Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Eight top books by women to understand the uprisings & protests

Keisha N. Blain is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Pittsburgh and author of Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom. She is also the co-editor of To Turn the Whole World Over: Black Women and Internationalism, New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition, and Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence.

At Ms. magazine Blain recommended "eight books, all written by women, which have shaped [her] own thinking on race, politics and activism. They each grapple with the current challenges we are facing as a nation and offer solutions and strategies for how we might build a more just and equal society. And in this moment of pain and despair, they may even offer some hope." One title on the list:
History Teaches Us to Resist: How Progressive Movements Have Succeeded in Challenging Times
Mary Frances Berry (2018)

In History Teaches Us to Resist, historian Mary Frances Berry—former chairwoman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights—draws lessons from the past to demonstrate how mass resistance to presidential administrations have led to significant changes in American society.

Beginning in the 1930s, with the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Berry offers a compelling narrative of how activists have successfully challenged national policies in an effort to advance social justice. At a moment when so many Americans are despondent about the Trump presidency, Berry’s book offers hope, inspiration and clarity.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue