Love and Flames: Legacies of Black Queer and Prison Abolitionist Solidarity with Palestinian Struggle

Che Gossett

Che Gossett

In this paper, Community Activist and Student Coordinator Che Gossett examines the legacies of Black queer solidarity with Palestinian struggle by excavating June Jordan and James Baldwin’s archives for what Jose Muñoz called the performative force of the past and its import for current prison abolitionist, Palestinian solidarity and anti-pinkwashing movements. Looking as well at the archives of George Jackson, they discuss what his archive and the original manuscript of Soledad Brother (rather than the widely available published version) reveals about Palestinian poetics, black radicalism, prison abolition and the afterlife of slavery.

Che Gossett is a Black genderqueer archivist and activist who works to excavate queer of color AIDS activist and trans archives. They are the recipient of the 2014 Gloria E. AnzaldĂșa Award from the American Studies Association Women’s Committee, a Radcliffe research grant from Harvard University and the 2014 Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies from the Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies at the City University of New York. Che was a member of the 2013 Archivists and Librarians Delegation to Palestine and recently presented about legacies of black queer solidarity with Palestinian struggle at the Bodies in Public conference at the American University of Beirut. Che also was a presenter at the Black liberation workshop at the 2014 National Students for Justice in Palestine conference.