Sexualized violence and torture in the afterlife of slavery: an interview with Farah Tanis and Ericka Dixon of Black Women’s Blueprint

Tanis,, Farah, Dixon, Ericka, Mills, Leonie and Richter-Montpetit, Melanie (2018) Sexualized violence and torture in the afterlife of slavery: an interview with Farah Tanis and Ericka Dixon of Black Women’s Blueprint. International Feminist Journal of Politics, 20 (3). pp. 446-461. ISSN 1461-6742

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Abstract

Black Women’s Blueprint (BWB), a US-based civil and human rights organization, convened the first Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) addressing Black women’s and girls’ experiences with rape and sexual assault in the US. Led by Black women survivors of rape and sexual assault, the TRC was held at the United Nations (UN) in New York City from 28 April to 1 May 2016 as part of the UN’s International Decade of People of African Descent. The TRC applied an intersectional lens to expose the deep historical roots of sexual/ized violence against Black women, who still today suffer disproportionately high levels of rape and sexual violence but are less likely to have their cases prosecuted, especially if the perpetrator is a state official.

In the following conversation, Farah Tanis, Executive Director of BWB and Chair of the Black Women’s TRC, and Ericka Dixon, Policy Programs Director and TRC testifier, share findings from the Commission that they are currently writing up in the TRC’s final report. They discuss the legacies of chattel slavery, strategies, and challenges in working toward systems of community accountability and safety, promoting healing for survivors, the strategic use of international human rights mechanisms, and language to frame rape and sexual assault against Black women as rape-based torture in “the afterlife of slavery” (Hartman 2007, 6) – and, finally, how to practice self-care.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Advanced International Theory
Depositing User: Melanie Richter-Montpetit
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2019 15:35
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 13:31
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/81100

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