NAME: Itoro Udofia
ROLE: First dedicated intern for the POC Zine Project’s Legacy Series
REGION: West Coast, USA
COMMUNITY: Join us in welcoming Itoro! You’ll be seeing her contributions manifest on this Tumblr and in other digital and physical spaces very soon …. <3
Bio: Itoro is a first generation writer, artist, and educator of Nigerian origin living in the Bay Area. She develops programs for youth of color (Youth Programs Associate at the Museum of the African Diaspora) where they have a space to honor their histories and thrive. You can find her writings on Your World News, People of Color Organize, Rain and Thunder: A Radical Feminist Journal, Womanist Musings, and her own blog Thoughts of my Mind. Her writings focus on the intersections and dynamics of race, class, gender, power, survival/healing and education.
She also teaches an African History course and when she is not doing that, she works closely with a community organization dear to her heart, working to abolish the school to prison pipeline and hearing the youth speak their truth to move to action. She is happy to be a Bay Area resident and feels like here, she has found a bit of peace and a bit of home!
Itoro’s excited to be an intern with the POC Zine Project because it is a collective that uplifts and cares about what people of color have to say and acknowledges what they have always said.
Some texts that furthered her political consciousness and commitment to uplifting the voices of POC and their struggles are The Revolution Starts at Home, This Bridge Called My Back and Steve Biko’s I Write What I Like: Selected Writings. All these zines and texts named what it means to speak out from the margins and hold to ones principle in building a world that includes us all, and calls for a life of love and continued struggle in ALL our spaces, seen and unseen. Moreover, with many people coming out from the margins, she did not feel alone.
Ultimately, Itoro hopes to be a part of a larger community committed to making our written word available, accessible and visible. Other perks to the internship are gaining more knowledge and organizing with radical zinesters. As an intern, she hopes to further her knowledge about zine culture and help get our Voices out. She is excited and ready to begin this journey and is happy to call the POC Zine Project her media home.
COMMUNITY: Learn more about POCZP internship & volunteer opportunities here. We are still accepting applications for the Summer and Fall sessions.
IN ITORO’S OWN WORDS
Here are some excerpt from her application that are important to share:
Zine culture, specifically the material production of our knowledge is important to me because our voices are often co-opted, misused or completely erased in the literary canon. I have experienced this dangerous and painful trend most profoundly as an educator within the context of radical and progressive education. Save for bell hooks, Sonia nieto, Michele Foster and a few other people of color directly explaining the intricacies of power and privilege as a teacher of color, outlining a liberatory pedagogy through navigating a hostile terrain and offering something invaluable to the field through articulating underlying race, class and gender dynamics, it was difficult to fully relate to radical literature. I found that much of its thought and analysis was filtered through a white liberal/radical context. Even the class analysis was lacking because the white elephant in the room, white supremacy, was not directly dealt with. These power dynamics alone, the dynamics of who gets listened to, who controls the written word, who controls the publishing house, the way information gets told is what fuels my commitment to writing and working with people of color to have complete autonomy over their material.
… The POC Zine project is necessary at this particular time where knowledge and overall experiences are actively ignored. Centering people of color’s material contributions as a source of is important, and is a part of honoring a larger history of people who kept going in spite of these hurdles.
SOME OF ITORO’S WRITING
ABOUT THE LEGACY SERIES
Kicking off with FIRE!!, POC Zine Project will make zines by people of color created from the 1700s-1990s available to read and share.
Every Friday (Editor’s note: date pushed to February), you will find a legacy zine by a person of color on poczineproject.tumblr.com. We will share more details in 2013.
WHY WE ARE FOCUSING ON LEGACY ZINES
People of color in the U.S. have produced independent publications (zines) for decades. Many of these zines were political in nature, creating cracks in the lens of white supremacy that shaped (and continues to inform) popular culture and legislation.
These zines were new maps to our liberation, countering the negative propaganda of what people of color looked like, thought and were capable of achieving.
We want the world to know about these legacy zines, so we are going to archive and share them to the best of our ability.
We look forward to partnering with distros, academic spaces, libraries, anti-authoritarian collectives, literary journals, bloggers and more to share the Legacy Series.
"NEW" ZINESTERS: We will still share information about new and upcoming zines by people of color :) Please continue to submit your zines to the archive.
ABOUT THE RACE RIOT! TOUR
POC Zine Project held its first Race Riot! Tour in 2012, producing 20 events in 14 cities, which included speaking engagements at six universities. Click here to view photos from the POC Zine Project: 2012 Race Riot! Tour tour finale at Death By Audio in Brooklyn and access all the tour stop recaps.
We will be taking the Race Riot! Tour through 14 more cities in 2013. Stay tuned!
SUPPORT POC ZINE PROJECT
If everyone in our community gave $1, we would more than meet our fundraising goal for 2013. If you have it to spare, we appreciate your support. All funds go to our 2013 tour, the Legacy Series and the poverty zine series.
DONATE link via PayPal: http://bit.ly/SHdmyh
You can also send well-concealed cash or a check! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details or if you have questions.
Info about the poverty zine series: http://bit.ly/RLVTVt