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About Mariame Kaba
Mariame Kaba is an organizer, educator and curator who’s active in numerous social movements for prison abolition, racial justice, gender justice, and transformative justice. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Nation Magazine, the Guardian, The Washington Post, In These Times, Jacobin, The New Inquiry, Teen Vogue and more. She is the author of the New York Times Bestseller We Do This Til We Free Us.
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Titles By Mariame Kaba
New York Times Bestseller
“Organizing is both science and art. It is thinking through a vision, a strategy, and then figuring out who your targets are, always being concerned about power, always being concerned about how you’re going to actually build power in order to be able to push your issues, in order to be able to get the target to actually move in the way that you want to.”
What if social transformation and liberation isn’t about waiting for someone else to come along and save us? What if ordinary people have the power to collectively free ourselves? In this timely collection of essays and interviews, Mariame Kaba reflects on the deep work of abolition and transformative political struggle.
With a foreword by Naomi Murakawa and chapters on seeking justice beyond the punishment system, transforming how we deal with harm and accountability, and finding hope in collective struggle for abolition, Kaba’s work is deeply rooted in the relentless belief that we can fundamentally change the world. As Kaba writes, “Nothing that we do that is worthwhile is done alone.”
Transformative justice seeks to solve the problem of violence at the grassroots level, without relying on punishment, incarceration, or policing. Community-based approaches to preventing crime and repairing its damage have existed for centuries. However, in the putative atmosphere of contemporary criminal justice systems, they are often marginalized and operate under the radar. Beyond Survival puts these strategies front and center as real alternatives to today’s failed models of confinement and “correction.”
In this collection, a diverse group of authors focuses on concrete and practical forms of redress and accountability, assessing existing practices and marking paths forward. They use a variety of forms—from toolkits to personal essays—to delve deeply into the “how to” of transformative justice, providing alternatives to calling the police, ways to support people having mental health crises, stories of community-based murder investigations, and much more. At the same time, they document the history of this radical movement, creating space for long-time organizers to reflect on victories, struggles, mistakes, and transformations.
Edited by activist and former San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Abolition for the People is a manifesto calling for a world beyond prisons and policing.
Abolition for the People brings together thirty essays representing a diversity of voices—political prisoners, grassroots organizers, scholars, and relatives of those killed by the anti-Black terrorism of policing and prisons. This collection presents readers with a moral choice: “Will you continue to be actively complicit in the perpetuation of these systems,” Kaepernick asks in his introduction, “or will you take action to dismantle them for the benefit of a just future?”
Powered by courageous hope and imagination, Abolition for the People provides a blueprint and vision for creating an abolitionist future where communities can be safe, valued, and truly free. “Another world is possible,” Kaepernick writes, “a world grounded in love, justice, and accountability, a world grounded in safety and good health, a world grounded in meeting the needs of the people.”
The complexity of abolitionist concepts and the enormity of the task at hand can be overwhelming. To help readers on their journey toward a greater understanding, each essay in the collection is followed by a reader’s guide that offers further provocations on the subject.
Newcomers to these ideas might ask: Is the abolition of the prison industrial complex too drastic? Can we really get rid of prisons and policing altogether? As writes organizer and New York Times bestselling author Mariame Kaba, “The short answer: We can. We must. We are.”
Abolition for the People begins by uncovering the lethal anti-Black histories of policing and incarceration in the United States. Juxtaposing today’s moment with 19th-century movements for the abolition of slavery, freedom fighter Angela Y. Davis writes “Just as we hear calls today for a more humane policing, people then called for a more humane slavery.” Drawing on decades of scholarship and personal experience, each author deftly refutes the notion that police and prisons can be made fairer and more humane through piecemeal reformation. As Derecka Purnell argues, “reforms do not make the criminal legal system more just, but obscure its violence more efficiently.”
Blending rigorous analysis with first-person narratives, Abolition for the People definitively makes the case that the only political future worth building is one without and beyond police and prisons.
