Stay Woke: A People’s Guide to Making All Black Lives Matter

New York Univ. Sept. 2019. 288p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781479874927. $89; pap. ISBN 9781479836482. $18.95; ebk. ISBN 9781479824045. SOC SCI
This new guide by Lopez Bunyasi (conflict analysis and resolution, George Mason Univ.) and Smith (political science and African American studies, Penn State Univ,) offers an examination of the Black Lives Matter movement that bridges gaps between academic discourse and popular culture in powerful, provocative ways. The authors consider the origin of the movement along with what it tells us about America’s long history of structural racism. Designed for readers invested in antiracist work explored from an academic standpoint, the book contains peer-reviewed articles and well-researched studies, and nicely balances statistics, research, and academic theory with more vernacular concepts and issues drawn from language and culture. It also digs deep into language, providing definitions of terms ranging from casual to academic, with related words (e.g., black girl magic is connected to intersectionality and misogynoir), along with words described as foundational terms and tools of oppression. Chapters include questions and debate as well as additional materials (books, films, podcasts, websites) suitable for classroom discussions or grassroots activists.
VERDICT A valuable guidebook that deconstructs myths and provides actionable steps people can take to avoid complacency and complicity; essential reading on social justice.
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