COMMUNITY FIGURE, Yancé-Myah Antonio Harrison
- August 12, 2020
‘Community Figure’ is a campaign that aims to celebrate black creators, artist, entrepreneurs, authors, educators and influencers. We have so many amazing people doing great things in our community, but we just don’t hear about them. Each week, we will introduce you to a community figure and their work.
Meet your Community Figure, Yancé-Myah Antonio Harrison
My name is Yancé-Myah Antonio Harrison (they/them pronouns). I do not consider myself a leader – but an organiser who is one part of many leading towards transformative change and liberation. I draw on my experiences as a working-class queer trans person of Caribbean/Jamaican descent, and organising around those realities help push me towards figuring out what justice and accountability looks like for myself and the communties I am part of. Collectives like Marronage and bibimbatty, and Nørrebro Pride have shown me that there are no easy answers to the question of change – only that even the smallest steps in the direction of real change, demand that we step out of the comforts afforded to us by assimilation, citizenship, and capitalist colonial frameworks. I am here for everyone thinking about how we as a Black community –in Denmark, Europe and globally– can step into a collective decolonial process that lead us beyond borders, incarceration, exploitation and gender.
- Which norms do you see yourself breaking or would you like to see yourself breaking? I think this is a difficult one. The easiest answer is that my existence as a non-binary trans feminine Afro-caribbean person, means that I am already breaking with pretty much everything. Haha. But I would like to say breaking with the idea of punitive justice instead. This is something I am learning to break with everyday. I think our movements, groups, collectives and communities have a lot of work to do, in order to break with thinking that anything good comes from punishment and incarceration. Black people are leading, but I see how attempts to assimilate into European society also means accepting narratives around crime, borders and policing. We must continue to mobilise against this.
- What inspires you to be and do what you do today? Black Queer, Trans and Non-binary people. Absolute forces of nature. Every single one. In most Black groups – and at least the most grassroot and revolutionary ones – it is Black queer/trans/gender-nonconforming people who are the backbone. Even the closeted ones. And if they are not queer, then they are usually Black women. And when Black women and Black LGBTQ people work together, magic can happen.
- How do you see the reshaping of the black future? I guess in three ways: decolonization of land and capital, decolonization of gender, and a politics of abolition. These are different movements that are happening and decolonization of land and capital because it is crucial that land and wealth is not only from “the West” to the rest, but also from the local elites and into the hands of the people everywhere. This of course presents a lot of complications for the diasporas outside of Africa and the Caribbean. But it is work that we all must do.
Decolonization of gender, because patriarchy especially with colonisation and slavery, become incredibly tied to anti-Blackness. One way this manifests is in colourism, rape, femicide and misogynoir against Black women, and another is a genocide against Black Queer, Trans and non-binary people. It is important to learn that in many places prior to colonization, gender and sexuality was very different, and that many pre-colonized places were very queer. Decolonizing gender is a pathway for justice.
Abolition because we must look into how different groups have been enslaved, made domestic workers, incarcerated, imprisoned, punished, policed and trafficked. This happens in the West, but also on the Continent and the Caribbean. And we must challenge and abolish these structures. Taken together, I really can see that so much beautiful work and struggle is made to reshape what a Black future can look like. Let’s keep pushing!
To connec with Yancé and follow them work
Personlig IG: https://instagram.com/yancemyah
Nørrebro Pride: https://instagram.com/nbropride?igshid=1fto149khgwjj
Working on our Power – grassroots leadership programme: https://www.workingonourpower.org/
Black Peers: https://www.blackpeers.net