There is a bevy of scholarship that suggests that research can be strengthened through community–academic partnerships and that such partnerships are inherently mutually beneficial. However, there are competing cultures of community-based organizations and academic institutions, oftentimes with different stakes, timelines, constituents, and sites of knowledge making and knowledge production. The COVID-19 pandemic and its “afterlives” made hyper-visible the miscommunications, misunderstandings, and misalignment of a grant-funded community partnership in which we were engaged. In this article, we employ collaborative autoethnographic and poetic inquiry approaches to theorize “beef”—a Black cultural understanding of mis/understandings, problems, arguments, fights, and so on. While we will work toward offering our reflections in this piece for our future commitments to the field as “community-accountable scholars,” we also center a transparency and vulnerability about our dis/comfort and about the actual ruptures that did and can happen in partnerships.

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