Black Abolitionist Feminism in the Face of COVID-19

This excerpt from my recent zine represents existence, resistance, and abolition during the pandemic, centering specifically on my experiences and internal world as a Black woman. There has been illness, fear, poverty, state neglect and violence, and death—but there has been community-making and resistance, as always. 

In these times, there is so much often invisible internal care work that is done by Black women (especially LGBTQ women) in our work and our movements. We mother our people, our families, our communities, acting as protectors and nurturers, even as few outside of ourselves protect and nurture us. And we create and put in motion the frameworks and praxis of transformative justice, mutual aid, communities without policing and incarceration, where we work and strive to spring all people free from all cages. 

We do this work with a vulnerability and a radical belief in our inherent collective humanity, which is so often erased and can be hard for us to show or discuss. Inherent to our identity is the idea, put onto us by colonizers, that we do not hurt nor bleed nor suffer but take all harms and burdens gladly. I hope to both recognize the sweetness and the strength of Black womanhood, while also highlighting our abolitionist demands, which center around the health and caring of our communities.

We are not the plague; this system is. We do not need an infectious disease or some viral reckoning to create a better world. We can do it. We already are making the world we deserve in so many ways.

-Briana Urena

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