Season 2 Episode 6: I Chose to Stay Awake with Maria Hamilton Abegunde

Black and brown women experience significantly higher rates of violence than do white women, and while all violence against women is important to acknowledge and take action on, many black and brown women have had the experience of being dismissed, having their pain go unrecognized, or being blithely told that they are strong, and can handle it. On this episode of Badass, we are sharing with you an essay that lays bare the pain and the consequences of such violence, and we are exploring how this violence has threaded its way through generations, and how we can better respond.

This episode also underscores the vital role that access to abortion plays in protecting a person’s autonomy in the aftermath of a coercive, or violent, sexual experience. We hope that this episode brings a greater understanding of why we continue to fight for the rights of women.

About our Guest

Dr. Abegunde is a memory keeper, poet, Yoruba-based practitioner, and doula. She uses the arts, contemplative practices, and ritual to explore ways to heal trauma through community, collaborative, and co-creative practices. You can read her most recent work in the journal Obsidian, in the books SO WE CAN KNOW: Writers of Color on Pregnancy, Loss, Abortion, and Birth, ASHE: Ritual Poetics in African Diasporic Expressivity, and Trouble the Waters: Tales from the Deep Blue. She is a Cave Canem (CAVEH CANAM), Sacatar, Black Earth Institute,fellow, and is a faculty member in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies here at Indiana University Bloomington.


 Dr. Abegunde shared her essay,” I chose to Stay Awake”, from the anthology, SO WE CAN KNOW: Writers of Color on Pregnancy, Loss, Abortion, and Birth. You can order a copy here:


Lindsey and one of her daughters at Josh's Funeral

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