Instead, all of my tiny-text-reading hours are devoted to textbooks which have gifted my scholiocis with a flareup of painful symptoms. But, it’s all worth it! I know one day the textbooks I’m studying will enable me to serve clients and represent their civil and human rights claims.
In the meantime, Lena has been Lenaing–or, reading–a bunch. So, we’ve captured her top 5 favorites from 2021-2022! Take a break to invest in your brain and your dream world.
First, something to consider if you’re interested in reading and/or investing in buying your own copy: buy from Thrift Books!
Thrift books is a low-priced online bookseller of recycled, or previously-loved, books based in Seattle, Washington.
We’ve gone ahead and linked each book to Thrift Books for your connivence. Alright, now, listed in no particular order:
Follow Olivia Grove through her sophomore year of high school as she navigates to find her place in the world amidst unpredictable family and social dynamics. Equal parts tender, turbulent, and tough, Olivia offers readers a uniquely personal perspective on social inequity and the generational traumas held by those whose voices are often left out. In the wake of poverty, racism, and addiction, Olivia learns, and reminds us all, that it is truly love that gets us through.
A young Black British woman who has no interest in love and unexpectedly finds herself caught up in a fake relationship with the man she warned her girls aboutSweet like plantain, hot like pepper. They taste the best when together… Purchase from Thrift Books here!
Illuminates the threats Black women face and the lack of substantive public policy towards gendered violence Black women in marginalized communities are uniquely at risk of battering, rape, sexual harassment, stalking and incest. Through the compelling stories of Black women who have been most affected by racism, persistent poverty, class inequality, limited access to support resources or institutions, Beth E. Richie shows that the threat of violence to Black women has never been more serious, demonstrating how conservative legal, social, political and economic policies have impacted activism in the U.S.-based movement to end violence against women.
Unearthing the thrilling history of grassroots movements and renegade intellectuals and artists, Kelley recovers the dreams of the future worlds Black radicals struggled to achieve. Focusing on the insights of activists, from the Revolutionary Action Movement to the insurgent poetics of Aim? and Suzanne C?saire, Kelley chronicles the quest for a homeland, the hope that communism offered, the politics of surrealism, the transformative potential of Black feminism, and the long dream of reparations for slavery and Jim Crow.
Grab your best friend and your pjs for a snuggly night in!
It’s been a minute since we’ve checked in on the blog.
I’ve been in the process of rebuilding my life, and Lena has been preparing for her boards. Even though we’ve been away from the blog, we’ve still been making sure to prioritize and maintain our mental health.
One of my favorite ways to relax is to veg out to some documentaries, movies, or shows. So, I asked Lena to think of some of her favorites while I thought of some of mine. Together we’ve complied a list of the flicks that stood out from the past couple of years.
Check out our top-10 favorite documentaries, movies, and shows from 2021 and 2022!
Listed in no particular order, of course.
1. Fair Play on Hulu
Fair Play tackles the pressing issue of gender inequality at home, which saw 2 million women leave the workforce during the pandemic. Women have historically shouldered domestic and care work in the home, even though children, families, and society benefits from equality at home. Fair Play follows four different families on their journey to balance care work at home, revealing how the struggle over dishes in the sink is actually about a much deeper struggle for gender justice. It features interviews with Melinda Gates, U.S. Representative Katie Porter, and other experts who bring this topic to life in a profound and compelling way.
2. Blue Bayou on Netflix
Antonio LeBlanc is a Korean adoptee raised in a small town in the Louisiana bayou. He’s married to the love of his life, Kathy, and raising his beloved stepdaughter, Jessie. Struggling to make a better life for his family, he must soon confront the ghosts of his past after learning that he could be deported from the only country he’s ever called home.
*Trigger Warning: immigration*
Also, grab your tissues!!
3. Kindred on Hulu
Plagued by mysterious hallucinations, a pregnant woman suspects that the family of her deceased boyfriend has intentions for her unborn child.
*Trigger Warning: slavery and police discrimination*
4. Tina on HBOmax
A revealing and intimate look at the life and career of musical icon Tina Turner, charting her improbable rise to early fame, her personal and professional struggles throughout her life and her resurgence as a global phenomenon in the 1980s.
