In the introduction to Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
(AK Press, 2019), adrienne maree brown
defines pleasure activism as “the work we do to reclaim our whole, happy, and satisfiable selves from the impacts, delusions, and limitations of oppression and/or supremacy”. brown challenges the idea of activism from the traditional ideas of protest or advocacy to consider how happiness and pleasure for marginalized individuals resists various structures of power and oppression. Yet brown argues in her work that pleasure activism is not just about resistance, but also about generating justice and liberation.
This book features much of brown’s own writings which are quick, accessible, yet thought-provoking, but also the work of others including Audre Lorde, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Sami Schalk, and Joan Morgan. In our interview, listen to brown discuss pleasure activism, putting together the book and its central themes, and highlight the various and important components in being a pleasure activist.
adrienne maree brown is a social justice facilitator, doula, healer, and podcaster. She is committed to black liberation and resides in Detroit. Check out her website here
and her podcast with her sister Autumn Brown here
Adrian King (they/them) is a PhD student in American Culture at the University of Michigan.