You won’t find all the answers here, but you will find the right questions--questions that open up radical possibilities for a future where all communities can thrive.
A persuasive primer on police abolition from two veteran organizers
“One of the world’s most prominent advocates, organizers and political educators of the [abolitionist] framework.” —NBCNews.com on Mariame Kaba
In this powerful call to action, New York Times bestselling author Mariame Kaba and attorney and organizer Andrea J. Ritchie detail why policing doesn’t stop violence, instead perpetuating widespread harm; outline the many failures of contemporary police reforms; and explore demands to defund police, divest from policing, and invest in community resources to create greater safety through a Black feminist lens.
Centering survivors of state, interpersonal, and community-based violence, and highlighting uprisings, campaigns, and community-based projects, No More Police makes a compelling case for a world where the tools required to prevent, interrupt, and transform violence in all its forms are abundant. Part handbook, part road map, No More Police calls on us to turn away from systems that perpetrate violence in the name of ending it toward a world where violence is the exception, and safe, well-resourced and thriving communities are the rule.
Born from sustained organizing, and rooted in Black and women of color feminisms, disability justice, and other movements, abolition calls for an end to our reliance on imprisonment, policing and surveillance, and to imagine a safer future for our communities.
Lessons in Liberation: An Abolitionist Toolkit for Educators offers entry points to build critical and intentional bridges between educational practice and the growing movement for abolition. Designed for educators, parents, and young people, this toolkit shines a light on innovative abolitionist projects, particularly in Pre-K–12 learning contexts.
Sections are dedicated to entry points into Prison Industrial Complex abolition and education; the application of the lessons and principles of abolition; and stories about growing abolition outside of school settings. Topics addressed throughout include student organizing, immigrant justice in the face of ICE, approaches to sex education, arts-based curriculum, and building abolitionist skills and thinking in lesson plans.
The result of patient and urgent work, and more than five years in the making, Lessons in Liberation invites educators into the work of abolition.
Contributors include Black Organizing Project, Chicago Women’s Health Center, Mariame Kaba and Project NIA, Bettina L. Love, the MILPA Collective, and artists from the Justseeds Collective, among others.
In this groundbreaking collection, more than fifty cutting-edge feminist writers—including Melissa Harris-Perry, Janet Mock, Sheila Heti, and Mia McKenzie—invite us to imagine a world of freedom and equality in which:
An abortion provider reinvents birth control . . .
The economy values domestic work . . .
A teenage rock band dreams up a new way to make music . . .
The Constitution is re-written with women’s rights at the fore . . .
The standard for good sex is raised with a woman’s pleasure in mind . . .
The Feminist Utopia Project challenges the status quo that accepts inequality and violence as a given, “offering playful, earnest, challenging, and hopeful versions of our collective future in the form of creative nonfiction, fiction, visual art, poetry, and more” (Library Journal).
Both theoretical and pragmatic, this refreshingly savvy book charts a course for the Black Lives Matter generation.
In the United States, both struggles against oppression and the gains made by various movements for equality have often been led by Black people. Still, though progress has regularly been fueled by radical Black efforts, liberal politics are based on ideas and practices that impede the continued progress of Black America. Building on their original essay “The Anarchism of Blackness,” Samudzi and Anderson show the centrality of anti-Blackness to the foundational violence of the United States and to the racial structures upon which it is based as a nation. Racism is not, they say, simply a product of capitalism. Rather, we must understand how anti-Blackness shaped the contours and logics of European colonialism and its many legacies, to the extent that “Blackness” and “citizenship” are exclusive categories.
As Black As Resistance makes the case for a new program of self-defense and transformative politics for Black Americans, one rooted in an anarchistic framework that the authors liken to the Black experience itself. This book argues against compromise and negotiation with intolerance. It is a manifesto for everyone who is ready to continue progressing towards liberation.
