Self-care has become a buzzword over the last few years. Influencers and companies from many different places have tried to package and put a price on what it means to heal in our capitalist society. Yet, this consumeristic notion of self-care is not the only path available. Black communities have a long relationship with navigating what it means to take care of themselves and others in a society rooted in anti-blackness. While the notion of the strong black woman has characterized previous social movements, the concepts of collective care and healing justice have emerged in more contemporary movements. Healing justice is a framework often associated with Black Queer Feminist, Cara Page and the Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective. It draws on multiple traditions and names the ways violent systems of our society must be dismantled as a part of true healing and caring for communities.
With this framework in place, healing is a political, embodied act that requires those who are healing to struggle against unjust systems. Part of this work is identifying and naming the false narratives and practices society perpetuates. These can be around what is entailed in caring for yourself and others, but also stories around what it means to be black, queer, disabled, or any other categories that shape our lives.
Thankfully, black feminists, black radical traditions, and current movements help name these processes on a societal level. Part of our individual work is identifying the ways these narratives run deep in our own lives and shape how we exist in communities and society at-large. This reality means becoming more rooted in our bodies in order to understanding the trauma society has inflicted upon them. The practice of meditation is one tool to help accomplish this lifelong task, as it allows us to observe and identify the thoughts, narratives, and feelings that arise in us as we navigate everyday life. In this episode, we hear from two people with experience in practicing mediation and living embodied lives oriented towards justice.
Owens, Lama Rod. Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation through Anger. Berkley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2020.
Piepzna-Samarasinha, Leah Lakshmi. Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice. Vancouver, BC: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2018.
Syedullah, Jasmine, Lama Rod Owens, and angel Kyodo Williams, Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation. North Atlantic Books: Berkeley, CA, 2014.
Taylor, Sonya Renee. The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love. Oakland, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2018.
Irresistible Podcast (formerly known as Healing Justice Podcast) – https://irresistible.org/podcast
Top photo: Ayaba & Zula by Bria Lauren, @theblauren._
Learn about forthcoming podcast episodes, newly published projects, research opportunities, public events, and more.Potential Students