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Tears We Cannot Stop
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America | Michael Eric Dyson
119 posts | 88 read | 1 reading | 217 to read
In the wake of yet another set of police killings of black men, Michael Eric Dyson wrote a tell-it-straight, no holds barred piece for the NYT on Sunday July 7: "Death in Black and White" (It was updated within a day to acknowledge the killing of police officers in Dallas). The response has been overwhelming. Beyoncé and Isabel Wilkerson tweeted it, JJ Abrams, among many other prominent people, wrote him a long fan letter. The NYT closed the comments section after 2,500 responses, and Dyson has been on NPR, BBC, and CNN non-stop since then. Fifty years ago Malcolm X told a white woman who asked what she could do for the cause, "Nothing." Dyson believes he was wrong. In Tears We Cannot Stop, he responds to that question. If we are to make real racial progress, we must face difficult truths, including being honest about how black grievance has been ignored, dismissed or discounted. As Dyson writes "At birth you are given a pair of binoculars that see black life from a distance, never with the texture of intimacy. Those binoculars are privilege; they are status, regardless of your class. In fact the greatest privilege that exists is for white folk to get stopped by a cop and not end up dead...The problem is you do not want to know anything different from what you think you know...You think we have been handed everything because we fought your selfish insistence that the world, all of it—all its resources, all its riches, all its bounty, all its grace—should be yours first and foremost, and if there's anything left, why then we can have some, but only if we ask politely and behave gratefully." In the tradition of THE FIRE NEXT TIME (Baldwin), short, emotional, literary, powerful, this is the book that ALL Americans who care about the current and long burning crisis in race relations need to read.
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Addison_Reads
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Great month of reading for me. Lots of good books, but I narrowed it down to my top 4.

PaperbackPirate Wow! I haven‘t even read 5,000 pages this year! 👏 2mo
Crazeedi Great job Cassie!! 2mo
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Addison_Reads
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Pickpick

Everyone should read this book. I highly recommend it as an audiobook as well. There were so many powerful messages that left a very long lasting impression on me. In our current political climate here in the US, the author does an excellent job of shining a light on the race problem and how we can come together to bring about change.

Regardless of your race, religious beliefs, or political views, you should read this book.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I‘ve got to move this one up my list! 2mo
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Samplergal
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Pickpick

Please read this book. Buy it tonight and start it ASAP. Each and every one of us should read this and live it. #valueable 6 ⭐️s out of five. It‘s not pleasant, but like some other things we need for our health, this too is required. #mayMadness. #NewToMeAuthor. #2

Clwojick Stacked! 3mo
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parasolofdoom
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Pickpick

Essential reading especially in Post-Trump America

Samplergal I have had this in my library hold for at least four months. I just checked and it‘s now two weeks. Persistence! 3mo
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triplem80
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Great listen for Black History Month.

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nsmith52
Mehso-so

Wonderful prose, interesting stories but ultimately nothing new or noteworthy.

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Lindsy
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January TBR

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Lindsy
Pickpick

First book of 2019. Definitely recommend the audio version ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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TJReads
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Mehso-so

I definitely believe this book is a sermon for White American, literally. This books reads like a Sunday morning church service. The book is even broken down as such (ex: Calls to Worship, Sermon, Hymn..) This book covers the setbacks and setups, Black Americans face everyday. He draws attention to crime, poverty, and the institutionalization of racism. Overall, this was a decent book, however he was preaching to the choir (see what I did there?!)

