Blanche’s Book Club: ‘I’m Still here’.

I hope this post finds you all well. I feel like I’m in an alternate universe and bad news about the pandemic and how it affects my career and income just keeps on coming, while the rest of the world is getting back to normal.

I don’t mention this for pity, but just so you don’t feel alone if you’ve been feeling anxiety or had struggles finding work. These are incredibly tough times for so many.

When the lockdown began, I certainly didn’t think we’d still be here. As much as I try to keep things moving, I recognize how difficult it is and how draining it can be. If you’re feeling this way, I feel you!

We have no choice but to try and keep things moving — it’s one reason why I’ve been posting blogs every day. Just keep swimming!

I have mixed in my antiracism reading with my regular reading schedule, so the latest book from Blanche’s Book Club is “I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness” by Austin Channing.

Here’s the scoop:

So official.

Austin Channing Brown’s first encounter with a racialized America came at age seven, when she discovered her parents named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. Growing up in majority-white schools and churches, Austin writes, “I had to learn what it means to love blackness,” a journey that led to a lifetime spent navigating America’s racial divide as a writer, speaker, and expert helping organizations practice genuine inclusion.

In a time when nearly every institution (schools, churches, universities, businesses) claims to value diversity in its mission statement, Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice. Her stories bear witness to the complexity of America’s social fabric—from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.

For readers who have engaged with America’s legacy on race through the writing of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Michael Eric Dyson, I’m Still Here is an illuminating look at how white, middle-class, Evangelicalism has participated in an era of rising racial hostility, inviting the reader to confront apathy, recognize God’s ongoing work in the world, and discover how blackness—if we let it—can save us all.

This book was a pick for Reese Witherspoon’s book club, so I had to wait for a LONG time for it to be available on the Libby app, but I was excited to get it.

In all honesty though, I really think I was spoiled by reading “Stamped from the Beginning”! It was just so informative and research-based… While this definitely had a powerful story as a driver, I felt it was incomplete; as if I was reading a rough draft of something bigger and better.

If you had this on your TBR list, I would still give it a go, I just don’t think it was for me.

The next book Blanche’s Book Club will be reading is “How to be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi.

For more book recommendations, be sure to subscribe to the blog (look to the right) and follow me on Goodreads @thebitterlemon – where I share more of my book picks. Need help with your blog? I can help with all of your digital marketing efforts – just let me know!

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