Currents: Listens & Reads

It’s been a “hot minute” since I’ve shared some things I’ve been reading, listening to, and watching and with the end of Spring Break, now is a great moment to share and reflect. This is certainly in no way comprehensive of what I’ve explored since the last Currents over the summer—where have the last six months gone?!

Reads

Think Again by Adam Grant. This is hands-down my favorite of all of Adam Grant’s books. I think this one speaks to me the most as a naturally curious person. How might we hold our beliefs lightly enough to think again? And, this conversation between he and Angela Duckworth via Politics and Prose was like sitting at the dinner table after a great meal with friends. (But no coffee, since it is his one flaw in not enjoying it as a super taster.)

Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. A masterpiece. The tale of making parallels and connections between the caste system of India, the rise and reign of Nazi Germany, and White Supremacy and racism in the United States from the time of chattel slavery to present. A reorientation of systemic racism as America’s caste system. Equal parts history and thought provocation, and hard to put down.

Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson. The newest middle grades work of art from Jacqueline Woodson. The painted pictures of life with CTE feel so relevant and the loving, vulnerable boyhood friendships are not often seen in this genre. A must read!

The Archer by Paulo Coelho. A short, but deep metaphor for leadership, learning, and the character qualities therein. From one of my favorite authors, this book will be a re-read.

Why SEL Alone isn’t Enough by Dena Simmons (ASCD-Educational Leadership)

“As we confront our country’s sin of racism, we must acknowledge that our nation’s schooling has always been an education in whiteness (Brooks & Theoharis, 2018), which manifests as textbooks lauding white heroes, excuses about too few “qualified” BIPOC teacher candidates, dress codes that criminalize Black hair, productivity over people, and well-meaning educators who correct Black diction but claim color-blindness. In this context, any curriculum, policy, or practice in our nation’s schools that is not deliberately and actively combating racism, bias, and oppression can easily be used as a weapon to put BIPOC students in their place.”

Listens

Unlocking Us with Brené Brown: Conversation with Emmanuel Acho on ˆUncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. If you have seen his web series, you likely already know of the amazingness of Emmanuel Acho. I really enjoyed this conversation and the book just rose up on the stack.

Music of the Black Church (Spotify playlist) Having watched the PBS documentary The Black Church by Henry Louis Gates, I found myself craving to hear more of the music and because the internet is amazing, a playlist already existed.

Tumble Science Podcast for Kids: Music Meets Science What a wonderful episode weaving in breaking stereotypes, folk banjo, and genetics. A great family listen.

Watches

The Black Church PBS. The aforementioned documentary was two evenings of incredible learning for this self-declared church nerd. Dovetailing with my completion of the Sacred Ground training through The Episcopal Church and attending The Micah Project series through All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Atlanta, I find myself yearning to learn as much as I can about the history of the church.

The Fosters/Good Trouble HULU: Somehow I found Good Trouble on Hulu over winter break and devoured it before I realized it was the sequel to The Fosters. So I went back and watched that one, too. Yes, feel good family drama, but with very real story lines about juvenile justice, the foster system, sexuality, gender equity, substance abuse, you name it…this one runs the gamut. The Good Trouble series just entered its third season and is a little bit less cheese, a little bit unrealistic, but I really love the representation.

The Undoing HBOMax: Hugh Grant as a sociopath who still has his British affability…what more do I need to say? Honestly though Donald Sutherland is my favorite part of the whole show. And now I wait for season two.

On Deck

The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee. Three chapters in and I’m currently obsessed

See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love by Valarie Kaur. Having heard Ms. Kaur speak time and time again, I finally obtained a copy of her book via the UK market since the US was sold out. I’m looking forward to learning more from her.

400 Souls: A Community History of African America ed by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha Blain. After watching these two scholars in conversation with some of the 80 authors (and 10 poets) from the book, I am looking forward to digging into the real and relevant stories from each of the half decades since the beginning of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

What is on your shelf, playlist, or watch queue these days? Let me know!

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