DICE Movies, Books, TV Shows & Podcasts Recommendations by Liz
Here the Whole Time, by Vitor Martins- This novel is about Felipe, who is looking forward to winter break because he can binge watch Netflix and avoid his classmates who tease him about his weight. However, Felipe's break does not go according to plan because Caio, his neighbor from apartment 57, ends up staying with him for fifteen days. Felipe has had a crush on Caio for a long time, so sharing a room with him amplifies his body image insecurities. However, if Felipe can overcome his insecurities, maybe this break will not be so bad.
Heartstopper, Volume 2, by Alice Oseman- This sequel to the first graphic novel Heartstopper is about Nick's struggle to come out as bisexual after kissing his friend Charlie, who he already knows is gay. Charlie has had a crush on Nick for a while and is sure Nick is not gay, so he is surprised when he discovers Nick has feelings for him too.
The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, by Heather McGhee- This book is about how racism in politics affects the American economy and how it has costs not just for people of color but also for White people. It discusses what we lose when we believe the "zero sum paradigm", or the idea that progress of some must come at the expense of others. This book contains interviews with White people about how they have lost their homes, jobs, dreams, and ability to move up in society due to racism and greed; and it discusses how public goods such as pools became private due to racism; how unions dissolved; how inequality increased; and how healthcare declined. It also contains an important message that we need to be more empathetic of others and come together for racism to disappear.
This is How it Always Is, by Laurie Frankel- This novel is about Claude, a five-year-old who is the youngest of five brothers, loves peanut butter sandwiches, loves wearing dresses, and wants to be a princess. Claude wants to be a girl when he grows up. Rosie and Penn, Claude's parents, are accepting of who Claude is but don't want to share it with the world yet. They move across the country for Claude to be able to become a girl named Poppy without being made fun of, but the entire family keeps Claude's secret until it explodes.
Lily and Dunkin, by Donna Gephart- This novel is about the stories of and friendship between Lily McGrother (born Tim McGrother), a transgender girl, and Dunkin Dorfman (born Norbert Dorfman), a boy with bipolar disorder who has just moved from New Jersey. Eighth grade is hard enough without being a girl who looks like a boy or a boy with bipolar disorder who is also hiding a painful secret. When Lily and Dunkin meet, their lives change forever.
The Nickel Boys: A Novel, by Colson Whitehead- This novel is about the story of two boys sent to reform school. Elwood Curtis is a high school senior about to start classes, but he makes the mistake of hitchhiking and gets sent to a juvenile reformatory called Nickel Academy. At Nickel Academy, the staff beats and abuses the students, and boys who resist get punished. While at Nickel, Elwood befriends Turner, who thinks Elwood is naive and that the only way to survive is to scheme. The decisions these boys make at Nickel Academy will have consequences that last for decades.
Heartstopper, Volume 1, by Alice Oseman- This graphic novel is about two boys who become friends. Charlie is an anxious, openly gay over-thinker, while Nick is a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player. Friendship develops quickly, but there may be something more there.
Pride, by Ibi Zoboi- This novel, by the best-selling author of Punching the Air, is a re-telling of Pride and Prejudice starring all characters of color. Zuri Benitez is proud of her family, Brooklyn neighborhood, and Afro-Latina roots. When the rich Darcy family moves in next-door, Zuri immediately dislikes them, especially the stuck-up, judgmental Darius, even as her older sister, Janae falls in love with the charming Ainsley. Throughout this novel, Zuri deals with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, college applications, attention from cute boy Warren, and an unexpected understanding with Darius. Set in Bushwick, this novel discusses gentrification, identity, and class.
The Fixed Stars, by Molly Wizenberg- In this memoir, author Molly Wizenberg describes how she found herself attracted to a female attorney she barely knew at age 36 while serving on a jury. She tried to return to her old life as a married woman with a toddler, but something inside her had changed. Wizenberg had thought sexual orientation was "fixed", but she realized her story was more complex. Wizenberg finds herself and her identity through separation and divorce, coming out, learning to co-parent a toddler, and finding love.
XOXY: A Memoir: (Intersex Woman, Mother, Activist), by Kimberly Zieselman- This memoir is about Kimberly, a suburban housewife and mother who finds out later in life that she was born intersex. This leads her to become an activist and international human rights defender. This memoir tells the story of how being intersex affected Kimberly's personal, professional, and family lives. It depicts the challenges of discovering her secret, coming out to her family, advocating against harmful medical interventions against intersex communities, and existing as a non-queer intersex woman.
