“Metamorphic Liberation”: Radical Self-Care and the Biopolitical Agency of Black Women


  • Mako Fitts Ward




The Black Radical Tradition has always captured the fluidity of life, death, and the afterlife of sustained modes of repression that propel Black bodies into hypervisible spectacles of existence. Using what Viviane Saleh-Hanna calls a “Black Feminist Hauntology,” this article draws from work on the temporality of white terrorism, necropolitical social movements, and Black violability to frame Black women’s biopolitical agency in ways that capture what our lives could be post-COVID and amid a resurgence of movements for Black lives.  Bridging the poeticism of Black feminist writers such as Audre Lorde, bell hooks, and Sonya Renee Taylor, I argue that the movement for radical self-care, interpreted from a necropolitical discursive frame, offers the possibilities for what Saleh-Hanna calls “metamorphic liberation.” The article explores the movement’s foundations inside the Black feminist commons as an important site for support and healing during the multiple pandemics of 2020.