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New Media We Recommend

July 8, 2011

Below is a list of new materials that we have read/watched in recent weeks. The comments are not a “review” of the material, instead sort of an endorsement of ideas and investigations that can provide solid analysis and even inspiration in the struggle for change. All these items are available at The Bloom Collective, so check them out and stimulate your mind.

Transgender History, by Susan Stryker – This book is not only educational and informative on the history of transgender struggles it demonstrates that in many ways trans people have been at the front lines of much of the contemporary fight for gay liberation. Susan Stryker does an amazing job dissecting this history and making a strong case that Trans history needs to be explored more by everyone and not just the LGBT community. What gets left out of much commentary on the Stonewall uprising is that it was Queens and Trans people who were taking the strongest actions against police brutality. More than that Stryker points out that several years before Stonewall there was another uprising in San Francisco at Compton’s Cafeteria and again it was the Trans community taking on the cops. The book is also invaluable because it spends a significant amount of time getting readers to think beyond the traditional gender binaries. A must read for anyone community to LGBT Liberation.

The Arab Revolt and the Imperial Counterattack, by James Petras – The Arab Spring is still in progress, but after 6 months it is important to have some solid analysis of what is taking place. Historian James Petras provides excellent insight into the Arab Revolt and more importantly for those of us in the US he sheds light on the response from the Obama administration. Petra looks at the historical US relationships in the Middle East and makes clear that the current administration has been consist with all previous administrations since WWII. Petras then frames the US response over the last 6 months as an imperial counterattack against the popular democratic uprisings throughout the Middle East, whether it is Egypt, Tunisia, Gaza and Libya. The book is only 78 pages, but it packs a punch and is a great resource for understanding how the US is responding to the Arab Spring and what it is doing to try to undermine these popular uprisings.

The John Carlos Story, by John Carlos – Many of us in the US are familiar with the famous photo of John Carlos and Tommie Smith giving the Black Power sign while standing on the Olympic medal platform in Mexico City in 1968. However, many of us do not know the reasons behind the athletes’ actions and how it was part of a much larger campaign for global human rights. The John Carlos Story not only illuminates this powerful moment in history it also tells the story of a man who is not limited to that moment. John Carlos reveals much about his childhood and his fight against racism and injustice. Carlos was part of a growing group of athletes in the US and around the world that used sports as a platform for social justice and radical politics. The book was written with left sports writer Dave Zirin who has been advocating for years that sports have always been a venue for radical politics in the US. After reading The John Carlos Story one would be hard pressed not to agree with Zirin’s assessment. An important book about a man filled with passion and determination to fight for what he believed was the right thing to do.

Not Just A Game: Power Politics and American Sports (DVD) – Left sports writer Dave Zirin narrates this power new documentary about how sports has always been a window into American sports. Zirin breaks down this larger topic into the areas of US sports and militarism, sexism, racism and the courage of athletes to bring social justice and radical politics into the mainstream of sports. Zirin looks at amazing courage of athletes like Billy Jean King, Curt Flood, Pat Tillman, Kathy Switzer, Martina Navratilova, Jack Johnson, Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali. Moving stories, courageous people and a great resource for looking at the intersectionality of justice issues.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Fermin Valle permalink
    July 11, 2011 8:41 pm

    Thanks for this post Jeff 🙂

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