A cautionary, timely gay rights manifesto with teeth.

IT'S NOT OVER

GETTING BEYOND TOLERANCE, DEFEATING HOMOPHOBIA, AND WINNING TRUE EQUALITY

The noted outspoken gay journalist and radio host passionately appeals to the gay community to resist complacency in the struggle for equality.

In a thought-provoking call to arms, Signorile (Hitting Hard: Michelangelo Signorile on George W. Bush, Mary Cheney, Gay Marriage, Tom Cruise, the Christian Right and Sexual Hypocrisy in America, 2005, etc.) masterfully combines quotations and interviews from his satellite radio show with historical facts from the ever evolving gay rights movement to reiterate the “disconnect between the way we talk about the strides forward and the reality on the ground.” As revolutionary as the advancements in LGBT equality may appear, much work remains. Anti-gay violence, vicious schoolyard bullying, transphobia, Hollywood “gatekeep[ing],” and widespread discrimination in the name of religion are still occurring at alarming rates. The author surveys an impressive variety of contentious incidents (many already addressed on his radio program) ranging from the controversial, “morally complex” resignation of anti-gay Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich to extreme cases of homophobic bigotry, industry double standards, and hate crimes. Though it’s crystal clear whose side he’s on, Signorile fair-mindedly contrasts his pro-gay stance with contradicting conservative political and religious-leaning perspectives, and he points out the inherent flaws in their dictums. He severely criticizes the Republican Party for enacting widespread legislation based on the doctrine of “religious liberties.” By rebranding their backlash against marriage equality, the author shows how it directly threatens the freedoms of the LGBT community. Furthermore, he writes, this type of manipulative legal and social maneuvering places many other minority populations at risk for legalized discrimination as well. A summary of empowering steps forms a galvanizing takeaway for readers interested in making a difference. Though a tad vainglorious in spots, the thrust of Signorile’s urgent message is cogent and heartfelt, creating an essential reminder to the LGBT community to continue pressing forward toward the ultimate goal of “full civil rights and true equality.”

A cautionary, timely gay rights manifesto with teeth.

Pub Date: April 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-544-38100-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015

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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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However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS

Maya Angelou is a natural writer with an inordinate sense of life and she has written an exceptional autobiographical narrative which retrieves her first sixteen years from "the general darkness just beyond the great blinkers of childhood."

Her story is told in scenes, ineluctably moving scenes, from the time when she and her brother were sent by her fancy living parents to Stamps, Arkansas, and a grandmother who had the local Store. Displaced they were and "If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat." But alternating with all the pain and terror (her rape at the age of eight when in St. Louis With her mother) and humiliation (a brief spell in the kitchen of a white woman who refused to remember her name) and fear (of a lynching—and the time they buried afflicted Uncle Willie under a blanket of vegetables) as well as all the unanswered and unanswerable questions, there are affirmative memories and moments: her charming brother Bailey; her own "unshakable God"; a revival meeting in a tent; her 8th grade graduation; and at the end, when she's sixteen, the birth of a baby. Times When as she says "It seemed that the peace of a day's ending was an assurance that the covenant God made with children, Negroes and the crippled was still in effect."

However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1969

ISBN: 0375507892

Page Count: 235

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1969

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