Abolitionism and the Captive Maternal
By Joy James
Joy James spent a year in which she addressed the legacy of Erica Garner, the daughter of Eric Garner. From this she offers us a new framework for inspired abolitionist organizing and risk-taking today, one that situates the everyday and ordinary acts of revolutionary love and caretaking at the radical root of resistance to anti-Blackness. New Bones addresses "those of us broken enough to grow new bones" about the new traditions we inherit and renew in the struggle for freedom. James introduces us to a powerful figure in these struggles, the "captive maternal," who emerge from communities devastated by or disappeared within the legacy of colonialism and chattel slavery, and who sustain resistance and rebellion toward the horizon of collective liberation.
She recognizes a long line of such freedom fighters, women and men alike, who transform from coerced or conflicted caretakers within a racial order to builders of movements and maroon spaces, and ultimately into war resisters mobilized against genocide and state violence. From Mamie Till-Mobley, the mother of Emmit Till, to the incarcerated at Attica prison in 1971, to Erica Garner, the daughter of Eric Garner, the captive maternal is rarely celebrated in the annals of abolition but are essential to its work.
- Common Notions (6/13/23)
- 1.1 x 0.5 x 1.1 inches