Monday, July 18, 2016

Racial Justice Resources, Chapter 4: History & Poetry

You may read previous chapters here.

Chapter 1: Disclaimers, Baby Steps, Intersectionality, and Critical Race Theory
Chapter 2: For Church Study, Feminist Work, & Theology
Chapter 3: News Sources & Organizations, Whiteness & White Supremacy


I love reading history. I love that history is not only definitive story, but also threads of narrative told from a variety of perspectives. Here's a brief selected bibliography.

History

A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn
A Larger Memory: A History of Our Diversity, With Voices, by Ronald Takaki
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, by James W. Loewen
Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong, by James W. Loewen
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (Revisioning American History), by Roxane Dunbar-Ortiz
Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History 1513-2008, by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Martin & Malcolm & America: A Dream or a Nightmare, by James H. Cone
White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race, by Ian Haney-Lopez
Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal, by Aviva Chomsky
Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian America, by Ronald Takaki
Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People, by Helen Zia
Changing Woman: A History of Racial Ethnic Women in Modern America, by Karen Anderson
Loving in the War Years: Lo Que Nunca Paso Por Sus Labios, by CherrĂ­e L. Moraga
From Mammy to Miss America and Beyond: Cultural Images and the Shaping of US Social Policy, by K. Sue Jewell
Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America, by Juan Gonzalez


Poetry

This is a woefully incomplete list of poets. I decided to give just a taste of the poets I’ve most loved to read over the years. This is a list of women of color poets I would consider almost “classics” in contemporary (or recent past) U.S. literature.

Nayyirah Waheed
Maya Angelou
Janice Mirikitani
Sonia Sanchez
Elizabeth Alexander
Suheir Hammad
June Jordan
Nikki Giovanni
Joy Harjo
Lucille Clifton
Mitsuye Yamada
Leslie Marmon Silko
Gwendolyn Brooks
Sonia Sanchez

I also tend to keep an eye on spoken word, especially the young people who perform in the Brave New Voices festival. If you want to feel better about the capacity of young people to name hard truths, claim love and beauty in struggle, locate voice as people of color in white supremacist America, and claim antiracist white identities, go find them. You can follow them on social media, find videos online, and join the network here: http://youthspeaks.org/bravenewvoices/ 

8 comments:

  1. have you read Natasha Trethewey? Just read one of her volumes (Belloqc's Ophelia), and have read a few others published elsewhere.
    And thank you again for this series. and for all your good work.

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    1. I haven't! Thanks for telling me about her.

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  2. Have you read Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric (a poetry collection)? It won the 2014 National Book Critic Circle's Award for poetry. It's really powerful!

    Sylvia Hamilton's "And I alone escaped to tell you" (also 2014) is a volume of poetry that examines the African experience in Nova Scotia. It's hard to find in the US, but a beautiful volume.

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  3. Becoming an Ally:Breaking the Cycle of Oppression, by Anne Bishop

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