Reading Round Up for May 2021

This month’s Reading Round Up offers a collection of some of the best articles I read last month, covering topics including Samaria Rice, queer sitting, and A Different World. Plus a list of my own written work. Get those tabs ready!

My Writing

Q&A: Q&A with Sheba Karim for “The Marvelous Mirza Girls”

Book review: “Some Have Greatness Thrust Upon Them”: Heidi Heilig’s On This Unworthy Scaffold

Feature: “Salamat Sa Intersectionality” by Dani Putney

Short fiction spotlight: Must-Read Speculative Short Fiction: April 2021

Book review: No Ordinary Murder Mystery: A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark

YA spotlight: Witches and Warfare: New Young Adult SFF for May and June 2021

Feature: “All Kinds of Other” by James Sie

TV review: Guided Through History With Thought and Care: Underground Railroad

Book review: Epic Fantasy That Breaks the Rules: Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Feature: “Bacchanal” by Veronica Henry

Other Works

“Stop Hustling Black Death Samaria Rice is the mother of Tamir, not a “mother of the movement.”” by Imani Perry for The Cut: “Once she had completed the court-mandated interventions to get her children back, Rice worked to create better circumstances for them. After successfully navigating the system, she became a parent advocate for Children and Family Services and was asked to train other parents to do so. She got her children into a predominantly white, and therefore better-resourced, school that would provide more services and opportunities. In her neighborhood, she was known as someone who kept an eye on her kids. She had to know where they were at all times, she says. “I been through a lot in my life. Juvenile, foster care, group homes, living in the streets, living with my man, to back homeless again,” she says. It’s clear she wanted to write a different story for her children.”

A Different World: Cast Members and Crew Tell the Oral History” by Leah Faye Cooper for Vanity Fair: ““We changed the world with that show,” Allen says. “We did stories about racism, we did stories about the L.A. riots…we were one of the first shows to address AIDS.” Few sitcoms were tackling such issues at the time, including The Cosby Show, which largely omitted social and political themes from its story lines.”

“I’m Tired of Trying to Educate White People About Anti-Asian Racism” by Nicole Chung for Time: “But as the attacks continue, I find that I am increasingly weary of pleading for acknowledgment or empathy. I am ready to stop chasing after those who need to see your deepest wounds on display before they will even contemplate believing your words. I’ve lost the energy or desire to educate or provide reasoned, patient answers to anyone who still needs to be convinced that Asian people face discrimination and violence in this country. Even the week of the Atlanta-area spa shootings that left eight people–six of them Asian women–dead, I received many versions of the question: What would you say to white people in this moment, to help them understand how serious this is?”

“The Story of Josiah Henson, the Real Inspiration for ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’” by Jared Brock for Smithsonian Magazine: “Once in a new land, Henson helped start in 1841 a freeman settlement called the British American Institute, in an area called Dawn, which became known as one of the final stops on the Underground Railroad. Henson repeatedly returned to the U.S. to guide 118 other slaves to freedom. It was a massively dangerous undertaking, but Henson saw a greater purpose than simply living out his life in Ontario, Canada. In addition to his service to the school, Henson ran a farm, started a gristmill, bred horses, and built a sawmill for high-quality black lumber— so good, in fact, that it won him a medal at the first World’s Fair in London ten years later.”

“The Queer Art of Sitting” by Ivana Brehas for Kill Your Darlings: “Universally acknowledged, at least, by queer people on the internet. Improper sitting is one of many seemingly arbitrary traits (like walking fast and being unable to drive) that the online queer community has claimed as part of queer culture. At first glance, it’s a simple meme—observational humour based on a generalisation. But if we examine queer sitting in film and television, new and exciting meanings emerge.”

“How to Write A Book When You Can’t Write A Book” by KJ Charles: “This one’s about getting very, very stuck on a book and how I got it written. I can’t promise it’ll help anyone else, but it’s what I did. Warning: epic length. If you don’t want to know how the sausage is made, look away now.”

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