Since I started blogging and making my feminist views public, the one question I’m constantly bombarded with is: Where are you getting your info? Chiiiile…
I usually ignore this question because most people are not being genuine, they don’t care about facts, they just want to gaslight me and I really don’t have time for that. But for the people who are genuinely asking, I don’t mind going in depth with them. I’m always here for exchanging info and learning from others, so I decided to compile a list of my favorite books. All of these books have helped me on my path to social consciousness, and I’m sharing them in the hopes that it will help others as well.
If you love reading, like me, then I can promise you that these books will challenge you, make you think, and teach you something. However, I will say you have to be willing to receive the information. You can’t approach social consciousness by holding on to the shit you were taught. You have to question everything, be introspective, and step outside of your comfort zone.
So let’s get to these good reads shall we??
I cannot say enough about this book! I feel like this is the perfect book for a black woman who is new to feminism. Hooks does a good job shedding light on issues that affect black women and exploring historical factors that still affect us now.
This book, singlehandedly influenced the direction of my graduate thesis, Hooks made me question the real solution for a corrupt criminal justice system by questioning the real solution for sexism, misogyny, and applicable feminist views. Her ideals are not only backed up by references, but they are still applicable to present day issues. In my opinion, Hooks accomplishes a task that very few black feminists are able to do (myself included) she answers questions, gives historical references, rightfully criticizes the feminism movement, while simultaneously centering the plight of the black woman. This is a well rounded piece of literature that should be on every feminist’s “To Read” list.
This book is also an all time favorite of mine. This is one of the most motivating books I’ve ever read. Whenever I feel defeated or suffer from writers block, this is the book I turn to. It motivates me and reminds me that black women have always been doing the work to progress our demographic. Dr. Cooper’s work reminds me that women have never been ignorant to our disenfranchisement. It was through Dr. Cooper that I understood the affect of womanhood being inextricably linked to white women and blackness being inextricably linked to black men. In her book, Dr. Cooper links womanhood to black women, which was unheard of when this book was written. This is a staple piece of literature in black feminism because Dr. Cooper provides one of the first insights into black feminist thought by analyzing blackness and womanhood and explaining how neither will rightfully progress without the inclusion of black women.
I wrote about the difference between feminism and womanism. (Read it here) While I believe that black women have the right to identify however they choose, I also believe that feminism, as it currently stands, does not do enough for women. Especially not black women. However, womanism goes beyond the realms of feminism because it focuses on the realities of black women. Womanism is a movement that does more than temporarily center us, it makes black women the standard. This book is a collection of essays and is heralded as an introduction piece to Womanism, a term coined by the author, Alice Walker. In my opinion, Walker’s writing is more than a look into her life, it is a voice that highlights the black woman’s existence and internal struggles, both of which are the basis of womanism completely separate from feminism.
Ok, I want to preface this by saying that Jessa Crispin is the only author on this list that is not black. However, I stand behind my choice to include her. This book is a book that rightfully critiques the feminist movement and does so in a way that shouldn’t be ignored, not even by black women. What Crispin does in this book is something that I try to do on my blog and on social media: critique the movement that you represent. Crispin reminds readers that it is not enough to identify as a feminist if you are still governing your life by patriarchal principles. She analyzes the nuclear family, classism, and most importantly, sheds light on the fact that women, as a collective, are socialized to be patriarchal. I feel that every feminist needs a dose of reality, and Crispin gives you that dose in real time. By claiming that she is not a feminist, Crispin explains how she stands for everything that feminism should be and in my humble opinion, that kind of honesty is what the feminist movement desperately needs.
If you have read these books, or if you have any other books that you consider a good read for black millennial feminists leave a comment below.
If you’re feeling especially strong about a certain book or have a personal connection to it, click the link below to submit your work to be posted on the Black Feminist Hub.
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