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Black Freedom Beyond Borders: Memories of Abolition Day

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Book Chapter

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African American authors -- 21st century -- Anthologies, Antislavery movements, Slavery -- United States -- Fiction, Blacks -- Race identity


Story Summary:
In near future Portland, the police have been abolished, but what else is needed for real liberation? A gifted young woman and her mother struggle to communicate across a rift of unspoken history.

Foreword to Black Freedom Beyond Borders: Memories of Abolition Day

There are times when our lived reality feels stranger than science fiction - a viral pandemic, an economic crisis, global conflicts on multiple frontlines, the rise of white supremacist racism, a wave of state violence against Black bodies, the fiery uprisings across the nation, and militarized guards deployed in response… It was the Red Summer of 1919. Barely past 100 years later, it is as if we are quarantined in a time loop. As Black organizers call to divest, defund and abolish the police state - they have recast their roles from movement builders into worldbuilders. At a time when we need a big vision to show what is abundantly possible for liberation - Black creatives, writers and culture creators pave the way, setting the course for the investments, policy and ultimately the more free and just world we want to live in. In the tradition of Black Freedom Beyond Borders,1 Wakanda Dream Lab and PolicyLink collaborated on the Speculative Writer’s Room for Abolitionist Futures inviting 10 Black writers to imagine a world 100 years liberated from mass incarceration and generate immersive abolitionist stories across time, place, and communities. These stories are compiled into this digital anthology, Black Freedom Beyond Borders: Memories of Abolition Day.

The anthology sets a vision and a marker for PolicyLinksupported campaigns that are underway today to reimagine safety and restore resources to communities, including the People’s Coalition for Safety and Freedom—working to dismantle the harmful provisions of the 1994 Crime Bill— and Freedom Labs—supporting local organizers who are advocating to divest funding from the criminal-legal system and invest those resources directly in their communities. These surreal times call for visionary fiction. These stories not only explore Black Freedom beyond the borders of the prison, police and surveillance state - but also beyond the borders of time. We are being called to dream of liberated futures while also remembering, and repairing, our collective past. We are honoring the Fallen whose names we sing as hymns. We are dreaming the wildest dreams to gift our future beloveds. We are claiming the hard-won victories for new truths to emerge. We are celebrating Abolition Day! Because just like the protest chant echoing in our streets: “I. Believe. That. We Will. Win!”
-- Calvin Williams | Impact Producer | Wakanda Dream Lab


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, reserved by Wakanda Dream Lab.

All written works remain the property of their respective authors, licensed for use by Wakanda Dream Lab x PolicyLink for this publication, other media, and promotional purposes. The work may be shared intact and attributed as a whole to Wakanda Dream Lab x PolicyLink. Each individual story is subject to the permissions granted by their respective authors and may be reprinted individually with the authors’ approval.


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Black Freedom Beyond Borders : Memories of Abolition Day

Published in the United States 2020 by Wakanda Dream Lab x PolicyLink. Wakanda Dream Lab is a collective fan driven project that bridges the worlds of Black fandom and #Blacktivism for Black Liberation. It functions according to a value of emergence and celebrates the organic self-organizing nature of fandom. We intend to build on the aesthetics and pop culture appeal of Wakanda to develop a vision, principles, values and framework for prefigurative organizing of a new base of activists, artists and fans for Black Liberation. We believe that Black Liberation begets liberation of all peoples.

PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity by Lifting Up What Works. The PolicyLink signature Arts, Culture, and Equitable Development (ACED) Initiative uses arts and culture methods to support equitable policy change across the country. PolicyLink’s Community Safety and Justice program supports the visioning and building of an equitable and just system that keeps all communities safe while working to reduce the harm of our current prison and policing systems.

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