Activism & Politics

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Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements
Imarisha, Walidah, and Adrienne Maree Brown. Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements. Oakland, CA: AK Press, 2015. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"Whenever we envision a world without war, without prisons, without capitalism, we are producing visionary fiction. Organizers and activists envision, and try to create, such worlds all the time. This book brings twenty of them together in the first anthology of short stories to explore the connections between radical speculative fiction and movements for social change. The visionary tales of Octavia's Brood span genres--sci-fi, fantasy, horror, magical realism--but all are united by an attempt to experiment with new ways of understanding ourselves, the world around us, and all the selves and worlds that could be. The collection is rounded off with essays by Tananarive Due and Mumia Abu-Jamal, and a foreword by Sheree Renée Thomas"--Page 4 of cover.

The Engagement: America's Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage
Issenberg, Sasha. The Engagement: America's Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage. New York: Pantheon Books, 2021. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state bans on gay marriage were unconstitutional, making same-sex unions legal across the United States. But the road to that momentous decision was much longer than many know. In this definitive account, Sasha Issenberg vividly guides us through same-sex marriage's unexpected path from the unimaginable to the inevitable. It is a story that begins in Hawaii in 1990, when a rivalry among local activists triggered a sequence of events that forced the state to justify excluding gay couples from marriage. In the White House, one president signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which elevated the matter to a national issue, and his successor tried to write it into the Constitution. Over twenty-five years, the debate played out across the country, from the first legal same-sex weddings in Massachusetts to the epic face-off over California's Proposition 8 and, finally, to the landmark Supreme Court decisions of United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges. From churches to hedge funds, no corner of American life went untouched.This richly detailed narrative follows the coast-to-coast conflict through courtrooms and war rooms, bedrooms and boardrooms, to shed light on every aspect of a political and legal controversy that divided Americans like no other. Following a cast of characters that includes those who sought their own right to wed, those who fought to protect the traditional definition of marriage, and those who changed their minds about it, The Engagement is certain to become a seminal book on the modern culture wars." - Publisher description.
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If Beale Street Could Talk
Jenkins, Barry. If Beale Street Could Talk. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2019. Film @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"A timeless love story set in early 1970s Harlem involving newly engaged nineteen-year- old Tish and her fiance Fonny who have a beautiful future ahead. But their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit. Now the pair and their families must fight for justice in the name of love and the promise of the American dream."
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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Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women's Fight for their Rights
Kendall, Mikki, A. D'Amico, Shari Chankhamma, and Erica Schultz. Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women's Fight for their Rights. California: Ten Speed Press, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"A bold and gripping graphic history of the fight for women's rights The ongoing struggle for women's rights has spanned human history, touched nearly every culture on Earth, and encompassed a wide range of issues, such as the right to vote, work, get an education, own property, exercise bodily autonomy, and beyond. Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists is a fun and fascinating graphic novel-style primer that covers the key figures and events that have advanced women's rights from antiquity to the modern era. In addition, this compelling book illuminates the stories of notable women throughout history–from queens and freedom fighters to warriors and spies–and the progressive movements led by women that have shaped history, including abolition, suffrage, labor, civil rights, LGBTQ liberation, reproductive rights, and more. Examining where we've been, where we are, and where we're going, Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists is an indispensable resource for people of all genders interested in the fight for a more liberated future"– provided by publisher.
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.

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Whereas
Long Soldier, Layli. Whereas. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Graywolf Press, 2017. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
 This volume confronts the coercive language of the United States government in its responses, treaties, and apologies to Native American peoples and tribes, and reflects that language in its officiousness and duplicity back on its perpetrators. Through an array of short lyrics, prose poems, longer narrative sequences, resolutions, and disclaimers, Layli Long Soldier has created an innovative text to examine histories, landscapes, her own writing, and her predicament inside national affiliations. "I am," she writes, "a citizen of the United States and an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, meaning I am a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation -- and in this dual citizenship I must work, I must eat, I must art, I must mother, I must friend, I must listen, I must observe, constantly I must live."
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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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."
How to Be a Muslim: An American Story
Moghul, Haroon. How to Be a Muslim: An American Story. Boston: Beacon Press, 2017. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Haroon Moghul was first thrust into the spotlight after 9/11, as an undergraduate leader at New York University's Islamic Center. Suddenly, he was making appearances everywhere: on TV, talking to interfaith audiences, combating Islamophobia in print. He was becoming a prominent voice for American Muslims. Privately, Moghul had a complicated relationship with Islam. In high school he was barely a believer and entirely convinced he was going to hell. He sometimes drank. He didn't pray regularly. All he wanted was a girlfriend. But as Haroon discovered, it wasn't so easy to leave religion behind. To be true to himself, he needed to forge a unique American Muslim identity that reflected his own beliefs and personality. How to Be a Muslim is the story of a young man coping with the crushing pressure of a world that shuns and fears Muslims, struggling with his faith and searching for intellectual forebears, and suffering the onset of bipolar disorder. This is the story of the second-generation immigrant, of what it's like to lose yourself between cultures, and how to pick up the pieces."
Meet Me Halfway: Milwaukee Stories
Morales, Jennifer. Meet Me Halfway: Milwaukee Stories. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2015. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"When Johnquell, an African American teen, suffers a serious accident in the home of his white neighbor, Mrs. Czernicki, his community must find ways to bridge divisions between black and white, gay and straight, old and young. Set in one of the nation’s most highly segregated cities—Milwaukee, Wisconsin—Meet Me Halfway tells stories of connections in a community with a tumultuous and divided past. In nine stories told from diverse perspectives, Jennifer Morales captures a Rust Belt city’s struggle to establish a common ground and a collective vision of the future.

