Essays

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Privilege, Power, and Difference
Johnson, Allan G. Privilege, Power, and Difference. Third edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Privilege, Power, and Difference is a groundbreaking tool for students and non-students alike to examine systems of privilege and difference in our society. Written in an accessible, conversational style, the 3rd edition links theory with engaging examples in ways that enable readers to see the underlying nature and consequences of privilege and their connection to it. This extraordinary book has been used across the country, both inside and outside the classroom, to shed light on issues of power and privilege. The thoroughly updated 3rd edition includes a new epilogue about the conflicting worldviews that can make these issues so difficult."
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How to Be an Antiracist
Kendi, Ibram X. How to Be an Antiracist. New York, NY: One World, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it -- and then dismantle it." Ibram X. Kendi's concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America -- but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. In this book, Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism. How to Be an Antiracist is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society." -- Provided by publisher.

Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019
Kendi, Ibram X., and Keisha N. Blain, ed. Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019. New York: One World, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"A "choral history" of African Americans covering 400 years of history in the voices of 80 writers, edited by the bestselling, National Book Award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain. Last year marked the four hundredth anniversary of the first African presence in the Americas–and also launched the Four Hundred Souls project, spearheaded by Ibram X. Kendi, director of the Antiracism Institute of American University, and Keisha Blain, editor of The North Star. They've gathered together eighty black writers from all disciplines – historians and artists, journalists and novelists–each of whom has contributed an entry about one five-year period to create a dynamic multivoiced single-volume history of black people in America"– provided by publisher.
A Small Place
Kincaid, Jamaica. A Small Place. 1st ed. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"As she bears witness to the sweeping corruption, dilapidated buildings and shameful legacy of Antigua's colonial past, Kincaid compels us to think about the people behind the beautiful landscape of this tiny island."
Everybody Else is Perfect: How I Survived Hypocrisy, Beauty, Clicks, and Likes
Korn, Gabrielle. Everybody Else is Perfect: How I Survived Hypocrisy, Beauty, Clicks, and Likes. First Atria Paperback edition. New York: Atria Paperback, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"From the director of fashion and culture at Refinery29 comes a provocative and intimate collection of personal and cultural essays featuring eye-opening explorations of hot-button topics for modern women, including the uptick in internet feminism versus ongoing impossible beauty standards in media, the battle against anorexia, shifting ideals about sexuality, and much more"-- Provided by publisher.
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Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches
Lorde, Audre. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches. Crossing Press feminist series. Trumansburg, N.Y. Crossing Press, 1984. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"The leader of contemporary feminist theory discusses such issues as racism, self-acceptance, and mother- and woman-hood."
Zami ; Sister outsider ; Undersong
Lorde, Audre. Zami ; Sister outsider ; Undersong. Triangle classics. New York: Book of the Month Club, 1993. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

"Zami: A New Spelling of My Name is a 1982 biomythography by American poet Audre Lorde. It started a new genre that the author calls biomythography, which combines history, biography, and myth. " - Wikipedia.

"Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches is a collection of essential essays and speeches written by Audre Lorde, a writer who focuses on the particulars of her identity: Black woman, lesbian, poet, activist, cancer survivor, mother, and feminist." - Wikipedia.

"This volume [Undersong] contains a thorough revision of the author's early poems, 1950-1979, along with nine previously unpublished poems from that period, and an essay describing the revision process. Readers new to Lorde's work will meet here a major American poet whose concerns are international, and whose words have left their mark on many lives. Readers of "The Black Unicorn", "Sister Outsider", "The Cancer Journals", "A Burst of Light", and "Our Dead Behind Us", and the thousands who have attended her poetry readings and speeches, will recognize in this book the roots and the growing-points of a transformative writer. Never has a poet left so clear and conscious a track of artistic choices made in the trajectory of a life. Far from rewriting old poems to fit a changes historical moment, she has finely rehoned formal elements to illuminate the original poems. Throughout, Lorde's lifelong themes of love and anger, family politics, sexuality, and the body of the city can be seen gathering in power and clarity." - Google Books.

