Study and Struggle organizes against criminalization and incarceration in Mississippi through mutual aid, political education, and community building. We provide a bilingual Spanish and English curriculum with discussion questions and reading materials, as well as financial support, to over 100 participants in radical study groups inside and outside prisons in Mississippi. These groups correspond with groups from across the country through our pen pal program. We regularly come together for online conversations hosted by Haymarket Books. The curriculum, built by a combination of currently- and formerly-incarcerated people, scholars, and community organizers, centers around the interrelationship between prison abolition and immigrant justice, with a particular attention to freedom struggles in Mississippi and the U.S. South.
For our Fall 2021 four month curriculum, we have borrowed and augmented Ruth Wilson Gilmore's argument that “abolition is about presence, not absence. It has to be green, and in order to be green, it has to be red (anti-capitalist), and in order to be red, it has to be international," having added “intersectional” as a fourth analytical category that we hope moves us beyond “single-issue” organizing. Study and Struggle provides a bilingual curriculum to all our imprisoned comrades in Mississippi with the support of our friends at 1977 Books and makes it fully available online for other study groups to use as they see fit.
Our second webinar theme is "Green" and will be a conversation about what it means for abolition to be life-sustaining, and how abolition demands we center questions of climate justice, land, food sovereignty, and environmental racism.
While all of our events are freely available, we ask that those who are able make a solidarity donation in support of commissary and mutual aid for our incarcerated participants.
J.T. Roane is assistant professor of African and African American Studies in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. He received his PhD in history from Columbia University and he is a 2008 graduate of the Carter G. Woodson Institute at the University of Virginia. He currently serves as the lead of the Black Ecologies Initiative at ASU's Institute for Humanities Research. He is the former co-senior editor of Black Perspectives, the digital platform of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS). Roane's scholarly essays have appeared in Souls Journal, The Review of Black Political Economy, Current Research in Digital History and Signs. His work has also appeared in venues such as Washington Post, The Brooklyn Rail, Pacific Standard, and The Immanent Frame, Roane was 2020-2021 National Endowment for the Humanities/Mellon Foundation Research Fellow at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library.
Bigg Villainus is an artist, musician, founder of Overthrow Media and a radical revolutionary who has been dedicated to radical struggle and revolutionary growth for over a decade. Currently an organizer with Fight Toxic Prisons they bring a lot of abolitionist and direct action history and experience to the table. As well as a lumpen proletariat perspective and Analysis.
They are firm advocates of bottom-up organizing. As well as having a firm decolonial Praxis. They have a long history of organizing with groups such as black Frontline movement, outside agitators, black lives matter, occupied, and many more. They are currently on a national tour, networking, spreading abolition and music.