I am STOKED at how many people are writing books right now. There was a time in recent history when popular culture suggested that books were a thing of the past- but I am happy to notice that those predictions were incorrect, and that most of us will never stop reading. Instead of video and internet turning books obsolete, we actually are in an abundance of information with a variety of ways to participate with it. Again: STOKED!
Several folks have asked me what I’m reading these days, so I’m offering this “monthly” (that’s the goal, not necessarily the realistic outcome) reading recap with some reading and listening suggestions, including books, articles, videos, music, podcasts, and anything else. I will share things I've read, watched or listened to, whether I like them or not. I hope you discover some cool new stuff this way!
Read on for this month's recap!
If you’re looking for an easy-to-read contemporary history and current analysis of how structural and interpersonal racism is addressed (and evidenced) in today’s political systems, academia, and social structures in the US, this is the book for you. From the inception of Black Lives Matter, tokenism in academia, the impacts of redlining on neighborhood demographics, and #OscarsSoWhite, Chang offers a compact yet deep tapestry of contemporary racial justice activism in the US and suggests that our work in mending social and personal wounds inflicted by racism and white supremacy will always be ongoing. Thanks to my friend and colleague Gregory Desierto, PsyD for this recommendation.
This album (yes, album!) is an Afrofuturist science fiction space opera, a la Samuel Delaney, about the lone surviving member of a slave spaceship mutiny, his descent into madness, and the ship’s computer that has fallen in love with him. Nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form, Splendor and Misery brings together the best of science fiction in a field normally reserved for books and television. (The most recent occurrence of an album being nominated for a Hugo was in 1971. Here’s a Pitchfork article about why this matters.) Clipping.’s music is difficult to describe; Daveed Diggs (of Hamilton fame) raps over noise beats generated by William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes. Is it rap? …Yes… Is it noise? Sure. Is it hip hop? Not really, but maybe- if we trace the branches of hip hop to the branches of jazz on the music tree, you might find some connection between free jazz and the way William and Jonathan compose their beats. Tip: Listen to “All Black” on your headphones with your eyes closed and be transported through love, rage, body, and ritual.
(Note: I'm not receiving any kind of compensation for these reviews. I also highly recommend shopping at your local bookstore whenever possible! Reading is sexy and so is buying local!)