13/13 | An Abolitionist Future


Opening with a performance by the poet Ian Manuel, author of My Time Will Come,

followed by

Woods Ervin, Katherine FrankeGayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and Bernard E. Harcourt

reading and discussing

Annihilation of Caste by B.R. Ambedkar

Repair: Redeeming the Promise of Abolition by Katherine Franke

We Do This ‘Til We Free Us by Mariame Kaba

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Columbia University



“The responsibility is entirely yours. You must make your efforts to uproot caste, if not in my way, then in your way.”

— R. Ambedkar, Annihilation of Caste (1936)

We arrive at the final session of Abolition Democracy 13/13 with our eyes on the prize: looking forward, forward toward abolitionist futures. Inspired by the mounting momentum among abolitionist social movements, by the growing number of abolitionist writings and scholarship that is being published today, by all the abolitionist organizing and activism that is now transforming American society, we turn in our final session to explore three key dimensions to abolitionist futures:

  1. the productive global conversations and exchanges on issues of abolition;
  2. the growing movement to make reparations and to repair the injustices of the past—as evidenced by the recent vote by the House Judiciary Committee, for the first time, to recommend the formation of a reparations commission to explore both reparations and a national apology for centuries of injustice;
  3. and the future of the prison abolition movement and the Movement for Black Lives in the United States.

As a prelude to our discussion, we will be joined by the remarkable poet, Ian Manuel, who opened this series at Abolition 1/13 back in September 2020 with his inspiring poetry. A dear friend and collaborator since before the pandemic, Ian Manuel will share some poetry with us, discuss his efforts to abolish solitary confinement for detained young men and women, and present his forthcoming book, due out on May 4th, titled My Time Will Come.

Welcome to Abolition Democracy 13/13!