Morales gives life to multifaceted characters—white schoolteachers and senior citizens, Latino landlords, black and Puerto Rican teens, political activists, and Vietnam vets. As their lives unfold in these stories, we learn about Johnquell’s family—his grandparents’ involvement in the local Black Panther Party, his sister’s on-again, off-again friendship with a white classmate, and his aunt’s identity crisis as she finds herself falling in love with a woman. We also meet Johnquell’s mother, Gloria, and his school friend Taquan, who is struggling to chart his own future.

As an activist mother in the thick of Milwaukee politics, Morales developed a keen ear and a tender heart for the kids who have inherited the city’s troubled racial legacy. With a critical eye on promises unfulfilled, Meet Me Halfway raises questions about the notion of a “postracial” society and, with humor and compassion, lifts up the day-to-day work needed to get there."
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Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive
Serano, Julia. Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press, 2013. eBook @ Harvard Library [Harvard Key required]Abstract
Among LGBTQ activists, there is a long history of lesbians and gay men dismissing bisexuals, transgender people, and other gender and sexual minorities. In each case, exclusion is based on the premise that certain ways of being gendered or sexual are more legitimate, natural, or righteous than others. In Excluded, Julia Serano chronicles many of these instances of exclusion and argues that marginalizing others often stems from a handful of assumptions that are routinely made about gender and sexuality.
Assata: An Autobiography
Shakur, Assata. Assata: An Autobiography. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 2001. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"On May 2, 1973, Black Panther Assata Shakur, aka JoAnne Chesimard, lay in a hospital, close to death, handcuffed to her bed, while local, state, and federal police attempted to question her about the shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike that claimed the life of a white state trooper. Long a target of J. Edgar Hoover's campaign to defame, infilitrate, and criminalize Black nationalist organizations and their leaders, Shakur was incarcerated for four years prior to her conviction on flimsy evidence in 1977 as an accomplice to murder. ... Two years after her conviction, Assata Shakur escaped from prison. She was given political asylum by Cuba, where she now resides." From the bookjacket.

And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic
Shilts, Randy. And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic. New York: St. Martins Press, 2000. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
An examination of the AIDS crisis exposes the federal government for its inaction, health authorities for their greed, and scientists for their desire for prestige in the face of the AIDS pandemic.
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How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective
Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta, ed. How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2017. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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The Combahee River Collective, a group of radical black feminists, was one of the most important organizations to develop out of the anti-racist and women's liberation movements of the 1960s and 70s. In this collection, founding members of the organization and contemporary activists reflect on the legacy of its contributions to black feminism and its impact on today's struggles.

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Pride
Warchus, Matthew. Pride. United Kingdom: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 2014. Film @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
U.K. gay activists work to assist miners during their extended strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984.
A Wild and Precious Life: A Memoir
Windsor, Edie. A Wild and Precious Life: A Memoir. First edition. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"A lively, intimate memoir from an icon of the gay rights movement, describing gay life in 1950s and 60s New York City and her longtime activism which opened the door for marriage equality. Edie Windsor became internationally famous when she sued the US government, seeking federal recognition for her marriage to Thea Spyer, her partner of more than four decades. The Supreme Court ruled in Edie's favor, a landmark victory that set the stage for full marriage equality in the US. Beloved by the LGBTQ community, Edie embraced her new role as an icon; she had already been living an extraordinary and groundbreaking life for decades. In this memoir, which she began before passing away in 2017 and completed by her co-writer, Edie recounts her childhood in Philadelphia, her realization that she was a lesbian, and her active social life in Greenwich Village's electrifying underground gay scene during the 1950s. Edie was also one of a select group of trailblazing women in computing, working her way up the ladder at IBM and achieving their highest technical ranking while developing software. In the early 1960s Edie met Thea, an expat from a Dutch Jewish family that fled the Nazis, and a widely respected clinical psychologist. Their partnership lasted forty-four years, until Thea died in 2009. Edie found love again, marrying Judith Kasen-Windsor in 2016. A Wild and Precious Life is remarkable portrait of an iconic woman, gay life in New York in the second half of the twentieth century, and the rise of LGBT activism"-- Provided by publisher.

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