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An Abolitionist's Handbook: 12 Steps to Changing Yourself and the World

An Abolitionist's Handbook: 12 Steps to Changing Yourself and the World

by Patrisse Cullors


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Activist and co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Patrisse Cullors draws from years of political, social and humanitarian engagement to offer a handbook, a primer, a road map, a 12-step program and a self-care manual all in one. Cullors' intent is to help us toward imagining a new world, one achieved by the abolition of current carceral systems and guided by tenets of transformative justice, a system “rooted in dignity and care for all people.” An Abolitionist's Handbook challenges us to mindfully and powerfully step up, while offering a helping hand.

In AN ABOLITIONIST’S HANDBOOK, Cullors charts a framework for how everyday activists can effectively fight for an abolitionist present and future.

Filled with relatable pedagogy on the history of abolition, a reimagining of what reparations look like for Black lives and real-life anecdotes from Cullors AN ABOLITIONIST’S HANDBOOK offers a bold, innovative, and humanistic approach to how to be a modern-day abolitionist. Cullors asks us to lead with love, fierce compassion, and precision.

In AN ABOLITIONIST’S HANDBOOK readers will learn how to:

- have courageous conversations
- move away from reaction and towards response
- take care of oneself while fighting for others
- turn inter-community conflict into a transformative action
- expand one’s imagination, think creatively, and find the courage to experiment
- make justice joyful
- practice active forgiveness
- make space for difficult feelings and honor mental health
- practice non-harm and cultivate compassion
- organize local and national governments to work towards abolition
- move away from cancel culture

AN ABOLITIONIST’S HANDBOOK is for those who are looking to reimagine a world where communities are treated with dignity, care and respect. It gives us permission to move away from cancel culture and into visioning change and healing.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250272973
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/25/2022
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 38,773
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Patrisse Cullors is a New York Times bestselling author, educator, artist and abolitionist from Los Angeles, CA. Co-founder and former Executive Director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Patrisse has been on the frontlines of abolitionist organizing for 20 years. Since she began the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013, it has expanded into a global foundation supporting Black-led movements in the US, UK and Canada and has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. TIME 100 also named Patrisse as one of the 100 most influential people in 2020. As an outspoken abolitionist and artist, Patrisse teamed up with Noé Olivas and Alexandre Dorriz to serve as a co-founder of the Crenshaw Dairy Mart, a reimagined art gallery and studio dedicated to shifting the trauma-induced conditions of poverty and economic injustice through the lens of Inglewood and its community. Patrisse is also the faculty director of Arizona’s Prescott College, a new Social and Environmental Arts Practice MFA program, which she developed nesting a curriculum focused on the intersection of art, social justice and community organizing that is first of its kind. In 2020, Patrisse signed an overall production deal with Warner Brothers, where she intends to continue to uplift Black stories, talent and creators that are transforming the world of art and culture. Her books include When They Call You a Terrorist and An Abolitionist's Handbook.

Table of Contents

Foreword adrienne maree brown xi

Introduction Prends Hemphill xv

What is a Handbook? 1

Step #1 Courageous Conversations 15

Step #2 Respond vs. React 39

Step #3 Nothing Is Fixed 71

Step #4 Say Yes to Imagination 85

Step #5 Forgive Actively, Not Passively 115

Step #6 Allow Yourself to Feel 133

Step #7 Commit to Not Harming or Abusing Others 150

Step #8 Practice Accountability 181

Step #9 Embrace Non-Reformist Reform 201

Step #10 Build Community 217

Step #11 Value Interpersonal Relationships 232

Step #12 Fight the U.S. State Rather Than Make It Stronger 245

Acknowledgments 259

Notes 261

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