Thursday, September 5, 2019

Many Voices, Many Rooms: WRAP UP

Summer is over, school has started and the sun is warming us a little less, which must mean it is time for my final summer reading, watching, and listening challenge post. Here are some highlights from the past 3 weeks:

BOOKS

The Color Purple by Alice Walker - I know I have read this before, but it jumped off of my bookshelf three weeks ago, and once I picked it up I couldn't put it down. In the back of the book Alice Walker thanks "everybody in this book for coming," and I don't believe I have ever read a book whose characters felt so true to life, as if they were channeled and not written. An amazing read.

Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail - I picked this book out of our Little Free Library months ago, but it never made it to the top of my stack until I started this challenge. What a shame. This is such a beautiful book. Told from the perspective of a journalist who joins a number of families from CherĂ¡n, Mexico on their journeys across the border from Mexico to the US. Inspired by the death of three men on the trail, this book is both heart-breaking and informative, and utterly necessary in today's political climate. 

MOVIES
Keep The Change - I stumbled upon this film on Prime last week and what a gem! A movie about people on the Autism spectrum actually starring actors who are on the Autism spectrum. A sweet, funny, and charming rom-com just perfect for a Girl's Night In. Starring Brandon Polansky and Samantha Elisofon, both of whom shine in their roles.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco - part fantasy/part memoir, this movie shows us the cost of gentrification through the eyes of one man, Jimmie Fails, both the writer and the star of this show. A gorgeous tribute to a city and to a life.

PODCASTS

Still Processing - a podcast featuring Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris ("two culture writers for the New York Times"), I experienced this as an edgier version of The Nod, which was a highlight from week 3. At times I found this a hard listen and in order to keep going with it I had to push past some of my fears about the future of whiteness in our country during the episode entitled "We Can't Burn It All Down (Even Though Sometimes We Want To)," but this is exactly why I know I need to keep this podcast in my feed. The only way to change our country is to experience the discomfort that I believe necessarily comes for white people as we dismantle white supremacy. 

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Thanks for joining me on this summer media challenge. It has been an eye-opening journey for me. Not only have I discovered the importance of reading, watching, and listening more widely, I have had the opportunity to confront my own resistance to doing so. There were times during the challenge when I "cheated" and turned on an old familiar show, something comfortable and not too confronting, or plugged into a podcast that features only white voices and perspectives. It was so easy to do so. But I know that for my own growth as a human being, and as a citizen of the new world that is being created, I need to continue listening to many voices, many rooms.

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