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Endangered Species: A Surly Bear in the Bible Belt
Mann, Jeff. Endangered Species: A Surly Bear in the Bible Belt. Amherst, MA: Lethe Press, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Jeff Mann's newest collection of personal essays speaks out against homophobia and the outdated ideas of masculinity demanded by life in Appalachia and the American South"–Back cover.
Making Gay History: The Half-Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Equal Rights
Marcus, Eric. Making Gay History: The Half-Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Equal Rights. New York: Perennial, 2002. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"An updated edition of the personal account of the fifty-year fight for gay and lesbian rights recalls the struggle through the eyes of more than sixty participants."
De Colores Mean All of Us: Latina Views for a Multi-Colored Century
Martínez, Elizabeth Sutherland. De Colores Mean All of Us: Latina Views for a Multi-Colored Century. 1st ed. Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 1998. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Elizabeth Martinez's unique Chicana voice arises from over 30 years of experience in the movements for civil rights, women's liberation and Chicano/a empowerment. In De Colores Means All of Us, Martinez presents the radical Latina perspective on race, liberation, and identity. in these trenchant essays, Martinez describes the provocative ideas and new movements created by the rapidly expanding U.S. Latino community, as it confronts intensified exploitation and racism."
Thick: And Other Essays
McMillan Cottom, Tressie. Thick: And Other Essays. New York ; London: The New Press, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"In these eight ... explorations on beauty, media, money, and more, Tressie McMillan Cottom--award-winning professor and ... author of Lower Ed--embraces her ... role as a purveyor of wit, wisdom, and Black Twitter snark about all that is right and much that is wrong with this thing we call society"--Dust jacket flap.
Brown, White, Black: An American Family at the Intersection of Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Religion
Mehra, Nishta. Brown, White, Black: An American Family at the Intersection of Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Religion. New York: Picador, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Essays describe how the author's experiences as an Indian American, the wife of a white Christian woman, and the mother of an adopted black son have been challenged by rigid cultural family norms."
Guys Like Me: Five Wars, Five Veterans for Peace
Messner, Michael A. Guys Like Me: Five Wars, Five Veterans for Peace. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2019. Book @ Harvard Library
Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese's
Midge, Tiffany. Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese's. University of Nebraska Press: Lincoln, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese's is a powerful and inviting collection of Tiffany Midge's musings on life, politics, and identity as a Native woman in modern America"-- Provided by publisher.
This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color
Moraga, Cherríe, and Gloria Anzaldúa, ed. This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. Fourth edition. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2015. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Through personal essays, criticism, interviews, testimonials, poetry, and visual art, this collection expores, as coeditor Cherrie Moraga writes, 'the complex confluence of identities–race, class, gender, sexuality–systemic to women of color oppression and liberation." - back cover.
The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations
Morrison, Toni. The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2019. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Arguably the most celebrated and revered writer of our time now gives us a new nonfiction collection-a rich gathering of her essays, speeches, and meditations on society, culture, and art, spanning four decades. The Source of Self-Regard is brimming with all the elegance of mind and style, the literary prowess and moral compass that are Toni Morrison's inimitable hallmark. It is divided into three parts: the first is introduced by a powerful prayer for the dead of 9/11; the second by a searching meditation on Martin Luther King Jr., and the last by a heart-wrenching eulogy for James Baldwin. In the writings and speeches included here, Morrison takes on contested social issues: the foreigner, female empowerment, the press, money, "black matter(s)," and human rights. She looks at enduring matters of culture: the role of the artist in society, the literary imagination, the Afro-American presence in American literature, and in her Nobel lecture, the power of language itself. And here too is piercing commentary on her own work (including The Bluest Eye, Sula, Tar Baby, Jazz, Beloved, and Paradise) and that of others, among them, painter and collagist Romare Bearden, author Toni Cade Bambara, and theater director Peter Sellars. In all, The Source of Self-Regard is a luminous and essential addition to Toni Morrison's oeuvre.
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Interior States: Essays
O'Gieblyn, Meghan. Interior States: Essays. New York: Anchor Books, 2018. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"A fresh, acute, and even profound collection that centers around two core (and related) issues of American identity: faith, in general and the specific forms Christianity takes in particular; and the challenges of living in the Midwest when culture is felt to be elsewhere.

