There was a point when I chose to introduce this site as a space for critical race and feminist issues to be discussed. That is because when Epedemia was borne it was as a side-hustle (let’s call it a side-place, because making money off of writing is near impossible these days); a space for me to go in my down-time in my year off school, when I was working full-time and needed somewhere, anywhere, to express my thoughts without the censure of a corporate environment.
Without the constant challenge of school, I felt my brain melting in the day-to-day routine of a 9 – 5. And so I (along with the help of someone who I am no longer with) decide to create a space where I could write critically, and have my ideas accessed by people who had similar concerns as I did. The notion was grand – “feminist philosophy and philosophy of race” for the people. But the more I started to write the more I realized that the topics that I was most concerned about did not necessarily intersect with problems of gender or race. And so I decided to re-write this introduction to re-flect my new set of concerns.
It is true. The name for the site was borne out of my initial exposure to the field of critical race. Being racialized seemed so bad that I thought of it as a disease (imagine me, a black person, thinking of my beautiful brown skin as a disease) because of the cesspool of racism from which it was born. Because in the academe race is synonymous with oppression, and who wants to be synonymous with that? But because I was very much aware that the site of the disease was only flesh-deep, I decided to go ahead and name the site Epi-Demia. “Epi” for “epidermis” (skin) and “Demia” for (disease). The purpose was to reinforce the fact that although to be racialized was a disease in the many ways in which oppression manifested itself, that this disease was superficial – it was only really skin-deep, and the phenomena of racialization should be treated as such.
Since I am back in school, the desire to address a set of concerns that I could not discuss in the workplace has waned. On this site I address issues of race and gender, but many other topics as well. Because I have the space to discuss the more serious topics in my day-to-day life, this space has been reserved for everything else that comes to mind.
I hope you enjoy it all the same.
And remember, in the words of my “uncle” Marcus (I have developed the habit of imagining that all revolutionary blacks are related to me by blood. In the words of a true Jamaican: ‘Low me):
To be learned in all that is worth while knowing. Not to be crammed with the subject matter of the book or the philosophy of the class room, but to store away in your head such facts as you need for the daily application of life, so that you may the better in all things understand your fellowmen, and interpret your relationship to your Creator.
Many a man was educated outside the school room. It is something you let out, not completely take in. You are part of it, for it is natural; it is dormant simply because you will not develop it, but God creates every man with it knowingly or unknowingly to him who possesses it — that’s the difference. Develop yours and you become as great and full of knowledge as the other fellow without even entering the class room.
Tiffany M. Gordon (T.M.G.)
B. A. Honours, Pols & Phil. (2013); MA Phil. (2016), PhD. Phil (2016 – Present, ongoing)