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Link Love, no. 4: Black History Month

Megan Betz

We're about a week into #BlackHistoryMonth now, & I wanted to take some time to share the way that I'm educelebrating. (I'm trying to combine educating + celebrating. It's not working, but I'm not giving up.) I wanted to put together this very list-like list (since I've been getting increasingly prose-heavy in my lists) that can get you off the blog & participating in your own educelebration ASAP. 

I've talked before about how I'm making this my year to more explicitly support black women--beyond thanking them or retweeting them or talking about them. I'll put money behind campaigns & efforts to get more women in office. I'm citing more consciously & carefully to amplify voices. I'm also putting money where my ethics are recreationally. 

So, today, I want to encourage you to put money at a few things. Let's all see Black Panther, because (1) why wouldn't you and (2) we need to demonstrate unequivocally how much we're all craving more diverse stories. (But first, let's read these comics--I'm dying to get my hands on them.) Then, buy these books. Generate demand. Give the authors money, so that they can then have space & resources to write more. 

I'm linking to the publisher or author, because it'd be great if we could buy these books locally & add impact that way, too. Enjoy the hunt. It's part of the fun, if you ask me. Here we go.

One of the things we're doing each February is giving our daughter a book that helps us honor the month & build her ability to see, discuss, & think critically about the (in)equities in her world. Last year was our first year, and we got Lester's Let's Talk about Race. This year, it was Harrison's Little Leaders. Next year will likely be Tonatiuh's Separate Is Never Equal--and then we'll move on to some fiction or slightly longer biographies.

If you're a food studies scholar or lover of food, check out this list Emily Contois put together of 27 food studies books for Black History Month. In addition, some nonfiction I'm wanting to read includes Finney's Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors, Owens' Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology & Harris's The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America

So, what about some fiction? Here's are the top five I'm most yearning to read.

  1. Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give
  2. Tayari Jones, An American Marriage
  3. Jesmyn Ward's Sing, Unburied, Sing
  4. Lesley Nneka Arimah, What It Means When A Man Falls from the Sky
  5. Zinzi Clemmons, What We Lose

BONUS: two poetry collection I want in my hands.

  1. Saeed Jones, Prelude to Bruise
  2. Morgan Parker, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé