30 books by women of color that I read this year

"the new jim crow" book next to container of chinese hand-pulled noodles

Some light lunchtime reading.

Inspired by Victoria Law’s decision to read 50 books by people of color in 2014, I decided to do a similar challenge: 25 books by women of color (which turned into 30).  I’m happy to report that I read some really awesome books, and found many authors whose work I’d like to read more of.

I’ve organized the books I read by genre, as Victoria did in her summary post. If you have book recommendations, leave them in the comments! I’m not sure whether I will do another challenge for 2015, but either way I would like to continue reading more books by people of color, especially women and queer poc.

Sci-fi/fantasy/speculative fiction

Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord

Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson

Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler
Two novels about a young black woman who lives in a near-future climate change dystopia and founds her own religion. I loved the first book, but felt the sequel wasn’t as good for many reasons. (For example: the first book came out in 1993, but feels like it could have been written yesterday, whereas the second book was published in 2000 and feels rather dated in its focus on the dangers of fundamentalist Christianity.) Both books are absorbingly written, but incredibly bleak–I recommend reading them only if you’re in the right head-space to process a never-ending string of loss and trauma.

Ash by Malinda Lo

Memoir

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock
Janet Mock is awesome. That is all.

Crazy Brave: A Memoir by Joy Harjo
Joy Harjo is also awesome. Seriously, you need to read this book.

Men We Reaped: A Memoir by Jesmyn Ward
This is the heart-breaking story of five young black men in the author’s life, including her brother, who died within four years.

Fugitive Visions: An Adoptee’s Return to Korea by Jane Jeong Trenka

Hapa Girl: A Memoir by May-Lee Chai

A Cup of Water Under My Bed by Daisy Hernandez
A beautiful book; you can read excerpts here and here. Continue reading

Support black activists, projects, and organizations for #GivingTuesday

two fat black women bellydancing

Etang and Tammy of Your Body Raks

One of my friends posted on Facebook that she’s looking for black-run projects to donate to today, which I thought was a great idea. Here’s a list of suggestions:

The Girls Raks Bellydance and Body Image Program: a body-positive bellydance course for young women in Oakland, CA, taught by fabulous fat dancers Etang Inyang and Tammy Johnson (pictured above).

-Janet Mock is running a book drive to get books by trans people of color to trans prisoners around the US.

Black Girl Dangerous, one of the blogs I read regularly, “seeks to, in as many ways possible, amplify the voices, experiences and expressions of queer and trans* people of color.”

-Another regular read: HoodFeminism, which you can donate to here.

The Black Youth Project (BYP) “is committed to producing research about the ideas, attitudes, and experiences of young black people; providing a platform for their voices and perspectives; and mobilizing young people and their allies to make positive change and build the world within which they want to live.” Continue reading

Monday links, 2/17/14

Sometimes Boston’s trees grown pom-poms in the winter.

I’m sorry for the lateness of this links roundup. I lost my job last week (found out on Thursday that Friday was my last day), so I’ve spent the weekend recovering, trying to cheer myself up, and re-reading Sarah Kendzior’s writing on surviving the post-employment economy for sheer relevance.

I also have a bunch of Fatshion February outfit posts that I’ll be putting up soon. I’ve still been wearing and photographing fun outfits, but just haven’t gotten around to posting them yet.

Fa(t)shion
-It makes me so excited when people write their own reflections inspired by my posts! Celendra has some thoughts here about the availability of plus size clothing, inspired by my post about wanting pretty things, dammit.
An open letter to yarn companies from a fat knitter.
-On the double standard where thin girls dressed casually are considered cute, while fat girls dressed the same way are often seen as lazy.
-This fat cosplay of Elsa from Frozen is amazing.
-Exciting tutu-related news: Zelie for She’s new collection includes a gorgeous pale pink tutu! *drools*
-Total style inspiration: figure skater Johnny Weir’s silver sequin outfit.
-Shakesville holds another fat fashion resources thread. I’m so glad this is a thing.
-Rachel of Re/Dress writes about why she’s had a hard time finding clothing about 3x to carry online, and how she’s been trying hard to find manufacturers that will make larger sizes.  I appreciate that people like her are working so hard to make larger sizes available, and it just sucks that so many manufacturers have refused to make larger sizes, even when she offers them extra money. It’s ridiculous that there’s so much consumer demand for larger plus sizes, but manufacturers won’t listen.
Live Fat Die Yum sweatpants = yes.

Fat Acceptance
-This fat punk cartoon girl is the cutest.
Fat burlesque pictures always make me so happy.
-I so wish I could make it to Curve Camp, a body-positive yoga retreat in Nashville run by Anna of Curvy Yoga.
-Liss writes about the many “fat taxes” that fat people have to pay.

Climate and Sustainability
-The title of this article sounds like it’s about the Olympics, but it’s actually about indigenous rights, corporate greed, and the struggle to preserve a sustainable way of life and protect a sacred–and extremely biodiverse–environment: To get the gold, they will have to kill every one of us.
-A pre-med’s perspective on climate change, public health, and the need for fossil fuel divestment.
-Wen Stephenson reports on the growing movement to merge economic justice and climate activism. This is exactly what I believe in, and am trying to be part of.
Of pipelines, lunch counters, and warheads: effective protest requires concrete goals.
Oglala Sioux vow to stop Keystone XL if Obama won’t say no.
-Also planning to fight KXL: the students behind XL Dissent.

Other times, they grow really weird and cool ice formations.

Continue reading