Our Human Energy: Redefining and Reclaiming Our Labor – Non Profit News – Nonprofit Quarterly

by | May 4, 2022 | Energy

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Jessica Gordon-Nembhard: I see community as a community of workers, but by workers, I mean people who are expending human energy and solidarity to perfect their lives. And we’re doing it together…We all see communities as groups of human activity and work, not separate from the political economy. We’re all workers—especially African-Americans. We never really had the luxury to separate the two. Everything we do, in some ways, is about work.
Lloyd Hogan, in his book On Black Political Economy, talks a lot about the internal and the external labor markets. The internal, of course, is social reproduction: how we survive, and all the things we do to survive. The external is all the things we do to exist in a market system: the ways that we make money in order to do the internal labor. I want to get us out of the market system. If we see ourselves as expenders of human energy, if we exalt work and labor not as the things we do to make money, but the things we do as human beings—that’s what’s going to help us get to the next level—out of capitalism and the individualistic mode. We have been alienated from ourselves as workers. We’ve been made to see work as bad. We have to exploit ourselves to make some money. We have to do what other people want. It’s the way that we’re the most highly exploited as human beings, as women, as Bla …

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