Booked All Week

and next week, too

Joining Two Challenges Last Minute

with 6 comments

That’s right. At the end of last year, I was aware of few challenges that looked interesting to me, but craving more structured reading I opted for creating two fun projects for myself instead. I’ll still be doing these, but I’m also going to join two new challenges, both because I want to support them and because they overlap significantly with my own projects and with my reading for a Year of Feminist Classics.

The first is Kinna’s Africa Challenge, for which I will read:

5 books.  That’s it.  There will be no other levels.  Of course, participants are encouraged to read more than 5 books.  Eligible books include those which are written by African writers, or take place in Africa, or are concerned with Africans and with historical and contemporary African issues. Note that at least 3 books must be written by African writers.

My previously-stated personal goal to read five books by Kenyan authors, and one non-fiction book about Kenya before my travels there next summer/fall, means that if I satisfy those goals I will also satisfy the requirements of the challenge. I’m going to read more than that, though, and include at least one or two books from other countries so as not feel completely that I’m cheating somehow (though I know overlap is okay). I read The Famished Road by Ben Okri last month, too, so I’m already one book into this challenge 🙂

The second I’ll be joining is the Read and Resist Tucson! challenge hosted by Melissa at The Feminist Texican. Like Melissa, I’m outraged about Arizona’s banning of ethnic (Mexican American) studies classes and the subsequent removal of more than eighty books from classrooms and school curriculums–from prominent Chicano/a and Native American authors like Rudolfo Anaya and Sherman Alexie to Howard Zinn and bell hookson the grounds that they supposedly:

    • Promote the overthrow of the United States government.
    • Promote resentment toward a race or class of people.
    • Are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.
    • Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.
I see this as nothing but outright bigotry and dangerous, ideological obfuscation of history and power relations. So, to protest this decision I’ll be reading at least a few books from this list. I’m going to read Borderlands/La Frontera, by Gloria Anzaldua, and Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks for A Year of Feminists Classics already, and have Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, by James W. Loewen, on my shelves; so I guess I’ll start there.
A quick glance at all the reading I have to do for school this semester tells me that I might have to wait at least until summer to really make a dent in this stuff, but oh well! I think these are worth committing to.

Written by Emily Jane

February 6, 2012 at 5:08 am

6 Responses

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  1. Great you are joining Kinna’s challenge. I still marvel at people who ban books because of this and that.

    Nana Fredua-Agyeman

    February 6, 2012 at 10:23 am

  2. I m doing Kinna’s challenge too Emily look forward to your choices ,all the best stu


    February 6, 2012 at 10:20 pm

  3. I’m so excited you’re joining the African Reading Challenge too 😀 The other is one that I hope to read with as well.


    February 8, 2012 at 12:25 am

    • Finally rescued your comment from the spam box, Amy! Really looking forward to both challenges 🙂

      Emily Jane

      February 8, 2012 at 3:28 pm

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