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February 2013

Read This Week

This is my 33rd Read This Week feature! Below are some great articles and essays that I’ve recently read. (For new subscribers to Gradient Lair, I’ve shared a post like this weekly since the blog’s start, including some writing that I think may be of interest to you, based on your interest in my blog.)

100 Books By Black Women Everyone Must Read on For Harriet is a nice list! Of course it is not a “conclusive” list; it’s an amazing collection and a great starting place. I’ve read many of the books on this list and even more that didn’t make the list. However, don’t say Black women never gave you nothin’. This list is so rich. Amazing.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Rosa Parks by aninvisibleman on Tumblr is good. Rosa Parks, like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and many other Black political icons seem to have their complicated histories and lives White-washed and reduced to tropes and slogans. But, even Black people are complicit in this because many feel that if anything deemed a “flaw” surfaces about them, their legacies become “tarnished” and their work means less. I disagree. It means they are human beings. Fear of the White gaze from Blacks and racism and tokenism from Whites is why their true histories aren’t examined often.

What Is Life In Black (USA) by racismschool on Tumblr is an important read. It answers the ludicrous assumption that life is “easy” for Black people in America, and mentions the race-specific problems that we encounter from birth through death. It’s a painful but important read.

Trayvon Martin Could Have Been 18 If Not For Racism by cnrush on Tumblr is an important read. Trayvon Martin’s 18th birthday was this week on February 5th. In this essay, she explains the cycle in which Black victims, their families, our communities find ourselves in, in regards to how these crimes are prosecuted, or not.

So You Want To Be A Straight Ally by 9001twistedstrings on Tumblr is a great read. The author explains how NOT to be an ally and then explains how to be a good one. This is an important read for cisgender heterosexual people. Further, the author elaborates on the point of intersectionality, as it pertains to the LGBTQ community. Remember, all people of this community are not thin, attractive, cisgender, middle-class, White gay men. Important read!

Stay tuned for next week’s suggestions!

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