Leading up to Mayday, the nationwide Day of Refusal, and Abolition May, Saronik talks with Sean Gordon about abolition as an historical movement to end the transatlantic slave trade and a transformative justice movement to abolish prisons and defund the police. The episode focuses on the relationship between absence and presence, destruction and reconstruction, in abolitionist narratives and thought, and makes reference to Angela Davis’s Abolition Democracy: Beyond Empire, Prisons, and Torture (2005), Mariame Kaba’s We Do This ‘Til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice (2021), Tiffany Lethabo King’s The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies (2019), and works by W. E. B. Du Bois, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Frank Wilderson, and Jared Sexton. There is no doubt that abolition will save the world.

Sean recently finished his PhD in English and American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research and teaching focus on nineteenth-century American literature, abolition, and the environmental humanities.

You can visit the We Do This ‘Til We Free Us publisher’s website to donate copies of the book to people who are incarcerated.

Image: “A is for Abolition”, one in the series titled Collidescopes by Julia Bernier

Music used in promotional material: “Heartbeat” by ykymr

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