’s the what is it? And so Michelle Wright’s work is like moving away from the what is blackness to the where and when is blackness. And that allows you to be either in the trans in world of bay. And I think I’m in that trans in world with my translation trans motion translating with Jane.

I’m all about the prefix or trans and that is more like a star in Spanish. It’s like where you happen to be at the given moment, what you’re doing. Like it’s not your essence because there is no essence, right? So that’s what, that’s what I, how I use ontology from the words to the to the verbena. So from moving from a noun to a verb, that’s my shorthand. Sorry.

gloria wilson So Reid, your work is deeply embedded in language as you’ve been talking about in grammar and racial justice. The studio has a very particular set of grammars. Anti-Racism is one of those words. And so I’m wondering how your work is placed in conversation with that. Particularly you talk about like a native, you know, in relation to quantum entanglements, you know, that they’re not necessarily separate from one another. And so I might you place your work in conversation with the notions and the language of anti-racism.

Reid Gomez Yeah, I think that’s good question, because let me answer it in terms of dance and dance. And I believe that this is also in life. When you’re doing partner dance, you need to know how to move towards somebody. You also need to know how to move away from somebody. And then you also need to know how to move against somebody or with somebody so that your bodies are moving together.

But there is an against part of it, whether you’re hip to hip, whether your shoulders shoulder, whether you’re front to back, whatever you are against. So that’s the there is it’s not a tension there. It’s a connection. And so I think of it that way in terms of moving towards a way and against of everything in life. For me, I think of Gleason’s relations of politics and like my I have an extreme uneasiness with oppositional frameworks.

So like I love the prefix or trans, I don’t tend to love the anti, I would say a foundational to my whole life. And my work is I don’t make others and I don’t make myself and other to people. So I don’t want to engage in processes where I am viewing myself as and other are viewing and other from me.

I think this is Baldwin’s, you know, there’s nothing in you that is not in me. And so I am so deeply committed to that. And Steyn and Gleason’s politics of relation, how are we related? Which for me goes to Black Indian, We are relatives. And however that looks like, even if it’s just in the construction of us, is always together anyway.

Or like for people that I, we are relatives in some ways we are related. So that’s my relationship with the anti it’s and I like to say the dance prefatory marks so that it doesn’t I’m not A.A. racism, right That’s just not the way that I enter and I think I just was one of my teachers is Gladys Bobby suspenders who is an amazing priest of Oyetola Salceda singer a bond and I take classes with her and I’m blessed to have been one of her children.

In the tradition, though, I’m not officially a child, but she was just talking about because sometimes people want to know the you know, that they want to know the the way the answer. If we have this, why do we do this? And she really talked about everybody brings a part of something when they come. This is like my web of different versions.

This is from the title of my book is that we’re not seeking a story and we’re not seeking contradiction. We’re not sinking. Let’s not compare our stories. Let’s have the web of differing versions. And so anti is one of the versions of the story. It’s not the version I tell. So I bring you what I tell and everybody brings what they tell.

And as long as we allow the differing versions and to not put them in competition or also in comparison with each other, I think everybody has brought something because I don’t know what is needed and you might have brought something that’s needed, right? So who am I to say, Don’t bring that. We don’t need it. I don’t know what we need.

I know what I need to bring and that’s what I’m doing. So that’s my relationship with that. It’s challenging because people like to know the answer so they can do that. And I don’t give answers, which I think is frustrating to people.

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe I want to ask about your story, but also your storytelling, right? When did your relationship ship to storytelling and translation began?

Reid Gomez I do think it’s it’s being raised by everybody basically, and run in the streets and also being little and not My family is very I say I run the streets, but I also my family’s super insular. And so but we were big, right? We weren’t like, what an American traditional family. It wasn’t the house like I had many houses growing up.

So for me, I learned how to immerse myself like this. Samuel Delany calls it Submit to the story structure. I learned how to submit to the story structure quick style, because I was there, you know, my my antidotes famous line mantra if I have famous line is get your rags and let’s go. One time when she came get me.

