Social Change Reading List

My friend and I put together a reading list in response to the horrifying election results. You can find it on Goodreads as “Social Change Book Recommendations” or check it out below (the Goodreads list is constantly being updated though). You can also add books to this list.

  • “We Should All be Feminists” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • “Between the World and Me” – Ta-Nahisi Coates
  • “Bad Feminist” – Roxane Gay
  • “Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman” – Lindy West
  • “In the Country We Love: My Family Divided” – Diane Guerrero
  • “Citizen: An American Lyric” – Claudia Rankine
  • “Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood” – Marjane Satrapi
  • “March” (Books 1-3) – John Lewis et al.
  • “Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America” – Firoozeh Dumas
  • “Muslims and the Making of America” – Amir Hussain
  • “We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation” – Jeff Chang
  • “Negroland: A Memoir” – Margo Jefferson
  • “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America” – Ibram X. Kendi
  • “Scapegoats: How Islamophobia Helps Our Enemies and Threatens Our Freedoms
  • “When We Fight, We Win: Twenty-First-Century Social Movements and the Activists That Are Transforming Our World” – Greg Jobin-Leeds
  • “The Middle of Everywhere: Helping Refugees Enter the American Community” – Mary Pipher
  • “Sex Object” – Jessica Valenti
  • “Just Like Us: The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America” – Helen Thorpe
  • “Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College town” – Jon Krakauer
  • “I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim” – Maria M. Ebrahimji
  • “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” – J.D. Vance
  • “Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism” – bell hooks
  • “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” – Matthew Desmond
  • “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate” – Naomi Klein
  • “Known and Strange Things” – Teju Cole
  • “We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler” – Russell Freedman
  • “This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color” – Cherrie L. Moraga
  • “Harvest of Empire” A History of Latinos in America” – Juan Gonzalez
  • “Hope in the Dark” – Rebecca Solnit
  • “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” – Michelle Alexander
  • “Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement” – Angela Y. Davis
  • “White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America” – Nancy Isenberg
  • “Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People” – Thomas Frank
  • “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right” – Jane Mayer
  • “Beyond Outrage: What has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy, and how to fix it” – Robert B. Reich
  • “The Fire Next Time” – James Baldwin
  • “The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race” – Jesmyn Ward
  • “Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man’s Education” – Mychal Denzel Smith
  • “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates” – Wes Moore
  • “Men We Reaped” – Jesmyn Ward
  • “Readin Lolita in Tehran” – Azar Nafisi
  • “The Complete Maus #1-2)” – Art Spiegelman

Deal With It for President

I have returned! No, I don’t have an excuse for being gone so long. I just was. So there.

Anyway, this election is CRAZY! I’m actually waking up in the middle of the night with anxiety attacks because I’m so afraid our next president is going to be… Wait, no, this isn’t the post where I talk about who I want to be president and who I really, really, really, really x infinity do NOT want to be president.

No, this post is about something else. It’s related but it’s not candidate-specific and I believe it absolutely needs to be said. Okay, here goes:

You don’t get to decide who the next president is going to be.

I mean, yeah, you get to vote and all that – but that’s it. And just because you and all of your friends support someone – it doesn’t mean the majority of the country agrees with you. They might vote for someone else. And you have to deal with it.

In fact, you could very well be in the minority every single time there is an election. And you know what happens then? Nada. You have no say in the matter at that point. Democracy has spoken and even though you are disappointed by it, it doesn’t mean it’s broken.

The political pendulum swings back and forth and will continue to do so. Probably for eternity. We’ve all had plenty of disappointments in politics. It sucks. In fact, it hurts in a very personal way. You think that the rest of the country is a huge, ignorant disappointment. And sometimes they truly are. But humanity keeps trudging along.

So, no matter who is elected in November, please save me your Not My President memes and threats to move to Canada. If you are that upset, work on education and activism (or even write a blog) and maybe the next election will go your way. But be prepared, progress happens slowly. As Martin Luther King said:

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

I have to believe this.