Once Indigenous

Amoke Kubat, left, and her Yo Mama peers discuss their connection to water through motherhood hosted by MPR Water Month at St. Jane’s House in Minneapolis on July 11, 2019. From left: Kubat, Rosanna Audgins, Sarah Penn, Leslie Harris, and ShaVunda Brown. Iyana Esters | The Water Main

Amoke Kubat, founder of YO MAMA and YO MAMA’S HOUSE Cooperative, facilitated a conversation about reclaiming an Afrocentric relationship to the water and land.

The enslaved African was neither a settler, colonialist, immigrant or refugee. Yet our Ancestors’ free and forced labor from fields to rivers to the building institutions created diverse complex relationships to water, land and other natural environments.

Langston Hughes’ poem “Negroes Speaks of Rivers Rivers” reminds us that people of African descent have had long standing relationships to water.

“I've known rivers: I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins”.

In this conversation we explore the lived experiences and intergenerational narratives that reveal complexities in our relationship to water and land. We discuss where and how we connect or disconnect to the conversations about climate change, natural and human made disasters. And we identify our concerns and needs for self, family and Northside Community
— Amoke Kubat

Lauren Humpert