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Black Women Under State
Surveillance, Poverty, & the Violence of Social Assitance
By (author): Idil Abdillahi
Idil Abdillahi

Imprint:

ARP Books

ISBN:

9781927886588

Product Form:

Paperback

Form detail:

Trade
Paperback , Trade
English
Jun 15, 2022
$20.00 CAD
Forthcoming

Dimensions:

8in x 5 x 0.45 in | 1 gr

Page Count:

192 pages
Arbeiter Ring Publishing Ltd.
ARP Books
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Feminism & Feminist Theory
  • Short Description

The lives and conditions of Black women are inseparable from, and inextricably linked to, all dimensions of social and political life. Black Women Under State centres on the realities of Black women, both in-process and theory, who are living at the intersections of race, poverty, surveillance, and social services. Abdillahi, who is uniquely positioned as a community organizer, practitioner, public intellectual, and scholar, engaged twenty women living at these life intersections in the greater Toronto area.

The lives and conditions of Black women are inseparable from, and inextricably linked to, all dimensions of social and political life. Black Women Under State centres on the realities of Black women, both in-process and theory, who are living at the intersections of race, poverty, surveillance, and social services. Abdillahi, who is uniquely positioned as a community organizer, practitioner, public intellectual, and scholar, engaged twenty women living at these life intersections in the greater Toronto area.

The text undertakes a deep and studied inquiry into these women?s subjective experiences of surveillance while on the province of Ontario?s social assistance program Ontario Works and interrogates the dimensional effects of those experiences. Offering a timely and crucial contribution to the discourse around abolition, Abdillahi makes explicit the ways in which social systems are made opaque so that we don?t connect them to the carceral state; this concept of carceral care talks to abolition as the broad concept that it is a fully-embraced understanding that abolition dismantles systems of policing that extend beyond the institution we call the police.

Three major themes emerge through her inquiry: surveillance, poverty, and morality each interconnected to a larger social and public policy discourse. Abdillahi employs Critical Race Theory and Black Feminist Thought as primary theoretical lenses as she animates the lives of these women, alongside and in conversation with existing research, theory and practice, revealing direct links among their experience, in order to demonstrate the shared, longstanding, and ongoing historicity of the interconnectedness of Black women?s experience globally.

The vast majority of the book?s citations are from Black Canadians, giving the text its own narrative around citational practice. Through a dynamic interlacing of contemporary critical thought and lived experience, Black Women Under State contributes to filling a gap in social policy literature, which has typically disregarded the subjective experiences of Black women or treated them as a mere addendum.

Idil Abdillahi is an Assistant Professor in the School of Disability Studies, and was the Advisor to the Dean on Anti-Black Racism at the Faculty of Community and Social Services at Ryerson University (2020-2021). Dr. Abdillahi is a critical Black Interdisciplinary scholar, researcher, policy analyst, grassroots organizer, and experienced practitioner across healthcare, institutional, policy, and social service settings. She is the author of Black Women Under State: Surveillance, Poverty, & the Violence of Social Assistance (2022), co-author of BlackLife: Post-BLM and The Struggle For Freedom (2019), author of Blackened Madness: Medicalization, and Black Everyday Life in Canada (forthcoming), and a co-editor of the forthcoming edition of Mad Matters: A Critical Reader in Canadian Mad Studies.

Dr. Abdillahi is published widely on an array of topics, including mental health, poverty, HiV/AIDS, organizational development, and several other key policy areas at the intersection of BlackLife and state interruption. Most notably, her cutting-edge research and scholarship on Blackened and antiBlack sanisms has informed the current debates on fatal police shootings of Black mad-identified peoples. Her work is attentive to the tensions between data, research, communities, institutions, and monetization, and she strives to challenge the ways that research data about communities experiencing structural oppression?particularly Black communities?is increasingly used in capital-oriented institutions as it simultaneously is serving socio-political ?care? spaces such as non-profit organizations, prisons, hospitals and community-based health centers. Dr. Abdillahi?s work integrates an understanding of how these institutions and ?care? spaces continue to disproportionately impact Black women/people, leading to their disenfranchisement from ?public? services and supports in Toronto and beyond.

She is a founding member of the Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC) and served as vice-chair of the board of directors. Her lengthy history as a practitioner in clinical, forensic, and grassroots settings led to her being honoured with several awards and accolades for her work in mental health in Toronto. Upon transitioning to work in the academy in 2012, she was nominated as a ?professor who made a mark,? and later won the prestigious Viola Desmond Award, celebrating the achievements of Black Canadian Women. Most recently, Dr. Abdillahi was the faculty recipient of the Sue Williams Excellence in Teaching Award, 2020-2021.

In 2017, she led and co-produced the documentary It Takes A Riot: Race, Rebellion, Reform a film marking the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Yonge Street Uprising in Toronto. She was named one of Toronto?s 12 Most Inspiring Women of 2020 by Post City Magazines.

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