Organizing as “Collective-Self” Care Among African American Youth in Precarious Times


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

African American youth have responded with hope and action to protect their well-being in violent political, economic, and social conditions, through organizing. While contemporary organizing frameworks prioritize self-care to promote sustainability, there is little research on the meaning and definition of self-care for African American youth organizers, in their own words. In this paper, findings from interviews with 20 Black youths in navigating organizing spaces in New York City will be presented, highlighting how they destabilize the narrowness of commonly defined self-care to embody “collective-self” care strategies. Implications for community practice, recovery from systemic violence, and historical trauma among African Americans will be explored.

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