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RaimeyGallant
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Pickpick

I challenge everyone to read Dyson's sermon to white America. The book is at once a non-revisionist history lesson, a master class in compassion, and an uplifting call to action. Even if you're super duper woke, we all need a refresher course from time to time. If you audiobook, do that, because the author narrates. #Audiobooking #Audiobooks #Libby

Prairiegirl_reading Immediately placed a hold on the audio! 😄 10mo
RidgewayGirl I agree. It‘s both excellent and necessary. I also learned a ton from Ijeoma Oluo‘s So You Want to Talk About Race and Patrisse Khan-Cullors‘s When They Call You a Terrorist. 10mo
Laura317 Adding! I will do the audio. 10mo
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RaimeyGallant @RidgewayGirl Thanks! The first is already on my tbr, and now the second is, too. 10mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage Great review! I read this in January. Been thinking of an audio reread just to hear Dyson. But I‘m glad I have the words on paper also. 10mo
CoffeeK8 Yes, the audiobook is so compelling. His other books are really good too, I really liked (edited) 10mo
RaimeyGallant @CoffeeK8 I'll definitely get to that one, too. Thanks! 10mo
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Clint
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Pickpick

Enjoyed is not the right word, though I did at times. It was more like bad tasting medicine that is helping to heal my sickness. It is good to read hard things.

Ms.Story Nice comparison. It is good to read hard things 👍🏻 10mo
RaimeyGallant My hold for the audio just came in. 10mo
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dariazeoli

I just watched Dyson at Aretha Franklin‘s funeral. He called Supreme (President) Cheeto “You dopey doppelgänger of desperation and deceit.”

I listened to this book last year and I need to read more with that kind of wordsmithmanship!

Reggie I watched an interview with him one time, I‘ve never read a book of his, but I thought what a vocabulary!!! 11mo
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Tereses
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Powerful reading 📖 I have this on hold several times at library, determined to finish it this time.

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TieDyeDude
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Just another week in post racial America...

goodbyefrancie I always feel like I should apologize to the world for unleashing this moron who has helped make it ok for these people to be in public what they have apparently always been in private. I don't know what people were thinking when they voted for him. #ItWasntMe I would have voted for my cat as a write in before I voted for the orange dude. ❤🌍❤🌏 12mo
Ericalambbrown For real 12mo
LibrarianRyan Everyday it gets worse. It's horrible! We need to do better. 12mo
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LibrarianRyan Tomi A..... (can't spell that without looking it up) had something happen today. 12mo
AmyG Racists now feel empowered because of this President. I am ashamed. 12mo
Suet624 I fear for our future. 12mo
Yeah_I_Read 😢 12mo
Eyelit 😔 so disappointing 12mo
vkois88 😔😔😔😔😢😢😢😢 12mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage We can‘t stop resisting, even when it feels overwhelming. Repeating this to myself many times a day ... 😫😫😫 12mo
Weaponxgirl I wish the police would charge these people for wasting their time. Not gonna happen but I can dream. 12mo
23 likes12 comments
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Julsmarshall
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Pickpick

Wow! This powerful group of sermons as essays is intelligent, compelling, and brutally honest. Dyson‘s beautiful prose calls out white America, challenging us to do better in an empathetic and loving way. If all Americans would read this book, our world would be a better place. #MountTBR #resistreads

Christine Agreed! 1y
Suelizbeth ❤️ your review ❤️ this book. 1y
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Emily92Bibliophile
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Pickpick

5⭐️the reactions of some family members who saw me reading this book greatly disturbed me. While a good number of friends, co workers& some family were interested in the need to read this book&my thoughts on it, some of my closest family scoffed at it or turned down my thoughts on this topic. ❤️ It is one of my goals to encourage these family members to put aside their pride& look into the issue of Racism and of Whiteness. Please read this book.

mrozzz Those reactions are so unfortunate 😞 1y
TrishB Probably exactly the people who should be reading it? 😔 1y
Emily92Bibliophile @mrozzz @TrishB it‘s for these type of reactions that these type of books are needed and need to be read. 🙌🏻 1y
mrozzz Could not agree more!!! 1y
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shadowspeak17
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
There‘s so much truth in here. This is another book I found myself wanting to markup with my highlighter. Seriously, everyone should read this.

