Book Section — Foreword — by Robin D. G. Kelley

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This essay by Robin D. G. Kelley is a foreword to the anthology Rod Bush: Lessons from a Radical Black Scholar on Liberation, Love, and Justice, edited by Melanie E. L. Bush, and co-edited by Rose M. Brewer, Daniel Douglas, Loretta Chin, and Robert Newby (2019). Kelley tributes Roderick Douglas Bush as one who “understood love not as sentimentality but as a constant struggle to build and rebuild community.

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This essay by Robin D. G. Kelley is a foreword to the anthology Rod Bush: Lessons from a Radical Black Scholar on Liberation, Love, and Justice, edited by Melanie E. L. Bush, and co-edited by Rose M. Brewer, Daniel Douglas, Loretta Chin, and Robert Newby (2019). Kelley tributes Roderick Douglas Bush as one who “understood love not as sentimentality but as a constant struggle to build and rebuild community. Making community requires a kind of nakedness, leaving one’s armor at the door, opening oneself up to others and giving freely, being vulnerable, speaking truth while allowing others their voice. Love, in other words, is not a thing you adopt or embrace; it’s a process of making community, nourishing relationships, re-making oneself over and over again. And like James Baldwin, Rod understood love as agency, as action.” Kelley further states that Rod Bush as “a product of a deeply rooted Black culture with all of its sacred and secular dimensions, with its history of suffering and celebration, with its deep blues epistemology, … knew that active, agentive love meant loving ourselves as Black people (not just bodies); it meant making love the motivation for making revolution; it meant envisioning a society where everyone is embraced, where there is no oppression, where every life is valued.”

Kelley, Robin D. G. 2019. “Foreword.” Pp. 1-6 in Rod Bush: Lessons from a Radical Black Scholar on Liberation, Love, and Justice. (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Vol. XII, Issue 1, 2019.) Belmont, MA: Ahead Publishing House (imprint: Okcir Press).

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