Tag Archives: racism

The House is on Fire, by Rachel Beanland

1 Apr
Cover for The House is on Fire, by Rachel Beanland; the background shows what look like wooden panels seen through the haze of flames and smoke, representing perhaps the wooden structure of the Richmond Theater. At the bottom, a crowd of people dressed in early 19th century fashions mills around. Superimposed over this, there's a stylized silhouette of flames.

I requested this ARC, with little hope of receiving it, because it’s about a historical event: the 1811 Richmond Theater fire that cost the lives of over 70 people.

Reader beware: graphic descriptions of rape and other physical abuse of a Black enslaved girl by a white man; forced and violent incest; exploration of the physical and mental torture of enslavement; racism, both ‘casual’/quotidian, and the rabid, seething kind; ditto for antisemitism and misogyny.

Also, it’s narrated in third person present tense; the writing worked exceedingly well for me, but I absolutely recommend reading the sample first.

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Anger is a Gift, by Mark Oshiro

26 Oct
Illustrated cover for _Anger is a Gift_, with a young Black man facing away from the viewer and into the streets and buildings and smoggy pavements of a city. The seal of the Schneider Family Book Award is off to the side, and below that, "A beautiful and brutal debut" quote by Adam Sivera (author of, _They both die at the end_)

I bought this book on release, intending to read it soon after, and then life (and the world) got in the way.

Reader beware: this is a very hard book to read, because the line between fiction and reality is blurred. The cover quote that calls it “beautiful and brutal” is on the money. It is a story of love and loss and survival, of systemic racism and the routine police violence that kills hundreds of Black and Brown people in the U.S. every year.

Hundreds. Every year.

To say nothing of the many more people they wound every year, often leaving them disabled for life.

All with impunity.

Also, the protagonist is a gay teenage boy, with queer friends of all flavors, so if you have a problem with young people who do not fit a cis hetero binary, don’t bother reading further.

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Avatar (2009) (sort of a movie review)

4 Jul
Poster for the 2009 movie AVATAR, showing the two superimposed faces of the main character, Jake Sully, as human and as his Na'vi avatar

It only took me 13 years, but I’ve finally watched it. Funnily enough, looking up details on Wikipedia while writing the review, it turns out it’s timely: apparently the first sequel comes out in December this year.

Viewer beware: imperialism, white savior chosen, ableism with magical cure, cultural appropriation of Hindu and First Nations mysticism. Also, it’s a long ass movie.

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White supremacy, the 2nd Amendment, complicity of the press.

16 May

I was going to post a movie review today.

Then there were two racist mass shootings over the weekend, and there was just no space in my head to watch and livetweet a romance.

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