#catsoflitsy #Phoenix

BarbaraTheBibliophage This was my first read of 2018. And my first 5-star read. Loved it! 1y
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shadowspeak17
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shadowspeak17
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Thorex To all the people who say "I don't see color" or complain "why does everything have to be about race." ? 1y
sudi Truth 🙌 1y
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Emily92Bibliophile
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“How can we possibly change our fate? How can we possibly persuade our society that we deserve to be treated with decency and respect? How can we possibly fight a criminal justice system that has been designed to ensure our defeat? How can we possibly combat the blindness of white men and women who are so deeply invested in their own privilege that they cannot afford to see how much we suffer?⚫️⚪️ PLEASE READ THIS BOOK, my white brothers&sisters➡️

Emily92Bibliophile ➡️there is blood on our hands, handed down from our forefathers. Whether you are religious or non religious, READ THIS BOOK- we need to take ownership for and repent our crimes to our black brothers and sisters ; crimes that has seeped into the very bones of our country since it‘s birth. 1y
TieDyeDude A devastating, but essential, read. 1y
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GondorGirl
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I would suggest everyone read or listen to this powerful little book. The history and struggle is important, and relevant. Dyson ends his sermon by explaining things white Americans can do to help, including places to donate, people to follow on social media, and books to read. I'm going to have to borrow a physical copy of the book so that I can track down some of suggested reading.

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GondorGirl
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This book isn't easy to listen to, but it's important.

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GondorGirl
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GondorGirl
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Julsmarshall
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“Justice is what love sounds like when it speaks in public.” #resistreads #ownvoices

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Julsmarshall
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This!

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Julsmarshall
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Been eyeing this one forever. I love how he has formatted it like a sermon. Beautiful and challenging so far, seems perfect for a quiet Sunday morning. #MountTBR #resistread

BarbaraTheBibliophage It‘s amazing! My copy has a thousand post-it flags! 1y
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KBuchana
Pickpick

A relentlessly powerful little book. This was thought-provoking and uncompromising, a timely reminder of how potent the legacy of oppression and the ubiquity of white privilege are in our country. A beautifully reasoned and fiery indictment of white complacency, fear, and hate as well as an impassioned plea for us to acknowledge and uplift the value of black lives, black bodies, black thought. An important read, and one I will not soon forget!

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thelizflynn
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BarbaraTheBibliophage I loved this one. Thinking of listening to the audio for a reread. 1y
RaimeyGallant I added this to my audiobook tbr yesterday! 1y
thelizflynn @RaimeyGallant @BarbaraTheBibliophage it is so excellent. I‘m going to buy a copy after I‘m done listening to it. 1y
BarbaraTheBibliophage You‘ll be glad you did. My print copy is full of Post-it tags! 1y
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KBuchana

"Democracy might well be a wounded bird incapable of flight without the poultice of black forgiveness pressed to its wings. When we confront racial catastrophe, black folk insist on fighting back. We have given this country the spiritual will and the moral maturity it lost in the bitter divorce of principle and practice our nation can only reach its best destiny when that recognition grounds our shared culture and existence."

#resistancereading

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KBuchana
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Beautiful and heartbreaking so far. An unapologetic call to action.

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hwestfall
Pickpick

This is not an easy book to read. You will need to be extremely disciplined to just listen to what the author is trying to say. Fight your inclination to try and make up excuses or debate his words. Just listen and absorb his point of view. There were a number of chapters that were educational to me and I found the ending chapter with his numerous book suggestions extremely helpful.

RaimeyGallant Adding to my #TBR! 1y
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hwestfall
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"By overdramatizing the nature of your personal actions you sidestep complicity. By side-stepping complicity you hold fast innocence. By holding fast to innocence you maintain power."

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EliNeedsMoreShelves
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Pickpick

A sermon, a history lesson, a takedown, a plea....read this, and prepare to be uncomfortable with its truth.

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ElizabethAndino
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Pickpick

This. Read it. (Or listen. The audio is fabulous)

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Julsmarshall
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Day 7 of @bookriot #Riotgrams challenge: Black writers!

CareBear Great stack! 1y
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GeekGrl82
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Pickpick

An excellent companion piece to Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World & Me. Dyson is a Baptist theologian & professor at Georgetown, & he writes this book in the form of a sermon. Beyonce, NWA, & Tupac provide his hymns. The seemingly unending videos of police misconduct & his own personal experiences provide the preaching material.

