When things get rough we turn to books for the lessons our ancestors and elders left for future generations. We study where to begin, from where to pick up, and how to keep from repeating past mistakes. Theory is meant to be read and discussed in community - so different perspectives are shared, so language can be better understood (or evolve) and to imagine together how we can grow and build and fight. Yes, what is generally accepted as theory can often be dense and intimidating, but the purpose of this book group is to tackle some of these books together as well as to shift what books are defined as theory. The topics are decolonization, radical Black feminisms, Black liberation, Indigenous liberation, Indiginizing climate justice, PIC abolition, anti-imperialism, and anti-capitalism. This is a book group, a study group, and a call to action.
We meet virtually the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. We plan to stay virtual to allow more people the opportunity to attend and to practice safety in what seems to be a never ending pandemic. If you want to be a part of this book club but cannot afford to purchase the book OR if you would like to purchase a copy for someone else, email Ari at: email@example.com (for questions & zoom link too). All book club purchases are 10% off and 20% off for members.
The Next American Revolution by Grace Lee Boggs discussion on Monday, June 13, 2022 at 7 PM
Boggs was an activist icon. Studying the words of activists with history & experience is crucial to keep from reinventing the wheel over and over again. It's the only way we can move forward. Study elders & ancestors and accept that you are not so special that you'll come up with the solutions on your own.
Border & Rule by Harsha Walia discussion on Monday, July 11, 2022 at 7 PM
When we discuss social justcie we have to talk about these FAKE, IMAGINARY BORDERS that are so incredibly actively harmful to living people. Imperialism is a death sentence to many and a poison to our minds. Harsha rally helps to break it all down and makes necessary connections to borders and racist nationalism (white men with tiki torches & anti-muslim/anti-Black behavior).
Women, Race & Class by Angela Davis discussion Monday, August 8, 2022 at 7 PM
When Angela was a member of the Communist Party (no, she was not a Black Panther, she was an honorary member) she dealt with a lot of white men who told her that the only struggle was class struggle. But, being a queer, Black woman in America she knew too well that class is not all there is - especially in a white supremacist settler colonial state where racial capitalism was created. Angela, like most Black people, knew that Marx's analysis was extremely limited to his experience as a white, cis man in Europe - especially since he didn't even see the Afrikan slave as a person. So, we read Angela's take to get a based understanding of class analysis. We don't need to ever center white men in our study.
Anarchism & the Black Revolution by Lorenzo Kom'Boa Ervin discussion on Monday, September 12, 2022 at 7 PM
First of all, people get real uncomfortable with anarchism and that's ridiculous because they don't even know anything about it or what they do know they learned from Batman or some self-obsessed, hyper-individualist white boy who likes chaos. That's nihilsm, okay? Cool. Never have I ever been so excited for a book to come back into print. And this one is SO timely when we're considering new ways to move and referencing the knowledge of our elders. Many people reference the Black Panther Party but it's incredibly rare that they actually read the published work of ex-Panthers. They do not read former Panther critiques and the changes that they would incorporate if they were to do it all over again. We have to study the elders and allow the lessons they learned to guide us in the work. We cannot allow ourselves to continue in this cycle of doing the same things over and over again prayin, hopin, and wishin for new results.
The Border Crossed Us by Justin Akers Chacon discussion on Monday, October 10, 2022 at 7 PM
Borders are COMPLETELY made up. And not only are they made up but they're DANGEROUS & VIOLENT. We talk about borders in Harsha's book a few months before this, but with this book we'll talk specifically about a border near and dear to us and why it's disintegration is necessary for our collective survival and well-being. Also borders are racist, but you got that already.
How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney discussion on Monday, November 14, 2022 at 7 PM
The discussions around Africa & "3rd World Countries" and their lack of "development" are usually not only racist & imperialist, they tend to completely ignore Europe's hand in destabilizing entire countries and halting their progress & development. Don't think much more needs to be said that the title hasn't already explained. We're reading this to shed some of our own racist beliefs and eliminate the disconnect between imperialism, capitalism, and racism.
Ella Baker & the Black Freedom Movement by Barbara Ransby discussion Monday, December 12, 2022 at 7 PM
This is an organizers BIBLE, okay? What you think you know about the civil right's movement and who gets the credit is wrong if you don't know Ella Baker or if you think she was just somebody's secretary. We should have been taking Ella's lead this whole time - her rejection of cult of personality, her dedication to poor Black southerners at the center of struggle, her commitment to developing well rounded organizers who understood the importance of collective action over individualism. What an incredible woman that you were not educated about. This book is a staple. It's required reading.