So I was like, okay, I guess I’m not going to live here anymore, but it lives somewhere else. And so that I immersed. And so that practice I think is very much understand now as a grown person that that’s what you do. You immerse, you submit to the story structure. So I’m not trying to be in charge at all ever.

And some people may consider that a docility, but I think that’s a great strength. And the other thing is like I had to be I could I don’t come from readers. I learned myself how to read because Disney had record books and I’m really good with the ear hole. I think growing up with a Aurélie based, my grandma could read and at night she would we would do this thing with holy cards and she would read me from the Bible.

But she did not teach me how to read. So I learned myself how to read. So I had that relationship with my mom a be like, read this and tell me what it says. So I had that practice of having to give information that I was able to get to my community. When the door knocked, they say, Go answer the door.

And I would tell all kinds of things. Nobody speaks English, though. And so I just came up with all kinds of stuff and I did the interfacing for for that. You go in and get directions. I mean, I call it my camouflage because I have my camouflage, I could have access to a lot of places that folks that my family didn’t.

So I also was the one that like what happened, Where was you at? What happened? So I’m constantly narrating everything and they wanted to know everything. And I also think later now, like when I when students struggle and when I’m great, I’m genres of concision to invoke struggle with my inability to deal with genres of concision, to like say it quick and get to the point and all of that.

It’s that I cannot tell you what anything means because your job is to make meaning of it. What I can’t tell you is every detail I can make the story speak, and then I have to make know what story is needed to speak to this moment. I get I got it. I get the story. I tell you the story.

That’s my power is connecting. What story speaks to this moment? Where story do need a tell the story in all the details Now you’re the one that’s got to make meaning of it. And so I need to keep all the details because what is meaningful to you may not be meaningful to the person that needs the story the next time.

So I was constantly doing that. So I have facility with it and that’s how I live to the world. That’s how I read everything like it’s a poem my first semester in graduate school, so much so you cannot read everything like it’s a poem. And I do. I still do. I hope that’s an answer for you.

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe It’s a beautiful answer for you. Tell me more about your creative focus and writing practice both on and in black English and Navlish.

Reid Gomez Navlish is named. It’s like. It’s like Black English. Ah, I know you’re supposed to. Everybody has their thing. What they say, I’m come from Jordan’s world, so I’m sticking with black English. Nablus is also a coin term from the linguists. There’s an amazing and lovely linguist, social linguists, Anthony Webster, who does work on Nablus, and grammars of intimacy in Navajo, where something Navajo speakers are even like, I am not by any means fluent.

I have a good analytical capacity with the language. I can understand it analytically, I understand the structures, but my fluency is very poor and when Navajo speakers hear me speak, they go the way you talk.

gloria wilson Kiki Hehe.

Reid Gomez Because I’m like, I talk like I’m from San Francisco in a talk like black English is probably my my primary language. Not marvelous, but that’s an actual term. And so I use some of those I try to use. I’m trying to communicate with you all. So I’m like, I try to use the terms like it’s kind of Beckett has this line from end game.

I use the language you taught me, and that’s how I feel, because like when people are like, Why are you talking like that? I use the language you taught me, and this is like, this is the oppressive language. I’m going to use it. So I felt oppressed by a lot of sciences that that want to codify. And so analysis, the codification of how Navajos do with language and just the same way black like English is that kind of thing, or African-American vernacular English.

And so trans language in for me is really reflects that there are no boundaries between language and speakers like me that are multilingual, are using all of the structures and all of the vocabularies at one time. And it’s not code switching, it’s not. And I will be I will go down with you about that like with the anti-American what we dance it.

I’m like, No, we’re fighting now. So with the code switching, we fight. And so like, you know, sometimes fighting can be a dance, but but now we fight it. Yeah. So that is a big divide. And that’s because I think people think of languages in terms of the national distinctions and also hard and fast rules, which is my grandma of colonialism.

Like, you can’t say that. Why I just said it is you’re not what is the word that you’re not allowing for my grammar to be okay And you’re saying it’s an error instead of a choice of the speaker. So that is what I’m serious about.

gloria wilson All right. Period.

