Vanessa Taylor: Oral Histories of Surveillance
And so that’s when I kind of decided to start to do a newsletter that focused on surveillance and anti-surveillance specifically. Because as somebody who is Black and Muslim, and so from two communities, or one community, you know, the intersections are from communities who are like hyper-surveilled and have surveillance as a constant reality—for me to focus on that. And also to kind of step into the space of surveillance and tech journalism, which is super white. Yeah. To make it known that I’m here. And to able to use this platform to question a lot of the norms that shaped journalism, tech and surveillance journalism, especially the myth of objectivity, that is a big one.
Our Data Bodies (ODB) is excited to present a series of oral histories from organizers, writers, and cultural workers whose work has been steeped in resisting discriminatory surveillance technology and racialized surveillance capitalism, and has illuminated strategies for abolition and abolitionist reform. This oral history features Vanessa Taylor, writer and organizer focusing on the intersections of tech and Black Muslims, based in Philadelphia. The transcript, edited slightly for clarity, follows below.
Kim M Reynolds: Can you introduce yourself, who you are, and how you walk through the world?
Vanessa Taylor: My name is Vanessa Taylor. I’m 25, and I live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania right now, but I’m originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, well Bradley, Minnesota, but I kind of see Minneapolis as my adopted hometown. So I got my start as an organizer after I moved to Minneapolis, from a town kind of outside of the suburbs. And so at that point of time, Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson. And so all the protests around that, like the original protests, were still very much ongoing. So what I ended up doing was I went from Minneapolis down to Ferguson as part of Ferguson October. And I went down with a group of people who I just kind of met through a site that was coordinating rides, so I met people through there.
For me, going down to Ferguson was like, kind of my first experience with protests, just because the town that I was from was pretty small, and it’s pretty white, so you wouldn’t really do anything. There’s no protest, not really a way to really connect with that on the ground. So when I went to Ferguson, I was arrested there, we spent, I mean, less than 24 hours in jail, but it’s really enough to kind of like radicalize you and push you past, you know, whatever point you would enter the jail in. For me, you know, I was like, “Yeah, this sucks. Police brutality is bad, but…” And there’s still kind of lingering, “But.” You know—it could be fixed, something could be made better. And then, you know, you go into jail, and you watch somebody who was in a cell with me got their period, and the COs [correction officers] wouldn’t give them any menstrual products. And they were like, “I’m gonna bleed through my pants,” and they [COs] said, “Fine.” Or you watch as one of the people who was also in a cell with me ended up becoming a close friend, Muslim, and they kept pulling down her hijab. They took it from her. She tried to substitute the hood, like use the hoodie as a hijab and when she was walking down the hall, a male CO just ripped it off her head. And then walking by all the men and seeing just like this white man—I don’t know what position he held—but just standing over a bunch of like Black men who are arrested in like berating them for not being like, you know, good and proper citizens. So seeing all that all at once kind of pushed me to be like, “Alright, well, all of this just sucks.”
And when I left Ferguson, it also helped me look back at Minnesota and kind of see how the same issues were showing up there. And so I did a lot of organizing work. We primarily worked with Black youth through the Black liberation project. But then I ended up moving to Philadelphia when I was 23, and since I’ve been here. I’ve mainly focused on just writing, whether it’s fiction, or journalism, or some combination of the two.
Kim M Reynolds: What is the trajectory of your work: when did you first begin writing? And can you take me through the work you’ve done in the realm of surveillance in tech, and your personal and the political and the really important kinds of intersections that you kind of highlight in your writing?
Vanessa Taylor: So I’ve always been a writer to some extent, which I think is important to cover. You know, when I was little, and my mom used to do this thing where she would bring me to like an art museum. Because we were poor and that was a free place to go in the cities, and give me a notebook and tell me I had to interact with the art in some way. You know, I could draw. I could write. I always chose to write. So for me, writing has always been the way that I kind of process the world.
But when I began writing, like, for work as a journalist, was 2017. So I think it’s really only been about three, going on four years, since I started. And for me, what actually pushed me into it was I wrote an article about Islamophobia in the United States and kind of really firmly connecting that to anti-Blackness because at the time, there’s this like statistic or like little quote going around about how like, you know, the first Muslims in United States were enslaved Africans. But it didn’t really do anything for the way people and other Muslims, especially other non-Black Muslims, were thinking about Islamophobia and just the histories of Muslims, surveillance, and oppression United States. So I wrote this article, and it went semi viral. And from there, I realized that I’m still capable of writing, because it had been a while since I’ve written anything at that point. So I’m capable of this. I can write articles, that’s easy, and I can get paid for it.
