As 2021 kicks into gear, here are some of Equality Now’s recommendations from our staff and supporters of books, movies, TV shows, and podcasts, that spotlight stories about feminism and gender, specifically from people of color and the LGBTQ+ voices this month in celebration of Black History Month in the US and LGBT History Month in the UK.
AIN’T I A WOMAN: BLACK WOMEN AND FEMINISM BY BELL HOOKS
A classic work of feminist scholarship, Ain’t I a Woman has become a must-read for all those interested in the nature of black womanhood. Examining the impact of sexism on black women during slavery, the devaluation of black womanhood, black male sexism, racism among feminists, and the black woman’s involvement with feminism, hooks attempts to move us beyond racist and sexist assumptions. The result is nothing short of groundbreaking, giving this book a critical place on every feminist scholar’s bookshelf.
ZAMI: A NEW SPELLING OF MY NAME BY AUDRE LORDE
Another classic that we recommend you revisit! Zami is an achingly beautiful autobiography that explores poet, essayist, and activist Audre Lorde’s childhood and early adulthood, growing up as a Black lesbian poet in New York City in the 30s and finishing before her rise to fame in the 60s. Lorde’s experiences in the Greenwich Village lesbian bars of the 1950s are fascinating, as is reading about how relentlessly many of the women in even those spaces try to define her by whatever part of her identity is most comfortable for them. The book is a tender and unflinching homage to the women who’ve shaped Lorde’s life.
BLACK BOY OUT OF TIME BY HARI ZIYAD
One of 19 children in a blended family, Hari Ziyad was raised by a Hindu Hare Krsna mother and a Muslim father. Taking the reader on a journey of their formative years and later throughout their life, as they navigate towards finding their true self in New York City, they explore childhood, gender, race, and what it means to grow up Black and queer in America.
Films and Shows
Based on the YA novel of the same name by Jennifer Mathieu, Moxie follows a shy high school student fed up with the sexist culture at her small town high school. Taking inspiration from her mother’s rebellious past, she and her friends start an anonymous zine calling out the toxic behavior of their peers. It’s all handmade zines, sharpie symbols on hands, and sticking it to the sexist status quo.
The film follows an in-depth look at Hollywood’s depiction of transgender people and the impact of their stories on transgender lives and American culture. Leading trans creatives and thinkers share heartfelt perspectives and analysis about Hollywood’s impact on the trans community.
Set in 1980s London, this coming-of-age tale follows a group of friends during the height of the AIDS crisis. Over the course of a decade, they experience the highs of young adulthood and its quick dissolution into the horrors of the virus.
Based on a true story, Self Made is the story of an African American washerwoman rising from poverty to build a beauty empire and become the first female self-made millionaire.
Podcasts & Music
Queer as Fact is a podcast run by four Melbourne-based queer people with a background in history and a passion for sharing queer stories. They explore topics and figures from around the world, and examine their place in the wider context of queer history.
Spotlight episode: Marsha P Johnson
Do you have any suggestions for us to share next month? Please send them to us, we’d love to hear from you.