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How do we make social justice the most pleasurable human experience? How can we awaken within ourselves desires that make it impossible to settle for anything less than a fulfilling life? Editor adrienne maree brown finds the answer in something she calls "Pleasure Activism," a politics of healing and happiness that explodes the dour myth that changing the world is just another form of work. Drawing on the black feminist tradition, including Audre Lourde's invitation to use the erotic as power and Toni Cade Bambara's exhortation that we make the revolution irresistible, the contributors to this volume take up the challenge to rethink the ground rules of activism. Writers including Cara Page of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation For Justice, Sonya Renee Taylor, founder of This Body Is Not an Apology, and author Alexis Pauline Gumbs cover a wide array of subjects—from sex work to climate change, from race and gender to sex and drugs—they create new narratives about how politics can feel good and how what feels good always has a complex politics of its own. Building on the success of her popular Emergent Strategy, brown launches a new series of the same name with this volume, bringing readers books that explore experimental, expansive, and innovative ways to meet the challenges that face our world today. Books that find the opportunity in every crisis!
Emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. In the framework of emergence, the whole is a mirror of the parts. Existence is fractal - the health of the cell is the health of the species and the planet. Change is constant. This book is about how we can shape the changes we experience to match our intentions using strategic methods that are as adaptive, resilient decentralised, and interdependent as the patterns of flocking birds or differentiating cells. A secular spirituality based equally on science and science fiction.
Cancel culture addresses real harm...and sometimes causes more. It’s time to think this through. “Cancel” or “call-out” culture is a source of much tension and debate in American society. The infamous “Harper’s Letter,” signed by public intellectuals of both the left and right, sought to settle the matter and only caused greater division. Originating as a way for marginalized and disempowered people to take down more powerful abusers, often with the help of social media, cancel culture is seen by some as having gone “too far.” Adrienne maree brown, a respected cultural voice and a professional mediator, reframes the discussion for us, in a way that points to possible ways beyond the impasse. Most critiques of cancel culture come from outside the milieus that produce it, sometimes from even from its targets. Brown explores the question from a Black, queer, and feminist viewpoint that gently asks, how well does this practice serve us? Does it prefigure the sort of world we want to live in? And, if it doesn’t, how do we seek accountability and redress for harm in a way that reflects our values?
In Bodyminds Reimagined Sami Schalk traces how black women's speculative fiction complicates the understanding of bodyminds—the intertwinement of the mental and the physical—in the context of race, gender, and (dis)ability. Bridging black feminist theory with disability studies, Schalk demonstrates that this genre's political potential lies in the authors' creation of bodyminds that transcend reality's limitations. She reads (dis)ability in neo-slave narratives by Octavia Butler (Kindred) and Phyllis Alesia Perry (Stigmata) not only as representing the literal injuries suffered under slavery, but also as a metaphor for the legacy of racial violence. The fantasy worlds in works by N. K. Jemisin, Shawntelle Madison, and Nalo Hopkinson—where werewolves have obsessive-compulsive-disorder and blind demons can see magic—destabilize social categories and definitions of the human, calling into question the very nature of identity. In these texts, as well as in Butler’s Parable series, able-mindedness and able-bodiedness are socially constructed and upheld through racial and gendered norms. Outlining (dis)ability's centrality to speculative fiction, Schalk shows how these works open new social possibilities while changing conceptualizations of identity and oppression through nonrealist contexts.
Against queer theory's long-suffering romance with mourning and melancholia and a national agenda that urges homosexuals to renounce pleasure if they want to be taken seriously, Acts of Gaiety seeks to reanimate notions of "gaiety" as a political value for LGBT activism by recovering earlier mirthful modes of political performance. The book mines the archives of lesbian-feminist activism of the 1960s–70s, highlighting the outrageous gaiety—including camp, kitsch, drag, guerrilla theater, zap actions, rallies, manifestos, pageants, and parades alongside "legitimate theater”-- at the center of the social and theatrical performances of the era. Juxtaposing figures such as Valerie Solanas and Jill Johnston with more recent performers and activists including Hothead Paisan, Bitch and Animal, and the Five Lesbian Brothers, Sara Warner shows how reclaiming this largely discarded and disavowed past elucidates possibilities for being and belonging. Acts of Gaiety explores the mutually informing histories of gayness as politics and as joie de vivre, along with the centrality of liveliness to queer performance and protest.