At the time, I was organizing still, and it’s not like organizing pays. So this was somethings I could do. But for me, then there was a point where I just kind of started to get really tired of organizing for a multitude of reasons. I mean, there’s always the talk about toxic organizing spaces, and that’s very much real. But also, I think we can just admit that not everybody needs to be an organizer. And I don’t think I need to be, you know, even just the fundamental aspect of like, relationship building, I hate talking to people [laughs]. Like, I don’t want to do a bunch of one-on-ones. I don’t want to sit down and have to have a whole bunch of conversations 20 times a day. I was like, I want to be by myself, do my thing, and I want to take time to like, have that be okay.
And so I transitioned out of organizing, but I didn’t want to completely disconnect from that because to me, I know there’s when you wrote your question, it was talking about how the personal is intertwined with your political for me, my personal is political, and vice versa. And so I couldn’t just step out of organizing and not do anything. And so like I said, if writing is the way that I’d always expressed myself and connected with the world, it kind of made sense that I would see writing as an extension of that organizing work. And so that really shaped my focus as somebody who focuses on politics, a big majority of my freelance work has been on Black Muslims on anti Black Islamophobia. And then I also have Nazar, the anti surveillance newsletter. And also a literary magazine for Black Muslims, The Drinking Gourd.
Kim M Reynolds: Can you talk a little bit more about those projects?
Vanessa Taylor: Yeah. So I launched The Drinking Gourd first, again, because I was frustrated with non Black Muslims. It’s been over a year [since the launch]. So at this point, I remember it was Ramadan, and I was trying to take a bit of a social media break. But somebody had messaged me something about MuslimGirl, the popular platform, and exploitation of writers. And so I was like, well, this is messed up. And it’s not that I’ve been super unaware of this, of course, you kind of hear the rumors in the background. But this was somebody who had written for them and worked for them and had written a detailed thing about it. And so I have been thinking about starting a literary magazine before this moment. But for me, there was always that hesitation of like, “Am I qualified enough to do this? Do I have enough editing experience? Am I really the person who should be running or shaping this project?”
But after that kind of got to me, I was like, Why not? Because it’s not being done, and the Muslim writing spaces that exist online, you know, there’s the exploitation, but there’s also the anti Blackness that runs through them, the homophobia, transphobia. So I was like, “Alright, F it, I’ll just make this thing and I’ll make it for Black Muslims.” And so we’ve been around for, like I said, a little over a year now. And a big focus for us was from the moment we started, paying our writers. And so we do, we started out paying people $50 per piece. And then I think in March, April, sometime in response to the pandemic, we increased it to $75. We don’t get like grant funding, we don’t have a lot of money, all of our money comes from community and from just like grassroots fundraising, so it’s part of why I hope to continue getting the rates higher, but also kind of why they’re where they’re at now.
And I think it’s important also to recognize with The Drinking Gourd that like we’re not trying to be the first to do anything. We’re not the first space for Black Muslims online, there’s Sapelo Square, there’s journals and other things that predate us. I don’t really care about that sort of pursuit, I think for The Drinking Gourd, I just wanted a space for Black Muslims to kind of be. It’s something that we could just shape for ourselves. And so now the project, you know, is growing beyond just literary magazine, as we’re planning to start doing work like podcasts and audio and visual artists, like I said, just always growing.
And then for Nazar, so I’ve been trying to think of ways to take my audience off social media, because I’ve really just gotten tired of social media, and I’ve kind of switched up my engagement with it within the past few months, particularly Twitter. So I’m really not on Twitter too much. I don’t really engage in any discussions or discourse, I might go on to tweet out an article or to find sources but that’s really the extent of it. And so in that pursuit to kind of find a way to have my audience off social media, substack seemed like the most, well not like the most natural, but just the best option out there. When I was thinking of the newsletter to start, I was thinking of doing something completely different. And so the original idea was just to kind of have essays, like everybody’s kind of doing just essays and like general thoughts and like little short things. So I said, “All right, I’ll do something like that,” and I’ll just talk about Afrofuturism, and technology, and surveillance. These are the topics that interest me.
