On this day, instead of Columbus…

Briana L. Urena-Ravelo
4 min readOct 9, 2017

On this day, instead of Columbus and his genocidal violence that has been revised and whitewashed to further push the agenda of white supremacy and settler colonialism, I want to honor my people on the island of Ayiti & Quisqueya, the descendants of the first African and Indigenous people devasted by Columbus, the beautiful people still here yet, and all colonized people of color across the Caribbean, who get erased on this day because people do not know or do not wish to honor the African diaspora, of which most of us are primarily or exclusively from. In 1492 began a campaign of terror that took so much from us, took our Carib and Taino Indigenous ancestors, and yet we have still given so much to the world, we are still here.

On this day instead I want to honor the African diaspora! You are also the victims of Columbus, our ancestors Indigenous people kidnapped and enslaved and stripped of their roots, our distant West and Central African fam and others across the continent still currently Indigenous peoples resisting and fighting colonialism! Not instead of or over Turtle Island Indigenous people but alongside them is our story, our history, our narrative too! No matter how hard they tried we never actually lost ourselves or our roots, and we built this day. We are inexhaustible, unending, deathless, powerful! I love you and I am so proud of you!

On this day instead I want to give a shout out to the badass Indigenous, including Two-Spirit women in my life and in the work who fucking resist, dance, defy oversimplification and stereotypes, give the meanest side-eye to sexist, racist bullshit, decolonize, raise up their nations, take care of the babies, educate and learn, yell and shout, carry and become themselves and their people, and at best only get dumb memes hypersexualizing them, fetishizing the strength they had to get from trauma and abuse, or of the strong menz holding them up like that’s true at all. At colleges and universities or in a restaurant kitchen, on the dance pole or at powwow, you are multifaceted and fuck it up for forever. You deserve so much and I want to say I see you, honor you, respect you! You are the badass leaders I look to in this community and beyond and some of the greatest friends! I am proud to be able to stand with you in this struggle for liberation and to watch you shine. Ahéhee’ & Chii-miigwetch!!

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Briana L. Urena-Ravelo

Writer. Community organizer. Errant punk. Ne’er do well. Fire starter. Email: Dominicanamalisima@gmail.com