May. 5, 2013
INCITE! Women of Color against Violence
INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence is a national activist organization of radical feminists of color advancing a movement to end violence against women of color and our communities through direct action, critical dialogue and grassroots organizing.
WHO WE ARE:
INCITE! is made up of grassroots chapters and affiliates across the U.S.; other collectives working on particular political projects such as police violence, reproductive justice, and media justice; a national collective that works to leverage this grassroots organizing on a national and transnational platform; an advisory collective that helps increase the capacity of national organizing; and thousands of members and supporters.
WHAT WE DO:
INCITE! works with groups of women of color and their communities to develop political projects that address the multiple forms of violence women of color experience in our lives, on our bodies, and in our communities.
We identify “violence against women of color” as a combination of “violence directed at communities,” such as police violence, war, and colonialism, and “violence within communities,” such as rape and domestic violence.
The Color of Violence: The INCITE Anthology
INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, a national organization of radical feminists of color, announces Color of Violence: The INCITE! Anthology, an anthology of critical writings demanding that we address violence against women of color in all its forms, including interpersonal violence, such as sexual and domestic violence, and state violence, such as police brutality, militarism, attacks on immigrants and Indian treaty rights, the proliferation of prisons, economic neo-colonialism, and violence from the medical industry. Color of Violence presents the fierce and vital writing of 33 visionary radical feminists of color. These writers not only investigate the intersecting ways in which violence and oppression exist in the lives of women of color and our communities, they also map innovative strategies of movement building and resistance used by women and trans people of color around the world. Of the many topics they address, Color of Violence asks us to consider that:MORE
INCITE- The Revolution Will Not Be Funded
“I’m very much afraid of this ‘Foundation Complex.’ We’re getting praise from places that worry me.” -Ella Baker, June 1963
“I want us all to be real creative about our tactics and strategies to dismantle the empire.” - Joo-Hyun Kang, The Revolution Will Not Be Funded Conference, 2004
WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF THE NON-PROFIT INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX ON REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT BUILDING? In this landmark collection, over 25 activists and scholars describe and discuss the non-profit industrial complex (NPIC)—a system of relationships between the state, the owning classes, foundations, and social service & social justice organizations that results in the surveillance, control, derailment, and everyday management of political movements. Naming what some might call “the elephant in the room,” the contributors to this groundbreaking and thought-provoking collection critical assess the NPIC’s impact on the practice and imagination of the political left in the U.S.
Of central concern is the emerging dominance of the 501(c)(3) non-profit, a model which some argue threatens to permanently eclipse autonomous grassroots-movement building in the arena of social justice. The Revolution Will Not Be Funded addresses the following questions:
What is the history of the non-profit model?
What drove its development?
How does it impact the form and direction of social justice organizing?
How has reliance on foundation funding impacted the course of social justice movements?
How does 501(c)3 non-profit status impact social justice organizations’ relationship to the state?
How does non-profit status allow the state to co-opt and control our movements?
Are there ways the non-profit model can be used subversively to support more radical visions for social change?
What are the alternatives for building viable social justice movements?
How do we resource our movements outside the non-profit structure? MORE
the revolution will not be funded is an amazing read and i recommend it to anyone who is an organizer and/or works in the non-profit world.
May. 2, 2013
“The boy with blond curls and gray eyes (…) It took five, ten, fifteen years for me to agree. But Peeta wanted them so badly. (…) Carrying the boy was a little easier.”
oh my actual god who can read this and not be viscerally repulsed. She didn’t want children. She didn’t want children for fifteen years and he wore her down because he “wanted them so badly.” “A little easier.” Oh my god. She didn’t want children, she didn’t want the stereotypically nurturing feminine role, and…her happy ending, her ‘healing’ was being forced to conform to that?
I didn’t get the ship from the moment that he had the whole ~~betrayed~~ scene on the train ride about how Katniss had been acting completely out of character for all these interviews and he - who’d stalked her for years - had so little grasp of who she was as a person that he saw no aberration and was ~stunned~ when he found out it wasn’t true. He doesn’t love her because a) he bloody STALKED her and b) he has no concept or respect for her as a person. UGH.
Though to be fair I wouldn’t dislike Peeta (Nice Guy(tm) extraordinaire) so much if pretty much every single effing other person wasn’t guilting and shaming and deriding Katniss about not wanting or appreciating Peeta.
A fucking million times this.
(Source: probablystilladoreyou, via katnissisoliveskinneddealwithit)
Apr. 25, 2013
I have found the whistler, a wizened old man in a faded red shirt and overalls. His eyes meet mine. What happens next is not an accident. It is too well executed to be spontaneous, because it happens in complete unison. Every person in the crowd presses the three middle fingers of their left hand against their lips and extends them to me. It’s our sign from District 12, the last good-bye I gave Rue in the arena.
