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take five: Five Non-Fiction Books Released in 2020 On My TBR

Updated: Dec 14, 2020


1. Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America by Ijeoma Oluo


Ijeoma Oluo, bestselling author of So You Want To Talk About Race, returns with Mediocre to investigate the last 150 years of American history and explore the devastating effects of racism and sexism perpetuated with white men who really haven't done anything meritorious to earn their oppression position. I interviewed Oluo for her other book, So You Want To Talk About Race: https://psmag.com/social-justice/a-conversation-with-ijeoma-oluo


2. We Will Not Cancel Us: And Other Dreams of Transformative Justice by Adrienne Maree Brown


Adrienne Maree Brown asks us to resist carceral solutions in all places, including the personal. I spoke about this on my bookstagram but here is a snippet of what I wrote: "all of you have committed harm against another human being. this is what abolitionists have been asking us to reckon with. no one is above committing harm so we need actual accountable structures to promote community...retribution, the same urge that makes us want to send people to prison, can’t be the guiding principle in our personal lives."


3. Prison By Any Other Name by Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law


Schenwar and Law challenges us not to stop at prison bars in our conversations about abolition. Other alternatives like mandated psychiatric treatment, data driven surveillance, probation, and other similar punishments should be avoided in our effort to create a better world, and the book explains why.


4. Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter Of The Great Migration Reclams Her Roots by Morgan Jerkins


Morgan Jerkins takes history and makes it personal by looking at how her own family spread out in the Great Migration, which between 1916 and 1970, saw six million Black Americans leave the South for the West and North, growing cities like Chicago, Detroit, New York, among others.


5. Culture Warlords: My Journey Into The Dark Web of White Supremacy by Talia Lavin


Talia Lavin, a self-described "loud and unapologetic Jewish woman" goes undercover to visit websites where white supremacy groups (Proud Boys, Nazis, Christian extremists) flourish unchecked. Lavin endures hateful comments about Jewish people and other groups (Black people, women, you name it) to show us how white supremacy is allowed to recruit and spread their hateful message in plain sight: online.