But as I was thinking about that, I was like, “Well, I don’t really want people to be in my head that much.” I write personal essays sometimes, but there’s a reason that I don’t make them the bulk of my writing, I just don’t want to share that much with however many strangers are going to read it. So I was also just thinking about how there’s a lot of potential to do projects that I wouldn’t be able to do within like a traditional media landscape. And so that’s when I kind of decided to start to do a newsletter that focused on surveillance and anti-surveillance specifically. Because as somebody who is Black and Muslim, and so from two communities, or one community, you know, the intersections are from communities who are like hyper-surveilled and have surveillance as a constant reality—for me to focus on that. And also to kind of step into the space of surveillance and tech journalism, which is super white. Yeah. To make it known that I’m here. And to able to use this platform to question a lot of the norms that shaped journalism, tech and surveillance journalism, especially the myth of objectivity, that is a big one. But also the way in which I kind of see communities of color and their surveillance being used is almost just like warning signs for white people. So not necessarily that you care because surveillance shouldn’t happen, but you care because now the surveillance could happen to you today. And so kind of shifting that focus.
Yeah, so I launched Nazar. I actually launched it on Memorial Day, which I also happened to be the day that George Floyd was killed. So I launched it in the morning, and then he was murdered later at night. And so that kind of really shaped the project, since like I said, I’m from Minneapolis. And so seeing that and seeing people’s reactions to it and just the conversations that were going on shaped the first two pieces I have for the newsletter. The first was a collection of duas against the surveillance state, so I just solicited duas from Black Muslims. And then the second was about journalists not being snitches because of how they covered the protests in Minneapolis.
Kim M Reynolds: What are some of those moments inform the work that you do? What catalysed you around the work that you do, specifically tech?
Vanessa Taylor: Um, so I think there’s a couple of moments that kind of stand out and just act like an introductory of who I am. And so the first one will be Michael Brown, and like that murder, and the protests around this. Even though I’m not from anywhere near Ferguson. Obviously, like I said, I was in a kind of small white town. So nobody in my immediate town really cared—like the town itself didn’t respond.
I was on Tumblr, so I feel like this is a common thread for people who are about my age and being very online, on Tumblr, and there being a lot of political education there. That is where I really started thinking about race, because of course, you know, growing up Black where I did, there were moments where I really had to deal with it [race], but it doesn’t necessarily mean I thought about it, or that I had been given the tools to, like, process it. And so I started to get those tools online, and then I also started to see different movements online. And so I remember actually seeing a post about the vigil for Michael Brown, and how police turned up with dogs and kind of just seeing people’s responses to that in real time through this digital platform. That was a big one that got me again, into organizing because I went to Ferguson, and I came organising at home.
There are also the police murders of Jamar Clark, of Philando Castile in Minneapolis. So Jamar Clark was murdered in 2015 on the city’s north side, and I was part of the protests around that. I was actually among some of the first people out after he was killed because we got a text, or somebody that organized with got a text, that the police had shot somebody in the head on the north side. And so they picked me up and we drove, I lived on the south side, so we drove from one end of Minneapolis to the other. And we got out there and this was before we knew his name, so when we were talking about it, we were using Twitter. So we were just using the hashtag James and Plymouth, because that’s where he was killed. So as we’re sitting out there people in the apartments, across the streets, they started coming out and talking about what they heard. Somebody said a kid saw it. And so we were there most of the night.
But what happened out of that was the occupation of the fourth precinct. Essentially, from James and Plymouth, like, half a block down is the fourth precinct. So he was killed right outside of the police precinct, pretty much. What was interesting to me, and what I wrote about later in an essay, was I didn’t really know much of the history about the fourth precinct. But later on in occupation, I learned that it used to be a community center, a Black life community center, called The Way. So at some point, the city shut it down, and I think they blamed The Way for some riots that happened in the 60s. The city shut it down, tore the building down, and that zone got built up in the fourth precinct. For me, it was like, wow, we’re back.
And then Philando Castile happened not too long after because Jamar Clark was killed in November, and the protests continued throughout December of 2015, and Philando was killed in July of 2016. And by that point, I had converted to Islam because I wasn’t Muslim during the protests for Michael Brown or Jamal Clark. What sticks out about Philando Castile—I mean it would stick out anyway, regardless, but he was killed on Eid, And so it was my first Eid. And so for me, I was thinking about the ways in which Black death and like white supremacy and all of that kind of invade holy spaces and holy times. And this really firmly connected my Islam to like protests and to liberation theology.
