“In all of the subject states, we observed that there is an astonishing absence of any effort to acknowledge, discuss, or address lynching.” Introduction, key point 5.
Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror, a report of the Equal Justice Initiative.
Published online at lynchinginamerica.eji.org/report/, Montgomery, Alabama.
Accessed in July 2017.
This report walks the reader through the events surrounding racial terror lynchings in America, including case studies of individual lynchings and photographs, illustrations, legal reactions, and original source quotations.
I don’t recall how this crossed my path. Normally I prefer to read books in person, whether I purchase, checkout from the library, or borrow from a friend. However, some popular books are easier to get from the library as ebooks and older books that are out of print can often be found online for free.
This book doesn’t fit either of those categories. Instead, this is a report from a team led by Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy. His book’s been on my TBR for a while now (I even had it checked out, but had to return it as there was a hold). After reading this report, Just Mercy got bumped up on my must-reads.
As a side note, I would like to mention that lately it seems my timed posts are off and not all of my “likes” are sticking. I have still been reading but just noticed these issues today (when there were ten extra scheduled posts in my queue) and am busy, so it may take some time to correct them. My apologies.
If nothing else, click to this article to see where your hometown (or a major city you’ve visited) falls in private racist opinions. I also found the methodology of how they decided to measure for racism fascinating.
This one is not an article, just a series of maps using tweets to determine relative hate speech in different counties over the US. I found this interesting as well, although it seems more easily skewed by individual users, and not all tweets are geotagged (probably accounting for the lack of hate speech in some cities).
I feel like the most important part of this is the racism scale, but the whole article is interesting. Personally I feel that our education system should be a primary method of confronting racism (see the previous article about social networks) but any method would work.
This image has been circulating widely on social media once again the past week. It’s had a long life because this accidental image says so much about our nation. There’s even a reflection sheet for teachers to use (PDF). This article gives a detailed history on the photo and includes reflections from the photographer.
“On the few occasions when someone did challenge the study directly, a defender invariably pointed out how long it had been going on, how much work the PHS had invested, and how science would benefit if the study continued.” page 173
Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (New and Expanded Edition) by James H. Jones.
The Free Press, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1981, my edition 1993 expanded reprint.
Adult non-fiction, 297 pages including notes and index.
The true story of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment reads like a work of fiction.
Normally I don’t read horror, but I’ll make an exception for non-fiction. This was a chilling read, made all the more horrific by the fact that it occurred in my own country in the fairly recent past. Sadly, some accounts of the racism and prejudice present in this study read like they could be happening today.
The Lucky Few: Finding God’s Best in the Most Unlikely Places by Heather Avis.
Zondervan, HarperCollins, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2017.
Adoptive parent memoir, 223 pages.
This is the story of one woman who couldn’t become a mother even though all she yearned for was motherhood. This is the story of her three children, and the journey she and her husband went through to bring them home and accept them as forever family.
This was a fairly light and quick read. (I finished it in a few hours, your mileage may vary.) I think if I didn’t know so many people in situations very similar to hers, this might have had more impact. As it was, I felt like she kept the story extremely positive and glossed over a lot of the harsh realities. However, that makes sense given that the goal of this book is to reach as many people as possible.
In parts it is more obvious than others that Avis was extremely lucky. She glosses over the birth family of their daughter Truly Star, which makes sense because she is quite young yet and not ready to decide if she wants to disclose that information to the world. She has close and loving relationships with the birth families of her other two children. That’s fairly unusual, especially the birth family reaction to her. Perhaps it’s a different scenario because they have Down Syndrome as opposed to other challenges.
THE non-fiction picture book for discussing gender with kids from age three up.
Who Are You? The Kid’s Guide to Gender Identity by Brook Pessin-Whedbee, illustrated by Naomi Bardoff.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Philadelphia, PA, 2017. (First pub in the UK, London.)
Informative non-fiction picture book, 30 pages.
Not yet leveled. (I would read it aloud or rate it at about a third grade level due to difficult words like assigned, expression, identity.)
This simple picture book is a child’s first guide to gender identity, whether trans or cis or in-between!
As we prepared for the first Pridefest celebration with kids in tow, Husband ordered a bunch of books to read with them. Some were (unbeknownst to him) straight off my wishlist, while others, like this delightful guide to gender, were new to me.
“Today, with the twins having rejoined each other on the same side of the gender divide, the stark physical differences between them eerily testify to all that David has been through.” page 57
As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised As A Girl by John Colapinto.
Harper Perennial, Harper Collins, 2000, my edition 2006.
Nonfiction, 289 pages plus 18 pages of extras.
This is the story of an identical twin boy whose botched circumcision altered the course of his life (and many other children) forever. When his parents desperately sought help, they connected with researcher John Money, who believed gender was entirely fluid and culturally constructed and who encouraged them to reassign the baby’s sex. Intact twin Brian was raised in his birth gender, while baby boy Bruce was raised as Brenda. The results have had a long-term effect on gender theory and treatment of transgender and intersex children in North America.
“Most disturbing, Anthony regarded society’s low expectations of him as the reason why his school didn’t have the necessary supplies.” page 12
Educating All God’s Children: What Christians Can – and Should – Do to Improve Public Education for Low-Income Kids by Nicole Baker Fulgham.
BrazosPress, Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2013.
Persuasive non-fiction, 235 pages including notes.
Fulgham wrote this book for the sixteen million children growing up in poverty in the United States of America and receiving a drastically different education than their upper and middle-class counterparts. This book is fairly unique to America, because US education is uniquely flawed.
The first time I read this book was as a young educator ready to change the world. This time, I read it having parented, including having parented children in highly segregated schools.