Heart X-rays is a twenty-first-century beat epic poem that ranges across landscapes and voices, with appearances by Banksy, Pussy Riot, hip-hop, the down and out, the up and coming, heartbreak and joybreak, while exploring the mystery we call the human heart. If indeed poetry can offer an RX, a prescription to the bloody joyful teary-eyed American paradox, it is one that calls forth all the voices that have not yet been heard, that harbors an innocence that reaches into the very heart of our own excellence. A collaborative work between two poets and working-class activists, Heart X-rays is a poetic memory of today written in the alphabet of a future.
Join us as M. Earl Smith Presents, Stars Over Latin America, a children’s book based on the nonfictional account of Ernesto "Che" Guevara and Alberto Granado and their 1952 motorcycle trip through several Latin American countries. Stars Over Latin America explores this revolutionary history, presenting it in a relatable format making this timeless tale easily accessible for future generations.
1932, Mittie Maude Lena Gordon spoke to a crowd of black Chicagoans at the old
Jack Johnson boxing ring, rallying their support for emigration to West Africa.
In 1937, Celia Jane Allen traveled to Jim Crow Mississippi to organize rural
black workers around black nationalist causes. In the late 1940s, from her home
in Kingston, Jamaica, Amy Jacques Garvey launched an extensive letter-writing
campaign to defend the Greater Liberia Bill, which would relocate 13 million
black Americans to West Africa.
Gordon, Allen, and Jacques Garvey—as well as Maymie De Mena,
Ethel Collins, Amy Ashwood, and Ethel Waddell—are part of an overlooked and
understudied group of black women who take center stage in Set the
World on Fire, the first book to examine how black nationalist women
engaged in national and global politics from the early twentieth century to the
1960s. Historians of the era generally portray the period between the Garvey
movement of the 1920s and the Black Power movement of the 1960s as an era of
declining black nationalist activism, but Keisha N. Blain reframes the Great
Depression, World War II, and the early Cold War as significant eras of black
nationalist—and particularly, black nationalist women's—ferment.
In Chicago, Harlem, and the Mississippi Delta, from Britain
to Jamaica, these women built alliances with people of color around the globe,
agitating for the rights and liberation of black people in the United States
and across the African diaspora. As pragmatic activists, they employed multiple
protest strategies and tactics, combined numerous religious and political
ideologies, and forged unlikely alliances in their struggles for freedom.
Drawing on a variety of previously untapped sources, including newspapers,
government records, songs, and poetry, Set the World on Fire highlights
the flexibility, adaptability, and experimentation of black women leaders who
demanded equal recognition and participation in global civil society.
In the United States, both struggles against oppression and the gains made by various movements for equality have often been led by Black people. Still, though progress has regularly been fueled by radical Black efforts, liberal politics are based on ideas and practices that impede the continued progress of Black America. Building on their original essay “The Anarchism of Blackness,” (link: https://roarmag.org/magazine/black-liberation-anti-fascism/ ) Zoé Samudzi and William C. Anderson make the case for a new program of self-defense and transformative politics for Black Americans, one rooted in an anarchistic framework that the authors liken to the Black experience itself. This book argues against compromise and negotiation with intolerance. It is a manifesto for everyone who is ready to continue progressing towards liberation. "As Black as Resistance is a searing indictment of the U.S. settler colonial project and a call to action to save ourselves from the forces of oppression and tyranny. The philosophy of the book might well be summarized as 'we’re all we’ve got.' This book appears in a chaotic time when the gap between rich and poor continues to grow, when climate change is causing mass devastation, when fascism appears resurgent and when the ever-expanding carceral state is criminalizing and prematurely killing millions. In this context, William C. Anderson and Zoé Samudzi insist that our current political moment demands that we reject liberalism and embrace a more radical program to transform our conditions. They argue persuasively that grounding ourselves in the Black radical tradition offers the best path forward toward freedom and liberation." —Mariame Kaba, from the Foreword
Polyamorous people and communities can appear, at first glance, to be very open and welcoming. In many case, they don't take the time to get introspective about why they may come across as unfriendly or inaccessible to people of color. Love's Not Color Blind is a book about what we can do to change that landscape. Join author Kevin Patterson for a workshop on intersectional polyamory and a personally-driven discussion on how race can impact polyamory on both individual and community levels.
