Saturday, June 13, 2020

Anti-Racism Titles for a Better, More Informed World

Photo by Cyrus Gomez
I compiled a shortlist of titles after being asked by a colleague for some recommendations.  There are far too many compelling titles out there to list.  These are just personal recommendations that I can recall on the whim.   Deeply disturbing hate crimes against Asian Americans and Asian Canadians across North America, both physical and verbal assaults, have risen sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic.   The world is rising up to the occasion place these past few months to injustice and intensified with the Black Lives Matter protests.  Anti-Asian hate crimes are currently being investigated in the police everywhere. Incidents have included hate-filled rants, racial slurs, threats, and intimidation, as well as spitting and coughing on victims and violent physical assaults in public settings.  What can we do as a society to do our part in countering intolerance?   The first thing we can do is being informed, of tracing the history of racism.  

Yellow Peril!: An archive of anti-Asian fear
The Yellow Peril is a catalogue of more than 150-year anti-Asian writings, illustrations, propaganda, and pop culture. The recent spate of anti-Asian hate crimes stemming from COVID-19 would sadly fit right in at the end of this book, but offers a stark reminder that xenophobia is still deeply ingrained and much work remains to be done to combat it.

Asian American Librarians and Library Services Activism, Collaborations, and Strategies
What are the library services and resources that Asian Canadian and Asian Americans need? In a profession that is predominantly white and steeped in Western colonial traditions, what does it mean to be an Asian librarian in the 21st century? Library professionals and scholars share reflections, best practices, and strategies, and convey the critical need for diversity in the LIS field, library programming, and resources.

Days of Distraction
As the heroine narrates her romantic life, she finds herself in the process of facing misgivings about her role in an interracial relationship. It is a story of her family’s immigration, the history of interracial relationships in America, and stereotypes of Asian American women in the Western world

Double Melancholy: art, beauty, and the making of a brown queer man
C. E. Gatchalian's Double Melancholy charts the memoirs of queer Canadian man of Filipinx descent who attempts to tease out the complexities of his identification with white and Western ‘high culture.’

Set in Canada, Obasan focuses on the memories and experiences of Naomi Nakane, whose brief stay with her aunt ‘Obasan’ helps Naomi revisit and reconstruct in memory her painful experiences as a child during and after World War II, and the lives of Japanese-Canadians who were uprooted and sent to internment camps during the war. 

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