Saturday, June 15, 2019

Many Voices, Many Rooms: Week 1

This week I worked on decolonizing the stack of books beside my bed, my Netflix queue, and my podcast feed. Here is what I have been reading, watching, and listening to this week: 

 Highlight of the Week

Image result for creative commons "on my block"
My reading, watching, listening highlight this week is the Netflix show “On My Block,” described on IMDB as,"A coming-of-age story about four bright, street-savvy friends navigating their way through high school in the gritty inner city of South Central Los Angeles.” This show features four excellent young actors and has a lot of heart. It’s not without its problems: the character called “Jasmine” plays into a lot of stereotypes about Latinas in the inner city and [spoiler alert] the fact that Jamal actually finds the Roller World money borders on the fantastical, but for me the importance of the show is summed up in one line from Cesar, “They don’t think we’re real. They think we’re a costume.” I believe that all evil that happens between humans starts with a dehumanizing of “the other” and I agree with Margaret J. Wheatley who said, “You can’t hate someone whose story you know." Just one reason why reading, watching, and listening widely is important. 

Other Highlights

"The Kiss Quotient" by Helen Hoang - a quirky (and sometimes racy) romance featuring a heroine with Asperger’s syndrome and a handsome escort named Michael Pham. I read it on a plane and was both openly crying and blushing in my seat. (With thanks to CD for sending it to me!)

The Snap Judgment podcast episode entitled “The Boy on the Beach” - a storytelling podcast, this week "the Snap" featured “the story behind the influential photo of the Syrian boy who drowned while attempting to reach Europe." Heartbreaking and important, a reminder that the photos we see in the media are not the whole story. A single line keeps reverberating in my mind, "I know those clothes, I know those clothes."

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