You should watch this video. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ta-nehisi-coates-n-word_us_5a0a025ce4b0b17f...

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DezaraeOsborne
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Pickpick

This was a hard read but so necessary to get through. The author reads the audiobook and delivers the book as it's written: a powerful sermon on how to do better.

Thanks @ness for the recommendation ❤

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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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Pickpick

This is a must-read. Let me repeat. Read this, my friends. It‘s educational and inspirational. It‘s historical and practical. Plus you‘ll appreciate the LONG list of suggested further reading.

Full review at www.TheBibliophage.com

#nonfiction2018

Reese_Pearly.Pages Yes!!! I loved this one. Your book is a physical representation of my brain while listening to it. I bought it on Nook to read again and again. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Reese_Pearly.Pages Yes! I know I‘ll be referring back to this. Sometimes I take flags out after I write the review, but this time that was not an option. 🙌🏻 2y
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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I have so many post-it flags in this book. I‘ve finished and am trying to digest how to review something that feels so powerful to me. #racialjustice #michaelericdyson #resistlist

ptkpepe98 I listened to this, and loved it. I can imagine how much annotation my copy would have! 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @ptkpepe98 I‘d love to hear his emphasis and intonations on the words. There are advantages each way! 2y
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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“Real American history is the sticky web in which black and white are stuck together.”

But read the whole passage above that, starting with “Liberal professor ...”

#quotesoflitsy #racialjustice #michaelericdyson #politics #blacklivesmatter

Susannah I love this idea of white people having to reckon with black people because we are all stuck together. It's hardly ideal, but whatever it takes for that reckoning to happen.... Hatred is so exhausting. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Susannah If this part draws you, I think the rest of the book will as well. We are in their world and vice versa, to the extent that even saying we and they is incorrect. 2y
Susannah Thank you so much for letting me know. I think I might have this ebook, but I need to check. I'm definitely bumping this book to the top of my TBR. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Susannah I struggled at bit at the beginning, but then it clicked and started to really hit me in the gut like I expected. Looking forward to hearing what you think when you get to it! 2y
TieDyeDude Amazing book! So important, so much to digest 2y
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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“Native lives stopped mattering before they ever began to count.” But read the whole quote, not just the last sentence. Please.

CarolynM Great quote. Resonates for an Australian, too. 2y
GAustin I bought this last August at Avid Books in Athens on a business trip, but just have not got around to cracking it. It‘s on my goal list to make myself read it. Heard so much good about it. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @CarolynM Ohmigosh yes, I can imagine it would. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @GAustin I bought my copy last July, and just picked it up. You‘re next! It really is worth the time. I‘ll write a full review in the next day or so. 2y
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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Not always a comfortable read, but Dyson keeps it real. Absolutely. And the further I get into it, the more it means to me. One of several quotes to come.

#racialjustice #reparations #nonfiction2018

EllieDottie I really liked this book! 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @EllieDottie Me too. I have a zillion flags marking parts I especially like. 2y
RidgewayGirl This book was difficult, but necessary reading for me. I learned so much. 2y
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BarbaraTheBibliophage @RidgewayGirl I agree on both counts! 2y
BellaBookNook I liked this book and glad to hear others are reading it. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @BellaBookNook I just finished. Will need to digest a bit before reviewing. But I‘m sure I‘ll end up buying copies for a few friends. 2y
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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This is my book for me right now. Not about any challenge other than my own challenge to myself. Dyson is a powerful writer, perhaps because he‘s willing to say the things that make white people uncomfortable. I‘ll post some quotes today also. #socialjustice #racialjustice #resistlist

shendrix413 Oohhhhh, you've sold me! Can't wait to read the quotes you select to share! 2y
ptkpepe98 I didn't always agree with him, but I learned so much. 2y
ptkpepe98 I listened to it, BTW, and he read the audio version. That was powerful. I would love to hear him in person. 2y
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ptkpepe98
Pickpick

Just finished this audio book. Very powerful. I don't agree with everything he says, but am open to it, and am glad to have learned a lot. I want racism and ignorance about it to come to an end, and his suggestions in the ending section of his sermon are helpful. 5⭐

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Zoe_reads_books
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Pickpick

#GIVEAWAYREALTALK This book is absolutely a must ready for white people (but really, it‘s so good that everyone should read it). So many uncomfortable, but poignant, truths. @Liberty

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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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I've been working on a blog post for a few weeks about my racial and social justice reading this year. Litsy has encouraged me to open up my horizons and learn. And I still have a long way to go. But it's been amazing, and I thought you'd all appreciate the list too. Feel free to share.

