Powerful and timely, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas well deserves its long-held spot at the top of the New York Times Young Adult Bestseller list. If you read only one book this year, it ought to be this one. Thomas masterfully combines social justice and talented story-telling in this novel about teenage Starr Carter who witnesses her best friend being shot to death by the police. Not only does the novel examine major problems that affect people of color like police brutality, but it also explores smaller, more insidious ones like microaggressions and cultural appropriation. Every character is so multi-faceted and believable, you will find yourself caring deeply about them and what they are going through. Continue reading Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
On April 2nd, I had the honor of seeing the Encores! production of 1776. The play stars Santino Fontana as John Adams, who is coercing the rest of the Continental Congress to declare independence. It’s a simple plot, and the show ends with each representative signing the Declaration of Independence. Where this show shines is through its witty dialogue and clever song lyrics.
I’m gobsmacked. I have not seen a sitcom tackle a weighty topic like police brutality since A Different World, which was more than twenty years ago. But this week’s Black-ish dared, and I applaud Kenya Barris for it. The writer and showrunner confessed he’s “never been as afraid about an episode of television that I’ve written in my life.”
That fear, as the episode “Hope” shows, is well-founded. The Johnson family gathers around the television to hear the results of an alleged police brutality case that resulted in the death of an unarmed teenager. It sparks a discussion between the family, with the youngest members confused and wondering what everyone’s so upset about.
The news these days is rough and full of pain happening all over the world: Nepal, Kenya, Iraq, on the Mediterranean, and in the streets of Baltimore. As one of the Co-Editors-in-Chief of the Daily Geekette, I could not let this week pass without us addressing what has been going on in Baltimore. As a website, we have had only limited coverage of the issues around Ferguson and Black Lives Matter. But as a strong believer in the idea that “your liberation is bound up with mine” (a phrase that came from an Australian Aboriginal activist group, c. 1970s), I believe that, as a feminist website, we cannot ignore the oppression of others, much less the repeated killings of young black people.
However, I didn’t want to write about my feelings or share my thoughts about what is going on in a city I have never even visited. That is not my place. Instead I have created a collection of articles written by others, and some additional resources, such as people to follow on twitter. And before the list begins, I want to leave you with two quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. that have been very present for me as I think about this current moment in history:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”
“A riot is the language of the unheard”