The Love + Justice Reading Rally: February 2018
A few weeks ago, Soulful MBA (Sandy and Jenni, the feminist founders of the teaching platform, Namastream) told me on Instagram that they wanted to know what books I was reading…
…and that planted a seed in my noggin’.
This new series, The Love + Justice Reading Rally, is the result of that seedling.
I’ve been saving what I’ve been reading and metabolizing and unabashedly loving (or not!) this week and I’m sharing it with you in case there’s some good material in here for you, too.
Going forward, I’ll publish The Love + Justice Reading Rally once a month, at the end of the month.
Here are the books I’m reading this month
You know those features asking people what books are on their nightstand?
There are no books on my nightstand. My books are mostly on Kindle…or where the microwave ought to be.
Food for the soul, indeed.
I try to read one book every weekend, so this is what’s on screen and in my head this month:
Note: These book cover images link to affiliate book listings on Amazon. If you buy one using this link, I get paid a commission
Here’s everything else I’m reading
This FB post from Suzanne Siemens of Lunapads and their new website — the imagery, the copy, the alignment with their actual business practices across time — brought tears to my eyes…
…and I said so, in my comment. Here’s what I wrote:
First, I’ve been to your office and workspace and met the team. I know how you work and your feminist business practices — so I know your feminist brand positioning isn’t positioning at all, but the real deal. You walk the talk**.
And then, second, because the imagery was so inclusive. Fat bodies. Non binary bodies*. People of colour. It was so real and human and not homogenized. I felt so affirmed and hopeful.
Third, I’ve seen radical campaigns (like say, H&M and one of your competitors) that appeared intersectional but then was disappointed to find out their exploitative labour practices didn’t match their feminist visuals — and because I KNOW you walk the talk**, I felt this deep heartfelt yes. This isn’t a ploy, this is a real feminist business, all the way through, and **this is how we do it**. Feminist businesses for the win.
I’m so happy for you and so proud for you of the work you do in the world.
I’m thrilled you’re thriving. It’s a lighthouse of possibility in what sometimes feels like shadowy, urgent times. You show me that yes, we can do this. We can build thriving enterprises based on our values — and we should. Onward. Together we rise.
The Instagram feed of Ilya Parker of Decolonizing Fitness has the same effect on me. This work is a glimpse at a just future, now.
You can follow Ilya (and buy a shirt!) and please do:
Ok so while we’re on the subject of tears, and belly laughs, and sighs of recognition (and relief), you MUST check out Emelia Symington-Fedy’s new audio memoir, Trying to Be Good: The Healing Powers of Lying, Cheating, Stealing, and Drugs
Emelia is a radio show host, an actor, a playwright (I took my mom to her play on motherhood last year for Mother’s Day and we laughed and wept all the way through), a comedienne, a performance artist, a yoga teacher, a mama, a friend. She is fierce with her love. I get tears in my eyes just thinking about how she was a rock for me last year when I was in the muck.
She helped me keep my chin up.
Anyway: Emelia’s audio-memoir is raw, it’s real, it’s deep, it’s life, it’s wise and wise-cracking.
In other words, it’s everything you need in your life if you’re exhausted by carefully curated love and light, as though nothing else exists.
I loved it so much I bought and downloaded two copies. One for each ear? Nah, just sisterly love.
(I learned this from Danielle LaPorte, who’s written that when people you love or want to boost put something out in the world, you buy one. Or a few.)
Emelia is a huge talent. HUGE.
This is a wonderful breakdown from Scott Woods about how black directors Ryan Coogler and Ava DuVernay use their growing power to do great work for great causes and to create more art.
These two massive talents are, as my friend Meghna Majmudar often says, “playing the game to change the game”.
And what Scott Woods writes underlines for me how important it is for culture makers to generate influence and then USE IT.
Use your clout to do more great work. Don’t underuse your power.
Earn it and use alllllllllll of it.
Because together we rise.
You’ve seen Black Panther. Now get your ticket for A Wrinkle in Time.
A new Sade song. This is not a drill.
ALSO: Apparently Ava DuVernay fully expected Sade to say no, yet **she asked anyway**.
A lesson for us: Be audacious. ASK ANYWAY.
Ava DuVernay Asked Sade To Create An Original Song For ‘A Wrinkle In Time,’ And She Said Yes
Isaac Hayes didn’t care if it the music he was making was commercial. He went all out on bringing the unconventional, genre-busting, genre-making sounds in his head to life…
…and the album stayed on the charts for 69 weeks.
An inspiration and an ode to the energetic power of NOT diluting your message, your voice, your work.
‘I didn’t give a damn if it didn’t sell’: how Isaac Hayes helped create psychedelic soul
I’m sincerely trying to unpack what I perceive to be the jealousy and viciousness I’m witnessing in our own culture-making communities without defaulting to the “women are just catty and awful” bullshit trope.
I haven’t got it figured out. Yet.
Career Envy Should Be Celebrated, Not Denied
Admittedly, my glee in this is not coming from my best self. But oh, how I relished these headlines:
““You Go, Girl! How to Balance Being a Mom and Being a Silent Figurehead for a Deeply Unstable Presidency”
“The New Open Marriage? Why Leaving Your Husband in the Middle of the Night, in a Private Jet, While He’s Under House Arrest Is the Next Modern Relationship Trend”
Headlines from the Life-Style Blog of an Increasingly Anxious Ivanka Trump
Teen Vogue, of course, is asking all the right questions.
Street Style Photos Exclude Plus-Size and Black People.
Everything from Your Fat Friend is amazing. Linda Bacon described her to me as one the most beautiful writers, ever, and wow, is that ever true. What a writer.
“I’m body positive as long as you’re not obese.” – Your Fat Friend – Medium
If you’ve got a hankering for lemon pie because of my newsletter on Feb 21 (If you’d like to subscribe, you can sign up here), this is the recipe I was talking about.
From the esteemed Dr. Maya Angelou’s cookbook:
Lemon Meringue Pie – Cuisine Noir Magazine
On rapid learning and unlearning: after I wrote this, I learned two things:
* that gender is not something that’s visible; and trans politics is about disrupting this notion. In other words, there’s no such thing as looking “non-binary”...and so I got it wrong when I wrote “non-binary bodies” as a visual descriptor, above.
** walk-the-talk is ableist
This note was self-induced. No one’s said anything to me about either of these things. I wanted to draw your attention to them for the sake of being real. I am never done learning and unlearning. No one is. We’re in this together.