But the things that got me then into tech and kind of thinking about surveillance, I’ll start with surveillance first. So I had known about surveillance of course, I read The Autobiography of Malcolm X in high school, so I knew about COINTELPRO but for me surveillance kind of remained distant and in the past until I started doing organizing of my own. In which case then yeah, we were kind of thinking about security and surveillance, although it wasn’t always as overt of a conversation as I think it should have been. Part of that is just because of a lack of resources. Yeah, so you know, we were aware of if you leave an action, make no cars were following you because the police were following us. My mom would talk about how she didn’t like to call me any more on my phone because she could hear something clicking in the background, both lines
But what really made me see surveillance not just as an entity that existed, but it’s something that could be directly confronted was organizing of Somali youth in Minneapolis against countering violent extremism [CVE]. So you know, CVE kind of has like two different forms the United States. There’s like the CVE grant, DHS [Department of Homeland Security] grant from 2016, which is what people are organizing against. But the CVE framework as a way of like, responding to, quote unquote, “terrorism” is sort of like homegrown terrorists and kind of like this community model. It kind of is appropriating that language of care for people for the purpose of state surveillance and security; and that I think came around as early as 2000, maybe earlier. So Somali youth in Minneapolis, organized against CVE, and there was a young Muslim collective, and the organization that I had co-founded BLP (Black Liberation Project) with sometimes do work alongside them to help support it.
Kim M Reynolds: A lot of your writing makes space, gives place, and names important Black Muslim abolitionists and focuses on transformative change- what are the projects, ways of speaking, networking, and community building that have worked well for you or your peers?
I think I’m really interested in the projects, the ways of being, ways of resistance that at first glance don’t necessarily seem to be so, if that makes sense. I’m thinking about one big thing for me is fiction, which I know there’s a lot about how fiction and like resistance approaches kind of go hand in hand, but I think sometimes people really disconnect the arts and fiction from organizing, particularly now, which is funny because of the Black Arts Movement, but like, whatever [laughs]. So for me, kind of like reconnecting that back and really firmly seeing that as a way of people like thinking about change and thinking through change. I was recently talking to a friend about the concept of non-human, that kind of project and category, and I said this in a reading group for a whole off-topic conversation happened for a good 15 minutes because everybody’s like, how can you not be human? And I was like “I don’t know.”
For me it’s not necessarily about having the answer and I like to sit in the abyss. And that kind of influences the fiction that I write and I’m drawn to. A lot of science fiction writing. Afrofuturism. I’m working on a novel that will be called science fiction. So like, I don’t necessarily need to know the future. There’s many futures. And I’d take the time to explore that elsewhere, which I think is part of why I’m comfortable not knowing what the one future is going to be. And I’d much rather just kind of explore the different variations of what could happen if I look at a specific problem and just kind of twist it in a particular way. Or if I figure out ways to delete it in its entirety. So yeah, fiction and kind of thinking about that, as one main thing for me.
But also, just think about the quieter acts. So even just with Eid and Ramadan, and like those sort of celebrations, and community building. BLP used to hold the Friday Black youth meetings. So it was Black youth 25 and under, and honestly, we didn’t really do or talk about a whole hell of a lot. We would talk about some of the things that are going on in the world and work through that. And sometimes we talk about actions or help people, or talk with some of the youth about things that were going on in their life, but it was very much just kind of a space to exist in, to just be. And it was also a way to kind of get away from some of the like toxic elements in organizing outside of it, particularly the way Black youth engaged in Minneapolis. It had a toxic side. So people would use them [Black youth] for their energy for that sort of cool factor to get attention to your protest. But if they needed something, whether that was food or a ride or shelter or like mental health support for the things that they were kind of put through, then it was just crickets. I wanted to give them a space where they weren’t going to be used in that way, then also we were youth at the time, so we weren’t going to be used in that way either.
Kim M Reynolds: Do you feel like your writing and creation of platforms is making the connections you would like to see amongst Black Muslims and also Black people in the tech writing/journalism space?
