Publisher: AK Press
Released: November 15, 2022
A way to deepen our understanding of the relationship between social justice and the work of healing—healing as individuals, communities, and societies.
The newest title in the Emergent Strategy Series, Liberated to the Bone, addresses the intersections between healing our physical bodies and healing our social relations which are shaped by violence. Bodyworker and cultural worker Susan Raffo addresses intergenerational trauma, social justice, organizing, and how all of these things are relevant to our bodies. The book illuminates three different approaches to healing: ending violence, the significance of being rooted in the present, and creating the conditions to address unfinished histories and generational trauma. By showing how these approaches are intricately connected—physically and emotionally—Raffo interrupts the traumatic binaries of the political and spiritual, the physical and intellectual, and healing and organizing.
Praise for Liberated to the Bone
"This book speaks to the relationships we need for our collective liberation. This is a vibrant, complex and a veritable feast for our hunger, our hearts, our collective spirits and breath. Raffo speaks to our kin and asks us to shape our relationships to earth, to bodies, to histories, and transformation. Her words are a path toward shedding our fears and building new cosmologies for connection and healing. This book is medicine as necessary as blood, as bone, as air, as seeds, as water is to our collective memories and futures."
—Cara Page, Cultural Worker/Organizer, co-founding member of the Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective
"There is much talk in Indian Country about decolonizing our minds. Raffo has set readers on a path to decolonizing our bodies, our entirety. Unlearning, learning, and 'being' ourselves into healing from seven generations of dis-ease. And doing so willingly and ably in community—doing this together, collectively, for the better of the whole. Miigwech, Susan."
—Marcie Rendon, author of Cash Blackbear Mysteries
"Reading Susan Raffo is like coming home to what we know is true and didn't quite know how to say. Her essays move us inward and forward. She grounds us in deep and ancient love and calls us to claim our own version, a fierce invitation to ourselves and each other. She teaches a poetry of belonging, she urges us to sacred truth, she offers such grace, all grounded in the imperative to heal into our mutual liberation. This book is a balm of truth telling, the kind we all long for and rarely find in our current culture of fear and denial. The truth will set us free and Susan Raffo's book offers us a pathway into a kind of knowing that we desperately need and is long overdue. I am full of gratitude for Susan and her wisdom."
—Tema Okun, author of The Emperor Has No Clothes
"Susan shows us how intergenerational memories are alive in our cells. How the longings for love and justice are calling to us from our bodies. She weaves together embodied healing and organizing for liberation, revealing it as one cloth. This book will usher you into radical practices for freedom."
—Staci K Haines, author of The Politics of Trauma
"This book literally feels like lifeblood to me as a survivor, an activist, a writer, and a white person unlearning whiteness. We need Susan Raffo's stories, wisdom, and questions as we inch toward liberation. With brilliance, compassion, and ferocity, Liberated to the Bone helps connect us to our bodyminds, to each other, and to liberatory strategies."
—Eli Clare, author of Brilliant Imperfection
Susan Raffo is a writer, cultural worker, and bodyworker. She is part of the Healing Histories Project, which focuses on transforming the medical-industrial complex and confronting eugenic legacies. She works with REP, a Black-led community-based crisis response model grounded in the belief that we have the ability to love and protect one another without giving our agency to systems built to destroy, consume, or commodify us. Author of Queerly Classed and Restricted Access, she is published in a range of anthologies and websites. She is based in Minneapolis, MN.