Social Justice Book Club: Wrap Up and Announcements

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Hey friends,

First of all, thank you so much for participating in our edition of Social Justice Book Club. I’m floored by the responses and the discussions that have taken place as a result of our new format, and just the sheer number of people that have joined the group. The internet is constantly amazing me with how it can bring people together. 

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While Hope In The Dark wasn’t my most favorite SJBC pick, I think it’s one that we all needed in some capacity or the other. This book was a calculated choice for the club, given all of the recent (and ongoing) unrest and radical shifts happening in our current political climate worldwide, and I hope it served up in some capacity to everyone that participated in SJBC. I thought it started off well, felt a little disjointed and repetitive in the middle, and towards the end I was drawn in. Some of her stances felt like it came from a place of white privilege. However, I appreciated the overall message of the book, particularly the part about keeping perspective during the fight for social change. Something I’ve observed in the last few weeks is how easy it is for us to give in to the chaos, which I think is a part of the current administration’s agenda. Panicked people are too distraught to fight back. However, it is safe to say that a lot of things happening in America have been happening for a very long time, and now it’s broadened to impact a significant number of groups. So I’m working on picking out specific actionables, some as an in-group advocate, and some as an ally to other marginalized groups, focusing on those, and trying to remain hopeful and not give in to despair. Like Solnit said, “Your opponents would love you to believe that it’s hopeless, that you have no power, that there’s no reason to act, that you can’t win. Hope is a gift you don’t have to surrender, a power you don’t have to throw away.

If you enjoyed or were intrigued by Hope In The Dark, here are some titles we suggest for further reading:

A few announcements:

  1. As mentioned over on Slack, we will be having a Black History Month edition of SJBC in the month of February. We will be reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X As Told To Alex Haley. Once again, this is completely optional and a low-pressure book club, since all book discussions will be happening in it’s own channel and you are free to mute notifications as needed. For those people that are comfortable with a fairly loose schedule:
    Introduction to Chapter 6: Detroit Red
    Chapter 7: Hustler to Chapter 13: Minister Malcolm X
    Chapter 14: Black Muslims to Epilogue

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  2. If you are new to this space and our interested in joining our Slack discussion, you can sign up here and we’ll add you as soon as possible! Unsure how to use Slack? We’ve got you covered.

  3. Lastly, we’d love to hear about your experience with SJBC on Slack. Kerry and I are looking to continue honing the club format to provide the best experience for participants, so any feedback you have for us is greatly appreciated. 

Thanks for sticking with me till the end, and I look forward to continuing our thoughtful discussions over on Slack!

-J

Teaser Tuesday: April 19th, 2016

Hello!

It’s Teaser Tuesday!

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This fun bookish meme is hosted by MizB at Books And A Beat. The rules are pretty simple: Grab your current read, open a random page, and pick two teaser, non-spoilery sentences to share from that page. 

Here’s mine for this week:

“Proximity has taught me some basic and humbling truths, including this vital lesson: Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done. My work with the poor and the incarcerated has persuaded me that the opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice.”

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This is the book we’re reading for the first edition of the Social Justice Book Club, hosted by the brilliant Kerry McHugh. This is just a trial run, but I’m hoping that enough people join to make this at the very least a bi-monthly thing. It’s just a readalong, so you can tweet/blog/share your thoughts on social media using the tag #sjbc. It is an intense read, and I keep having to put it down after every chapter because it makes me so angry, but you should read the book. 

Until later,

-J