Since being initiated into a priesthood of Khemet (ancient Egypt) at the age of fourteen, I am called by the name Herukhuti (pronounced heh-ROO-koo-TEE). I am a critical theorist and philosopher, social and cultural scientist, sexologist, cultural worker, shaman, artist, author, and transformative education scholar-practitioner. For me, education--at its best--is a liberatory practice. It is the cultivation of human potential for personal and community development. As an educator, my role is to hold sacred space for mystery, the miraculous, and meaning to unfold. I believe when they unfold, learning occurs for all involved. Oftentimes in the West (United States, Canada, Western Europe, and Australia) we think of such learning as sweet, polite, clean, manicured, and polished. Because of my background in African ritual, I have come to know that mystery, the miraculous, and meaning can often appear ugly, smell funky, and sound profane. I invite and appreciate multiple forms of learning into my learning environments. To that end, I am currently involved in two epistemological movements: Decolonizing and Reconstructing Epistemologies, Methodologies, and Practices (DRE) & Afrocentric, Decolonizing Queer Theory (ADQT). DRE is a framework for the work of scholar-practitioners that is guided by principles of social and ecological justice as well as a deep appreciation of Indigenous knowledge and wisdom. ADQT is a way of understanding how Blackness and queerness are culturally, spiritually, and sexually interconnected as sources of liberatory power. In 1998, I founded Black Funk: The Center for Culture, Sexuality, and Spiritual, a sexual cultural center dedicated to providing a space for the exhibition and exploration of sensual awareness, sexual consciousness, erotic power, and pleasure. Black Funk is a gathering place for sexually liberated people of color to express themselves and enjoy erotic events, demonstrations, and sexuality-related classes. In 2004, Black Funk launched the popular, provocative web site http://www.blackfunk.org, providing users with an online source for news, information, and community on topics related to culture, sexuality, and spirituality from a conscious, funky perspective. I am also a former high school teacher and youth theatre director. I taught humanities/social studies and theatre at the School of the Future, New York City in the mid-late 90s. My theatrical work with students led to productions at the first New York International Fringe Theatre Festival. I have been writing poetry for about twenty years and stage plays and social/cultural criticism for the last 10 years. My writing has appeared in Ma-Ka: Diasporic Juks:Contemporary Writings by Queers of African Descent; African Voices; Women In The Life: The Premier Lesbian Website and Monthly; and Think Again, as well as in various academic journals and publications including Sexualities; Journal of Bisexuality; Innovations in Transformative Learning: Space, Culture, and the Arts; and Blackberries and Redbones: Critical Articulations of Black Hair/Body Politics in Africana Communities. My first book, Conjuring Black Funk: Notes on Culture, Sexuality, and Spirituality, Volume I (Vintage Entity Press), a fiery collection of essays, poetry, and experimental writing, has been used in colleges and universities across the country. As an organic intellectual in the Gramscian sense, my research and teaching interests include: embodiment and consciousness; (queer) phenomenology; African culture, cosmology, ritual, and spirituality; Trickster mythology; Diasporic studies; sex and sexuality; sexual scripts theory; “the uses of the erotic as power;” bondage, discipline, domination, submission, sadism, and masochism (BDSM); culturally-relevant HIV education; chaos theory and complexity; cultural studies; human development; social change; Black youth activism of the 1960s; Black Feminist Thought; Afrocentric Thought; Black Queer Theory; performance and performativity; Theatre of the Oppressed; European male supremacy and European cultural hegemony; epistemology; qualitative research methods (particularly narrative inquiry, ethnographic inquiry, interviewing, and focus group); participatory action research and collaborative inquiry; Indigenous Knowledge Studies; Afrocentric Decolonizing Queer Theory; and Decolonizing and Reconstructing Epistemologies, Methodologies, and Practices; organization development; and systems thinking.
While those are my immediate interests, I am intrigued by opportunities to work with students in areas for which I have a limited background but which provide great co-learning experiences. I enjoy serving as companion and critical friend to students working on areas that are unfamiliar to both of us. I was initiated into the Shrine of Amen Ra at the age of 14 by Khafra Ndongo Amen, I studied Mdu Neter (hieroglyphics), Khemet cosmology and mysticism, Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Gong, and Hatha Yoga as well as mysticism with the late Sufi master Genghis Nor and Dagara shamanism and cosmology with Dr. Malidoma Somè.