Facilitation and mediation are important skills in our highly organized world. Holding Change is a guide for attending to both in ways that align with nature, with pleasure, with our best imaginings of our future. It provides lessons for generating the ease necessary to move through life’s inevitable struggles and for practicing the art of holding others without losing ourselves. Black feminists have evolved this wisdom, but it can serve anyone working to create change, individually, interpersonally, and within our organizations. The majority of the book is sourced from brown’s twenty-plus years of facilitation and mediation work, with additional wisdom from a selection of living Black feminist facilitators and mediators.
Grievers is the story of a city so plagued by grief that it can no longer function. Dune’s mother is patient zero of a mysterious illness that stops people in their tracks—in mid-sentence, mid-action, mid-life—casting them into a nonresponsive state from which no one recovers. Dune must navigate poverty and the loss of her mother as Detroit’s hospitals, morgues, and graveyards begin to overflow. As the quarantined city slowly empties of life, she investigates what caused the plague, and what might end it, following in the footsteps of her late researcher father, who has a physical model of Detroit’s history and losses set up in their basement. She dusts it off and begins tracking the sick and dying, discovering patterns, finding comrades in curiosity, conspiracies for the fertile ground of the city, and the unexpected magic that emerges when the debt of grief is cleared.
The New York Times bestselling book of essays celebrating ordinary delights in the world around us by one of America's most original and observant writers, award-winning poet Ross Gay. As Heard on NPR's This American Life “Ross Gay’s eye lands upon wonder at every turn, bolstering my belief in the countless small miracles that surround us.” —Tracy K. Smith, Pulitzer Prize winner and U.S. Poet Laureate The winner of the NBCC Award for Poetry offers up a spirited collection of short lyrical essays, written daily over a tumultuous year, reminding us of the purpose and pleasure of praising, extolling, and celebrating ordinary wonders. In The Book of Delights, one of today’s most original literary voices offers up a genre-defying volume of lyric essays written over one tumultuous year. The first nonfiction book from award-winning poet Ross Gay is a record of the small joys we often overlook in our busy lives. Among Gay’s funny, poetic, philosophical delights: a friend’s unabashed use of air quotes, cradling a tomato seedling aboard an airplane, the silent nod of acknowledgment between the only two black people in a room. But Gay never dismisses the complexities, even the terrors, of living in America as a black man or the ecological and psychic violence of our consumer culture or the loss of those he loves. More than anything else, though, Gay celebrates the beauty of the natural world–his garden, the flowers peeking out of the sidewalk, the hypnotic movements of a praying mantis. The Book of Delights is about our shared bonds, and the rewards that come from a life closely observed. These remarkable pieces serve as a powerful and necessary reminder that we can, and should, stake out a space in our lives for delight.
Octavia's Brood by Walidah Imarisha,adrienne maree brown Pdf
Whenever we envision a world without war, without prisons, without capitalism, we are producing speculative fiction. Organizers and activists envision, and try to create, such worlds all the time. Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown have brought twenty of them together in the first anthology of short stories to explore the connections between radical speculative fiction and movements for social change. The visionary tales of Octavia’s Brood span genres—sci-fi, fantasy, horror, magical realism—but all are united by an attempt to inject a healthy dose of imagination and innovation into our political practice and to try on new ways of understanding ourselves, the world around us, and all the selves and worlds that could be. The collection is rounded off with essays by Tananarive Due and Mumia Abu-Jamal, and a preface by Sheree Renée Thomas. PRAISE FOR OCTAVIA'S BROOD: "Those concerned with justice and liberation must always persuade the mass of people that a better world is possible. Our job begins with speculative fictions that fire society's imagination and its desire for change. In adrienne maree brown and Walidah Imarisha's visionary conception, and by its activist-artists' often stunning acts of creative inception, Octavia's Brood makes for great thinking and damn good reading. The rest will be up to us." —Jeff Chang, author of Who We Be: The Colorization of America “Conventional exclamatory phrases don’t come close to capturing the essence of what we have here in Octavia’s Brood. One part sacred text, one part social movement manual, one part diary of our future selves telling us, ‘It’s going to be okay, keep working, keep loving.’ Our radical imaginations are under siege and this text is the rescue mission. It is the new cornerstone of every class I teach on inequality, justice, and social change....This is the text we’ve been waiting for.” —Ruha Benjamin, professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and author of People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier "Octavia once told me that two things worried her about the future of humanity: The tendency to think hierarchically, and the tendency to place ourselves higher on the hierarchy than others. I think she would be humbled beyond words that the fine, thoughtful writers in this volume have honored her with their hearts and minds. And that in calling for us to consider that hierarchical structure, they are not walking in her shadow, nor standing on her shoulders, but marching at her side." —Steven Barnes, author of Lion’s Blood “Never has one book so thoroughly realized the dream of its namesake. Octavia's Brood is the progeny of two lovers of Octavia Butler and their belief in her dream that science fiction is for everybody.... Butler could not wish for better evidence of her touch changing our literary and living landscapes. Play with these children, read these works, and find the children in you waiting to take root under the stars!” —Moya Bailey and Ayana Jamieson, Octavia E. Butler Legacy “Like [Octavia] Butler's fiction, this collection is cartography, a map to freedom.” —dream hampton, filmmaker and Visiting Artist at Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts Walidah Imarisha is a writer, organizer, educator, and spoken word artist. She is the author of the poetry collectionScars/Stars and facilitates writing workshops at schools, community centers, youth detention facilities, and women's prisons. adrienne maree brown is a 2013 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow writing science fiction in Detroit, Michigan. She received a 2013 Detroit Knight Arts Challenge Award to run a series of Octavia Butler–based writing workshops.