Vanessa Taylor: Yeah. I think so. I think The Drinking Gourd, for example, I can definitely kind of see a sort of impact. I think one of the big things is because The Drinking Gourd is formed by Black Muslims, also, that we are explicitly saying that, like, we’re not going to exclude queer trans Muslims, either. So many Muslim spaces online, or just Muslim spaces that I’m in, even if they want to have like a problem with it, right, they never go out and say that. So it’s kind of like you, as a person who’s like queer, have to go and feel that out for yourself, and that’s exhausting. So for us to be a space where we’re like, yeah, we’re not going to do that, we’re not going to play these games. A lot of people who are involved, who are either on the team, or who have written for us, they are queer, trans Muslims. And so I see that impact.
I also just think it’s giving people a space to start conversations, start talking, start thinking about things for themselves. And hopefully, that’s something that we continue as we expand into doing podcasts. And again, visual arts and workshops and other things that are really purposeful about community building. So I think for us, what we’re doing is kind of really disrupting what it means to be a literary magazine, to be honest. I’m sure there’s plenty of ways you could say that we’re not because of the things that we do or are going to consider doing, and I’m fine with that, pushing the boundaries of what it means to have a magazine and to run it and care for your community, and fold all these things into it.
With Nazar I definitely see its impact. I kind of joke that like surveillance is the one niche that every journalist is allowed, right? Every journalist gets to have their one niche of a topic that people don’t necessarily care about. Surveillance is kind of that topic. People care about it, right, because it impacts so many people, but also when you kind of start to talk about it in-depth, or you are trying to think about it. It can get exhausting. There are a lot of academic texts to get through, and ironically, it’s just very inaccessible to people most impacted by it.
But, I have Muslims who will talk to me about how they read it [Nazar], and how much they learned from it, and talk about how much they enjoy reading it. And then I also have guest writers, and so I think that helps, too, because I’m one person, and I have my obvious focus when I talk about surveillance, I tend to focus on Black Muslims. And like, that’s my thing, that’s fine. I can’t know everything. And so opening that space up to people who have knowledge and information that I don’t, and who are able to contribute conversations in ways that I may not be able to, because even if we all know the same things, the way we’re all interpreting and interacting with these things is not the same, so opening up that space I think has been really instrumental and really helpful. And I think it’s really necessary, even if I stopped running it tomorrow, it’s going to continue like living past me is because it’s embodied in more than just me.
Kim M Reynolds: What does it mean to abolish tech. Is your work oriented in that way? And is there technology that should play a role in the lives of Black Muslims or other groups that are typically subjected to very specific kinds of surveillance?
Vanessa Taylor: Yeah, I definitely think abolish tech in many ways. Mainly just kind of looking at the tech industry to the business model, like that really explicit business side of it should go. But also just kind of thinking about the studies and other fields that surround tech. Again, as a field, my particular journalism, it’s super white, it’s really hard to kind of get in and really hard to feel comfortable in. One thing that I feel is that tech journalists often do this thing where they just use communities of colors as a caution sign for somebody else, right. I was just reading Surrogate Humanity and in part of the book, they talked about how Saidiya Hartman spoke about empathy, and how empathy when you’re talking about abolition and kind of looking at it framing historically, was only achieved so long as white people could kind of put themselves in position of Black people, right, so kind of taking over the other. So I see that happen a lot with tech, where again, the only way people can begin to empathize and care about what’s happening so long as you can subsume, obliterate, and find some way to just be “the other.” So it doesn’t matter except for what it means to you, and so that’s something that very much needs to kind of go.
When I think about abolitionist technology, I was actually just reading the Technologies for Liberation PDF that came out and they use the Stop LAPD [Spying Coalition] definition, which I think is useful, “creative interventions that use our immediate performance to galvanize public support against the state deployment and funding of surveillance tech.” What’s really important for me about this definition is moving beyond technologies as only the digital. Practically, because if you want to trace surveillance and just how technologies have been used, you can’t start with the digital. So for example, Simone Browne’s work on Dark Matters is big on this: biometrics or like the formation of slave passes. That is a definition that I would use. And whether it is any technology that does or should play a role in the lives of Black Muslims, yeah, I absolutely think that there is especially if we start expanding that definition beyond the digital. And I think even with the technology that exists, you can find ways to disrupt it and use it for yourself.
And so the smallest example would be the way that people organize on Twitter, even though, you know, Twitter is used for surveillance, it is not a platform for us, but we still find ways to kind of make it work for us. GoFundMe, which like, terrible, but its how people can coordinate mutual aid, it’s how people can ensure that their bills are paid, and that they have rent, and care for those immediate needs. So for me, it’s about ultimately working towards the abolition of tech, and like the white supremacy and the anti Blackness and imperialism that continues to show up within it again and again. But in the meantime, until that happens, figuring out how we can kind of subvert, and just bastardize the hell out of it, ourselves.
