Publisher: AK Press
Released: February 26, 2019
Pleasure Activism is part of the Emergent Strategy Series.
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, adrienne 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!
Praise for Pleasure Activism
“[brown] demonstrates how we can tap into our emotional and erotic desires to organize against oppression.”
“adrienne maree brown...continues to stake her claim as one of our most critical thinkers and strategists by intentionally combining the power of story-telling with practical applications to help readers conjure their own definition of pleasure and how it is inextricably linked to every part of our existence.”
—Monica Simpson, SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
"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."
—Laura Winnick, Vice/Broadly
“adrienne maree brown dives deep, head first, into a fast swirling pool of pleasure-related topics. She swims her way from one end of the pool to the other with some help from her body-wise, experienced, friends. This book is all at once so cool, and so hot, with a rainbow of glorious compleXXXities. Pleasure Activism is bound to make a huge splash!”
—Annie Sprinkle, author of Explorer’s Guide to Planet Orgasm—For Every Body
"Pleasure Activism is at heart a deeply personal collection of poems, interviews, artwork, and reflections curated and written by Brown to maximize pleasure and joy within our lives while also reducing trauma-induced pain, guilt, and shame."
—Caitlin Isabella Laughney, Columbia University
“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
"Pleasure Activism, as curated by brown, is a fitting example of the collective experience of love and the relationships that define every mass movement and whisper the most ancient wisdom about possibilities for a shared future."
—Lorax B. Horne for Interface: a journal for and about social movements
adrienne maree brown is a writer rooted in Detroit who now lives in Durham, NC. She is a student of the works of Octavia E. Butler and Ursula K. Le Guin. Some of her books include Octavia’s Brood, Emergent Strategy and We Will Not Cancel Us. Her visionary fiction has appeared in The Funambulist, Harvard Design Review, Dark Mountain, and YES! Magazine.