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How We Fight White Supremacy
Cover of How We Fight White Supremacy
How We Fight White Supremacy
A Field Guide to Black Resistance
This celebration of Black resistance, from protests to art to sermons to joy, offers a blueprint for the fight for freedom and justice-and ideas for how each of us can contribute

Many of us are facing unprecedented attacks on our democracy, our privacy, and our hard-won civil rights. If you're Black in the US, this is not new. As Colorlines editors Akiba Solomon and Kenrya Rankin show, Black Americans subvert and resist life-threatening forces as a matter of course. In these pages, leading organizers, artists, journalists, comedians, and filmmakers offer wisdom on how they fight White supremacy. It's a must-read for anyone new to resistance work, and for the next generation of leaders building a better future.
Featuring contributions from:
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Tarana Burke
  • Harry Belafonte
  • adrienne maree brown
  • Alicia Garza
  • Patrisse Khan-Cullors
  • Reverend Dr. Valerie Bridgeman
  • Kiese Laymon
  • Jamilah Lemieux
  • Robin DG Kelley
  • Damon Young
  • Michael Arceneaux
  • Hanif Abdurraqib
  • Dr. Yaba Blay
  • Diamond Stingily
  • Amanda Seales
  • Imani Perry
  • Denene Millner
  • Kierna Mayo
  • John Jennings
  • Dr. Joy Harden Bradford
  • Tongo Eisen-Martin
  • This celebration of Black resistance, from protests to art to sermons to joy, offers a blueprint for the fight for freedom and justice-and ideas for how each of us can contribute

    Many of us are facing unprecedented attacks on our democracy, our privacy, and our hard-won civil rights. If you're Black in the US, this is not new. As Colorlines editors Akiba Solomon and Kenrya Rankin show, Black Americans subvert and resist life-threatening forces as a matter of course. In these pages, leading organizers, artists, journalists, comedians, and filmmakers offer wisdom on how they fight White supremacy. It's a must-read for anyone new to resistance work, and for the next generation of leaders building a better future.
    Featuring contributions from:
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Tarana Burke
  • Harry Belafonte
  • adrienne maree brown
  • Alicia Garza
  • Patrisse Khan-Cullors
  • Reverend Dr. Valerie Bridgeman
  • Kiese Laymon
  • Jamilah Lemieux
  • Robin DG Kelley
  • Damon Young
  • Michael Arceneaux
  • Hanif Abdurraqib
  • Dr. Yaba Blay
  • Diamond Stingily
  • Amanda Seales
  • Imani Perry
  • Denene Millner
  • Kierna Mayo
  • John Jennings
  • Dr. Joy Harden Bradford
  • Tongo Eisen-Martin
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    About the Author-
    • Akiba Solomon is senior editorial director of Colorlines and an NABJ Award-winning journalist and editor whose writing on culture, race, gender, and reproductive health has appeared in Essence, Dissent, Glamour, Vibe, and Ebony, among other outlets. She is the co-editor of Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips, and Other Parts. Solomon has spoken about women's and social justice issues at institutions including the Schomburg Center, Stanford, Yale, and Harvard. A graduate of Howard University, she is based in New York.
      Kenrya Rankin is an award-winning author, journalist, editorial consultant and the editorial director at Colorlines. Her work has appeared in dozens of national publications, including the New York Times, Glamour, Reader's Digest, and Fast Company. She is the author of four books, including Bet on Black: African-American Women Celebrate Fatherhood in the Age of Barack Obama. A graduate of Howard University and New York University, she is based in Washington, D.C.
    Reviews-
    • Kirkus

