Review: Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice

Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Piepzna-Samarasinha's collection of essays is both foundation and ground-shaking. Through essays, reflections, interviews, and other written pieces, she defines much of the contours of a disability justice that is intersectional and informed and guided by the people who understand the work and navigate daily through an ableist world that constantly seems them as broken, messy, or unfixable. Beyond providing a variety of histories, accounts, and personal experiences of herself, friends, idols, and her locals, Piepzna-Samarasinha shows the reader time and again that there are vast strengths, resources, insights, and networks among queer, trans, lesbian, gay people of color communities that fight hard to keep them alive and have value and insight in ways that the larger culture largely ignores, disregards, and never chooses to ask. Further, she highlights able-bodied people need people with disabilities to help them improve society. This is what I personally appreciated about this book so much is how she inverts the discourse about how able-bodied/able-minded people can (unidirectionally) help people with disabilities into show how able-bodied people need to be in a space to learn and be led by people with disabilities so as to restructure a society that is not just inclusive of all but recognizes the fragility of all humans and simultaneously, the value of all humans and their inalienable right to live, thrive, and be a part of their community, rather than apart from their community.  Piepzna-Samarasinha's passionate and insightful words move the discussion from accessibility into a more revolutionary space that should have all of us challenging our deeply embedded and often-perpetuated views of disability.

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