Using his unique lens as a critical race theorist and law professor, Khaled A. Beydoun captures the many ways in which law, policy, and official state rhetoric have fueled the frightening resurgence of Islamophobia in the United States. Beydoun charts its long and terrible history, from the plight of enslaved African Muslims in the antebellum South and the laws prohibiting Muslim immigrants from becoming citizens to the ways the war on terror assigns blame for any terrorist act to Islam and the myriad trials Muslim Americans face in the Trump era. He passionately argues that by failing to frame Islamophobia as a system of bigotry endorsed and emboldened by law and carried out by government actors, U.S. society ignores the injury it inflicts on both Muslims and non-Muslims. Through the stories of Muslim Americans who have experienced Islamophobia across various racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines, Beydoun shares how U.S. laws shatter lives, whether directly or inadvertently. And with an eye toward benefiting society as a whole, he recommends ways for Muslim Americans and their allies to build coalitions with other groups. Like no book before it, American Islamophobia offers a robust and genuine portrait of Muslim America then and now.
The story of Christine Jorgensen, America’s first prominent transsexual, famously narrated trans embodiment in the postwar era. Her celebrity, however, has obscured other mid-century trans narratives—ones lived by African Americans such as Lucy Hicks Anderson and James McHarris. Their erasure from trans history masks the profound ways race has figured prominently in the construction and representation of transgender subjects. In Black on Both Sides, C. Riley Snorton identifies multiple intersections between blackness and transness from the mid-nineteenth century to present-day anti-black and anti-trans legislation and violence.
Lisa Ko’s uncompromising, timely debut novel, THE LEAVERS, not only won the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Fiction – awarded by Barbara Kingsolver to a novel that addresses contemporary issues of social justice – last year, but was also a finalist for the National Book Award and the Barnes & Noble Discover Awards. Ko’s penetrating and emotionally rich work courageously tackles rarely-talked-about subtleties behind larger issues of immigration and adoption as it looks at questions of what it means to belong. Garnering tremendous critical acclaim nationwide, THE LEAVERS became one of the best books of 2017.
When eleven-year-old Deming Guo’s mother, Polly, an undocumented Chinese immigrant, fails to come home from work one day at the nail salon, he is left on his own. Adopted by two white college professors, he moves from the Bronx to upstate New York, where his name is changed to Daniel Wilkinson and his well-intentioned new parents try to give him an all-American life. But the boy, haunted by his mother’s disappearance and memories of all he has been forced to leave behind, struggles to embrace fully this new reality. Told from the perspective of both Daniel –as he grows into a troubled young man–and Polly, the narrative unravels the unnerving mystery of Polly’s disappearance and the difficult choice she is forced to make.
In Fighting For Space: How a Group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle with Addiction; author, Travis Lupick, recounts how Downtown Eastside activists marched in the streets to force politicians to change how we respond to the challenge of addiction. Drawing from the experience of the drug crisis in Vancouver in the 90’s. Lupick’s work explores a history of harm-reduction activism that connects the story in the book with the Downtown East-side’s response to the fentanyl crisis today. In the 1990s, drug overdoses killed hundreds and then thousands of people in Vancouver. Eventually, the city responded in incredible ways. Politicians listened to the demands of drug users and that led Vancouver to establish the continent’s first supervised-injection facility, Insite. Solutions to Vancouver’s crisis of the ’90s came from the drug users themselves. It was a political war that took nearly two decades but the activists eventually won. Today Vancouver is championed for pioneering harm reduction. Lupick will talk about where those activists are now, what roles they’ve taken on since fentanyl arrived, and what these drug users and their allies argue must happen next to begin to reduce overdose deaths.