We Will Not Cancel Us: And Other Dreams of Transformative Justice

by ,

We Will Not Cancel Us (paperback, 2020, AK Press)

paperback, 88 pages

Published Nov. 17, 2020 by AK Press.


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4 star (1 review)

Cancel culture addresses real harm...and sometimes causes more. It’s time to think this through.

“Cancel” or “call-out” culture is a source of much tension and debate in American society. The infamous "Harper’s Letter,” signed by public intellectuals of both the left and right, sought to settle the matter and only caused greater division. Originating as a way for marginalized and disempowered people to address harm and take down powerful abusers, often with the help of social media, call outs are seen by some as having gone too far. But what is “too far” when you’re talking about imbalances of power and patterns of harm? And what happens when people in social justice movements direct their righteous anger inward at one another?

In We Will Not Cancel Us, movement mediator adrienne maree brown reframes the discussion for us, in a way that points to possible paths beyond this impasse. Most critiques …

introduction to transformation

4 star

Considering the title of the book, adrienne maree brown uses the terms 'cancel' and 'cancellation' far less than I would have expected, and the same for 'cancel culture'. The title grabs attention, and works to place itself inside the 'cancel culture' conversation, as opposed to uncritically accepting a reactionary term as an accurate description of the problem brown tackles. The booklet begins with an acknowledgement of its limitations and a reflection on the flaws of its core chapter, 'Unthinkable Thoughts'. This chapter, which was originally published online and appears as an edited version in the booklet, recieved some valid criticism, which brown acknowledges ahead of its appearance. It's not clear which parts of the essay have changed, which is something I would have found useful for comparison. However the original essay is available online! brown can be vague in places, and at times her language can be difficult to parse …