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Self-Care As An Act Of Survival: A Folio by JP Howard

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Self-Care as an Act of Survival in this Current Political Climate

A Folio Curated by J.P. Howard


As a queer, black, mother, writer, activist, womyn in the world, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means for womyn of color, to not only be writers, but to also be mothers and activists. I’ve been wondering how my sisters across the country are practicing self-care these days and I reached out to a few writer friends, all mothers and all activists in their own ways. I invited them to speak on self-care and what that might look like to them, at this particular point in time. These writers are spread across the country, from Northern California, to Flint, Michigan to Washington, DC to New York. I know many of us are organizing, marching, protesting, educating our youth, making phone calls to politicians, writing furiously out of rage and sometimes out of deep sadness and frustration, and in the midst of it all, we are all trying to keep our families safe and in tact. We are all womyn writers of color and keeping our families safe, loved and healthy, is a great challenge in this current political climate. Some of us are single mamas, others partnered/married, some straight, others queer, but we are all surviving and it’s important to reflect on and envision what self-care looks like to each of us. It is no small feat to practice self-care during this difficult time in history. Some of us have very young children, others, teens and tweens, but our role as “mothers” always informs how we walk through the world, no matter what age our children are.

I recently returned home from the annual AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) conference in Washington, D.C., where I had the good fortune to see many of my sistagurlfirend writers in person. I spent four days collaborating, catching up and sharing quality time with friends, who I often only get to see once a year.  My time away from home, without my beautiful wife and sons, was a form of self-care for me. I gave myself permission during this trip to focus primarily on my role in the world as writer/activist/friend and was able to return home to my family invigorated and ready to continue the necessary work. I needed that brief time away from home and my daily responsibilities to celebrate my friends and my role as a writer and activist in the world. We each define self-care differently, but all agree, whatever that means for each of us, it is necessary for our survival. –J.P. Howard


Wendy Angulo – Unplug, Rest, Be Grateful
Radhiyah Ayobami – Return to the Bush
Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie – Ten Tips for Self-Care
Qiana Towns – Teaching as a Form of Self-Care
Sunu Chandy – To Satya From Satya


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