All posts tagged: Lisa Biggs

Excerpt from The Healing Stage


This piece is excerpted from The Healing Stage: Black Women, Incarceration, and the Art of Transformation by Lisa Biggs ’93, a guest at Amherst College’s LitFest 2024. Register for this exciting celebration of Amherst’s literary legacy and life.

Book cover of The Healing Stage. Black and white text reading "Lisa Biggs; The Healing Stage; Black women, incarceration, and the art of transformation" on a tan background.


Stage healing as a practice of self-repair is generated and sustained by women behind bars in collaboration with the volunteer theater artists who direct their drama clubs. The term is deeply indebted to Cara Page and the Kindred Healing Justice Collective, who characterized healing justice as “how we can holistically respond to and intervene in generational trauma and violence … to bring collective practices that can impact and transform the consequences of oppression on our bodies, hearts and minds.” This “active intervention,” writes Prentiss Hemphill, makes listening to and collaborating with people who are “imagining transformative responses to harm” other than “feeding Black incarceration” foundational, not only to healing work but also to Black community organizing—in their case, specifically the Black Lives Matter movement.25 Healing justice recognizes that locating alternative, noncarceral responses to harmdoing requires finding ways to “develop and to honor practitioners of many different disciplines and modalities with capacities and skills to be with trauma, who know themselves well enough to navigate the complex terrain of emotion and guide others towards change.”26

Excerpt from The Healing Stage