Black Marxism by Cedric J. Robinson discussion on Monday, January 9, 2023 at 7 PM
This is the first book of next year because, by this time, all the books we've read before this point will have given us a decent enough vocabulary and helped us to shed some antiBlackness enough to grapple with this text. It's a dense one, so we'll only be reading a few chapters. But, it's a must read for anyone who considers themselves a Marxist or wants a better grasp on the Black Radical Tradition. Robinson goes hard on Marx and his lack of perspective. he advocates us to think beyond Marx and to center the diasporic, Black Afrikan experience over some white guy who came up with a solid analysis that didn't include or consider people who are not white and living in Europe and depending on industrialization.
***PREVIOUS SELECTION*** Avengers of the New World by Laurent DuBois discussion on Monday, May 9, 2022
What you don't know about the Haitian Revolution is a lot. And that's because white supremacy doesn't really have much interest in celebrating the first and only succesful slave rebellion in history. The Haitian revolution is such an incredible case study on what Black liberation and revolution can look like. The way that the majority of Afrikan slaves involved continued to reject anything less than total freedom and autonomy is so inspiring. The end of the revolution also comes with lessons on the systems and practices we have to reject in order to not recreate the same violent institutions over again.
***PREVIOUS SELECTION*** Hood Feminism discussion on Monday, April 11, 2022
We talk a lot about feminism, but not enough about who the feminist movement excludes. Those of us who are not cis white women know from experience. We are also very aware that the feminist movement - though it took a lot of strategy & foundational definitions from non-white groups & cultures - was never actually meant for us. So, reading texts that reject & reverse the practice of excluding & silencing non-cisgendered, non-white women is crucial to us grasping radical feminisms as opposed to feminisms whose goal it is to become "equal to white men". We're not trying to be white men when white, cis-hetero, patriarchal supremacy is the literal problem. We can do better than white feminists, Okay?
***PREVIOUS SELECTION*** How We Go Home Edited by Sara Sinclair discussion Monday, March 14, 2022
Last year we read a book on Indigenizing our conversations and understandings of climate struggle. this year we are centering the voices of Indigenous people as we continue our discussion on decolonization and rejecting the erasure and contniued genocide of Indigenous people & Turtle Island.
***PREVIOUS SELECTION*** The Hundred Years' War on Palestine by Rashid Khalidi discussion February 14, 2022
Palestine must be free. Palestine WILL be free. And Palestine gets closer to becoming free every time people take the time to learn its history. Many confuse an aversion to Zionism with anti-semitism. But they are two very different things. And we refuse to be silenced on Palestine and the ethnic cleansing of its children because some people don't know and refuse to educate themselves on that difference. Hop in, we're learning actual facts and not allowing ignorance to hold us back from the world we deserve. We're developing ACTUAL, ROBUST political analyses, okay?
***PREVIOUS SELECTION*** Whipping Girl by Julia Serano discussion January 10, 2022
***PREVIOUS SELECTION*** Fascism Today by Shane Burley discussion Monday November 8, 2021
***PREVIOUS SELECTION*** As Long As Grass Grows by Dino Gilio-Whitaker discussion Monday October 18, 2021
***PREVIOUS SELECTION*** September 13, 2021
***PREVIOUS SELECTION*** Discussion Monday, August 9, 2021
Email for notes!
***PREVIOUS SELECTION*** Monday July 12, 2021 via zoom.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for notes
***PREVIOUS SELECTION***What Color Is Your Hoodie? Sunday, September 20, 2020 via Zoom
***PREVIOUS SELECTION*** Sunday, August 22, 2020 via Zoom
***PREVIOUS SELECTION*** Sunday, July 19, 2020 via Zoom
***PREVIOUS SELECTION*** Sunday, June 21, 2020 via Zoom
***PREVIOUS SELECTION*** Sunday, May 17, 2020
***PREVIOUS SELECTION*** Sunday, April 19, 2020 via Zoom
***PREVIOUS SELECTION*** Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 2:30 p.m.
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***PREVIOUS SELECTION*** Sunday, January 20, 2019