I’ve started a page for Recommended Reading, and the text that follows is the initial text on that page. I also want to make regular posts under the title “Recommended Reading: X” in order to make it easier for people to see recs as they come up and search for them on my site without necessarily having to scroll through the static page. (#NotaWebDesigner)
So here is begins!
Readers are typically intelligent, thoughtful people who want to better understand the world, how it works, and the people, institutions, and natural world that surround us. But a question I finally asked myself is: what happens when we only hear what a few people have to say about everyone else? What happens to our perceptions of others when we mistakenly let someone else describe them to us instead of listening to them describe themselves?
All sort sorts of awful things happen when we don’t listen to people describe themselves, and we end up thinking we know all sorts of things that are actually false. This page is a work in progress. I’ll include lists others have already labored over as well as highlight some of the books that have profoundly changed my life, books where various people describe themselves and their histories and presents.
One great list that amplifies voices historically ignored is the #PulseOrlandoSyllabus
There’s an awesome table of contents that will let you immediately zero in on whatever media interests you, be it genres of books or music or tv or games, whatever!
Warning: I’m typically choosing to link to Goodreads, and, as one might expect, any text written by people about themselves instead of members of the dominant classes tend to get some really really negative, dismissive reviews, that often end up front of the list as other people who also don’t want to rethink what they thought they knew glob onto these negative reviews in a self-defensive position of adherence to ignorance and rationalizing away what they don’t want to hear. You’ve been warned. I’ve seen so many negative reviews that were utterly, factually false, despite any “difference of opinion” that might legitimately exist, and yet, there they often are, the top of the list. Funny how that might work.
A great starting place for people who are interested in truth, in our actual shared history, and in seeing how many lies surround us in our everyday lives is Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. We already know that “the victors write history,” but have we stopped to think about what that truly means and how much more accurate it would be to say, “the victors RE-write history”?