Thick and Other Essays

In Thick, Cottom writes on the Black woman’s body — how it is judged by our own, by others and the life or death outcomes of that judging. She reminds readers to “Trust Black Women,” and of the consequences of stripping Black girls of their girlhood. She discusses the heirarchy of Blackness in how one is deemed more or less acceptable based on being “black-black” or “worthy black” ethnic black. 

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Reading and Discussion Guide: When They Call You a Terrorist

This was such a spectacular read. I don’t mean that in the flippant casual sense…  it was a book that hurt me to read, that triggered my own sense of fear for the folks that I could lose at the hands of police violence. There were moments that were beautiful and tender, juxtaposed by the stories of what should be unconsciounable and unimaginable harm and neglect being done to the people whom Patrisse loved most in the world.

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Reading and Discussion Guide: Barracoon

What an incredible read. I was so excited to dive into this book, and Ms. Hurston did not let me down! In her foreward, Alice Walker calls it a “maestrapiece,” defined as “the feminine perspective or part of the structure, whether in stone or fancy, without which the entire edifice is a lie.” Walker’s writes an opening blessing over this work that primes you for the breadth and depth of the experience you are about to embark upon.

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How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective

You should read this book if you actually care about how Black women must get free. It requires that we connect the past to the present and honor the women that came before us, who were radical before we even understood what it meant to be so, and who were willing to put their bodies on the line before we were even born. For me, this is critical literature for conscious resistance in our current time. 

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The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

I hadn’t planned to review this book this week, but the Twitter Ignants were out in rare form this week over a chapter in Issa Rae’s book that talks about how Asian men are the only men suitable for Black women. Clearly, folks just look for the chapters that are the most inflammatory when taken out of context and only read those… or more likely, don’t even read at all because, in reality, the whole book is full of hilarious takes on what it’s like to be an (oftentimes awkward) Black girl navigating America. As one of those girls, I found Issa Rae’s commentary witty and compelling in its relatability to my own life. 

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