I Self Devine on Collective Trauma and Community Organizing

Sound & Vision
Hosted by Emily Fox
I Self Devine discusses 'Dismembered & Unarmed' as well as his philosophies around community organizing, learning and building off past movements, and doing the internal work.
photo by Skye Rossi

I Self Devine is a musician and community organizer from Minneapolis. In 2018 he released a collaborative album called 'Dismembered & Unarmed,’ meant to accompany the book, ‘My Grandmother’s Hands,’ by therapist and trauma specialist Resmaa Menakem. The book and music explore how white supremacy and racism affect Black bodies.

“He would tell me things like race very rarely stays in the body. And I just couldn't grasp that concept,” I Self Devine says of Menakem. “He's like, a lot of times we talk about race just from a historical or from a policy place, but not how it lives in the body.”

I Self Devine discusses 'Dismembered & Unarmed' as well as his philosophies around community organizing, learning and building off past movements, and doing the internal work.

“When it's time for me to transition into the spirit world, I want to be very light, meaning that I've handled all of my issues and I've done my work. What do they say? ‘What happened to you wasn’t your fault, but how you handle it is.’ I have a responsibility to ensure that as an organizer, I'm not a caricature of myself or of what it is that we're doing. I’m grounded in my teachings.”

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