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Start a Movement: Books on Activism

5 minute read

Celebrate the revolution by inspiring your inner activist

This country was founded on revolution. The people who started the revolution were activists of their time. So, what better way to celebrate your patriotism than with books on modern-day activism?

Whether you want to start your own movement or learn how to make an impact with an existing group, these books will help. From a hands-on guide to hitting the streets to books that discuss the history of successful movements, these are important books to have in your toolbox.

Bring your inner activist to life and stand up for what you believe in. Whether you are fighting for equality or for your rights, we all deserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So, let’s read up and start fighting.

Unladylike, by Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin

Are you ready to be unladylike? This is your guide to intersectional feminism, practical-hellraising, and smashing the patriarchy. Written by the hosts of the Unladylike podcast, they weave together histories, stats, and advice to show how our personal lives and politics connect. Everything from our bank accounts and booty-calls to our brains and bodies is part of the structure of modern womanhood. Unladylike helps us unpack the gender baggage given to us by the mansplaining, head games, and handouts of the patriarchal society.

Memes to Movements: How the worlds most viral media is changing social protest and power, by An Xiao Mina

If you use memes, you might be practicing activism without even knowing it. The internet has provided a new way for people to express their views and critiques of the world in more subtle and innovative ways. In countries where political opinions have consequences, people use memes to express themselves, form groups and fight against oppression. However, governments and hate groups also use memes for their own gains, like oppression and hate speech. An Xiao Mina unpacks the mechanics of memes and how they reinforce, amplify, and shape today’s politics.

Reclaiming Our Space, by Feminista Jones

Black women are making a statement and changing the world. They are changing culture, society, and the definition of feminism through building communities, starting movements, and creating spaces online. Reclaiming our Space is a look at the past, present, and future of Black feminism from activist Feminista Jones. As it turns out, some of our favorite aspects of social media were created by black women, such as hashtag movements and thread conversations. Many of the complex conversations about gender, race, and class usually held behind closed doors are making their way online one tweet at a time. This gives black feminists the chance to engage with a new generation.

Road Map for Revolutionaries, by Elisa Camahort Paige

This is a book that is ready for you to take a stand and start a movement. Road Map for Revolutionaries is a hands-on guide full of information to help you think strategically about becoming an activist. Everything from staying safe at protests to supporting marginalized communities and communicating with the right people to make lasting change. This book helps break down key issues across the country, so you know where you can start making the biggest impact. If you are looking for an activist how-to book, then this is it.

Freedom is a constant struggle, by Angela Y Davis

This collection of essays, interviews, and speeches by political activist Angela Davis looks at the connection between the struggle against state violence and the history of oppression around the world. From Black feminism and prison reform to the Black freedom movement and the South Africa Apartheid, Davis connects them all. She even discusses the modern-day struggles of Palestine and the riots in Ferguson. In the end, Davis asks us to build a movement for human liberation because freedom is a constant struggle.

When they call you a terrorist, by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bendele

In 2013, Trayvon Martin’s murderer went free. That injustice inspired Patrisee Khan-Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi to start the Black Lives Matter movement. Knowing firsthand how the system deliberately and ruthlessly targets black and brown communities, the Black Lives Matter movement demanded accountability for racial profiling, police brutality, and all the injustices inflicted on people of color. Many people aren’t happy with their message and have labeled them as terrorists. Despite the violent racism Patrisse faced, she persisted. The Black Lives Matter movement is still strong today.

We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls around the world, by Malala Yousafzai

Part memoir, part story collection, We Are Displaced shares the journeys of some incredible young girls who can never return home. Malala Yousafzai met these young girls during her travels and they all speak of the same struggles. They have lost their community, their homes, and, sometimes, their families. Malala’s shares a similar story. So many young people have been displaced across the world and during a time where immigration is a polarizing topic. They are speaking up to remind us that they aren’t just a number, but a person.

Make sure to add these books on activism to your reading list. To stay up-to-date, make sure to keep an eye out for more of little infinite’s featured content as we celebrate poetry, books, and this beautiful hot mess we call life on Instagram and Twitter

Featured Photo by lucia on Unsplash

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Writer, editor, and proud nerd. Co-host of Wit Beyond Measure, a Jane Austen podcast. A reader of books, binger of Netflix, and knitter of scarves. Her cat is probably yelling at her right now.