Refusing Compulsory Sexuality by Sherronda J. Brown: A Book Report

Two years ago, I posted a write-up on Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chen. Now, I am focusing on a necessary companion to that work entitled Refusing Compulsory Sexuality: A Black Asexual Lens on Our Sex-Obsessed Culture by Sherronda J. Brown.

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I read The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin and it is just so good.

Why had I not heard of James Baldwin or read any of his works until 2020? In college, I studied English, and although we covered many novels and American writers, I was never required to read James Baldwin. A couple years ago, I picked up If Beale Street Could Talk and had my heart broken. Last year, I read Giovanni’s Room and finished it in awe of Baldwin’s talent. This week, I read The Fire Next Time, and now I say that James Baldwin is one of my favorite writers of all time.

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The Three Mothers: A Book Review

In The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation, author Anna Malaika Tubbs highlights the oft-overlooked incredible mothers of three of history’s most important men.

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Dear Senthuran: A Book Review

Memoir Dear Senthuran by Akwaeke Emezi is a deeply energetic text exploring their experiences existing as an ọgbanje in a world of human constructs, a Nigerian writer within the constrictive realm of U.S. academia and publishing, and a soft heart seeking comfort among the spirits of loved ones.

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Disability Visibility: A Book Report

As I’ve recently discovered, July is Disability Pride Month. At the end of June, I finished a collection of essays entitled Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories From the Twenty-First Century edited by Alice Wong, and having been quite moved by these articles, I would like to highlight some of the voices and encourage you to pick it up as well.

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Ace by Angela Chen: A Book Report

This Pride month, I am highlighting a book I read last month titled Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chen.

Prior to reading this book, I did not realize that asexuality was as complex as it is. In fact, I believe that most people have a limited understanding of asexuality. What Angela Chen succeeds in with Ace, in addition to painting a broad portrait of asexuality, is commenting on the ways our society is inundated with sexuality, which I believe makes this a compelling read for not only aces and questioning aces, but for all members of our western society.

Ace is down-to-earth and informative, and an insightful book for almost all readers. I truly enjoyed my reading experience and gained a much wider perspective, and it is because of this that I would like to share some of its most important ideas and highly encourage you to read it as well.

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Barely Functional Adult: It’ll All Make Sense Eventually… A Book Review

Barely Functional Adult: It'll All Make Sense Eventually Book Review

Are you a barely functional adult? Do you hope it’ll all make sense eventually? Do you want to read, laugh, and relate to a fellow barely functional adult who is likewise holding out hope that it’ll all make sense eventually?

Then Meichi Ng has created a book perfect for you: Barely Functional Adult: It’ll All Make Sense Eventually.

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White Tears/Brown Scars: A Book Review

I remember discovering feminism when I was in middle school—thank goodness for the internet—and enthusiastically delving into feminist literature. I began to critically dissect the sexism at play around me, questioning societal norms and rejecting traditional gender expectations. I felt pretty well-versed to speak on feminism, and, a bit arrogant having done some reading as a 16-year-old, figured I knew all there was to know about feminism.

However, I never realized how the feminism I read about in those books failed to consider the female experiences outside of whitehood. The books I read about feminism discussed how messed up it was that women were expected to be conventionally pretty and written off as the frivolous sex, but they never addressed how Black women in the United States face a domestic violence rate far higher than that of white women, or how the mainstream white feminist movement has largely failed to lift the voices of women of color, and in many cases, has actively silenced them.

In November, I read two very amazing feminist works that I highly recommend on this topic. The first is Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall, which focuses on the feminist platform in the United States and how the mainstream movement largely ignores issues that predominantly affect marginalized women (including trans women).

The other book I read, which is the one I would like to discuss today, is White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color by Ruby Hamad. In this book, Hamad looks at women of color on a global scale as she offers historical context for how colonialism disseminated racist ideologies throughout the world and how white women have benefitted from and subsonciously and consciously perpetuated racism and sexism over time up to the present.

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