Session 1: The conception of self (1453) 1492

Preparation for Session 1

Evening Negroes^/ Afternoon Chums,

Thank you for registering for the upcoming Decolonising Pedagogy workspace hosted by ourselves, Gos Neggir and Anna Lau,

Ahead of the first session (A), we would politely request you undertake a few tasks. There are also other tasks (B) and (C) which you might want to in order to create some distance between yourselves and the “others.”

Below are a number of assignments that we would appreciate if you could commit to completing (ideally, ahead of the first session, realistically, when you make the space for them.) They are ranked in order of immediacy so as to prioritise and thus order some pieces ahead of others. In each section, (1) is the priority – near enough a prerequisite – whilst the others are somewhat optional. Although we would suggest you complete them, we are not yet breaking arms, thus, You decide…

These will serve to develop a firm foundation – and beautiful background – on – and against – which to build upon in establishing a better perspective, and conceptual apparatus, so as to facilitate a FULLER appreciation of the upcoming deCOLONising Pedagogy workspaces [now you can breathe]

Reflection is only legitimate when it sends us back to the concrete context where it seeks to clarify the facts

-Paulo Freire


1 Listen to Guy Giard’s “Interaction Theories” Workshop & create a cognitive map for it

2 Enquire as to the specifics of your birth

2 Check out this prank 1:30-3:30

3 Read as much of this piece on Pedagogy (LINK:

4 learn or read up on how score A Boxing Match

5 Listen to selected chapters from “For Giving” Genevieve Vaughan


1 Read chapter IV of “Towards the Destruction of schooling”

2 Record a racist joke ready to bring and share with the group

3 Listen to selected chapters from Disciplined Minds, Jeff Schmidt,

4 Check out this token nonwhite lady, writing on pedagogy, who has been included for the sake of gender balance Link:

5 Bring in a poster or promotional material showcasing ‘anti-blackness’


1 Read the introduction of Huey Newton’s PHD Gordon Methodology

2 Read a review of Linda Smith’s book on Decolonising Methodologies

2 Read section 44-48 of Dubois’ “My Evolving Program for Negro Freedom”

4 Watch The “Not Out of Africa” debate ft Henrik Clarke

5 Listen to selected chapters from The Ascent of Humanity, Charles Einsenstein

Note: A5, B3 and C5 refer to audio books. Likewise, A1 refers to a video/audio workshop/ presentation. We challenge you to locate these pieces using whatever means are at your disposal. Also, you are also encouraged to create a cognitive map for each piece you survey and to keep detailed logs/files/records to monitor your progress (aka, review your learning.) And finally, we urge you to reflect upon the following:

This innocent country set you down in a ghetto in which, in fact, it intended that you should perishYou were born into a society which spelled out with brutal clarity, and in as many ways as possible, that you were a worthless human being. You were not expected to aspire to excellence: you were expected to make peace with mediocrity.

James Baldwin,“The Fire Next Time”

I am born in a beam of light/I move continuously yet Im still/Im larger than life/Yet do not breathe/Only in the darkness am I visible/You can see me but never touch me/I can speak to you but never hear you/You know me intimately, and I/know you not at all/We are strangers, and yet/You take me inside of you/What am I?

– Julie Christie,“The Gold Diggers”

Disclaimer: These workspaces aim to play on provocation, but not insult. Activities may be geared towards creating dissonance and mild disorientation in an effort to create contexts and space for new or alternative learning. If you have been sheltered for the past 18 years, these sessions may not be for you: “…prepare to be offended.”


Session 1

This session was held on Monday 11 May 2015, from 7-10pm facilitated by Gos

Listen to the audio and do the activities, you might need headphones as the audio is not that loud. To complete this session will take you about 3 hours. It would be most beneficial if you can do these exercises in a group of people.


Listen to the audio:

Activity 1:

Write down significant things that happened in your life for each year covering the last 10 year. You can think of anything that happened in popular culture, major events.

Establishing Credibility & Expectations

Activity 2:

Check out this prank from 1:30-3:30

Now listen to the audio:

Activity 3:

Write down three things that would give the facilitators more credibility in your eyes.

Activity 4:

Find out how a boxing match is scored.

Now listen to the audio:

Activity 5:

Watch this boxing match and rate the match according to the scoring system. You can make notes if you want.

The Negro in his present plight, however, does not see possibilities until it is too late. He exercises much “hindsight,” and for that reason he loses ground in the hotly contested battles of life. The Negro as a rule waits until a thing happens before he tries to avert it. He is too much like a man whom the author once saw knocked down in a physical combat. Instead of dodging the blow when it was being dealt he arose from his prostration dodging it.

Woodson, C. G., The Mis-education of the Negro

Now listen to the audio:

Activity 6:

Get up and arbitrarily move around the space for a few minutes.

Now listen to the audio:

Activity 7:

Make a list of things that annoys or irritates you. After you finished share it with the person next to you.

Listen to the audio:

>> Time for a break! <<

Idea of the World

Listen to the audio and read the quotes below:

The Negro in his present plight, however, does not see possibilities until it is too late. He exercises much “hindsight,” and for that reason he loses ground in the hotly contested battles of life. The Negro as a rule waits until a thing happens before he tries to avert it. He is too much like a man whom the author once saw knocked down in a physical combat. Instead of dodging the blow when it was being dealt he arose from his prostration dodging it.

