Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Women in Congress Lead Committees That Control U.S. Spending; Celebrating Suffragists of Color

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation. 

This week: The leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are all women, as is the top White House budget official—the first-ever all-women team to lead the congressional committees that control government spending; new research about women of color involved in the suffrage movement; the power of knitting; and more.

Florida’s Rejection of African American Studies Reflects the Historical Fight for Black Education

Florida officials have rejected a new Advanced Placement (AP) course on African American studies, calling it “woke indoctrination” that “significantly lacks educational value.” But the modern figures and movements that the state board objects to are extensions of Black history. That history is the story of Black activism, the ongoing, centuries-old struggle for rights and freedoms in the United States—and African American studies as a field is itself rooted in that effort. 

“We have the potential of raising an entire generation of Black children who will not be able to see themselves represented in their own state or in education.”

Black Women Diarists Have Always Looked to Black Future Month

Black Americans have kept and published diaries for more than 150 years, chronicling their experience in the moment and using the powerful conventions associated with the diary form—privacy, honesty, confiding in a trusted audience—to create a stark picture of lived experience under racism. Diaries by African American women document personal experiences within social contexts of injustice—and show how their own actions make history. These stories offer evidence that apparently new developments like the Black Lives Matter movement, white fragility exposure, and intercultural dialogue practices have long roots in the past.

‘Dark Energy’: Poetry for Harriet Tubman

Last year marked 200 years since Harriet Tubman’s birth. To commemorate Tubman’s bicentennial, Ms. magazine launched the Tubman 200 project, honoring her extraordinary legacy.

The multi-disciplinary project included: conversations with Tubman’s descendants; an interactive timeline of Tubman’s life; essays from experts including Dr. Keisha N. Blain and Kate Clifford Larson; a calculator that determines what the U.S. (literally) owes Tubman; a portal for readers to submit their own haikus celebrating Tubman’s legacy; and original poetry—including the show-stopping “dark energy” by scholar and poet Alexis Pauline Gumbs.

Reads for the Rest of Us: The Most Anticipated Feminist Books of 2023

I have spent the last few months scouring catalogs and websites, receiving hundreds of books and even more emails from authors, publicists and publishers, reading your book Tweets and DMs, all to find out what books are coming out in 2023 that I think you, my exceptional, inquisitive and discerning Ms readers, will want to hear about. 

Here’s your TBR (to be read) for the year. Enjoy!

‘Why We Still Love Zora’: Irma McClaurin on PBS Documentary ‘Claiming a Space’ and Zora Neale Hurston’s Legacy

PBS’ American Experience premieres documentary film on pioneering writer and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960). Directed by Tracy Heather Strain, Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space is the first film to explore Hurston’s life and ethnographic work in great detail.

“Anthropology only started looking at the literary styles of novels and non-scholarly writing in the late ’80s. But Zora had already been there and done that,” said Irma McClaurin, Black feminist poet, anthropologist and Hurston expert.

‘Historic’ 118th Congress Still Not Reflective of the U.S. Population

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation. 

This week: Colorado’s 74th General Assembly has the largest number of women legislators in history; women make up more than half the U.S. population and less than one-third of Congress; Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) announced her run for Senate; women lawmakers have been more likely to sponsor bills focused on women’s health, and more involved in policy debates addressing gender equity; and more.

On Cherelle Griner and the Black Lawyer American Dream

Brittney Griner is home, against odds that increasingly seemed too insurmountable. Activists, journalists, athletes and artists, many of them Black women, loudly and persistently called attention to her unjust incarceration. But without a doubt, the lawyer in her family—her wife, Cherelle Griner—is responsible for her homecoming. Her advocacy matches the historical and current reality of the critical importance of Black lawyers to Black liberation.