#diversenonfiction #uncannyoctober #resistlist #readersresist #racialjuatice #socialjustice #woke

http://thebibliophage.com/racial-social-justice-reading-2017/

bookloo I loved this! This is why reading is so important. Thank you, thank you. 😊✊🏽 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @bookloo You're welcome! I couldn't agree more. 2y
Cinfhen Fantastic photo/graphics! Can‘t wait to read your blog🤗 2y
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EchoLogical What she said! I'm blown away your sincerity and dedication to expand your horizons. I've been trying to do the same, sort of. I've been reading books to help understand the world outside my bubble but I've been seriously slacking. 2y
EchoLogical @BarbaraTheBibliophage Let me know when you're ready for White Trash because I'd love to do a read along. I tried it before but never finished and I think reading it with someone would help me hold myself accountable to actually finish it 😅 and make it a little easier to process by discussing what I read. 2y
Cinfhen I have bookmarked your post! It‘s brilliant 🙌🏻 2y
Cortg How awesome! You have a great list. I would recommend adding All American Boys which was co-written by two authors from different backgrounds. It was our 2016 One Maryland One Book winner! ❤️ 2y
JamieArc @EchoLogical and @BarbaraTheBibliophage I've had White Trash on my list for some time and would love motivation to get to be reading and read it alongside others. 2y
JamieArc Also, great list! Not to make it longer, but The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson keeps coming up as a must-read to deepen understanding (it's kind of massive, so it keeps getting put of for me to read...) 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Cinfhen Aww thanks. 🤗🤗 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @EchoLogical Thanks. I‘m glad you felt the sincerity in my writing. I‘ve been pretty focused on my own bubble until the last 18 mos. I‘m glad I opened up my topics and genres! I‘d love to read White Trash together. #Buddyreads are so much better. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Cortg Thanks! I was just reading about one of those authors - Jason Reynolds - the other day. Added to my TBR! 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @JamieArc Thanks for the suggestion. That book looks great! Buddy read for White Trash sounds good. I‘ll pull it off the shelf and look at length in more detail soon! 2y
Wbabdullah I‘ve been reading #socialjustice books, too!! 🙌🏽 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Wbabdullah Yay! It seems more important every single day, doesn't it? 2y
ChasingOm I'm in for a White Trash buddy read!! 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @ChasingOm Okay - now we are four! Guess I'll grab that book sooner! 😜 2y
Wbabdullah @BarbaraTheBibliophage yes, it does! It is highly important now more than ever!! We have to reflect on past and present-day history to even hope for a glimmer of a good future! 2y
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Somasis
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Pickpick

This is a book that needs to be read, honest, anguished, and brutal. The audiobook, read by the author, resonates with conviction and power.

"The failure to see color only benefits white America. A world without color is a world without racial debt."

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ness
Pickpick

Wow. Just wow. This is a book all white people need to read immediately. Get ready to get real and uncomfortable, because the Rev. Dyson (who is also a sociologist) is about to tell us some things we white folk over and over pretend we don't know (and maybe some of us really don't). Guess what everyone's getting for Christmas this year.

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Books_Wine_Repeat
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Pickpick

This is a must read for everyone ESPECIALLY white people and people who think they're white. This is short yet powerful and covers many topics from BLM to white privilege/ignorance to Trumpanzee and Obama. Read it. Listen to it. Open your eyes, your mind and your heart.

BooksForEmpathy Agreed! 2y
Blaire Yes!! 2y
TieDyeDude Absolutely essential reading! 2y
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