Mac's Backs Femme Book Club discusses We Will Not Cancel Us by Adrienne Marie Brown
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 address harm and take down powerful abusers, often with the help of social media, call outs are seen by some as having gone too far. But what is "too far" when you're talking about imbalances of power and patterns of harm? And what happens when people in social justice movements direct their righteous anger inward at one another? In We Will Not Cancel Us, movement mediator adrienne maree brown reframes the discussion for us, in a way that points to possible paths beyond this impasse. Most critiques of cancel culture come from outside the milieus that produce it, sometimes even from its targets. However, 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 ways that reflect our values?
"This book offers much needed ground for those of us who 'are in the mud together' as Black feminists, abolitionists, co-strugglers, and everyday people. Through her own vulnerability, adrienne maree brown invites us to ask ourselves uncomfortable questions, to name our fears and terrors. She makes it clear that the solutions to our most pressing challenges squarely lie in how we relate to one another and to the tender spots that exist within our own-selves. We Will Not Cancel Us acknowledges humanity while inviting us to become more discerning, loving, and rigorous for the sake of collective liberation." --Charlene A. Carruthers, author of Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements
"This piece is part vulnerable inquiry, part loving challenge. adrienne risks in revealing both her unthinkable thoughts and the process of public grappling. Through this, she invites all of us into authentic reflection of our practices towards accountability and our commitments in them to both life and healing." --Prentis Hemphill, movement facilitator and former Healing Justice Director at Black Lives Matter Global Network
adrienne maree brown is the author of Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds; Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good; co-editor of Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements; cohost of How to Survive the End of the World and Octavia's Parables; and founder of the Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute.
The book is available at Mac's Backs or through our website at the 20% book club discount. Contact us for meeting details.