“As Black as Resistance is an urgently needed book . . . a call to action through an embrace of the anarchy of blackness as a recognition and a refusal of the deathly logics of liberalism and consumption. In the face of the ever expanding carceral state, levels of inequality, environmental degradation, and resurgent fascism, this book offers a map to imagining the liberated futures that we can and must and do make.” —Christina Sharpe, author of In the Wake: On Blackness and Being
In late May 1918 in Valdosta, Georgia, ten Black men and one Black woman—Mary Turner, eight months pregnant at the time—were lynched and tortured by mobs of white citizens.
Through hauntingly detailed full-color artwork and collage, Elegy for Mary Turner names those who were killed, identifies the killers, and evokes a landscape in which the NAACP investigated the crimes when the state would not and a time when white citizens baked pies and flocked to see Black corpses while Black people fought to make their lives—and their mourning—matter.
Included are contributions from C. Tyrone Forehand, great-grandnephew of Mary and Hayes Turner, whose family has long campaigned for the deaths to be remembered; abolitionist activist and educator Mariame Kaba, reflecting on the violence visited on Black women’s bodies; and historian Julie Buckner Armstrong, who opens a window onto the broader scale of lynching’s terror in American history.
Invisible No More is a timely examination of how Black women, Indigenous women, and women of color experience racial profiling, police brutality, and immigration enforcement. By placing the individual stories of Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Dajerria Becton, Monica Jones, and Mya Hall in the broader context of the twin epidemics of police violence and mass incarceration, Andrea Ritchie documents the evolution of movements centered around women’s experiences of policing. Featuring a powerful forward by activist Angela Davis, Invisible No More is an essential exposé on police violence against WOC that demands a radical rethinking of our visions of safety—and the means we devote to achieving it.
“This book is a crucial tool for parents, educators, and anyone who cares about the well-being of children who, through no fault of their own, are forced to bear the consequences of our country’s obsession with incarceration. For children who desperately miss their parents, feel confused, or are teased at school, this book can go a long way in letting them know that they are not alone and in normalizing their experiences.” —Eve L. Ewing
A little girl who misses her father because he's away in prison shares how his absence affects different parts of her life. Her greatest excitement is the days when she gets to visit her beloved father. With gorgeous illustrations throughout, this book illuminates the heartaches of dealing with missing a parent and shows that a little girl's love can overcome her father's incarceration.
Mariame Kaba is an educator and organizer based in New York City. She has been active in anti-criminalization and anti-violence movements for the past thirty years.
bria royal is a multidiscipliinary artist based in Chicago.
In a society where beauty standards can be difficult if not downright unobtainable for many Black women, the issue of hair is a major one. Now, in this evocative and fascinating collection of essays, poems, excerpts, and more, Tenderheaded speaks to the personal, political, and cultural meaning of Black hair.
From A’Leila Perry Bundles, the great-granddaughter of hair care pioneer Madam C.J. Walker celebrating her ancestor’s legacy, to an art historian exploring the moving ways in which Black hair has been used to express Yoruba spirituality, to renowned activist Angela Davis questioning how her message of revolution got reduced to a hairstyle, Tenderheaded is as rich and diverse as the children of the African diaspora.
With works from authors including Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, bell hooks, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and more, this “remarkable array of writings and images” (Publishers Weekly) will stay with you long after you turn the final page.
The voices of those experiencing life in the long term are often not heard. This collection of essays and personal stories from the people most impacted by long-term incarceration in Statesville Prison bring light to the crisis of mass incarceration and the human cost of excessive sentencing. Compelling, moving narratives from those most affected by the prison industrial complex make a compelling case that death by incarceration is cruel and unusual punishment.
Implemented in the 1990’s and 2000’s harsh sentencing policies, commonly labeled “tough on crime,” became a bipartisan political agenda. These policies had real impacts on families and communities, particularly as they caused the removal of many non-white and poor individuals from cities like Chicago.
The Long Term brings into the light what has previously been hidden, a counter-narrative to the tough on crime agenda and an urgent plea for a more humane criminal justice system. The book is a critical contribution to the current debate around challenging the mass incarceration and ending mandatory sentencing, especially for non-violent offenders.