*Trigger Warning: domestic violence*
5. Civil: Ben Crump on Netflix
Crump’s mission to raise the value of Black life as the civil lawyer for the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Black farmers and banking while Black victims, Crump challenges America to come to terms with what it owes his clients.
*Trigger Warning: police and gun violence*
6. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBOmax
The late-night series sees the British comic review what happened the past seven days in news, politics and current events, all with a heavy dose of satire, of course.
7. Scenes From A Marriage on HBOmax
Television drama miniseries which re-examines the original’s iconic depiction of love, hatred, desire, monogamy, marriage and divorce through the lens of a contemporary American couple, played by Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain.
Also, grab your tissues!!
8. Queer Eye on Netflix
More than a decade after the original series went off the air, Netflix reboots the “Queer Eye” franchise with a new Fab Five and a new setting, trading in the concrete jungle of New York City for communities in and around Atlanta. The style experts forge relationships with men and women who often have different beliefs from them, leading to moments of social commentary interspersed with style advice.
A feel good, turn it on anytime, type of show!
9. Framing Britney Spears on Hulu
Her rise was a global phenomenon. Her downfall was a cruel national sport. People close to Britney Spears and lawyers tied to her conservatorship reassess her phenomenal career as she battles her father in court.
*Trigger Warning: domestic violence and violence against women*
10. Malcom and Marie on Netflix
A 2021 American black-and-whiteromantic drama film written, co-produced and directed by Sam Levinson. The film stars Zendaya and John David Washington (who both also served as producers, alongside American musician Kid Cudi) and follows a writer-director and his girlfriend whose relationship is tested on the night of his latest film’s premiere when revelations about themselves surface. The project was the first Hollywood feature to be entirely written, financed, and produced during the COVID-19 pandemic, with filming taking place in secret in June and July 2020.
Connect your community to criminal justice reform efforts!
The movement for criminal justice reform is alive and well, y’all!
Alliance for Safety and Justice is an Oakland, Ca, based multi-state advocacy organization that combines smart policy reform with organizing. ASJ represents survivors, people with old records, and the organizations that serve them.
If you’re reading this, it’s not too late to learn more about consent!
Achieving a healthy interpersonal relationship is possible!
But, it requires lots of work and constant learning/unlearning.
This post accompanies our season one finale, “Supporting Jane Doe.” It is our intention to serve folks looking for independent, asynchronous learning opportunities in these areas of societal “taboo.” So, as promised, we put together a list of some of our favorite resources for our audience members to venture through on your own.
What does that sentence mean to you? I think of Planting Justice, a non-profit dedicated to combining food justice, food education, and restorative justice practices into one. Learn more about Planting Justice below!
Grow Food. Grow Jobs. Grow Community.
Since 2009, Planting Justice has built over 550 edible permaculture gardens in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, worked with five high-schools to develop food justice curricula, and created 40 green jobs in the food justice movement for folks transitioning from prison.
We are particularly impressed with Planting Justice for their advocacy and education efforts around sustainable agriculture, social and food justice, and natural disaster relief.
Planting Justice is a 501(c)3 non-profit benefitting local Bay area communities, so please look into the ways you can support their work today!
Curiosity killed the cat-but information brought it back!
This season on Sorry, I’m on Break we’ve dedicated two whole episodes to empowering your empathy towards animals!
Be curious and appreciate the creatures we share this planet with. But remember: understanding, loving, and empathizing with the animals we love means not participating in activities, institutions, and/or ecosystems that contribute to their oppression. Take a safari within the comfort of your break time. Dedicate your time and efforts to the humane ways you can support the animals you love.
Tune into our conversations around adopting versus shopping, animal captivity and rescue farms, the health benefits of eating vegan, and entrepreneurialism! Our first “Sorry I’m On Break” guest episodes (S1 E7 and 8) feature Janet Davis Washington, esteemed business owner/operator of Finley & Friends, dog mom, and wife. Janet has been a part of our curated family longer than either of us have been alive. Years ago, Janet took the bold step of dedicating her life to clean, healthy, and sustainable eating and living practices. Today, she serves as an inspiration to entrepreneurs, dog parents, and aspiring vegan eaters all over the world!
