Academic Racism

As I’ve been working towards my PhD, one thing that’s often struck me is the way in which white researchers, white academics, write about issues that affect Black people. Even some of the authors that I think have a decent racial analysis, who discuss the ways in which structural racism operates to create systems of…

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Book 18: Eloquent Rage, A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower–Brittney Cooper

What I loved about reading this book is that she spoke so directly to so many of my life experiences, particularly when it comes to Black exceptionalism, overachieving, and adherence to respectability. While we decidedly had very different economic upbringings, it was like we experienced the same social frustrations and racial animosity of instructors and…

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Book 17: Gathering of Waters–Bernice McFadden

This may be the first book on my list I really didn’t enjoy, which is unfortunate because I was truly looking forward to it. The book cover is a set up; it is not at all an accurate reflection of what the story is about. Gathering of Waters is a deeply engrossing tale narrated by…

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Book 16: Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth–Warsan Shire

I first learned about Warsan Shire through Beyoncé. Her visual album, Lemonade, had all this great dialogue in between songs, and it turns out it was attributed to Shire, so of course I had to know more. She was born in Kenya to Somali parents and immigrated to the United Kingdom. What’s wild to think…

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Book 15: Homegirls & Handgrenades–Sonia Sanchez

Another book of poetry, another reminder of how difficult poetry is (can be) to fully grasp. I feel like to truly appreciate Sonia Sanchez I need to read this in a class with someone facilitating a discussion; someone who knows more about her, knows how to interpret her stylizations. I never could figure out what to…

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Book 14: The Color Purple–Alice Walker

I’ve seen The Color Purple with Whoopie Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Oprah, no less than ten times. I’ve also seen the (first) broadway version of story and would like to see the more recent (and apparently better) broadway musical. But I’ve never read the book. Surprisingly, I didn’t finish the book and think about how…

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Book 13: The Taste of Salt-Martha Southgate

In essence, this novel is about flawed people with a flawed family, who try to do right, try and lead normal productive lives, and still find themselves in messy, difficult, overwhelming situations. What was refreshing about The Taste of Salt, was that it had atypical Black characters with both typical Black-life problems and typical life problems…

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MC Elis – 6 year old Brazilian musical artist

This young girl is over here singing about: Loving her natural hair: it’s NOT dry/hard, it’s her crown as a queen Being sick of racism Pride in her Blackness: referring to herself explicitly as Black (preta) rather than one of the endless other terms that refer to color (mulata, moreninha) but try to maintain distance…

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