Cover Image: Emotional Justice

Emotional Justice

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Member Reviews

Where do I begin??  This book was amazing!!  Racism is still very much a problem in America and will continue as such until we have an honest conversation about race.  I say this often but I have yet to find the right resource to begin this task.  In this book, Esther Armah lays out the framework for this very conversation.  This framework includes sensible ways to combat the systemic changes needed to address racism.  This framework gets to the very core of the issue; emotions!!!  The term race or racism usually triggers such a hostile reaction because of what it implies.  For many individuals, these terms are offensive because they "accuse' them of being racist or having racist ways.  With Emotional Justice, Armah lays how we can unlearn whiteness by adopting four pillars of emotional justice.   If you're willing to do the work to combat this issue, this book is for you!!!
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Emotional Justice by Esther A. Armah is one of my most anticipated reads of 2022 and it did not disappoint. In the introduction, written by Dr. Brittney Cooper, we are reminded as readers of the truth that our politics simply cannot be considered as separate from our traumatic experiences and our emotions. Esther A. Armah provides us with an Emotional Justice Framework that helps the reader to reframe our emotional truths in a way that unmasks the political and racial context that has impacted us. She asks us to consider the language of whiteness and to replace that language with an Emotional Justice love language. 

She breaks down the four pillars of the language of whiteness as: 
* Racialized emotionality
*Emotional patriarchy
* Emotional currency
*Emotional economy

She defines the four Emotional Justice love languages as: 
*Intimate reckoning
* Intimate revolution
*Resistance negotiation
* Revolutionary black grace 

Armah both provides us with the language and tools to develop a deeper understanding of the false narratives we've internalized as well as with the framework to deconstruct language and recognize that because of institutionalized racism and systems of oppression our connection to our Blackness is shaped by the language of whiteness- by dismantling these internalized ways of being we are able to take our power back and truly heal from racialized trauma.  She provides us with powerful examples of leaders who have liberated themselves using the framework of Emotional Justice including Hannah-Jones who wrote in her resignation letter to the University of North Carolina that it is not her job to heal a white institution. In saying so, she refused to be an emotional mammy and no longer privileged the language and narrative of whiteness over her own mental health. 

There are interviews throughout the text with prominent thought leaders in the field of racial trauma and race-based traumatic stress that I also really enjoyed reading. 

There are so many parts of the book I stopped to reread aloud to myself, almost like a prayer or affirmation. Among my favorites is this one: "Grind is not a word for Black women; it's our Black mother tongue. It's a culture, a generational inheritance passed down, passed around, and emerging from the bellies of Black women and the world over. It is toil always, rest never, reward rarely. We grind for good, we grind for God, we grind for men. No healing lies there."

Thank you to the author and publisher for the E-arc copy!
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