What does it mean to be a believing Christian and a Midwesterner in an increasingly secular America where the cultural capital is retreating to both coasts? The critic and essayist Meghan O’Gieblyn was born into an evangelical family, attended the famed Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for a time before she had a crisis of belief, and still lives in the Midwest, aka “Flyover Country.” She writes of her “existential dizziness, a sense that the rest of the world is moving while you remain still,” and that rich sense of ambivalence and internal division inform the fifteen superbly thoughtful and ironic essays in this collection. The subjects of these essays range from the rebranding (as it were) of Hell in contemporary Christian culture (“Hell”), a theme park devoted to the concept of intelligent design (“Species of Origin”), the paradoxes of Christian Rock (“Sniffing Glue”), Henry Ford’s reconstructed pioneer town of Greenfield Village and its mixed messages (“Midwest World”), and the strange convergences of Christian eschatology and the digital so-called Singularity (“Ghosts in the Cloud”). Meghan O’Gieblyn stands in relation to her native Midwest as Joan Didion stands in relation to California – which is to say a whole-hearted lover, albeit one riven with ambivalence at the same time." -- Publisher description

Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America
Oluo, Ijeoma. Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America. New York: Seal Press, 2020. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"In her new book, rather than tear down the statues of certain white men, Ijeoma Oluo casts her eye on the long view of a nation that, as a whole, has built a dominant identity for white men. Her book challenges what we value most in America, during a tumultuous time of upheaval as we painfully strive toward a more perfect union. With her signature sharp wit, Oluo exposes how white male identity not only blatantly marks our divided culture today, from presidential politics to popular culture, but it is insidiously embedded even in the history of apparent progress, from women entering the workforce, to rising access to higher education, to the work of white civil rights advocates and male feminists. Oluo relates the glorification of White male aggression behind Western Expansion, the disdain of women workers strengthening the Great Depression, the fear of racial integration driving the Great Migration, and more examples of how White male America was forged and reinforced-at a devastating cost. Far from arguing that all white men are mediocre, Oluo instead challenges a national narrative that for generations has defined success exclusively around white men. Status for white men is granted only in relation to others, and is separated from actual achievement. This is not a benign mediocrity; it is brutal for everyone who is erased. Deeply researched, passionate, and revelatory, Oluo's Mediocre argues that if we wish to move beyond the rancorous politics where only white men are created equal, if we wish to write better stories for the next generation of Americans, we first need upend everything we thought we knew about our founding stories"–

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Sometimes I Trip on How Happy We Could Be: Essays
Perkins, Nicole. Sometimes I Trip on How Happy We Could Be: Essays. First edition. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Pop culture is the Pandora's Box of our lives. Racism, wealth, poverty, beauty, inclusion, exclusion, and hope -- all of these intractable and unavoidable features course through the media we consume. Examining pop culture's impact on her life, Nichole Perkins takes readers on a rollicking trip through the last twenty years of music, media and the internet from the perspective of one southern Black woman. She explores her experience with mental illness and how the TV series Frasier served as a crutch, how her role as mistress led her to certain internet message boards that prepared her for current day social media, and what it means to figure out desire and sexuality and Prince in a world where marriage is the only acceptable goal for women. Combining her sharp wit, stellar pop culture sensibility, and trademark spirited storytelling, Nichole boldly tackles the damage done to women, especially Black women, by society's failure to confront the myths and misogyny at its heart, and her efforts to stop the various cycles that limit confidence within herself. By using her own life and loves as a unique vantage point, Nichole humorously and powerfully illuminates how to take the best pop culture has to offer and discard the harmful bits, offering a mirror into our own lives"-- Provided by publisher.

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