Activism & Education
Scotty’s personally curated list of books, videos, authors, activists, and other resources for learning more about the systemic injustice in our nation’s history and how we can all do better.
Always evolving, growing, and learning—if you have any resources that have been powerful to you, please share with us.
In the wake of the tragic killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor—combined with the global uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic—the United States is in the midst of a national revolution. While institutionalized racism and police brutality have long been a part of America's history, millions across the country are now reconciling with and addressing generations of racial inequality. For some, that means taking to the streets in protest. For others, it's uplifting the cause by supporting Black owned businesses, or seeking education through anti-racist literature.
Because of the latter, one industry that's seen an influx in support and attention are Black-owned bookstores. Many shops across the country are overwhelmed with customers due to the collective push to both "buy Black" and read books written by Black authors.
"We've definitely seen a surge in our book sales, specifically for our titles on racism and history in this country," says Onikah Asamoa-Caesar, owner of Tulsa, Oklahoma's Fulton Street Books—which had its grand opening with limited capacity due to COVID-19—on July 3. "When I think of meaningful change in the community, reading and having more information is amazing. Now we have to figure out how to translate that and support folks in taking things from theory to practice."
Read the full article here.
A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin’s early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two “letters,” written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism.
Described by The New York Times Book Review as “sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle . . . all presented in searing, brilliant prose,” The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of our literature.
When Darnell Moore was fourteen years old, three boys from his neighborhood tried to set him on fire. They cornered him while he was walking home from school, harassed him because they assumed he was gay, and poured a jug of gasoline on him. He escaped, but just barely. It wasn't the last time he would face death.
Three decades later, Moore is an award-winning writer and activist, a leader in the Movement for Black Lives, and a tireless advocate for justice and liberation. In No Ashes in the Fire, he sets out to understand how that scared, bullied teenager not only survived, but found his calling. Moore traces his life from his childhood in Camden, New Jersey, a city scarred by uprisings and repression; to his search for intimacy in the gay neighborhoods of Philadelphia; and, finally, to the movements in Newark, Brooklyn, and Ferguson where he could fight for those who, like him, survive on society's edges.
No Ashes in the Fire is a story of beauty and hope - and an honest reckoning with family, with place, and with what it means to be free.
In Heavy, Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to his trek to New York as a young college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, Laymon asks himself, his mother, his nation, and us to confront the terrifying possibility that few in this nation actually know how to responsibly love, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free.
A personal narrative that illuminates national failures, Heavy is defiant yet vulnerable, an insightful, often comical exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship, and family that begins with a confusing childhood—and continues through twenty-five years of haunting implosions and long reverberations.
"The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World" by Alan Downs PhD
In The Velvet Rage, psychologist Alan Downs draws on his own struggle with shame and anger, contemporary research, and stories from his patients to passionately describe the stages of a gay man's journey out of shame and offers practical and inspired strategies to stop the cycle of avoidance and self-defeating behavior. The Velvet Rage is an empowering book that has already changed the public discourse on gay culture and helped shape the identity of an entire generation of gay men.
“I'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying: Essays” by Bassey Ikpi.
A deeply personal collection of essays exploring Nigerian-American author Bassey Ikpi’s experiences navigating Bipolar II and anxiety throughout the course of her life.
Bassey Ikpi was born in Nigeria in 1976. Four years later, she and her mother joined her father in Stillwater, Oklahoma —a move that would be anxiety ridden for any child, but especially for Bassey. Her early years in America would come to be defined by tension: an assimilation further complicated by bipolar II and anxiety that would go undiagnosed for decades.
Far too often, Black women’s anger has been caricatured into an ugly and destructive force that threatens the civility and social fabric of American democracy. But Cooper shows us that there is more to the story than that. Black women’s eloquent rage is what makes Serena Williams such a powerful tennis player. It’s what makes Beyoncé’s girl power anthems resonate so hard. It’s what makes Michelle Obama an icon.
Eloquent rage keeps us all honest and accountable. It reminds women that they don’t have to settle for less. When Cooper learned of her grandmother's eloquent rage about love, sex, and marriage in an epic and hilarious front-porch confrontation, her life was changed. And it took another intervention, this time staged by one of her homegirls, to turn Brittney into the fierce feminist she is today. In Brittney Cooper’s world, neither mean girls nor fuckboys ever win. But homegirls emerge as heroes. This book argues that ultimately feminism, friendship, and faith in one's own superpowers are all we really need to turn things right side up again.
INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER • #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
In his memoir, Ibram X. Kendi weaves together an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science--including the story of his own awakening to antiracism--bringing it all together in a cogent, accessible form. How to Be an Antiracist promises to become an essential book for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step of contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society.
Check out his other books, including for families! Many of which are coming in 2022!
That's the Stonewall.
The Stonewall Inn.
History walks through that door.
In 1969 being gay in the United States was a criminal offense. It meant living a closeted life or surviving on the fringes of society. People went to jail, lost jobs, and were disowned by their families for being gay. Most doctors considered homosexuality a mental illness. There were few safe havens, few places to go where it was okay to be gay. The Stonewall Inn, a Mafia-run, filthy, overpriced bar in New York City's Greenwich Village, was one of them.
Police raids on gay bars happened regularly in this era. But one hot June night, when cops pounded on the door of the Stonewall, almost nothing went as planned. Tensions were high. The crowd refused to go away. Anger and frustration boiled over.
The raid became a riot.
The riot became a catalyst.
The catalyst triggered an explosive demand for gay rights.
Ann Bausum's riveting exploration of the Stonewall Riots and the national gay rights movement that followed is eye-opening, unflinching, and inspiring.
It took many federal acts to finally provide legal protection against discrimination. To pass the real estate exam, you must know what these acts are and who they protect. As a real estate agent, you must understand the federal fair housing laws and apply them in real-life practice.