Learning (and un-learning) is an ongoing process and is essential to staying ~woke~ and aware of the world around you. Gone are the days of minority communities educating others of the barriers they face accessing healthcare or the hardships that are pervasive throughout society due to systemic racism and prejudice. We’ve reached a time where we all should hold ourselves accountable and work towards self-improvement, unlearning some of what we’ve all been programmed to believe. Periodt. End of story. ????
At Kind Clinic, we believe it’s important to not only value diversity and inclusion but also embrace and celebrate it. We hold ourselves accountable with ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion training and are proud to present to you our staff picks of readings/podcasts that are centered on fighting racism and the stigma around sexual health, status, and/or gender identity. Join us on this path to (un)learning!
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin Diangelo
“In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.” – Amazon
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
“The National Book Award-winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society. In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis.” – Amazon
How to Be An AntiRacist by Ibram X. Kendi
“In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.” – Amazon
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
“In a time when nearly every institution (schools, churches, universities, businesses) claims to value diversity in its mission statement, Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice. Her stories bear witness to the complexity of America’s social fabric—from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.” – Amazon
Nice White Parents by Serial and The New York Times
“From Serial and The New York Times: Nice White Parents looks at the 60-year relationship between white parents and the public school down the block.” – The New York Times
Note from Kind Staff: A great deep dive into when well-meaning white people mess up a system instead of centering on voices of people of color. This is specifically about a school in New York and how intentions can go astray.
Administrative Burden: Policymaking By Other Means by Pam Herd and Donald P. Moynihan
“In Administrative Burden, Herd and Moynihan document that the administrative burdens citizens regularly encounter in their interactions with the state are not simply unintended byproducts of governance, but the result of deliberate policy choices. Because burdens affect people’s perceptions of government and often perpetuate long-standing inequalities, understanding why administrative burdens exist and how they can be reduced is essential for maintaining a healthy public sector.” – Amazon
Note from Kind Staff: Herd and Moynihan demonstrate the power of paperwork and how we exist in a space that was created with a purpose by people in charge of our grants. They examine how these have been put into place and provide a group of case studies that really help us consider the water we swim in.
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
“Widely heralded as a “masterful” (Washington Post) and “essential” (Slate) history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law offers “the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation” (William Julius Wilson). A groundbreaking, “virtually indispensable” study that has already transformed our understanding of twentieth-century urban history (Chicago Daily Observer), The Color of Law forces us to face the obligation to remedy our unconstitutional past.” – Amazon
We Both Laughed In Pleasure: The Selected Diaries of Lou Sullivan by Ellis Martin, Zach Ozma and Susan Stryker
“We Both Laughed In Pleasure: The Selected Diaries of Lou Sullivan narrates the inner life of a gay man moving through the shifting social, political, and medical mores of the second half of the 20th century. Sullivan kept comprehensive journals from age 11 until his AIDS-related death at 39. Sensual, lascivious, challenging, quotidian and poetic, the diaries complicate and disrupt normative trans narratives. Entries from twenty-four diaries reveal Sullivan’s self-articulation and the complexity of a fascinating and courageous figure.” – Amazon
Stone Butch Blues: A Novel by Leslie Feinberg
“Published in 1993, this brave, original novel is considered to be the finest account ever written of the complexities of a transgendered existence. Woman or man? That’s the question that rages like a storm around Jess Goldberg, clouding her life and her identity. Growing up differently gendered in a blue-collar town in the 1950’s, coming out as a butch in the bars and factories of the prefeminist ’60s, deciding to pass as a man in order to survive when she is left without work or a community in the early ’70s. This powerful, provocative and deeply moving novel sees Jess coming full circle, she learns to accept the complexities of being a transgendered person in a world demanding simple explanations: a he-she emerging whole, weathering the turbulence.” – Amazon
I Hope We Choose Love: A Tran’s Girls Notes from the End of the World by Kai Cheng Thom
“In a heartbreaking yet hopeful collection of personal essays and prose poems, blending the confessional, political, and literary, Kai Cheng Thom dives deep into the questions that haunt social movements today. With the author’s characteristic eloquence and honesty, I Hope We Choose Love proposes heartfelt solutions on the topics of violence, complicity, family, vengeance, and forgiveness. Taking its cues from contemporary thought leaders in the transformative justice movement such as Adrienne Maree Brown and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, this provocative book is a call for nuance in a time of political polarization, for healing in a time of justice, and for love in an apocalypse.” – Amazon
Me And White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla Saad
“Based on the viral Instagram challenge that captivated participants worldwide, Me and White Supremacy takes readers on a 28-day journey, complete with journal prompts, to do the necessary and vital work that can ultimately lead to improving race relations. This book will walk you step-by-step through the work of examining: your own white privilege, what allyship really means, anti-blackness, racial stereotypes, and cultural appropriation, changing the way that you view and respond to race, and how to continue the work to create social change.” – Amazon
We’re Still Here: An All-Trans Comics Anthology by Jeanne Thornton and Tara Avery
“The first anthology of its kind, We’re Still Here: An All-Trans Comics Anthology offers dozens of new stories that render trans experiences in comics form: some fiction, some nonfiction, some sad, some thoughtful, some funny, some bizarre, all authentic.” – Amazon
Note from Kind Staff: This anthology was released in 2018, but I re-read it with great enjoyment in 2020. Since its release, the anthology has won the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Anthology and was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award for Best LGBTQ Graphic Novel.
Summer Fun by Jeanne Thornton
“Gala, a young trans woman, works at a hostel in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. She is obsessed with the Get Happies, the quintessential 1960s Californian band, helmed by its resident genius, B—-. Why did the band stop making music? Why did they never release their rumored album, Summer Fun? Gala writes letters to B—- that shed light not only on the Get Happies, but paint an extraordinary portrait of Gala. The parallel narratives of B—- and Gala form a dialogue about creation—of music, identity, self, culture, and counterculture.” – Amazon
Note from Kind Staff: Not a book that has come out yet, but a book I look forward to reading after its release in July 2021– Jeanne normally writes comics and this is her first published novel, which is being described as an “epic and magical work of trans literature.”