More Than Our Pain

Affect and Emotion in the Era of Black Lives Matter

Edited by Beth Hinderliter & Steve Peraza

Subjects: African American Studies, American Culture, Women's Studies, Literature, American History
Series: SUNY series in African American Studies
Hardcover : 9781438483115, 286 pages, April 2021
Paperback : 9781438483108, 286 pages, January 2022

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction: More Than Our Pain: Affect and Emotion in the Era of Black Lives Matter
Beth Hinderliter and Steve Peraza

Part I: Affect and Emotion in the Era of Black Lives Matter

1. Emotional Work and Care Labor in the Art and Politics of Black Lives Matter
Beth Hinderliter

2. The New Nadir: Decline and Despair in U.S. Race Relations
Steve Peraza

3. Emotion, Race, and Cultural Trauma in #BlackLivesMatter
Erin M. Stephens

4. Hoodrat Praxis in a Time of Love and Fury
Yomaira C. Figueroa-Vásquez and Jessica Marie Johnson

Part II: Shaping Collective Protest and Speech through Affect and Emotion

5. The Hoodie Stands Witness: & Other Poems
Lauren K. Alleyne

6. "I can't breathe": Visual Economies of Resistance
Siona Wilson

7. "Stranger Fruit": Jon Henry in conversation with Beth Hinderliter

8.The Uses of Anger: Wanda Coleman's Poetry of Black Rage and #blacklivesmatter
Shanna Greene Benjamin

9. Bodies That Matter: Blackness, Social Symbolism, and the Affective Image
Derek Conrad Murray

Part III: Moving Forward: Overcoming Fatigue with Rage and Joy

10. A Eulogy in Two Parts and In response to the Question: If 2017 was a poem, what would it be called?
Dominique Christina

11. Puzzle Pieces on the Floor: Curriculum Gaps, White Fatigue, and Misunderstanding #BlackLivesMatter
Joseph Flynn

12. "We're Going to Have to Do It Ourselves": Banking Black in the United States
Andrew J. Padilla

13. Black Joy in the Time of Ferguson
Javon Johnson

About the Authors

Covering rage and grief, as well as joy and fatigue, examines how Black Lives Matter activists, and the artists inspired by them, have mobilized for social justice.


Confronted by a crisis in black American leadership, state-sanctioned violence against black communities, and colorblind laws that trap black Americans in a racial caste system, Black Lives Matter activists and the artists inspired by them have devised new forms of political and cultural resistance. More Than Our Pain explores how affect and emotion can drive collective political and cultural action in the face of a new nadir in race relations in the United States. This foregrounding of affect and emotion marks a clear break from civil rights–era activists, who were often trained to counter false narratives about protesters as thugs and criminals by presenting themselves as impeccably groomed and disciplined young black Americans. In contrast, the Black Lives Matter movement in the early twenty-first century makes no qualms about rejecting the politics of respectability. Affect and emotion has moved from the margin to the center of this new human rights movement, and by examining righteous rage, black joy, as well as grief and fatigue among other emotions, the contributors celebrate the vitality of black life while documenting those who have harmed it. They also criticize the ways in which journalism has commercialized and sold black affect during coverage of the Black Lives Matter movement and point to strategies and modes-of-being needed to overcome the fatigue surrounding conversations of race and racism in the United States.

Beth Hinderliter is Assistant Professor of Art History and Director of the Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art at James Madison University. Her books include Antagonizing White Feminism: Intersectionality's Critique of Women's Studies and the Academy (coedited with Noelle Chaddock). Steve Peraza is Assistant Professor of History and Social Studies Education at Buffalo State College, State University of New York.


"More Than Our Pain is a thought-provoking compilation, highly recommended especially for college library social issues collections." — Midwest Book Review