As book lovers, in times of heartbreak, we are naturally drawn to passionate words and fiery beauty to inspire comfort or inform our next steps. The Zimmerman verdict and the entirety of the trial has left so many of us in the community alternating between a grief-stricken quiet and a rage that is still finding its full shape and eloquence.
This is a hard place to be: to be a justice loving person who sees the world is broken and doesn’t yet know the next steps toward building a more whole future. Many of you came to Charis this week for a quiet place to sit and talk with people who wouldn’t argue with you. Many of you came to Zahra's community yoga class on Sunday morning for somatic healing; some of you went on a medicinal weed walk around Little 5 Points in the rare break of sunshine. Many of you stopped in on your way to march in the West End. I am very grateful for all of you who are investing in Charis as a community gathering place that can hold your pain, your confusion, your devastating sadness, if only for a moment.
As community members look around the room and ask what next, we are very aware that what’s next must always be more complexity, not less, more multiplicity, fewer easy answers, more hard conversations, more information. Many of you are asking us what you should be reading these days to help you get through the day, change your community, and change the world. We think the answer is two-fold. We hold up and celebrate the amazing real-time feminist and social-justice writing happening online which is able to be immediately responsive to on the ground situations and movement building. We know you already have your favorites, but we are especially grateful for the work of the writers at the Crunk Feminist Collective and believe that they are creating online feminist community in invaluable ways. We also believe there remains a true need for books in times of crisis and heartbreak. The different timescale of a book allows you to sink in and be healed by a different kind of medicine. To that end we have compiled a short list of books that we are looking to for guidance, support, comfort, and challenge this week. These are not all perfect books; nor is this list exhaustive. It is only meant perhaps to touch a place in you that needs a conversation with the page right now in addition to the other conversations you are having.
Presenting the essential writings of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider celebrates an influential voice in twentieth-century literature.
A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document.
A longtime trauma worker, Laura van Dernoot Lipsky offers a deep and empathetic survey of the often-unrecognized toll taken on those working to make the world a better place. We may feel tired, cynical, or numb or like we can never do enough.
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The beautiful practicality of her teaching has made Pema Chodron one of the most beloved of contemporary American spiritual authors among Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. A collection of talks she gave between 1987 and 1994, the book is a treasury of wisdom for going on living when we are overcome by pain and difficulties. Chodron discusses:
A volume in Educational Leadership for Social Justice Series Editor Jeffrey S. Brooks, University of Missouri-Columbia, Denise E. Armstrong, Brock University; Ira Bogotch, Florida Atlantic University; Sandra Harris, Lamar University; Whitney H.
At one time a wild young girl and a brilliant artist, Ava Delaney changes dramatically after a violent event that rocks her entire family. Once loved and respected in their community and in their church, they are ostracized by their neighbors, led by their church leader, and a seventeen-year feud between the Delaneys and the church ensues.
A powerful study of the women's liberation movement in the U.S., from abolitionist days to the present, that demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders. From the widely revered and legendary political activist and scholar Angela Davis.
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Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People's History of the United States is the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of -- and in the words of -- America's women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, working poor, and immigrant laborers.This P.S.
As a favor for a friend, a bright and talented young woman volunteered to read her poetry to a group of prisoners during a Black History Month program. It was an encounter that would alter her life forever, because it was there, in the prison, that she would meet Rashid, the man who was to become her friend, her confidant, her husband, her lover, her soul mate.
What are the conditions needed for our nation to bridge cultural and racial divides? By "writing beyond race," noted cultural critic bell hooks models the constructive ways scholars, activists, and readers can challenge and change systems of domination.
In 1997, this groundbreaking book made a powerful entrance into the national conversation on race. In a media landscape dominated by racially biased images of welfare queens and crack babies, Killing the Black Body exposed America’s systemic abuse of Black women’s bodies.
In Medicating Race, Anne Pollock traces the intersecting discourses of race, pharmaceuticals, and heart disease in the United States over the past century, from the founding of cardiology through the FDA's approval of BiDil, the first drug sanctioned for use in a specific race.
An identification of the problems of divided neighborhoods and nine tools that can mend them What if divided neighborhoods were causing public health problems? What if a new approach to planning and design could tackle both the built environment and collective well-being at the same time? What if cities could help each other?
Nautilus Book Award Winner - Gold
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A compendium of writings that detail the grassroots actions of social and political activists from the civil rights era of the early 1960s to the present day, this book reviews the major points of intersection between white supremacy and the war machine through historic and contemporary articles from a diverse range of scholars and activists.
Organized into four sections, this collection of essays is geared toward activists engaging with the dynamic questions of how to create and support effective movements for visionary systemic change. These essays and interviews present powerful lessons for transformative organizing.
This gorgeous collection gathers Alice Walker's wide-ranging meditations--many of them previously unpublished--on our intertwined personal, spiritual, and political destinies.
"Do not underestimate the power of the book you are holding in your hands."
In the 1960s he exhorted students at Columbia University to burn their college to the ground. Today he’s chair of their School of the Arts film division.