Loud Mouth Reading List: Week of Jan 11th

The Black Experience; A Slow Walk of Trees (as Grandmother Would Say) Hopeless (as Grandfather Would Say) - Toni Morrison

I was recently catching up on the Still Processing podcast when it was suggested by a guest therapist that one spend time with elders as a form of community or self-care. So that evening, I reached for a book of essays by the greatest elder of all time and the fiercest Black girl to ever talk Back, Toni Morrison.  The first essay I read was this lovely reckoning of Black progress and plight. Reading it was such an affirmation to the fearlessness of this generation and encouragement to revel in the messiness of our lives because this world is ours.

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Revolutionary Hope: A Conversation Between James Baldwin and Audre Lorde

James Baldwin words have been lauded a great deal in pop-culture as of late, including on the premiere episode of Grown-ish and Jay-Z’s latest video, Family Feud. But this interview highlights Baldwin's problematic thinking around the Black family and violence against Black women. I originally read it for one of my writing courses, and am sharing because Audre Lorde is the ultimate #LoudMouth here and refuses to go light on Baldwin. She pushed his thinking by both talking back and holding a loving space of compassion for him.

THE MUNDANE AFROFUTURIST MANIFESTO - Martine Syms

I learned about and became obsessed with conceptual artist Martine Syms while reading Doreen St. Felix’s latest piece on Meme Queen, Tiffany Pollard (which is also great & you should give a read). Syms’ manifesto stood out to me because of its audacity to name everything that afro-futurism is not and cannot be, while reframing the importance of focusing on the interiority of Black life now when thinking about where we are headed in futures to come.

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Grown-ish and the Erasure of Dark-Skinned Women - Wanna Thompson

Grown-ish premiered last week and if you didn’t notice all the cast members would pass the Brown Paper Bag with flying colors. I think Yara is a brilliant young woman but I was a little bored with the idea of following another light-skin woman off to college and even more disappointed to find that the show was replicating colorism. I love that Wanna both names and pushes back against her own urge to not write this piece because of the pervasive ways colorism works to silence dark-skinned folks.

Reproductive Justice for Black Women, Latinas, More Critical Than Ever - 
Dr. Joia Crear-Perry

Serena Williams never comes to play with the hoes, she comes to win. And she is doing so stunningly on the cover of Vogue and on her private jet dancing to Rihanna’s rap-verse on N.E.R.D.'s Lemon. But if you read the Vogue article, you’ll learn that Serena’s star-status couldn’t prevent her from being ignored by doctors and almost losing her life. I recently joined a Birth Justice collective and  reading my friends blog #DoulaChronicles when I came across this article that expounds on the high mortality rate that Black women face when giving birth. Check it out and please donate to Efe's Midwifery Fund if you’re able, we need more Black doulas in the world!

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