Hi friends. The white-supremacy-fueled mass shooting in Buffalo happened days after I wrote my last newsletter, “Volume 3, Issue 10: What to do When the World is on Fire.” I hate that I know that issue will be eternally relevant. If you are not Black I cannot begin to tell you how much strength and energy it has taken your Black coworkers to show up to work this week, even more so if you have been in meetings with us where we are doing our damnedest to be intellectually present. Honestly, not just this week but this week especially. I have no resources for this. My therapist is a Black woman and during my session this week I swear we just stared at each other giving each other a wide range of “looks” because what can possibly be said?
It is a resource week, though, and I do have some other resources to share with you so let’s get to it!
Do Nothing for 2 Minutes is a website that has a 2-minute timer on it, a photo of some water, and some wave sounds. You click the link to the page, let go of your mouse, and don’t touch a thing on your computer for two minutes while the timer counts down. If you so much as move your cursor it restarts the clock and asks you to try again. I post daily check-ins on Twitter and I’m considering integrating this site into the rotation. Shout-out to my friend Mallory for sharing this with me!
This is exactly as the title says along with the following subtitle: “From the history of gender neutral pronouns (they aren’t new!) to what to do if you mess it up.” If you’re the kind of person who prefers information via Instagram posts, there is a post summarizing this article here.
This is an essay collection from a wide range of disabled folks. About one in five people in the United States is disabled which is a massive amount of people. It makes the already horrific disregard, lack of representation, lack of access, and more all the more egregious. The essays in this book are a wide range of experiences, which makes sense, because the disabled community is a wide range of people. There are essays that are heartbreaking, uplifting, anger-inducing, and joyful, sometimes all in a single essay.
So many of the essays lay bare the layers of oppression at the intersections of identities and they can be very, very heavy. I had to take several breaks while reading this book because some of the essays filled me with massive amounts of rage. The essay titled “The Erasure of Indigenous People in Chronic Illness” by Jen Deerinwater and the essay titled, “The Isolation of Being Deaf in Prison” by Jeremy Woody as told to Christie Thompson come to mind.
One of the essays that blew my mind was by Sky Cubacub, the non-binary, queer, and disabled Filipinx creator of Rebirth Garments which, from the website, are “fully customizable gender non-conforming wearables and accessories centering Non-binary, Trans, Disabled and Mad Queers of all sizes and ages.” The bit that just absolutely floored me was when they wrote about accessibility during a fashion show. Fashion shows often have loud music and are very fast-paced and it can be difficult for a person to offer live descriptions of what is going on on stage. So, they collaborated with a musician to integrate the descriptions of the fashion into the lyrics of music that they were writing for the show. I thought that was incredibly rad!
I read this book quite a while ago and it is one that stays with me. If you are a person that is reading all kinds of social justice books, all kinds of books on anti-Blackness and books on homophobia and books on intersectional feminism etc., you absolutely must read this book as well. Even if you’re not reading all those books, if you are an adult human, or even a young adult, this is a must-read.
There are content warnings at the beginning of each essay that warrants them and there is a range too large to fully list here but it includes nfanticide, genocide, institutionalization, abuse, and more.
That’s it for this week! You can shop any books I’ve mentioned in this newsletter at my affiliate shop, The Infophile’s Bookshop, and support independent bookstores. If you want to send me some snail mail, you can find me at P.O. Box 21481, Oakland, CA 94620-1481. If you are a paid subscriber and would like for me to send you some happy mail, feel free to give me your address.
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