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Abolition Is Love


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About the Author

Syrus Marcus Ware is an Assistant Professor at the School of the Arts, McMaster University. A scholar, visual artist, activist, curator and educator, Syrus uses painting, installation and performance to explore social justice frameworks and Black activist culture. His work has been shown widely across Canada in solo and group shows, and his performance works have been part of local and international festivals. He is part of the Performance Disability Art Collective. Syrus is cofounder of Black Lives Matter Canada and a core-team member of Black Lives Matter - Toronto. Syrus is curator of the That's So Gay show and a co-curator of Blackness Yes!/Blockorama. Syrus has published widely and is the co-editor of the best-selling Until We Are Free- Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada (URP, 2020), and the illustrator of the children's book I Promise written by Catherine Hernandez. Syrus lives in Tkaronto (also known as Toronto, Canada)

Alannah Fricker is a mom, caregiver, community organizer, artist, activist, educator, and Registered Social Worker living in Toronto/Tkaronto. She has organized with the Toronto Prisoners' Rights Project, Abolition Coalition, and Students for Harm Reduction, and is involved in a wide variety of mutual aid, popular education, direct action, and creative arts projects focused on building a world where we keep each other safe. Alannah is currently completing her Master's of Arts in Social Justice Education at the University of Toronto. Abolition is Love is the first children's book she has illustrated.


*“Papa says abolition is love—it’s a way of dreaming about the future and making sure that we all get to be free.” As a brown-skinned family prepares signs for Prisoners’ Justice Day, Ware and Fricker outline abolition’s many meanings through the perspective of a child learning about the topic. In bright-hued, bustling illustrations, community members of various abilities, ages, body types, and skin tones create public art, protest police intervention, support unhoused neighbors, stand for the return of Indigenous lands, and welcome formerly imprisoned individuals with open arms. The narrator, too, serves the community, helping to make an accessible park, finding new ways to resolve conflict with a cousin, learning to pass knowledge on to others, visiting an incarcerated relative, and joining others in observing Prisoners’ Justice Day. It’s a powerful picture book that traces philosophies of community care and restorative justice, and exemplifies for readers ways to “help each other to get free along the way to abolition.” Ages 3–7. (Sept.)
—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Syrus has given us an immense gift with Abolition is Love—this children’s book is full of practical visions of the future from characters who feel like community. Help our babies understand the breadth and complexity of abolition by reading them this text and having them read it to each other."
—adrienne maree brown, New York Times bestselling author of Pleasure Activism and Emergent Strategy

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