      January 15, 2019
      Two journalists present their conversations with people of color about approaches to resisting white supremacy, which "defines our current reality."Solomon (co-editor: Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips, and Other Parts, 2005) and Rankin (editor: Bet on Black: African-American Women Celebrate Fatherhood in the Age of Barack Obama, 2013), colleagues at Colorlines, present "a curated, multidisciplinary collection that serves as a showcase for some of our most powerful thinkers and doers." At the opening of each chapter, which covers grassroots organizing and the necessity of gallows humor in the face of discrimination, among many other topics, the authors give their views on why that topic relates to the resistance. At the end of each chapter, Solomon and Rankin offer deeply personal, uncompromising reflections. For example, at the end of "Laugh to Keep from Crying," Solomon writes, "laughing is an underground railroad for those of us lucky to ride its tracks, the vehicle through which we have mushed you in your savage face for murdering us because you are a land-thieving lazy ass who believed that something called God told you to kidnap, dehumanize, and torture other people into doing your fucking farming, child care, and nation-building." Though the book was composed with "Black folks in mind," the lessons for any reader are apparent and highly useful. Some of the contributors will be familiar to readers who pay attention to contemporary literature and race-related issues--e.g., Ta-Nehisi Coates, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Imani Perry, and Kiese Laymon--and any reader who believes strongly in their own progressivism will still learn from various passages about how people of color deal with certain realities every day. As these pieces demonstrate, white supremacy does not always take obvious forms such as violence; Solomon, Rankin, and the other contributors show that it can take subtler forms.A powerful anthology that might indeed fulfill the wish of the co-authors that readers craft potent strategies to resist white supremacy.

      COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    • Library Journal

      March 1, 2019

      The editors of Colorlines, a website focused on race and politics, offer a collection showcasing black approaches to negotiating life-threatening forces amid political, economic, and cultural systems. Solomon and Rankin draw on more than 60 black contributors to share their coping mechanisms, skills, and strategies. Among the contributors are Black Lives Matter founders Alicia Garza and Patrisse Khan-Cullors, #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, historian Robin D.G. Kelley, and imprisoned political activist and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal. The nine chapters document successes rather than mere struggles and focus on how people push back, and push beyond every day and historical obstacles, microaggressions, and race-based trauma. From the raucous to the religious, the selections here supply versions and visions of black activism, agency, and authenticity that emphasize that there is no single manner, method, mode or frontline of black resistance. VERDICT Not simply a onetime read, this collection offers those who wish to be invested in realizing the social justice of collective freedom a reference for daily consideration, discussion, inspiration, or instruction.--Thomas J. Davis, Arizona State Univ., Tempe

      Copyright 2019 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

    • Publisher's Weekly

      May 20, 2019
      “There are millions of ways to land blows” against white supremacy, according to Colorlines editors Solomon and Rankin, and in this sharp yet celebratory “multidisciplinary... showcase for some of our most powerful thinkers and doers,” they provide readers with a blueprint for protest. The themed chapters (“Laugh to Keep from Crying,” “Someday We’ll All Be Free”) knit together interviews, comics and art, essays, brief profiles of organizers, poems, and quotations. Those featured include organizers such as Alicia Garza and Tarana Burke, comedians, filmmakers, pastors, children, and such writers as Ta-Nehisi Coates, Kiese Laymon, Jamilah Lemieux, and Damon Young. Contributors’ ways of resisting white supremacy are varied, from directing their money toward black-owned businesses and devoting their lives to helping other black people (via, for example, therapy and advocacy) to using their creative careers to draw attention to white supremacy’s manifestations and counter it with positive portrayals of black people. A number of entries discuss the internal, psychological work of countering white supremacy, including adrienne maree brown
      ’s moving meditation on self- and romantic love, “Touching White Supremacy, Touching Beyond It (Strategy: Intimacy).” This dynamic collection will inspire, energize, and entertain readers. Photos.

    • Booklist

      Starred review from March 1, 2019
      How do 70 Black thinkers and activists resist? Poet, publisher, and educator Haki Madhubuti argues for independent Black institutions and a philosophy of African centeredness, while Kenrya Rankin revels in Black diversity at Howard University and the power of sisterhood within Black sororities. Psychotherapist Quinn Gee notes the health consequences of race based traumatic stress injury: Yes, fatback may have strained your heart, but being subjected to White Folks prejudice daily is just as heartbreaking. Lethal and often racist policing sparks the determination of activist Constance Malcolm, who joined a club that I never knew I'd be a part of after her son was killed, and the humor of Russ Green ( I shouldn't be as afraid of police officers as I am of sharks, but to my ears, blasting sirens sound like the Jaws theme song ). Meanwhile, Damon Young ponders what to put on his nonthreatening playlist when being pulled over, (Taylor Swift and the Golden Girls theme song). Others resist by celebrating images of Black beauty ( water to stay hydrated in a world that wants us to be ugly and dry ). Finally, there are eloquent demands for the right of Black children to do childlike things without fear. A master class in contemporary Black culture and thought, crackling with anger, love, and righteous energy.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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