We could have had it alllllllllllllllllllllll.
Apr. 24, 2013
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!! #thisisajokeright?! #capitalism (at Whole Foods Market)
Apr. 21, 2013
Octavia E. Butler, African American science fiction writer.
To read her novel Kindred click HERE.
(I have just read this one novel so far and she has shaken up my world already)
I love that novel- recommend
Octavia butler is incredible and if you are into science fiction or fantasy or female authors at all she is required reading.
I’m on the last book of Lilith’s Brood and it’s fucking amazing.
Apr. 17, 2013
Don’t Know Much About Asian American History? Books for Children
In 1992, Congress proclaimed the month of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. And what better time to teach your kids about the history of Asians in the United States? Perhaps you’ve shared with your children how you or your family members came to America, but this is also a great opportunity to learn about the experiences of other Asians in the United States.
I’ve reviewed plenty of Asian children’s books before, but I’m especially excited about this list, because these are all titles that focus on the rich and varied history of Asians in America. Here are some picture books that feature experiences of immigration, forging an identity, and key points in history. Because these subjects are rarely taught in class. Think of it as Asian American Studies for the elementary school set.
Kai’s Journey to Gold Mountain: An Angel Island Story by Katrina Saltonstall Currier is a book I first saw while visiting Angel Island. In case you’re not familiar with it, Angel Island, in the San Francisco Bay, was the Ellis Island of the West. During the 19th and early 20th century, immigrants from China, Japan, Korea and the Phillippines were detained in barracks, often for long and unpredictable lengths of time. Twelve-year old Kai is one of those new arrivals, who must wait to be released so he can join his father on “Gold Mountain”.
Coolies by Yin and illustrated by Chris Sontpiet tells the story of Shek and Little Wong, who arrive in California to build the transcontinental railroad. Inspired by actual events, this story reveals the harsh truth about life for the Chinese railroad workers in 1865, while celebrating their perseverance and bravery. The author and illustrator also teamed up to create Brothers, a story about a friendship between Ming, a boy in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and his Irish neighbor, Patrick.
Where the Sunflowers Grow by Amy Lee-Tai and illustrated by Felicia Hoshino is a recommendation from my friend Elisa Koff-Ginsborg. The book tells the story of Mari, who — along with thousands of other Japanese Americans– has been forced to move to the Topaz internment camp during World War II. An art class and a kindly teacher offer a ray of hope amidst these unjust circumstances.
Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki and illustrated by Dom Lee is another title about the Japanese American internment experience. The main character is a small Japanese American boy who dislikes baseball because he is often teased as he plays with his white peers. Life is even harsher at the camp, with tempers flaring in the tight quarters. However, a makeshift baseball game at Whether your kids are sports nuts or benchwarmers, they will probably find the baseball aspect of this story something they can relate to.
Going Home, Coming Home by Truong Tran, illustrated by Ann Phong is described by Terry Hong of Smithsonian BookDragon as “A poignant, lovely bilingual tale about a little girl who visits her ancestral home in Vietnam and realizes that she can be both Vietnamese and American, with a home here and a home there.”
Chachaji’s Cup by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Soumya Sitaraman is also a BookDragon pick. “A young boy’s special relationship with Chachaji, his father’s old uncle, teaches him important lessons about family bonds and his rich Indian heritage,” writes Hong. This book was also made into a stage performance in 2010 that featured Bollywood and sitar music and a multicultural cast.
Apple Pie Fourth of July by Janet S. Wong and illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine is a more contemporary story that deals with an issue that many children of immigrants can relate to: food shame. The main character is embarrassed that her family is cooking Chinese food to serve in their shop, even though it is Independence Day. Of course, there is a delicious twist to the story.
The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi portrays a dilemma all too familiar to immigrant youth — whether or not to trade in a foreign sounding name for an American one. Unhei must make this decision after she moves from Korea to New York, and her new classmates attempt to help her by filling a jar full of potential monikers.
Do you have any recommendations?
For more recommendations, including chapter books and Young Adult literature, my favorite Taiwanese American author Grace Lin has a Asian-Pacific Heritage Month Booklist on PBS Parents.
For more suggestions check out the San Francisco Public Library site. Also, Pragmatic Mom has recommendations for Japanese American Internment and Chinese American books.
A Jar of Dreams by Yoshiko Uchida- Rinko is an eleven-year-old Japanese American girl growing up in Oakland during the Depression. Her family deals with blatant racism from their white neighbors and Rinko herself struggles with a lot of internalized hatred, but a visit from her Aunt Wada helps her come to terms and make peace with her cultural identity.
