Are you wondering how to celebrate International Women’s Day? Here are a few suggestions.
Read something inspiring. There are two new books out from two black radical feminists at very different stages of their careers. One, is a rising voice in the Black Lives Matter movement and another is a woman you’ve surely heard of. Now, I don’t have to tell you that there are lots of books out there that will change your life. These are just a few that changed mine recently.
From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation is a blistering breakdown of systemic racism in America, but Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor has also constructed a brilliant history of the African American freedom movement that has met racial injustice with intellectual and political protest at every turn. David Zirin has called Taylor the new Howard Zinn, and Barbara Ransby claims this a must-read. Michelle Alexander, Rogin D. G. Kelley, and Cornel West have also given their full endorsements, just in case mine isn’t enough. Just read it.
Another new release from Haymarket Books (one of my favorite publishing houses, by the way – good folks making change), is Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Davis. Davis has not only been an enduring voice for social justice and a leader of radical thought for decades, she’s still shaking things up. This new book collects the essays, speeches, and interviews of an ACTIVIST. This is how you do it.
Now, we can’t all be Angela Davis, but we can be activists, which brings me to my next gentle suggestion for starting a new path today. If you haven’t tried it or already done it, committing yourself to changing the planet is challenging, frustrating, and incredibly rewarding. You’ll look at the world differently when you know you’re doing what you can to help. There are lots of things to do on so many fronts, particularly in South Carolina. Here in Columbia, Food Not Bombs feeds anyone who’s hungry every single Sunday, and they always need help. Tell Them advocates for accurate sex education in our state and making reproductive health care a reality for those who need it – which is everyone. #KeepOurSceneSafe offers a space for us to talk about sexual assault, and they’re working to change the way we understand gender politics. Girls Rock Columbia is at the forefront of creating our future activists. And SC Progressive Network offers an opportunity to change anything and everything that is currently fucking up South Carolina. These are just a few of my favorite organizations, but there are many other people who need you anywhere you may be. Volunteer, lead, organize, shell out some cash, or even sign a petition. Just get started.
If you want to learn some things, there are community schools you can register for today. SC Progressive Network’s Modjeska Simkins School begins March 21st and provides a “People’s History of South Carolina” along with a crash course in activism. On Monday nights for the rest of March, you can also head over to the Modjeska Simkins House to take part in Conversations on Citizenship led by historian Jennifer Gunter.
Create something today. There are many meaningful ways to express yourself and get people talking. Make art. Craft. Write. Speak out. There are more ways to get your thoughts and ideas out there than ever before. You can even send your work to this humble publication.
International Women’s Day should be a radical celebration of women and transgender people, but also all people who struggle, because equality remains such a radical idea today, still. Find a way, find a goal, and fight the fucking power. Let’s do this.