Reid Gomez Yeah, just the my poomsae. You know, there’s expensive ways that.

gloria wilson Your latest book project, The Web of Different Versions: Where Africa Ends and America Begins. What were your goals in this project?

Reid Gomez My goals was to finish it and not start over. So I’ve been working on this a long time. I say sometimes to people when I that Leslie Mann was so close and Leslie Mann was so close the world. That’s where I exist. And and because I don’t exist in a lot of worlds, I have I failed to achieve subject status in many worlds. And so this is a world where I exist and I’m not other. And that’s that. That’s why I think that’s such a foundational thing for me, because I have been made other by my own relations. And that’s so painful. I mean, all of us know that. I would say all of us. No, I think I’m going to be bold.

All of us know that being the object of ridicule and hate is profoundly fatiguing. And and to experience that from somebody that, you know, hates you is one thing, but experience that from somebody you know, hates you who may even love you, too, or may be somebody who gave you birth. That’s a whole nother kind of fatigue. And so for me to be able to exist fully without I don’t like explaining myself either.

So to be able to exist fully without explaining myself not as an other is profound. So Leslie’s Almanac of the Dead became, even though it’s a really difficult book that I tell people to, is don’t read this book for Your Happy Space is going to be happy. It deals with all the nastiness. I think if you need to understand America, as you should read Almanac of the Dead, the primary question of that book is Who has Spiritual Possession of the Americas?

And there is a sentence in that book that says, For outsiders, it’s difficult to know where Africans in America begins. And when I say I exist in that book, I’m like, yes, these these were the sentences that describe my world, one who has spiritual possession of the Americas because I come from deeply faithful communities that also were in tremendous.

I always tell the story. I’m going to tell a brief, brief moment. I was always with my grandmother unless she was at work. And even sometimes they let me go to her, work with her. That’s how spoiled I am and how loved she was. But my grandmother had the keys to the church and so I would go with we would go to the church and prepare the back in the sacristy.

So we went back where the priests were and we’re preparing the house and everything for the mass. My grandmother was that devout and was that respected in the church. And then my grandfather was like, We don’t know why God got So I was like, This is my so really devout and these are our sons and this is how you believe and, you know, telling me stories about the insects people.

And these are relations and everything. So I come from extremely devout people and with really strong religious practices and the multi-faith, so practicing all of them fully. So to have that question, who has spiritual possession of the Americas, it made sense to me. And we tend to talk about religion because we cannot handle the blended aspect of gods and ancestors in our lives, in our daily practice.

So when I found that that was the central question of that book, I was like, yeah. And then I don’t know where Africa ends and America begins. I don’t know where Africans, obviously, you know that. I don’t know where Africans in America begins. I cannot tell you. And I’ve come up with another term for this book. At the coda is called Land Sea is this idea of where does the land in the sea begins?

Because that’s some of the things we have to when we talk about to think of. TS Michelle Wright’s language, the Middle Passage epistemology and right, the idea that blackness is this moment from middle passage as opposed to the land sea. And you know, we have a lagoon. Yes, we know that. But also we are of the land as well.

Black people are of the land, not just of the sea and not just of an absence of land are not just of a removal of land, and Indians are not the of the land. They are also of the sea. And we are also of that and of the sky. And some of us came from the sky. So all of that.

So this book, for me, I it was where I lived and what had happened. There’s a line in the book is that one of the characters says, once I transcribe these almanacs, I will figure out how to use them. I had this moment Reading Almanac after reading that line. Once I transcribed these almanac, these almanac notebooks, I’ll figure out how to use it.

I’m like, I have figured out how to use it because I live my life through this book. I teach this book all the time. People that read this book are, How do you teach that book read? I’m like, Because I know how to use it and because I know how to make the stories speak. And that’s my skill.

Here is here’s this story, here’s what it says. And so for me, that’s what the book and that the truth is the web of differing versions. I tell people in scholarship that I don’t do comparison and I don’t do periodization, right? Especially with black Indian folks who aren’t periods like I use punctuation periods, I don’t use temporal periods.