Woodson, C. G., The Mis-education of the Negro

Our advanced teachers, like “most highly educated” Negroes, pay little attention to the things about them except when the shoe begins to pinch on one or the other side. Unless they happen to become naked they never think of the production of cotton or wool; unless they get hungry they never give any thought to the output of wheat or corn; unless their friends lose their jobs they never inquire about the outlook for coal or steel, or how these things affect the children whom they are trying to teach. In other words, they live in a world, but they are not of it. How can such persons guide the youth without knowing how these things affect the Negro community?

Activity 8:

Watch this scene from Batman:

Look at the image below, from which movie is it? What does the text in the bottom of the photo say?


Look at the images below



Now listen to the audio:

Lyrics mentioning the world:

Lil Wayne: “I wish I could fuck every girl in the world” (Every Girl)

Future: “Tell me, what you think we hustle for? I just wanna buy the world, Do the impossible Sing it with me now, na na na, What you think we out here working’ for? I just wanna buy the world Do the impossible

Lil Wayne: “I got ice in my veins, blood in my eyes/ Hate in my heart, love in my mind
I seen nights full of pain, days of the same/ You keep the sunshine, save me the rain
I search but never find, hurt but never cry/ I work and forever try, but I’m cursed so never mind/ And it’s worse but better times seem further and beyond
The top gets higher, the more that I climb/ The spot gets smaller and I get bigger
Tryna get into where I fit in, no room for a nigga/ But soon for a nigga it be on motherfucker/ ‘Cause all this bullshit, it made me strong motherfucker

Dinah Washington: “This bitter earth, Well, What a fruit it bears/ What good is love, That no one shares/ And if my life, is like the dust / That hides the glow of a rose, What good am I Heaven only knows/ No, this bitter Earth Yes, can be so cold/ Today you’re young, Too soon you’re old/But while a voice, Within me cries/ I’m sure someone, may answer my call/ And this bitter earth, May not be ohhhh, so bitter after all

Kool G Rap: “It seems like only yesterday, my moms was on my back
“Get your butt up out the sack and find a job or hit the road Jack”
Black, I don’t disown her, I’m just a kid from Corona
With a G.E.D. diploma, with more ribs showin’ than Tony Roma’s
In order to get straight, I gots ta to make a muscle
Learned to hustle and bustle and I gave the streets a tussle
Standin’ down on the corner slangin’ fat rocks to bottles
With the black tops, for cops got my shorty watchin’ my back Hobbes
Makin’ mad lucci, bought up Louis Vuitton & gucci
Hoochies callin’ me boochi, while they smooch me, givin’ up the coochie

Lyrics mentioning the earth:

Kurtis Blow: “My first day in office, the King on the throne/ I spent my first three hours on the telephone
You know with newsmen reporters, and votes too/I had so many calls, I didn’t know what to do
You know out that office I continued to work/I signed so many papers, my fingers started to hurt
Then I shook off the pain, say this ain’t no thing/ there’s nothing in the world like being #1 king!

Nas:Life, I wonder, Will it take me under, I don’t know / Imagine smoking weed in the streets without cops harassin’ Imagine going to court with no trial / Lifestyle cruising blue behind my waters

No welfare supporters, more conscious of the way we raise our daughters

Tupac: “Now if I choose to ride, thuggin’ till the day I die/They don’t give a fuck about us
While I’m kickin rhymes, getting to their children’s minds /Now they give a fuck about us
They wanna see us die, they kick us every time we try /They don’t give a fuck about us
So while I’m getting high, I’m watching as the world goes by /Cause they don’t give a fuck about us

Tupac: “The world, the world is behind us/Once a motherfucker get an understanding on the game
and what the levels and the rules of the game is/ Then the world ain’t no trick no more
The world is a game to be played / So now we lookin at the world, from like, behind us
Niggaz know what we gotta do, just gotta put our mind to it and do it /
It’s all about the papers, money rule the world/ Bitches make the world go round
Real niggaz do what they wanna do, bitch niggaz do what they can
Starin at the world through my rearview / Go on baby scream to God, he can’t hear you
I can feel your heart beatin fast cause it’s time to die / Gettin high, watchin time fly, ya know

Rakim: “You got ambition?” Shorty said, “Man listen/ I got demands for livin, can’t stand division

Make grands on my mission, till everything glisten/ Women in the Expedition, no plans for prison

In a vision the city get, 2 milleni G/Sittin in my embassy sippin Hennesy / Gettin high, and watch life pass me by“

So I asked him why, wit a fast reply He said “I’m livin just to die without any feelings

So I wait here for my Maker till it’s time to go Wit this dime I know/

Wit all of her girls and all of my mens / Waitin for the world to end“



Look at this “cognitive map”



Now listen to the audio:

Activity 10:

Read one of the quotes below and think of how you would make this information your own? How would you personalize this information? How does it relate to your own being? If you have multiple quotes, what titles would you give them? How would you categorize them? And how would you teach others about this quote?

Qoute 1Quote 2Qoute 3Quote 4Quote 5Quote 6Quote 7

Quote 8Quote 9Quote 10Quote 11Quote 12Quote 13


After discussing the quote with your group, switch with someone from another group and explain in your new group what you have been talking about and listen to what they have been talking about in their group.

Activity 11:

Look at this scale, on what level would you say you have discussed the quotes?

  • 10% of what we read
  • 20% of what we hear
  • 30% of what we see
  • 50% of what we see and hear
  • 70% of what we discuss
  • 80% of what we experience
  • 95% of what we teach others…

Now listen to the final audio:

Presentation for session 1

Click here to see the presentation prepared for Session 1

Please note: only a small selection of sheet was used during the first session.