Radicalizing Dropout Culture, pt 2

Image description: a jet black panther with orange eyes traverses over a range of grey and brown mountains and pyramids. Behind them, a brilliant and translucent with faint stars and mountains. Around them, a bold orange Sun, and Beautiful purple Moon, above: the Words “Anarkata Freedom School, Black August Kritikal KickBack Series; August 4th/18th 2pm PST, Abolish University, Radicalizing Drop out Culture”]

8/18 Notes on #radicalizeDropoutCulture

  • Host welcomes folks and explains Black August and its origins.
  • “Black August commemorates the work of particular revolutionaries in the California prisons:: George Jackson, W.L. Nolen among others and Jonathan Jackson. This is a month of observing revolutionary action, from the Ferguson Uprising to the Watts riots, Nat Turner’s rebellion, the underground rebellion. Another piece of this month to hold is folks have centered cishet folks in this observance. Part of expanding and putting Black August in conversation with Anarkata principles is to center the most marginal which is to center TGNC Black revolutionaries like Mother Marsha.”
  • “This conversation around radicalizing Drop Out Culture is to center the most marginal of us which is Black disabled folks. This is the second kick back in this bigger conversation. In the conversation two weeks ago, we discussed how language is a hot commodity right now and that folks think having and using language absolves themselves from actions. We talked about how this moment of abolition has been co-opted and has strayed away from killing the cop in our head, in the words of Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin, to defunding the police. An abolition take would be to understand the state violence not only through the criminal system and law, but the medical industry/hospitals, and schooling. This is where our entry point is. We read Audre Lorde’s piece as an example of how people coopt her title and do not ground themselves in the actions she called for or warned. She mentions how even educating men takes away from the resources in the community and is part and parcel of the master’s game.”
  • “Pursuing a degree tends to be following very ableist terms of how productivity is weaponized through strong work ethics to ignore needs that of neurodivergent and disable Black folks”
  • “How do you tie neurotypical play into on-campus vs off-campus”
  • “I think often in school folks think ‘accommodations’ are helpful, but only a very few folks get it and those services don’t actually solve the root issues of the problem. It is used to make Black folks better students and better workers that can produce “effective or worthwhile” work. Without changing how excessive, violent, and inapplicable the work is. There are so many barriers for Black disabled folks, especially the working class. Often testing can be $3000 dollars not to mention even getting a referral which means doctors having to believe the needs of Black folks.”
  • “Another aspect is the mere syllabi with attendance. It requires folks to appeal to the professors for them to “believe” and “validate” one’s “excuse” for missing class where that should already be given if they were to understand systemic racism, ableism, and sexism. But that all gets erased in the discussion while centering one’s ‘well being’. Schooling also allows for nonconsensual exchanges and imbalanced power dynamics in the classroom that take away from students’ autonomy. Teachers pick on students who don’t raise their hands and don’t consent to that exchange. Lastly, in our college culture, ableist terms are running rampant, nonconsensual behavior, and the blatant ableist mockery and violence against disabled folks.”
  • “This is seen on and off-campus with mental wellness as well. It is a method to continue producing as a worker and “cope” when it should be a means to refuse work, but often there are material repercussions and violence of disposability enacted onto to folks who refuse to be productive at the level companies/capitalism demand.
  • “Neurodivergence, ableism, and productivity is really big. Progressive scholars are really co-opting this language. Moving to the bay area, I thought it would be okay, but, in fact, it was even worse. During the summer, I was working on a grad school project and all the work fell onto me. Then towards the end of the summer, my nonblack colleagues were sending memes from nap ministry saying we all should take a break and not feed into grind culture.”
  • “What would be next after dropping out? It is so scary, especially materially. The only folks who seem to be okay are white folks. They have the support systems. How do we resource ourselves, intercommunal? For Black working-class people, how do we sustain it? Often we don’t have the family, social connection, or any of this to drop out, so how do we meet people?”
  • “Drop out is really for white folks and rich folks. Dropping out because their family has the connection for them to move on, purchase a house, or be paid under the table”
  • “Another strategy is to take white folks, to work for these communities”
  • “I agree but I am traumatized by them. They see our Afrikan body as a spectacle and center themselves in that. It can be a passive serving. My trauma is that I am deceived emotionally by their passivity. White leftists will tweet stuff, but they won’t do actions. And  when it comes to actions, they don’t. I think planning is really important, 3 months, 6 months, and a 5-year plan. But we would have to make sure planning done is done in a manner that’s not controlling.”
  • “For me, I was thinking like literally taking. Like take building or what have you. I am trying to think of radicalizing drop-out culture materially. Folks thinking donating money is equivalent to redistributing funds. There needs to be a look at wealth. Would white and rich folks be willing to move out of their rent-free control space for another Black person to move in? I don’t think they are willing to go there. It always is prioritizing feelings over what people want and need. I am just trying to get to the authenticity of drop-out culture.”
  • “I agree. If you have a business, and can afford taxes that is very different. That is what gig culture really is. Are you receiving remuneration from these gigs. This drop out culture can be a veneer, aesthetic, but not a reality. It always seems to be a veneer and aesthetic. They are taking advantage of the system while not being in the system. Plus, they always have a safety net, primarily family or other white people that they are cool with. So they just take a particular culture and co-opt it.”
  • “However we think about and talk about institutions, it is framed as the only way. That the only way is going through institutions. People will come from a vulnerable place and they haven’t found empowerment in this culture. The violence is about having a monopoly on what a good life is.”
  • “The psychological aftermath is a lot. It can be a site of radicalization, but also trauma. It’s like saying, ‘I know this is a hard moment, but we are trying to do something different.’ What you all did [with the kickback], should be celebrated. I am just trying to shift and move this theory into praxis. It might not be bombastic or big. And it doesn’t have to be mobilized in the streets, but it is still the work. Like this, this is the work too.”
  • “I was shamed by people I thought would care. I am a first-generation and it was exciting. But the psychological harm in higher education was a lot. Leaving created a lot of internalized shame and family was not supportive in my decision. Especially being 1st generation, my twin and I were seen as the ticket out.”
  • “How does colorism play into this?”
  • “Well, there was a big difference between my little sister who is lighter-skinned than me and my twin. That was also seen in the family in biases against us and favoring her. The only escape we had was through the university. We were chosen last, we thought intellectually we will be seen in the family. But It won’t matter how many degrees one has, colorism won’t go away. The pervasiveness is beyond university and is ingrained in society beyond personal preferences. There is a material effect on jobs too. I wouldn’t put the blame on my parents either. I think it’s deeper than them too. 
  • “What would folks entry or starting points be as college droppies?”
  • “Anti-oppression work, especially a class analysis”
  • “Consciousness-raising too. It would have to be looking at decarceral methods to mental health crises. The Icarus Project has paved some of this. It would be also deep studying restorative justice, transformative justice. A site of struggle will be behavior. It goes back to why action is so important along with care work and militancy. 
  • “This would have to include interpersonal violence intervention as well”
  • “It would be having comprehensive mutual aid. Lots of preventative care, rapid response teams, recreational projects, and arts.” 
  • “I think it would be a mutual aid farm as well.”
  • “Fundraising with other folks and community members.”
  • “I don’t mind contributing, as long as a collective effort with a political effort is constantly reiterated. I’ve seen people social capital with mutual aid and nonblack people saying they are doing the work. For me, It has to be a deeper connection, reciprocal, and ongoing communication, on what’s acceptable and not acceptable. That it is transparent. People think circulating funds solely is the work and it’s not. “
  • “These funds, need to be very tangible and articulate”
  • “What’s our relationship to the university and schooling?”
  • “I think universities have a monopoly of violence on what success is. This should be to disrupt this entirely. This should be by us, for us: Black college dropouts.”
  • “We have to demarcate between missionary and revolutionary principle, revolutionary actions, and revolutionary work. They can have the same entities but completely different means and ends.This is why anti-oppression work is essential. People are socialized for it to go down in particular ways when anti-oppression isn’t centered. I have been in cooperative housing that has been nasty, people stealing. You cannot be irresponsible with housing. You have to have meetings. People be smoking and/or drinking. I don’t project this on others, I come with love. There is an expectation of accountability and my respect and my space. There is a high level of accountability, a high level of respect, and a high level of principle.”
  • “I really am here for all of this. For real. For real. I think we need a manifesto to document all of this and our distinct relationship away from schooling towards revolutionary principles. Away from university monopoly of resources. I think a big part of university is access to information. So, making a database with tons of accessible information would be essential. I think sharing university accounts is part of that project as well.”
  • “I am down to develop our own archive. And would be down to throw down for these mutual aid calls to action”