And people like, how is that scholarship? Well, the web of differing versions allows the scholarship and then allows us to have all of the different versions because they all tell us something. And one is not right and one is not wrong. Do we have the capacity to allow the structure of differing versions? So that is is about the book.

And what I was trying to do, I think is show people how to use it and write something that was not comparative, something that didn’t have periods and something that doesn’t know where Africa ends and America begins and has no argument. So this is my crazy full self and I’m really happy with it. And I kind of gave myself over for it to be.

I started over so many times thinking about what the reviewers would say. And when I got to the point where I said, I’m just writing it, and if everybody hates it, I’m okay with that, which is how I am with my, quote, fiction. And and then now it’s I love it. It’s still beautiful to me. My essay carries and also one of my she’s in my dance community, but she’s also a writer and she has this line.

Black people do more than die. Yes. And so this is irony. No, this world. And I want to be able to write something that was it and not describing it or analyzing it, but this was it. So that’s what I’m trying to do with that book.

gloria wilson Well, congratulations on on wrapping it up and finishing it. Yeah. You described the project as challenging the limits created by grammar of colonialism. What is grammar of colonialism?

Reid Gomez So let’s say Mom and Soko says that all we have are the stories. And so but as long as we retain the stories, we have everything. So the grammar of colonialism, as I’ve described it, I wrote about this when I wrote about Blackhorse Mitchell’s work, who is a writer that I work with, his amazing writer that is working on his second book.

And so he’s also another writer that people don’t know about, but he’s in the novel. The narrator that was just won the prize. But once we so if we have the stories, we have everything. But once you start saying who can tell the stories? So like when Soko says she wrote Almanac of the Dead, she was she talks about Zora’s work and she says, I was mounted by the gods.

And this is what they said, The gods of voodoo and the lower the lower mountain, me and this is what came out. And then people say, you’re crazy. You talk like that. And so once you start saying, who can tell? So from my work, the gods and ancestors figure that they’re everything all the time. They’re my morning, they’re my night, they’re every minute in between.

And if I make it to the next morning, they’re my morning again. And so if the gods and ancestors cannot participate in the narration, then we’ve lost some of the stories. So that’s one thing. Who can tell the stories with the grammar of colonialism? The other thing is the structure. And so like I said, I don’t have an argument, I’m not doing comparisons and I’m using periods, punctuation.

I really believe in punctuating with as you read and make it feels into it. So like that kind of punctuation I just put my writing partner Kathy is I think the way the place you where you put periods that she’s able to tell you anything because I know you, that’s where you want it. And so the grammar of colonialism also tells you the structure and what to me, part of slavery, colonization and black Indian and writing translation is a single structure.

And whether that structure is subject verb and things like agreement, right, Subject verb agreement, things like tense like people, something you can’t be changing the tense, you know, all the time in the middle of a set like don’t change horses in the middle of the stream, like they’ll be, quote, a tower power on me trying to tell me how to write.

Right. This is what we are. I did change horses in the middle stream. That’s why they wrote a song about it. It told me not to do it anymore because it’s possible, right? And you start limiting the possibility space both of the ability to tell the story, but also the possibility space of this is like where we get into the P-Funk of creating and imagining all we need and all we do.

That’s who we are. We’re creators. And as to me, as communities. And so once you say you can’t do that and you get into that like cognitive fixity and say, that’s for that, that’s what that’s for, you can use it for that. I’m like, I could use it for what I want to use it for. I look, it works.

And so the grammar of colonialism tells you the rules. It’s prescriptive, and that’s about controlling power because once we control our structures, we control our relations and Dr. John, who’s a faculty here, talks about colonialism as a series of separations between each others. I think of colonialism as a severing of relations like severing black from India and severing writing from translation, severing slavery from colonization.

Separate me from you, right? And so that grammar of colonialism does that. Who can speak, how they can speak, the structures available and the possibility space. I’m really big on possibility. Space behind this means it is possible in Navajo and it’s one of my favorite words.

