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15 ways to
How to Decolonize Your Mind

Jota Mombaça
© Taylla de Paula

You want to decolonize your mind? Here’s 15 ways you can start the decolonizing process as shared by professors, anthropologists, artists and social activists.


  1. Be transparent with yourself about the things you know and the things you don’t know. Learning is an infinite process.
  2. Be accessible with your language. Not everything needs to sound like a thesis statement. Keep it simple. If you can’t explain it to a 5-year-old, rework your analysis.
  3. Understand the links between decolonizing, anti-black racism, sexism, homophobia and white supremacy. These structures of power are not mutually exclusive.
  4. Approach non-white cultures with the same reverence, respect and historical importance that has always been placed on white cultural systems.
  5. Don’t be a man-splainer.
  6. Don’t take up all the space in a discussion.
  7. Be willing to listen.
  8. Everyone has some kind of privilege but some have more  than others. Check yours before you open your mouth.
  9. Conversations do not always have to be macro. Make things micro so you can see the real life outcomes.
  10. The hierarchy starts at the bottom. Until those at the bottom are at the top, true equity is non-existent.
  11. Hold yourself, your friends and family accountable to whatever misconceptions and colonials modes of thinking you engage in. Don’t be afraid to call each other out.
  12. Don’t let your knowledge be simply for show. Put it work and do the work.
  13. Understand the historical legacy of language being used to undermine different forms of existence.
  14. Be aware of how access or lack thereof to education creates very real social barriers.
  15. Go back to point number 1.
Views shared by Adriana Arrascaeta Garcia, Helio Menezes, Fernando Olivia, Fernando Baldraia and Ciraj Rassool, Sarojini Lewis, Asligul Berktay.

by Tari Ngangura