Journal of Radical Permission by adrienne maree brown,Sonya Renee Taylor Pdf
Bestselling authors adrienne maree brown and Sonya Renee Taylor create an unforgettable and transformational experience of journaling your way into your most authentic self. It's time to claim our permission to live out our purpose. Based on the bestselling philosophies of radical self-love, emergent strategy, and pleasure activism, this journal gives you permission to love yourself, deeply, as you are. Journaling to these prompts will help you surrender to your body's needs instead of forcing yourself into cramped disciplines. It will encourage you to become awed by the natural beauty of your divine self instead of being rampantly self-critical. It will aid you in embracing your shadows and accepting responsibility for your impact all while liberating you to just be. Taylor and brown have designed a twelve-week course called the Institute of Radical Permission where participants uproot old patterns and create new conditions for claiming miraculous potential. This structured journal, based on the course, provides six key practices, with prompts for each practice that center on curiosity, surrender, grace, and satisfaction. The daily prompts for self-inquiry and words of wisdom from the authors can be used in conjunction with the course (which can be accessed at radicalpermission.org) or on its own as part of your journey toward healing.
Miss Vera's Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls by Veronica Vera Pdf
It is estimated that three to five percent of the adult male population of the United States feels the need, at least occasionally, to dress in women's clothing. Judging from enrollment at her academy, Miss Vera would say that figure is low. Veronica Vera founded Miss Vera's Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls in 1992 and started a gender revolution. Working from the pink palace of the Academy's intimate Manhattan campus, she has helped hundreds of students embrace and master Venus Envy through her expert instruction in the arts of dressing up, making up, going out, and acting like a lady. In her new book, she shares her priceless wisdom with the world. With sparkling wit and dazzling insight, Miss V gives us the 411 on body hair, foundation garments, make-up, and dressing, as well as offering invaluable advice on Creating a Herstory (finding the real life story of the femmeself within) speech, manners, walking in high heels, and--that biggest step of all--going out in the real world all dressed up. Amply illustrated and filled with the real stories of students and graduates, Miss Vera's Finishing School also offers a fascinating history of how the Academy came to be, as well as Miss Vera's own incisive gender manifesto. "As we step boldly toward the new millennium, many more of us will be doing it in high heels," says Veronica Vera. In Miss Vera's Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls, she proves conclusively that, after a long day in wingtips, there's nothing like slipping into a pair of spiked heels.
Undrowned is a book-length meditation for social movements and our whole species based on the subversive and transformative guidance of marine mammals. Our aquatic cousins are queer, fierce, protective of each other, complex, shaped by conflict, and struggling to survive the extractive and militarized conditions our species has imposed on the ocean. Gumbs employs a brilliant mix of poetic sensibility and naturalist observation to show what they might teach us, producing not a specific agenda but an unfolding space for wondering and questioning. From the relationship between the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale and Gumbs’s Shinnecock and enslaved ancestors to the ways echolocation changes our understandings of “vision” and visionary action, this is a masterful use of metaphor and natural models in the service of social justice.
What is the true meaning of happiness? Lynne Segal explores the radical potential of being together Why are we so obsessed by the pursuit of happiness? With new ways to measure contentment we are told that we have a right to individual joy. But at what cost? In an age of increasing individualism, we have never been more alone and miserable. But what if the true nature of happiness can only be found in others? In Radical Happiness, leading feminist thinker Lynne Segal believes that we have lost the art of radical happiness— the art of transformative, collective joy. She shows that only in the revolutionary potential of coming together it is that we can come to understand the powers of flourishing. Radical Happiness is a passionate call for the re-discovery of the political and emotional joy that emerge when we learn to share our lives together.