Summer Reading Challenge

I realize that I haven’t posted much on this website since I entered graduate school, but now that I’m out and working in the world I’m going to start posting again. My goal with this blog, as it always has been, is to interrogate complex questions in social justice and activism, particularly the ways in which different movements or issues intersect and what we should do about those collisions. My general philosophy in activism is that thinking and acting must occur in balance with each other, and that strategy and tactics are just as important as understanding the issues.

With that in mind, and based on everything I’ve been absorbing on Twitter from the time the Ferguson protests broke out until this past week, I’ve decided to spend time this summer reading some core history and theory in a variety of social justice areas to learn more about them and challenge my assumptions. I would like to cover books from the following subjects, at a minimum:

  • Feminism
  • Queer Theory
  • Racism/White Supremacy
  • Cultural Appropriation
  • Intersectionality
  • Labor
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Organizing
  • Poverty
  • Economic Inequality

I welcome suggestions on core books I should read in these areas. Leave suggestions in the comments, or tweet them to me @jboschan. I also plan to post along the way detailing some of my assumptions going in, what I learn from each book, and how my assumptions change after each one. If people are interested in reading along like a book club, we could also potentially do twitter chats after each book.

I’m going to start by rereading a book called “All God’s Children,” by Fox Butterfield. This is a book I first read sometime in middle or high school, and in light of the Black Lives Matter movement, I’d like to revisit it and see if I pick up on things I missed the first time. Here’s the description of the book on Amazon:

“A timely reissue of Fox Butterfield’s masterpiece, All God’s Children, a searing examination of the caustic cumulative effect of racism and violence over 5 generations of black Americans.

Willie Bosket is a brilliant, violent man who began his criminal career at age five; his slaying of two subway riders at fifteen led to the passage of the first law in the nation allowing teenagers to be tried as adults. Butterfield traces the Bosket family back to their days as South Carolina slaves and documents how Willie is the culmination of generations of neglect, cruelty, discrimination and brutality directed at black Americans. From the terrifying scourge of the Ku Klux Klan during Reconstruction to the brutal streets of 1970s New York, this is an unforgettable examination of the painful roots of violence and racism in America”

I hope you will join me on this journey to question my assumptions and deepen my knowledge of social justice.

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This entry was posted in Education, Feminism, General Post, labor, Poverty, Race.

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