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FOR THE PERSON WHO ENVISIONS A MORE EQUITABLE FUTURE

A MOVEMENT

1. Pleasure Activism by Adrienne Marie Brown

How do we make social justice the most pleasurable human experience? How can we awaken within ourselves desires that make it impossible to settle for anything less than a fulfilling life? Author and editor adrienne maree brown finds the answer in something she calls “pleasure activism,” a politics of healing and happiness that explodes the dour myth that changing the world is just another form of work. Together they cover a wide array of subjects—from sex work to climate change, from race and gender to sex and drugs—building new narratives about how politics can feel good and how what feels good always has a complex politics of its own.

2. We Are Called to Be a Movement by William Barber

It’s time for everyone who cares about the state of our nation to heed the call and join forces to redeem the soul of America.

3. Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis

Activist, teacher, author and icon of the Black Power movement Angela Davis talks Ferguson, Palestine, and prison abolition.

4. Steal This Country: A Handbook for Resistance, Persistence, and Fixing Almost Everything by Alexandra Styron

Styron’s irreverent and informative primer on how to make a difference is organized into three sections: The Why, The What, and The How.

5. Road Map for Revolutionaries: Resistance, Activism, and Advocacy for All by Elisa Camahort Page, Carolyn Gerin, and Jamia Wilson

A direct, snappy guidebook on engaging in effective day-to-day activism and advocacy at all levels that uses checklists, interviews, and case studies to showcase the tools for making the changes you want to see in society and government.

ENVIRONMENT

1. Tales of Two Planets: Stories of Climate Change and Inequality in a Divided World edited by John Freeman

Building from his acclaimed anthology Tales of Two Americas, beloved writer and editor John Freeman draws together a group of our greatest writers from around the world to help us see how the environmental crisis is hitting some of the most vulnerable communities where they live.

2. Our House is on Fire by Greta Thunberg

The story of how an unknown young girl in Sweden, with her family at her side, became the leader of an international movement.

3. The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across The Last Untamed Frontier by Ian Urbina

There are few remaining frontiers on our planet. But perhaps the wildest, and least understood, are the world’s oceans: too big to police, and under no clear international authority, these immense regions of treacherous water play host to rampant criminality and exploitation.

4. The Nature of Nature: Why We Need the Wild by Enric Sala

In this inspiring manifesto, an internationally renowned ecologist makes a clear case for why protecting nature is our best health insurance, and why it makes economic sense.

PEOPLE

1. A Measure of Belonging: Twenty-One Writers of Color on the New American South edited by Cinelle Barnes

This fierce collection celebrates the incredible diversity in the contemporary South by featuring essays by twenty-one of the finest young writers of color living and working in the region today, who all address a central question: Who is welcome?

2. The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in this deeply personal and groundbreaking portrait of a nation.

3. Colonize This!: Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism edited by Daisy Hernández and Bushra Rehman

Newly revised and updated, this landmark anthology offers gripping portraits of American life as seen through the eyes of young women of color.

4. Feminisms in Motion edited by Jessica Hoffman & Daria Yudacufski

A new anthology of short essays and articles providing a wide-ranging look at contemporary intersectional feminist thought and action.

5. Cruising Utopia, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Then and There of Queer Futurity by José Esteban Muñoz

Part manifesto, part love-letter to the past and the future, José Esteban Muñoz argues that the here and now are not enough and issues an urgent call for the revivification of the queer political imagination. This 10th anniversary edition celebrates the lasting impact that Cruising Utopia has had on the decade of queer of color critique that followed and introduces a new generation of readers to a future not yet here.

6. The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin’s early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two “letters,” written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism.

7. How To Be an Antiracist By Ibram X. Kendi

Ibram X. Kendi’s concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America—but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. In How to be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.

8. Finding Latinx: In Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity by Paola Ramos

Debut author and journalist Paola Ramos travels to near and far corners of the country in search of Latin-X voices that illustrate a growing movement and represent a community of young Latinos that hold more political, social, and cultural relevance today than ever before.

9. How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

The Combahee River Collective, a path-breaking group of radical black feminists, was one of the most important organizations to develop out of the antiracist and women’s liberation movements of the 1960s and 70s. In this collection of essays and interviews edited by activist-scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, founding members of the organization and contemporary activists reflect on the legacy of its contributions to Black feminism and its impact on today’s struggles.

10. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

In his trademark style—a mix of lyrical personal narrative, reimagined history, essayistic argument, and reportage—Coates provides readers a thrillingly illuminating new framework for understanding race: its history, our contemporary dilemma, and where we go from here.

INFRASTRUCTURE

1. Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy by Tressie McMillan Cottom

Lower Ed is quickly becoming the definitive book on the fastest-growing sector of higher education at the turn of the twenty-first century: for-profit colleges. With sharp insight and deliberate acumen, Tressie McMillan Cottom—a sociologist who was once a recruiter at two for-profit colleges—expertly parses the fraught dynamics of this big-money industry.

2. Evicted by Matthew Desmond

Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of twenty-first-century America’s most devastating problems. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

3. Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration by Emily Bazelon

A renowned investigative journalist exposes the unchecked power of the prosecutor as a driving force in America’s mass incarceration crisis, and also offers a way out in this New York Times bestseller.

4. The First Political Order: How Sex Shapes Governance And National Security Worldwide By Valerie M. Hudson, Donna Lee Bowen, Perpetua Lynne Nielsen

The First Political Order is a groundbreaking demonstration that the persistent and systematic subordination of women underlies all other institutions, with wide-ranging implications for global security and development. It offers a new paradigm for understanding insecurity, instability, autocracy, and violence.

5. The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein

This “powerful and disturbing history” exposes how American governments deliberately imposed racial segregation on metropolitan areas nationwide (New York Times Book Review).

6. If They Come in the Morning… Voices of Resistance edited by Angela Y. Davis

This book is not only an account of Davis’s incarceration and the struggles surrounding it, but also perhaps the most comprehensive and thorough analysis of the prison system of the United State. Since the book was written, the carceral system in the US has seen unprecedented growth, with more of America’s black population behind bars than ever before. The scathing analysis of the role of prison and the policing of black populations offered by Davis and her comrades in this astonishing volume remains as pertinent today as the day it was first published.

HOLIDAY 2020 GIFT GUIDE: ARCHITECT OF SOCIETY’S FUTURE
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