What is Linda Reading, Watching, and Listening to This Week (June 19th)

Reading: “Stamped from the Beginning” by Ibram X. Kendi
Why: Winner of the 2016 National Book Award for nonfiction. We can no longer brush aside this country’s racist beginnings. Understanding and learning from our history is the foundation from which we can make changes. Kendi cautions that “protesting against racist power” is not enough: “An anti-racist America can only be guaranteed if principled anti-racists are in power, and anti-racist policies become the law of the land.”

Also reading: “Why Juneteenth Matters” by Jamelle Bouie, New York Times, June 19, 2020
Why: “If Americans are going to mark and celebrate Juneteenth, then they should do so with the knowledge and awareness of the agency of enslaved people.”

Watching: Watchman, HBO (HBO is making this timely series available for free this weekend)
Why: Timely, poignant series that explores the legacy of systemic racism in America and exposes history that had been forgotten. 

Also watching: Dear White People, Netflix
Why: This is a comedy but it’s also a very serious look at how African American students carve out space for themselves on a majority-white campus of an elite university where they don’t feel immediately accepted. It also highlights how the grievances of black students on these campuses are often discounted.

Listening: “The History and Meaning of Juneteenth,” The Daily by the New York Times, June 19, 2020
Why: No explanation required

Corona Extra: In light of a petition calling for Tennessee to replace statues and memorials of Confederate generals with Dolly Parton, I am re-upping my suggestion to listen to the fantastic podcast, Dolly Parton’s America.
Why: Just listen, learn, and be inspired and amazed.
“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” DP