Informative guidance on how men and women can come together in the workforce and at home.

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UNFINISHED BUSINESS

WOMEN MEN WORK FAMILY

One woman's vision on how to create gender equality for men and women.

After New America Foundation CEO Slaughter's (The Idea that Is America, 2008, etc.) 2012 Atlantic article, "Why Women Still Can't Have it All," created a whirlwind of debate on both sides of the issue, she realized the "fifty-year-old conversation about what true equality between men and women really means" was still open to definition. In this comprehensive analysis, the author interweaves thoughts about the necessity of equal time at home and at work with her personal story of juggling a career as the first female director of policy planning, reporting directly to then–Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and her deep desire and need to be at home with her sons. Slaughter skillfully breaks down old myths and offers useful advice on how, with slight twists and tweaks, the old theories can be reinvented into methods that are readily accessible and actionable. With strong research, the author outlines the inherent problems that still exist in the workplace, which create an unequal atmosphere, particularly for women, who are often seen as "giving up" a career if they elect to spend more time with their children. She offers solid advice on how these disparities can be changed, allowing workers to have more flexibility. Her advice includes using at-home independent contractors and freelancers, using OpenWork ("a platform and movement…a way of working, a spirit and set of values that animates a particular workplace”), and focusing on results rather than on the steps to get there. Although much of this is common sense, the fact that men and women do not yet share equal pay for equal work or receive fair treatment in regard to time off for child care only underlines the need for this kind of ongoing conversation, a discussion over which Slaughter eloquently presides.

Informative guidance on how men and women can come together in the workforce and at home.

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8129-9456-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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Not an easy read but an essential one.

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HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST

Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE

Straight talk to blacks and whites about the realities of racism.

In her feisty debut book, Oluo, essayist, blogger, and editor at large at the Establishment magazine, writes from the perspective of a black, queer, middle-class, college-educated woman living in a “white supremacist country.” The daughter of a white single mother, brought up in largely white Seattle, she sees race as “one of the most defining forces” in her life. Throughout the book, Oluo responds to questions that she has often been asked, and others that she wishes were asked, about racism “in our workplace, our government, our homes, and ourselves.” “Is it really about race?” she is asked by whites who insist that class is a greater source of oppression. “Is police brutality really about race?” “What is cultural appropriation?” and “What is the model minority myth?” Her sharp, no-nonsense answers include talking points for both blacks and whites. She explains, for example, “when somebody asks you to ‘check your privilege’ they are asking you to pause and consider how the advantages you’ve had in life are contributing to your opinions and actions, and how the lack of disadvantages in certain areas is keeping you from fully understanding the struggles others are facing.” She unpacks the complicated term “intersectionality”: the idea that social justice must consider “a myriad of identities—our gender, class, race, sexuality, and so much more—that inform our experiences in life.” She asks whites to realize that when people of color talk about systemic racism, “they are opening up all of that pain and fear and anger to you” and are asking that they be heard. After devoting most of the book to talking, Oluo finishes with a chapter on action and its urgency. Action includes pressing for reform in schools, unions, and local governments; boycotting businesses that exploit people of color; contributing money to social justice organizations; and, most of all, voting for candidates who make “diversity, inclusion and racial justice a priority.”

A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58005-677-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Seal Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

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