Image for post
Image for post

Mia Mingus of the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective defines transformative justice as “a way to respond to violence within our communities in ways that 1.) don’t create more harm and violence and 2.) actively work to cultivate the very things that we know will prevent violence, such as accountability, healing, trust, connection, safety.”

How can Transformative Justice ever be a multiracial framework when ‘violence’ is globally defined as Blackness/ Black people? How could we ever address the roots of abuse when the carceral foundation of our society is designed for the purpose of hunting and killing Black people? …


Image for post
Image for post

TW: Sexual Assault

I am not a survivor. And I don’t know if I’ll ever be.

My mom always says, “You’re a survivor. You’ve always been a survivor.” When something violent, hurtful, or absolutely heartbreaking happened to me — she would always reinforce the term ‘survivor’ and my legacy of resilience. But I always felt disconnected from this loving sentiment because the affirmation I needed wasn’t in the term ‘survivor.’ Over time, and throughout many recent experiences with sexual assault and abuse, I have wrestled with myself around ‘survivor’ as a default term for victims, or as the shape we become when healing is over. I’ve realized that I am not a survivor, I am a victim.


Image for post
Image for post

The reality we must face is that even when liberation comes — people who cause harm may not choose to transform. Consenting to the process and commitment of transformation is difficult even when love, community, and resources are present and available. Everyone will not make the choice to be accountable and transform themselves. And we will have to learn how to adapt when people in our communities choose otherwise.

Mia Mingus of the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective defines transformative justice as “a way to respond to violence within our communities in ways that 1.) don’t create more harm and violence and 2.) actively work to cultivate the very things that we know will prevent violence, such as accountability, healing, trust, connection, safety.” Transformative justice frameworks are a part of the revolutionary work cultivated by Black, Indigenous, and people of color to dismantle the root of abuse and violence — systemic oppression. This framework offers us a future where we are whole and valuable rather than disposable. So of course, those of us who are committed to liberation want to utilize transformative justice frameworks whenever possible because we know harm WILL happen, and we want our communities to thrive. But an issue we have yet to address succinctly is when someone who has harmed will not consent to transformation, and there is still an expectation and push from our communities to make transformative justice happen anyway. …


When You Use the Wrong Pronoun, You’ve Crossed My Boundary But You Could Never Misgender Me

Image for post
Image for post

Note: Do not use my essay to disrespect or violate other trans people because we do not all navigate gender, gender identity, pronoun affirmation, or survival the same. Don’t you dare harm or invalidate other trans people, you demon.

One time this nigga introduced me to a room by saying, “They are nonbinary. Their pronouns are they/them.” I giggled because I never said anything about my pronouns, but my transgender identity was something the organizers knew before I got there. I interjected and said, “Actually, my pronouns are she/her, babe.” …


Image for post
Image for post
Image from NBCUniversal

This is only slightly a review of Queen & Slim, and more-so a take on the politics of visibility and how many of us will die to be seen not knowing that being seen is, too, death.

Why don’t we ever know Queen and Slim’s names until they’re dead?

The filmmakers decided that this was imperative for the audience to envision themselves as Queen and Slim. In never referring to those titles or their given names (Angela Johnson and Ernest Hinds), this was an intentional way to allow for voyeurs to cosplay this fight for freedom. But why would we need to imagine ourselves within this particular Black experience more than the need to value that all of our experiences cannot be mimicked, puppeteered, or paralleled? Are Angela and Ernest’s experiences something that cannot be unique to them and only them? …

About

Hunter Ashleigh Shackelford

Black Fat Cyborg. Storyteller. HunterAshleigh.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store