Lola Olufemi: ‘We can enact the future we want now’: a black feminist history of abolition

At an event held in honour of Malcolm X in 1982, Audre Lorde delivered an address titled Learning from the 60s, during which she proclaimed, “Revolution is not a one-time event.” By this, Lorde meant that revolution belongs to everyone and no one simultaneously; if it is to proceed, it must cease to be the “sole and particular province of anyone particular race, or sex, or age, or religion, or sexuality, or class.” Revolutions reoccur: they follow each other, making circles of time and all the political demands that push them forward.Lorde’s statement makes clear the purview of the black feminist tradition; nothing must be allowed to remain. We must be prepared for the multi-purpose, multi-layered revolution, in which political ideologies and mantras will, and must, collide.

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