I hope you all enjoyed reading these notes and it creates a space of radical dreaming and action! If this resides with you, please join us in 2 weeks (9/1) to continue this work beyond the month of Black August! Same time, the same place. Peace and Love.

Summary: This kritical kickback is uncovering and building anarkata trajectories and narratives out and away from the university plantation towards community

  • It’s not only” dropping out” of college, its divesting from the violent college culture 
  • We are dropping out, moving on, & moving in accordance to an elevated frequency, an anarkata frequency
  • We are critiquing university, the Left, and college “activist” dialogue that centers ytness
  • We are defending ourSelf from the university, their agents, and their assault through action & propositions

Further Reading:

Icarus Project: 


Community Intervention:


Soul Fire Farm Online Learning:


Soul Fire Farm (There’s a Garden to Farm Tab):


Last Kickback’s Readings to revisit:

Black Panther’s Service to the People Programs:


Cabral’s Return to the Source:  


Safiya Buhkari’s the War Before: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aHUah6t0Rm9-yd6bWMvKEEnMcZKjaYEQ/view?usp=sharing         

An Appeal – Bring the Maroon to the Foreground in Black Intellectual History: https://www.aaihs.org/an-appeal-bring-the-maroon-to-the-foreground-in-black-intellectual-history/ 

Audre Lorde’s The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House


Statistics on College Dropouts:


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