Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals By Alexis Pauline Gumbs
From All-Creatures.org Book Reviews/Interviews

Author: Alexis Pauline Gumbs

Review By A. Breeze Harper, PhD

Publisher: AK Press

Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals
Available at Good Reads
ISBN-10: 1849353972
ISBN13: 9781849353977


I finished reading Undrowned and it was phenomenal.

Undrowned is a Black feminist perspective on what marine mammals have taught the author.

Throughout the book connections are made to the atrocity of enslavement via the space of the Middle Passage (Atlantic Ocean) and the normalized logic of colonialist and supremacist ideologies...

The author focuses much on how non-human mammals such as otters, whales, dolphins, seals, and sea lions have been affected by ecocidal ideologies that are rooted in colonialism, white supremacy, and capitalism. But, the book is not depressing or hopeless...

Instead, the book is focused on how these marine are our "brethren"; that they teach us better ways to fight, resist, be incognito at times, and struggle for the right to exist and to "breath"--- against supremacy, domination, capitalism, and exploitation... And throughout the book, it's implied again and again---> What can us [Black folk and others so deeply impacted by colonialism and enslavement or genocide] learn from these marine mammals so we can heal, be resilient, adapt, resist and eventually be whole again for our healthy futures?<---(not her quote but this is my own reflect). So, this is what I personally got out of her text: That there is hope and deep lessons to be learned from these mammals to teach us to continue to fight to be authentically ourselves, to breath, and do it unapologetically....

This book was absolutely brilliant, meditative, and deep. As a matter of fact, it is the first fusion of black feminism and marine conservation/liberation literature I have ever read that makes the connections to animal liberation for marine mammals AND racial justice/liberation for Black folk throughout the globe who have been affected by white supremacist-capitalist-colonialist "order of things" over the last 500 years; that it's all part of the same toxic system the is destroying the right to fully thrive for all beings.

About the Author:

Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a poet, independent scholar, and activist. She is author of Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity and coeditor of Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines and the Founder and Director of Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind, an educational program based in Durham, North Carolina.

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