The Best Books of 2019 (So Far)
This collection of black feminist thought describes the radical idea Adrienne Maree Brown and others call pleasure activism. Much more than "work," Brown asserts the revolution must hold space for pleasure and identify what activates and excites us. Bringing together the brilliant minds of black feminist thinkers both past and present, Pleasure Activism is a critical piece for today's revolutionary. Recommended By Alex Y., Powells.com
Adrienne Maree Brown believes that all activism is science fiction — writing into being a reality that hasn't existed before. That's an exciting idea, but the work of changing the world is also exhausting, and often leaves me focused on suffering, not to mention struggling with all the puritanism our culture is steeped in. But in Pleasure Activism, Brown facilitates a lush feminist conversation centered on black and queer voices that thrills with the possibilities of a reality where the most marginalized members of society live in sensual and spiritual abundance. My heart fairly burst with excitement as I read about how we might live from our internal orgasmic yes: at home in our sensual bodies, sharing love and communion with each other, and deeply engaged in pleasure and play. This book is truly a cold drink of water for the thirsty soul! Recommended By Leanna M., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
How do we make social justice the most pleasurable human experience? How can we awaken within ourselves desires that make it impossible to settle for anything less than a fulfilling life? Author and editor adrienne maree brown finds the answer in something she calls “pleasure activism,” a politics of healing and happiness that explodes the dour myth that changing the world is just another form of work. Drawing on the black feminist tradition, she challenges us to rethink the ground rules of activism. Her mindset-altering essays are interwoven with conversations and insights from other feminist thinkers, including Audre Lorde, Joan Morgan, Cara Page, Sonya Renee Taylor, and Alexis Pauline Gumbs. Together they cover a wide array of subjects — from sex work to climate change, from race and gender to sex and drugs — building new narratives about how politics can feel good and how what feels good always has a complex politics of its own.
Building on the success of her popular Emergent Strategy, brown launches a new series of the same name with this volume, bringing readers books that explore experimental, expansive, and innovative ways to meet the challenges that face our world today. Books that find the opportunity in every crisis!
"adrienne marie brown is back, again dropping wisdom about alternative ways to live at this deeply fucked-up moment ... Let this book be the best Valentine's Day gift you've ever given yourself." Vice/Broadly
“Engaging with politics and social justice issues, whether it's climate change, race, or gender, can feel like work (and it is). Adrienne maree brown makes the case that you can feel good while doing so....[Pleasure Activism] will challenge you to rethink your approach to changing the world.” Victoria Rodriguez, Mashable
"Pleasure Activism is an invitation to know ourselves and be in conversation with the desire of our lustful imaginations....[I]t makes our personal liberation irresistible." Jasmine Burnett, activist and anti-oppression consultant
"adrienne maree brown elucidates a philosophy of Pleasure Activism to transform individuals and so the world. Her explicit instructions encourage orgasms of the body, mind and spirit. First, in support of our own authentic lives, then so that we can live in loving community with others. It’s like a wise and juicy black goddess reopened Eden and said, 'Okay, everybody, let’s try this again.'" Veronica Vera, author & founder of Miss Vera’s Finishing School For Boys Who Want to Be Girls
About the Author
adrienne maree brown, author of Emergent Strategy and coeditor of Octavia’s Brood, is a social justice facilitator focused on black liberation, a doula/healer, and a pleasure activist. She lives in Detroit.