For additional information on topics directly referenced in the episodes, or to support Janet’s growing business, please review our list below!
Episode 5 of Sorry, I’m on Break is all about celebrating the work and progress of Black creatives. But, what does it take to get noticed as a Black artist? What are the barriers Black creatives face? How do Black creatives overcome push back? What does it take to “keep up” in the industry? And, how have Black artists traditionally been boxed in by stereotypes?
Lots of things happened in 2020–like, a lot a lot of things.
You’d think that staying “informed” would be easier during a world-wide lockdown/stay-inside order. Maybe it’s just us, but the availability of time isn’t the issue. The issue is the news itself-it’s becoming harder, and harder to read!
Nevertheless, she persisted.
Take a look at our top-5 highlight reads from 2020.
With love and power to the people, Carlie
1. “Alternatives to Calling the Police for Domestic Violence Survivors” by California Health Report
The first time Cat Brooks sought help from the police to deal with her violent husband was also the last.
She was a 19-year-old college student, married to a man 10 years her senior. One night, after he beat her severely, her husband called police to their Las Vegas home.
Brooks was bruised, scratched and bleeding, and assumed officers would take her side. But her unscathed husband insisted Brooks had attacked him, a victim-blaming tactic not uncommon among domestic abusers. The officers, all of whom were white like her husband, whisked Brooks, who is Black, to jail. They released her back to her abuser the following day….
2. “College Kids Pressure Corporations Into Climate Action” by Sierra Club
…“Companies are actively looking for the best talent. They will respond if people who want to work there, and employees who already work there, are asking about climate,” Weiss says. “We want to make sustainability something that people expect from companies.”
…Weihl wants to replicate that dynamic shift for climate change. He wants companies to know that if they don’t take action on climate, it will be harder to keep the employees they have, or to hire new ones.
The next step for Climate Voice: help students and employees know who isn’t doing their part. The nonprofit will be calling out specific companies this fall through social media campaigns.
3. “I Let My Child Create Their Own Gender Identity. The Experience Has Been a Gift for Us Both” by Time Magazine
The only things we really knew about our baby is that they were human, breech and going to be named Zoomer. We weren’t going to assign a gender or disclose their reproductive anatomy to people who didn’t need to know, and we were going to use the gender-neutral personal pronounsthey, them and their. We imagined it could be years before our child would tell us, in their own way, if they were a boy, a girl, nonbinary or if another gender identity fit them best. Until then, we were committed to raising our child without the expectations or restrictions of the gender binary.
… The goal of gender-creative parenting is not to eliminate gender—the goal is to eliminate gender-based oppression, disparities and violence. The aim isn’t to create a genderless world; it’s to contribute to a genderfull one. We as a society have an opportunity to shake up childhood gender socialization in a way that creates more healthy and equitable adulthoods for everyone. What have we got to lose? The patriarchy? Good riddance.
4. “In 2020, Protests Spread Across The Globe With A Similar Message: Black Lives Matter” by NPR
The Black Lives Matter movement became an international phenomenon in 2020. As protesters took to the streets in cities across the U.S. in the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, Minn., so did demonstrators in other countries — all with a similar message: Black lives matter.
“There is a George Floyd in every country,” South Africa-based journalist Lynsey Chutel tells NPR’s David Greene during a recent roundtable interview.
More than a century ago, epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Tuttle prescribed face masks and social distancing to slow the influenza pandemic. He made a lot of enemies—but it worked.
…Nearly 80 years after Dr. Tuttle’s death, his legacy in fighting pandemics lives on, which might have come as a surprise to him, given the pessimism he expressed in his lifetime. In 2009, a group of researchers wrote a paper comparing existing CDC guidelines on managing pandemics to those developed during the Spanish flu. The paper noted that of all the recommendations, measures Dr. Tuttle promoted—encouraging the closing of public spaces and social distancing—were still relevant in fighting epidemics today. The report even cited findings from the 1918 December meeting Dr. Tuttle attended before insisting on the draconian health measures that got him fired….