The New Required Reading

“Revolutions can, and often have, begun with reading.”

–Arundhati Roy,
writer and activist

We need stories. We crave them. Our biological programming fills our spare time with television and comics and podcasts to expel leftover perceptive energy. Stories have the power to let us “see the same land through a hundred different pairs of eyes” (Marcel Proust). But in America, the cultural hegemony of white supremacy has supported pluralistic ignorance to the experiences and identity contingencies of anyone that won't assimilate. In America, high school required reading is an example of this. In contrast to this, issues that affect marginalized and multiply marginalized identities are the constant topic of discussion. As America's political climate flirts with fascism and totalitarianism, the lives of the underrepresented are at stake.

These problems are not new, there is history. So much history. There have been conversations spanning generations. Conversations between Audre Lorde and James Baldwin and bell hooks and W.E.B. Du Bois and and Angela Y. Davis and Ida B. Wells and many, many, many more whose names deserve to be just as common as the former six. There have been stories lost, forgotten, or destroyed. And now our stories are being rewritten and recast; our experiences, gentrified and colonized.

“The price we pay for being ourselves is worth it.”

–Eartha Kitt,
performing artist and activist

The New Required Reading is a project that will share intersectional reading materials to help those who wish to self educate on the issues at hand. With the rising demand that oppressed peoples educate our oppressors on our oppression, The New Required Reading's mission is to help preserve marginalized people from this taxation while also cultivating equitable representation in history, raising voices that tell positive and affirming stories to dismantle bias, and redistributing the obligation of understanding.

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