Sociologists have a longstanding interest in how movements survive and how individuals persist in their activism over time (e.g., McAdam 1986; Downton and Wehr 1998; Corrigall-Brown 2011; Bunnage 2014). The role of care in activist sustainability stands out as a neglected domain for a better understanding of how movements maintain the human labor they need to survive. Some social theorists and on-the-ground activists have warned about the potentially individualizing and depoliticizing effects of “self-care” on movement culture. However, social justice movements, particularly racial justice movements, increasingly emphasize the role of healing, care, and the body in movement survival. Drawing on all 128 episodes of the Irresistible podcast (formerly the Healing Justice Podcast), its problematic founder, and its ultimate demise, I use a Black feminist framework that holds the tensions within political care to understand the conditional relationship between the functions and hazards of care within activism. Following and complementing Charles Tilly’s (1977) repertoires of contention, I develop this “repertoire of care” analytitoto better situate proliferating discourses of movement care within broader theoretical conversations around persistent activism and movement survival.

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