This is the first episode of the Deschooling Release Party, Volume II for 2020. Today we will focus on the pivot, what is deschooling causing to pivot away from, especially during these particularly disruptive times. We’ll hear from Moji Yai, my sisterfriend from Benin, West Africa, who was raised in north Florida, and is now raising herself and her 10 year old daughter, Sena, in between the US and her home land, Benin.
Moji opens our dialogue with a bit of her story on how she was led to turpentine, tapped from sap trees, and used to be part of the labor of enslaved Africans. Turpentine gum or gum spirits of turpentine, has been among the healing arsenal of brilliant black folks who have nurtured their relationships with plants and soil. They knew what plants to use and combine for many of the effects of their constant overexposure to the elements.
Good things can happen upon going back, returning to the origins to understand what might be forgotten or buried makes us pivot away from established systems, rooting through an intuitive-self that works in a collective way. Deschooling is about creating, creating new relationships and rethinking everything. Moji’s experience of returning to Africa with her daughter gave her another perspective, by interacting with the people, creating communication channels, observing, asking and having conversations without assumptions about the behavior or character that Africans are said to have, a look without judgment, from a more human approach.
As Moji describes, learning to live with your child is a beautiful thing. The way you talk to them and behave with them, among other things, carries into adulthood, pave the path for gaining the tools for communicating (without control, violence, manipulation) that are necessary for building and sustaining a healthy partnership.
Be sure to check out Moji’s Upcoming Webinar (May 13) about the history and use of Pure Gum Turpentine.
- Here’s Moji’s Wellness Spiral Podcast Series produced by RFP Network back in the summer of 2018, June to August, beginning with a brilliant episode entitled Disrupting our Disturbing Eating Habits
- Moji is working on reclaiming Indigenous healing practices that benefit communities in Benin and the diaspora; here her blog, and her Instagram.
- If you wanna remember our first Deschooling Party, here is Moji giving us some insights
- Organizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19 – Please donate
- Support the show at patreon.com/akilah
- Join our Facebook group