This essay concerns the descriptions of exhaustion connected to the suicidal thoughts and actions of Anyanwu, the protagonist of Octavia E. Butler’s novel Wild Seed (1980). Expanding the disability studies concept of desirelessness to graze Black diaspora studies, this essay resists the total absorption of enslaved Black women’s suicidal thoughts and actions into the collective political motivations of the living, even as it resists their banishment. Rather than speak authoritatively about an action ultimately undertaken alone, the essay feels for the ordinary edges of the limits of “diaspora” to consider more carefully those who are lost to the collective, those who turn away from it, and those for whom suicide cannot be categorized comfortably as only resistance or defeat. Or, plainly stated: Without purpose and without pity, we can still love you.

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