Kim M Reynolds: What are some of the things you’d like to see in your field? Why do you do this work? And then what future do you want?
Vanessa Taylor: I think I do this work because, as I’ve said, writing is just the way that I interact with the world and process it. And it’s the way that I best share what I’m thinking about and feeling with other people. And so, you know, I joke sometimes that people often ask that question, what would you do if the revolution happened today? What does life look like tomorrow? For me, I just want to sit on a porch and just like, tell kids stories. And so I keep that in mind when I think about writing, even when I get tired of it, and think about what it means to me beyond the boundaries like capitalism, even though writing is ultimately still my job. One of the things I’d like to see happen within my field and the work around me, there’s so much that has to happen journalism, but I definitely want to see more collectives, and more people just kind of doing things for themselves. Because I also think sometimes we feel like if there’s one, then there can’t be another, especially when it comes to media, or things created by oppressed people.
So for example, when I started thinking about making The Drinking Gourd I had somebody ask me, “Well, how is that so different from another platform that already exists?” Mm well there are differences, but also it doesn’t have to be completely different. We can be working along similar veins and that’s fine. Because as I was saying earlier, when you think about facts, facts, just things that people know, we’re all interacting with these things differently. We’re all interpreting it differently. So even if The Drinking Gourd and another platform are kind of working within the same area, kind of thinking about the same issues, we’re coming to different conclusions, the way we embody those conclusions is going to be different. And so we don’t always have to be in that rush to like be first or to be so absurdly different from each other. But yeah, I want to see people kind of take up more for themselves, and do different things.
And I’m also particularly interested in Afrofuturism, so I’m hoping to see more work done about that by Black Muslims. I know there’s some that exist, like Safiyah Cheatam does a lot of work around it and is writing a thesis on Black Muslims and Afrofuturism. So I know it exists. And I just say that because sometimes when people hear you say you want more, they think that you think it’s never happened. That’s not what I’m saying. And want more of it never happened before. Hmm.
Kim M Reynolds: What are the kinds of specific surveillance that is deployed and weaponized against Black Muslims, because in the United States, there is a slippery and imperial imagination of who is Muslim. Are there one or two things you can talk about in terms of surveillance and tech that you’re writing about or trying to organize around?
Vanessa Taylor: I think I’m sure one of the main things would be countering violent extremism (CVE), which I talked a little about earlier. But I think it’s important to reiterate that when CVE launched, it had three pilot cities, it was Boston, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis. So in Boston and Minneapolis, the predominant targets were Somali, or other East African communities, because people kind of get absorbed into, it’s not like white people tell the difference. So the East African refugee communities were the target, meaning two out of the three cities, Black Muslims, Black refugees were the target. And so you can’t talk about CVE without talking about anti Black Islamophobia, and those manifestations of it.
And when I talk about anti-Black Islamophobia, I’m really just trying to force people to consider the ways in which anti-Blackness and Islamophobia interact, and kind of shape each other. For me, that means going back to again, that little tidbit that the first Muslims were enslaved Africans by actually doing something with it, and thinking about what that should mean, then, for how we are examining Muslims in the United States and for how we’re looking for traces of Islamophobia. Because if you only look for Islamophobia as something that impacts non Black Muslims, then there’s an entire portion of history you’re missing because the Muslims were Black, and because they’re not considered Muslim today.
And so there’s CVE, that’s a big thing. But also, recently, I finished Dark Matters, and there’s a whole portion where Browne is kind of talking about the airport. And she’s talking about the ways in which Black women wrap their heads or hair, are surveilled at the airport. And for me, it was making me think of Black Muslim women and so what does it mean to be somebody whose head is essentially like a triple threat, right? You’re Black, you’re Muslim, and a woman. One of the things she’s talking about is the excuse that TSA [Transportation Security Authority] uses, your hair could hide something. And that’s one of the excuses TSA uses when they check your hijab. So what does it mean when they can use both of those, right? So when I work a job, and I would get patted down, if I have braids, they are absolutely feeling each individual braid through the fabric of the scarf. And so it’s not something that I’ve explored fully yet, it’s just kind of a conversation that I would like to have and probably will have with Nazar. Again, thinking through what it means to be all these things at once and to have all these histories and context is like placed upon your body at the same time.