New Bones Abolition addresses “those of us broken enough to grow new bones” in order to stabilize our political traditions that renew freedom struggles.
Reflecting on police violence, political movements, Black feminism, Erica Garner, Mumia Abu-Jamal, caretakers and compradors, Joy James analyzes the “Captive Maternal,” which emerges from legacies of colonialism, chattel slavery and predatory policing, to explore the stages of resistance and communal rebellion that manifest through war resistance. She recognizes a long line of gendered and ungendered freedom fighters, who, within a racialized and economically-stratified democracy, transform from coerced or conflicted caretakers into builders of movements, who realize the necessity of maroon spaces, and ultimately the inevitability of becoming war resisters that mobilize against genocide and state violence.
New Bones Abolition weaves a narrative of a historically complex and engaged people seeking to quell state violence. James discusses the contributions of the mother Mamie Till-Mobley who held a 1955 open-casket funeral for her fourteen-year-old Emmett Till, murdered by white nationalists; the 1971 rebels at Attica prison; the resilience of political prisoners despite the surplus torture they endured; the emergence of Black feminists as political theorists; human rights advocates seeking abolition; and the radical intellectualism of Erica Garner, daughter of Eric Garner slain in 2014 by the NYPD. James positions the Captive Maternal within the evolution of contemporary abolition. Her meditation on, and theorizing of, Black radicals and revolutionaries works to honor Agape-driven communities and organizers that deter state/police predatory violence through love, caretaking, protest, movements, marronage, and war resistance.
1. The (Un)Fair Fight for a Just Democracy
2. Black Revolutionary Love Reimagines Democracy
3. Abolitionist and Ancestor: The Legacy of Erica Garner
4. The Captive Maternal and Abolitionism
5. Police Ethics through Presidential Politics and Abolitionist Struggle: Angela Y. Davis and Erica Garner
6. New Bones Abolitionism, Communism, and Captive Maternals
7. Amnesty for All
8. Attachment # 1 National Council of Black Lawyers (NCBL) January 2021 Eric Garner Hearing
9. Attachment #2 NYS Eric Garner Act (February 2019)
10. Attachment #3 Fact Sheet in Richmond County (Staten Island) Grand Jury in Eric Garner Homicide
11. Attachment #4 Student 2021 Reflection Papers on Erica Garner
Praise for Political Theorist Joy James
"Transcending the Talented Tenth proposes original analyses of historical portrayals of the African American intelligentsia as a way of understanding the contested terrain on which contemporary black intellectuals work. . . Joy James' work is a pioneering intervention."—Angela Y. Davis
“This extraordinary collection brings us their voices, their ideas, which have been muffled too long.”—Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States
"Remarkable...James reveals a radical tradition that could free us all."—Robin D. G. Kelley
"Americans have a hard time thinking about race, gender, and class at the same time, especially when intellectuals are in question. But not Joy James. Her refreshing discussion of black thought refuses to stop with men or the highly educated. This is what African-American Studies is about in the best sense of the phrase."—Nell Irvin Painter, author of The History of White People
"A superb collection―both instructive and inspiring. Joy James is to be complimented for this book and for her thoughtful introductory essay.”—Dennis Brutus, poet and former political prisoner of South African Apartheid
“These essays detail how the continual intensification of criminalization is grounded in the principles of racism, expropriation, and aggression that centrally organize the land of the ever-diminishing free.”—Ruth Wilson Gilmore, author of Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California
“Joy James' excellent volume demands our involvement in the struggle.”—Vijay Prashad, author of The Darker Nations