Journey Home, also by Yoshiko Uchida, chronicles the story of twelve-year-old Yuki and her family after they leave Topaz, an internment camp in the middle of the Utah desert, towards the end of WWII. Yuki is a daydreamer who often writes letters in her head to her friends still in the camp as well as her brother Ken, who is off fighting in Europe. Despite terrible acts of racism against them, the family still manages to find hope in their friends and neighbors.
I also really like Good Luck Ivy!. Historical only in that it takes place during the 70’s, but it’s a fun and lighthearted story. From Amazon: Ivy Ling feels unlucky. Her best friend, Julie Albright, has moved away, her mom is super busy with law school, and Ivy has to go to Chinese school every Saturday. Worst of all, Ivy learns that the annual Ling family reunion is scheduled for the same day as the All-City gymnastics tournament, for which Ivy has been practicing for months. When Ivy’s parents tell her she has to decide which event to attend, she despairs—how can she please both her gymnastics coach and her family? Gradually Ivy realizes that she can make her own luck—and make a decision that’s right for her.
Apr. 15, 2013
Sherri L. Smith
First came the storms.
Then came the Fever.
And the Wall.
After a string of devastating hurricanes and a severe outbreak of Delta Fever, the Gulf Coast has been quarantined. Years later, residents of the Outer States are under the assumption that life in the Delta is all but extinct… but in reality, a new primitive society has been born.
Fen de la Guerre is living with the O-Positive blood tribe in the Delta when they are ambushed. Left with her tribe leader’s newborn, Fen is determined to get the baby to a better life over the wall before her blood becomes tainted. Fen meets Daniel, a scientist from the Outer States who has snuck into the Delta illegally. Brought together by chance, kept together by danger, Fen and Daniel navigate the wasteland of Orleans. In the end, they are each other’s last hope for survival.
Sherri L. Smith delivers an expertly crafted story about a fierce heroine whose powerful voice and firm determination will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.
My wishlist just keeps getting longer & longer.
Apr. 9, 2013
If I were in the Hunger Games I would use one of the parachutes and gift containers and put all kinds of poisonous berries in them and then climb trees and send them down to unsuspecting tributes. Oh, you thought you were getting a nice fruit salad? Think again. POISON.
You should volunteer as tribute, you evil genius
Apr. 9, 2013
gale hawthorne, district 12 and angry young men of colour
So I’m going to go out on a limb and say (as a veteran of the tracked tag, if nothing else) that the way huge swathes of ‘The Hunger Games’ fandom talks about Gale Hawthorne is super problematic.
It’s a tough thing to do, to talk about any of the characters in the series and do it fairly when the narrative itself is rife with problems - both in terms of what it picks up on and what it leaves out. But I think fandom tends to ignore those problematic aspects which aren’t convenient to their reading of the text, at the expense of misunderstanding several of its key figures. If I was someone looking in from the outside, who had never picked up a single copy of the books, I would, from fandom’s response, infer that Gale was the villain of the piece (or at least the final act) - the volatile, bloody mirror to Peeta’s good. And when you think about that contextually, when you think about that in conjunction with the fact that if we accept Katniss to be a POC then Gale is too, it follows that the portrait that we get in the books of one of the sole male POC characters fighting for his homeland is one who is paranoid, militant, downright violent. Which isn’t just problematic, but offensive as well - to put such a one-dimensional face on the subjugated people of colour partaking in the revolution, as well as feeding into long-held stereotypes of what a person of colour fighting for their rights looks like.
The fly in the ointment being - despite the fact that Collins drops in the racial commentary without ever exploring it any further - that is simply not who Gale is in the text. Yes, Gale is uncompromising, yes, he resorts to violence but if he’s not one of the heroes of the series, he’s certainly not one of its villains either. And for fandom to dismiss him as such is a disservice to his character. For fandom to single out Gale for his possessiveness, claiming that such a character trait is in evidence in the ‘Gale is mine. I am his’ line - a line not spoken by Gale, but by Katniss - is not just a disservice to his character, but completely baffling. And for fandom to glorify Katniss’ racial heritage whilst erasing (via ignoring) Gale’s, is adding insult to injury. Sure, you have your favourites, you have the ship that you prefer - but that doesn’t mean you get to prioritise which character of colour’s experiences have more intrinsic value, that’s neither a sensitive nor a respectful reading of these books.
