Charis and Auburn Avenue Research Library welcome Joy James and Da'Shaun Harrison in conversation with Jalessah Jackson for a book launch and signing in celebration of In Pursuit of Revolutionary Love: Precarity, Power, Communities. "Joy James’s Revolutionary Love is umph-degree love; or love beyond measure. It is anything love. It is love without reckoning. It is love that dares all things, beyond which others may find the spirit-force to survive; to live to fight another day. Such love is also fighting itself, for the sake of ensuring that others may live." --Mumia Abu-Jamal This event is co-hosted by Access Reproductive Care-Southeast. ARC-Southeast is a reproductive justice organization based in Atlanta, Georgia that funds abortion and builds power in the region.
This event takes place at the Auburn Avenue Research Library (101 Auburn Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303) and is free and open to the public. No ticket or reservation is required to attend. Books will be available for purchase from Charis Books and More. Masks are encouraged but not required. The event will be simulcast on the Auburn Ave Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/AuburnAvenueResearchLibrary/) for community members who do not wish to attend live.
Violence is arrayed against me because I'm Black, or female, or queer, or undocumented. There is no rescue team coming for us. With that knowledge, we need a different operational base to recreate the world. It is not going to be a celebrity savior. Never was, never will be. If you're in a religious tradition that is millennia-old, consider how the last savior went out. It was always going to be bloody. It was always going to be traumatic. But there's a beauty to facing the reality of our lives. Not our lives as they're broken apart, written about and then sold back to us in academic or celebrity discourse. But our lives as we understand them. The most important thing is showing up. Showing up and learning how to live by and with others, learning how to reinvent ourselves in this increasing wasteland. That's the good life.
Joy James is Ebenezer Fitch Professor of Humanities at Williams College. She is the author of Resisting State Violence; Shadowboxing: Representations of Black Feminist Politics, Transcending the Talented Tenth and Seeking the Beloved Community. James has published numerous articles on: political theory, police, prison and slavery abolition; radicalizing feminisms; diasporic anti-black racism; and US politics; and writes on the Captive Maternal through the lens of "The Womb of Western Theory." Creator of the digital Harriet Tubman Literary Circle at UT Austin https://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/handle/2152/7828, James is editor of The New Abolitionists: (Neo)Slave Narratives and Contemporary Prison Writings; Imprisoned Intellectuals;Warfare in the American Homeland; The Angela Y. Davis Reader; and co-editor of the Black Feminist Reader. James's most recent books include: In Pursuit of Revolutionary Love and New Bones Abolition: Captive Maternal Agency and the Afterlife of Erica Garner.
Da’Shaun Harrison is a Black trans theorist and storyteller in Atlanta, GA. Harrison has risen to national acclaim with the release of their debut title, Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness—published in August 2021. Belly of the Beast won the 2022 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Nonfiction, and since then, Harrison has been the recipient of ProjectHEAL’s “Inspire Award” and was listed as a Forbes 30 under 30 (Media) honoree. Harrison lectures on Blackness, fatness, gender, and their intersections. Harrison currently serves as Editor-at-Large at Scalawag Magazine and is the co-host of the podcast “Unsolicited: Fatties Talk Back.” Between the years 2019 and 2021, Harrison served as Associate Editor — and later as Managing Editor — of Wear Your Voice Magazine.
Harrison penned their first published piece in the summer of 2017 while navigating heightened poverty and homelessness. This would become the genesis of their writing career. Harrison writes not only as a means of survival, but with the belief that if the marginalized wish for a future where their history is depicted accurately and their stories are told correctly then they must document them. Writing, for Da’Shaun, is not solely a passion or talent, but it is the foundation on which their home—their love, their survival, their creativity—is built. It is their expression of self; their contribution to the documentation of the histories of oppressed/colonized peoples.Harrison’s writing has appeared in PhiladelphiaPrint, Medium, THEM, Black Youth Project, BET, and other online publications. They have also been featured in/interviewed by The Fader, Everyday Feminism, Buzzfeed, Teen Vogue, the New York Times, and other local and national publications.
Jalessah Jackson is a Black queer mother and interdisciplinary cultural worker in Atlanta. They serve as the Interim Executive Director of ARC-Southeast, an abortion fund and reproductive justice organization serving six states in the South. As a Reproductive Justice practitioner, Jalessah is committed to the fullest development of oppressed peoples’ collective power and self determination, and their approach to building power is rooted in a People's Centered Human Rights (PCHR) theory and practice.
Combining their formal educational training in Black Studies (BA), and Gender and Cultural Studies (MA) with their commitment to democratizing knowledge, Jalessah lectures and facilitates teach-ins and trainings in traditional and non-traditional classrooms. They have previously taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Public Health, African and African Diaspora Studies, and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. Jalessah collaborates with groups working on intersecting issues. They are a member of BAP-Atlanta, and the founder of the Decolonial Feminist Collective (DFC), a project that seeks to build the capacities to resist coloniality through popular and political education, mutual aid, and solidarity-building.
Violence is arrayed against me because I'm Black, or female, or queer, or undocumented. There is no rescue team coming for us. With that knowledge, we need a different operational base to recreate the world. It is not going to be a celebrity savior. Never was, never will be. If you're in a religious tradition that is millennia-old, consider how the last savior went out.
New Bones Abolition addresses "those of us broken enough to grow new bones" in order to stabilize our political traditions that renew freedom struggles. Reflecting on police violence, political movements, Black feminism, Erica Garner, Mumia Abu-Jamal, caretakers and compradors, Joy James analyzes the "Captive Maternal," which emerges from legacies of colonialism, chattel
**The 2022 Lammy Award Winner in Transgender Nonfiction**
Exploring the intersections of Blackness, gender, fatness, health, and the violence of policing.
Shadowboxing presents an explosive analysis of the history and practice of black feminisms, drawing upon political theory, history, and cultural studies in a sweepingly interdisciplinary work. Joy James charts new territory by synthesizing theories of social movements with cultural and identity politics.
These essays, by writer-activists incarcerated because of their political beliefs and acts, offer some controversial and thought-provoking theories of contemporary social change and liberation movements.
In Transcending the Talented Tenth, Joy James provocatively examines African American intellectual responses to racism and the role of elitism, sexism and anti-radicalism in black leadership politics throughout history.