Rest Is Resistance: A Manifesto

Hachette Audio. Oct. 2022. 5:26 hrs. ISBN 9781668611081. $25.98. SELF-HELP
Artist, poet, and activist Hersey, founder of the Nap Ministry, debuts with a powerful and compassionate call to reject the omnipresent demands of capitalism in favor of health, peace, and self-care. For Hersey, rest is not a luxury—it’s not about scented candles or trendy bath bombs—it is vital, necessary, and crucial, especially for Black women. Hersey grounds her thesis in Black liberation theology, acknowledging the influence of James Cone as well as Audre Lorde, Octavia Butler, and bell hooks. She argues that women must turn away from the toxic demands of grind culture, refusing to participate in an insidious system of oppression and white supremacy. Narrating her own work, Hersey makes the most of her experience as a poet, infusing her words with a driving cadence tempered by her compassion for the suffering that she sees around her. Some passages in this book read as how-to’s, with Hersey explaining how to breathe, sit, rest, and be. Other passages illuminate piercing insights that may have listeners reevaluating priorities and claiming their right to rest.
VERDICT Hersey’s thoughtful championing of rest and resistance makes an impact. Pair with Shanita Hubbard’s Ride or Die and Mikki Kendall’s Hood Feminism.
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