Your summer reading list on women’s issues & racial politics

By: Kyndall Cunningham, Columnist

There are two weeks left in the semester, and all I can think about are my plans for the summer. They’re not all big plans, like travelling or going to a concert or interning somewhere. For me, the summer is a great time to improve your daily routine with simple habits that will benefit you in the future. For example, many people take up summer reading, which is super important considering how many people don’t read nowadays. As a journalism major, I have read every day. Whether it be books, magazine profiles or news articles, I try to increase my knowledge, especially about topics that I’m most passionate about, like women’s issues and racial politics. Here are my summer reading suggestions for anyone that’s interested in learning more about the topics that I discuss in my column.

1. Divided We Stand: The Battle Over Women’s Rights and Family Values that Polarized American Politics by Marjorie Spruill Wheeler.

This book is a lot to digest, which is why I had to take breaks from it to read other books and then returned to it. But if you’re interested in what drew the line between Republicans and Democrats concerning women’s rights, this book offers a pretty thorough history, starting with the first National Women’s Conference in Houston in 1977.

2. Negroland by Margo Jefferson

This memoir by New York Times writer Margo Jefferson reflects on her life as a member of Chicago’s African-American elite as a child in the 1950s to adulthood. She explores respectability politics, her family and generational values passed down from freed slaves. It’s a deep dive into a world that are hardly represented in the media. It’s intriguing and heartbreaking all at once.

3. Surpassing Certainty by Janet Mock

Janet Mock is one of my favorite write. I feel sometimes her work is overshadowed by her identity as a trans woman, which means that oftentimes she is simply seen as an activist. But this is one of the most immersive memoirs I’ve read. It’s a follow-up to her first memoir “Redefining Realness.” But this second time around, she dives deeper into her 20s – finding love, working as a stripper, going to college and becoming a journalist.

I hope you enjoy these favorites of mine. Happy Summer Reading!



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