And Gale isn’t a poorly hewn together caricature of what a POC revolutionary might look like either, all overflowing anger and inflammatory action - Collins’ writing has its faults, but that’s still never a place it goes. His character is not just defined by a single act - by the violence of the bombs he creates or Prim’s death - his character is informed by what he spends his life experiencing and what he shapes that to mean. Yes, he is single-minded in his determination and he believes that the ends justifies the means (in contrast to Peeta who sees the ends as the means) and if you don’t think that’s the right way to run a revolution, well that’s your prerogative. But that doesn’t mean Gale’s anger is without justifiable cause, that we can blame him whole-heartedly for his actions without charting the multitude of steps it takes to get him there, and it certainly doesn’t mean that his characterisation is of a man of colour who revolves solely around his anger.
Gale is angry, I won’t deny it, but he’s romantic too - romantic in the sense of being an idealist, after all he falls in love with the girl who is yes, his childhood friend but also the symbol of the whole goddamn revolution. He is hopeful and he is penitent and he moves back to District 2 - to the very district he helps destroy, because he knows that sometimes the cost of a revolution can be the soft spots inside you but you don’t need to carry that cost, that weight, for the rest of your life. He’s a complex character, he’s multifaceted and contradictory and I think his race charges his narrative as much as Katniss does hers. To ignore that part of him (whilst exulting that part of Katniss) is blatantly unfair and to flatten him into a stereotype that he’s not, is as offensive as it is nonsensical.
Also, just to briefly add —
I’d also further argue that this fandom is left with a choice. Interpretations of texts are about choices, and should we agree that Katniss is a woman of color (which not everyone in this fandom does, but I do) and that, therefore, Gale is a man of color, we are left with options. We can choose to recognize that in the moments that Collins deplores Gale’s revolutionary positioning and in the moments that she posits political revolutionary violence as just as oppressive as state-sponsored violence, she is establishing an incredibly problematic racial and political rhetoric and note the problematics of the text as such, or we can choose to buy into that line of thinking and condemn Gale for it as well. Extratextually, Gale’s actions are all completely within the scope of any ethics of war you want to look at bar outright pacifism; it’s only intratextually that he’s condemned for it, and this fandom needs to examine why that is and what that means for this series. And we have a responsibility to examine the problematics of all that and recognize that even if Collins is willing to take a disparaging position toward a man of color for revolutionary violence with the goal of liberation from state-sponsored and endemic oppression, we as readers do not have to do the same.
I do think that Collins is unsure of her political rhetoric in most of Mockingjay. At times she invokes the need for revolution and at other times she condemns it, ultimately suggesting that the rebels may be just as bad if not worse than the ruling regime which is often the case in real life but given the paradigms of this series is, frankly, mortifying. But no matter how she ultimately comes down on that issue — which she doesn’t, really, because Mockingjay has no space for resolution of any kind — for fandom to flatten Gale down to a one-dimensional villain who manipulates Katniss (which is not in any way textual) and who uses violence to attain his goals (which is textual) within the constructs of a racialized narrative is a problematic of the fandom itself. His violence is political. It does not happen in a vacuum, and it is not hapless. To say ‘oh, Gale is violent’ without looking at what kind of violence he performs or why he does it is overwhelmingly limited thinking.
Apr. 6, 2013
Is this a Thing? Sci-fi/dystopian thrillers by Asian American and Asian Canadian authors!
Dualed by Elsie Chapman
The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Adaptation by Malinda Lo
Legend by Marie Lu
What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang
I have read ALL of these books and they are ALL FANTASTIC!!!! Go Asian American/Canadian authors!!!
Apr. 2, 2013
think about the concept of a library. that’s one thing that humanity didn’t fuck up. we did a good thing when we made libraries
(Source: tinyjavs, via veganweedsoup)
Mar. 31, 2013
[image description: the page of acknowledgments and the cover of How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler’s Memoir by Amber Dawn. The acknowledgments page says “Gratitude to the Musqueam, Tsiel-Waututh, and Squamish people, and acknowledgement that I live (and write) on unceded Indigenous land / A heartfelt thanks to: / The praiseworthy team at Arsenal Pulp Press—Brian Lam, Robert Ballantyne, Susan Safyan, Gerilee McBride, and Cynara Geissler / The Lambda Literary Foundation and the Writers’ Trust of Canada for their generous support and recognition”]
Best acknowledgements page ever?
(The rest of the book is pretty awesome, too.)
Order How Poetry Saved My Life by Amber Dawn from the publisher, Arsenal Pulp Press
or also from Amazon
“Amber Dawn’s acclaimed first novel Sub Rosa, a darkly intoxicating fantasy about a group of magical prostitutes who band together to fend off bad johns in a fantastical underworld, won a Lambda Literary Award in 2011. While the plot of the book was wildly imaginative, it was also based on the author’s own experience as a sex worker in the 1990s and early 2000s, and on her coming out as lesbian.”