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Chapter 2 dives into the intimate work of completing oral histories with the WWAV foremothers after the fire. Storytelling is essential theory and method at WWAV: we tell stories so that the work will continue. Through life history interviews and collective storytelling sessions, we enumerate the key principles for “doing the work”; we also build a sense of how these principles are bigger than WWAV, in historical and geographic scale. WWAV makes worlds—worlds that connect deeply and radically, worlds that heal across generations. By listening to our foremothers’ stories, we learn what it meant for them to pioneer live-giving models of harm reduction and street outreach in the first decades of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, amid widespread criminalization of drug user and sex worker communities. We also bear witness to the incommensurability between the realities of anti-Black violence and the Black feminist possibilities they were nevertheless living as now.

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