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe This is a good point to ask you this question. What are some projects that you’re excited about? But folks might not be able to find if they were to look you up online.

Reid Gomez So there’s one I’m so I said I had a breakthrough over the last summer. One is because I started writing these slavery broadcasts so that is that that’s put a pin in that. But the other thing is one of my I call him my corazon, which in Spanish means my heart. BARRETO Hiebert is an amazing artist, and so look him up.

He’s easy to find. He is easy to find. And if you look at Barreto Hiebert and you look at one of the projects called Lingering, and you click on that, he’s put the whole book up. It’s this artist monograph. And I have a piece in the center of that which is really hard to find. It’s called I feel like making Love from the British Flax Song.

And so that piece is hard to find and I love it. And also you get to see Botta’s work. And it was a breakthrough for me because I actually was able to read it. And Alexandre Dumas, who is one of Botta’s collaborators, who’s also an amazing media studies person, came up to me and said, Are you writing? Is stuff like that.

Like, I want to almost like do a crazy check on you, right? And I said, kind of because I’ve been doing this slavery broadcast like that. And he said, Good, do it. And so that was really empowering for me. And I want to thank Alex. If you ever hear this, they give for that moment. So that’s hard to find, but it’s there.

Another piece is coming out and it should it be hard to find. But I think it might be hard to find. Right now. It’s out of NPR Press, and it’s a book called Say Listen Readiness Care, and it’s a collaborative project, and we’re called the Black Indigenous 100 Collective, and we’ve been working together since 2019, and that’s actually going to come out in the new press.

We’re going to be their inaugural book. MP Which if you know when when things say and means it’ll have no press right, is lack in press. And so that’s the name of the press because it’s all of these works that may not get published because they’re lacking a certain citation or practice or they’re lacking a, an anything. I mean, we’re we’re not being linear in that book.

We have so many languages we don’t translate because Dr. John and I are like, I’m not translating. You know, I have a translation policy in my class that you translate honestly and graciously, but that’s not my life translation policy for my writing. I’m like, I’m not translating for me. I tend to write because I care about my people that are reading.

I tend to write something after what I’ve written so that you understand. So you can just this is some this goes back to my writing process and my practice so that you can read and write in languages you don’t understand. I think that’s a fundamental skill everybody has to have, is I’m talking the language. Adam understand? I’m listening to a language I don’t understand.

I’m reading a language I don’t understand and I’m not saying, What are you saying, you other than me, Could you translate that? I’m just listening. Just Like when you dance, I dance to music and I’m like, I give myself over to it. So that’s the same thing that happens in my writing. I try to do that.

gloria wilson Reid, it has been such a pleasure to sit with you today. Thank you for being so generous and in sharing about your work you’ve given us and those listeners a lot to think about. And so thank you so much.

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe Incredible conversation.

Reid Gomez Thank you so much.

gloria wilson Thank you for joining the conversation on Race remix today. The podcast is the creation of Racial Justice Studio in Tucson, Arizona, the land of the Tana Awesome and Pascua Yaqui. This episode would not have been possible without the efforts of our team of students, staff and faculty fellows Chelsea Farrar, Amy Krey, myself, Gloria Wilson, Isaac Schutz, Deana Scott and Jenny Stern.

This program is brought to you by the Arizona Arts at the University of Arizona with generous support from John and Sandy Flint. If you enjoyed this episode, please invite your friends, family, students and colleagues to listen. Interested in joining our community or listening to more episodes, please visit Race Remix Arts Dot Arizona dot edu and sign up to receive emails about upcoming news and events. You can also learn more about all of our guests in the show notes.

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe Race Remix.

Reid Gómez



  • Amelia (Amy) Kraehe
  • gloria j. wilson


  • Chelsea Farrar
  • Amelia (Amy) Kraehe
  • gloria j. wilson


  • Sama Alshaibi



  • Deanna Scott



  • Deborah Ruiz


  • Cynthia “Cy” Barlow


  • Jona Bustamante


  • Amelia (Amy) Kraehe


  • Jenny Stern