Change Sings: A Children's Anthem, by Amanda Gorman- This picture book, by National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, depicts a young African American girl leading a cast of musical characters on a journey who learn that they have the power to affect change both in the world and in themselves.
Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America: 1619-2019, edited by Ibram X. Kendi- This anthology of essays tells the history of four hundred years in Black America by 90 Black authors. It tells stories of migration, slavery, segregation, and African American creative output, along with other important moments in Black history.
Something to Talk About: A Novel, by Meryl Wilsner- In this LGBTQ romance novel, Hollywood powerhouse Jo Jones is photographed making her assistant, Emma, laugh on the red carpet, causing a rumor to spread that they are a couple. These rumors threaten Emma's promotion and Jo's new movie, and paparazzi follow them everywhere. However, the two women start spending more time together as the launch of Jo's film project approaches. Emma is good at making Jo happy, and Jo, who is known for being aloof, unexpectedly opens up to Emma. The two women realize they have feelings for one another, but the rumors and the fact that they work together make acting on that spark difficult.
Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, by Jeannette Winterson- This novel is about Jeannette, a smart, rebellious orphan who gets adopted into an evangelical family in North England. She takes religious mottoes pretty seriously in her youth and plans to become a missionary, but she later comes to terms with her unorthodox sexuality, bringing unbalance in her God-fearing household. Jeannette insists on staying true to herself, which ruins her relationship with her mother but makes for an extraordinary passage into adulthood.
Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century, edited by Alice Wong- This anthology of essays, by people with disabilities, includes a debate on personhood with Peter Singer, as well as stories by blind people, deaf people, those with autism, bipolar disorder, and other disabilities, and stories by LGBTQ people with disabilities and people of color with disabilities.
Rainbow Milk: A Novel, by Paul Mendez- This coming of age novel is about nineteen-year-old Jesse McCarthy's struggle to understand his racial and sexual identities as a Jehovah's Witness. It depicts the intersectionality of race, gender, religion, and sexuality in modern Great Britain. Jesse escapes his broken family and repressive religious community and flees to London, only to find himself lost in his identity and turning to sex work. He later finds a new sense of spirituality in music and art.
Living Apart: How the Government Betrayed a Landmark Civil Rights Law, by Nikole Hannah-Jones- This book is about ProPublica's investigation into housing segregation and the United States federal government's failure to keep the laws meant to prevent it. Over 40 years after President Lyndon Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act, it has gone ignored by the United States government. This law was supposed to dismantle racially segregated housing, but this segregated housing is still in place.
Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves, edited by Glory Edim- This book of essays, by Black women writers, is about how these writers have found themselves in famous works of literature, regardless of race, gender, religion, or ability.
The Body is Not an Apology: the Power of Radical Self-Love, by Sonya Renee Taylor- In this book, well-known activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor encourages not merely acceptance of one's own body, but radical self-love. Many systems of oppression encourage body shame, including media glorification of thinness, racial bias, and discrimination against non-gender-conforming bodies. In this book, Sonya shows us how to interrupt these systems of oppression to encourage radical self-love, which in turn encourages a kinder, more just, equal world.
Stop Telling Women to Smile: Stories of Street Harassment and How We're Taking Back Power, by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh- This book of essays features personal stories from women of diverse backgrounds on how street harassment has affected them. It concludes with insights from the main author on how she uses art as activism to prevent street harassment.
The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for Our Country, by Amanda Gorman- If you haven't heard this poem spoken aloud already, I encourage you to pick it up in book format (or even if you have, just to see the printed words :)). This poem celebrates the promise of democracy and equality in America, and it's a super quick read (only 29 pages).
On Being Different: What It Means to Be a Homosexual, by Merle Miller- This memoir/essay is about being gay in America. It highlights the importance of coming out and the prejudices against LGBTQ+ people in the 1950's.
Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Aditchie- This novel is about Ifemelu and Obinze, two Nigerians who are young and in love but torn apart by different circumstances. Ifemelu goes to college in America. Obinze hopes to join her but ends up an undocumented immigrant in London instead. At the end, the two reunite in Nigeria and rekindle their passion for both each other and their home. Along the way, they explore issues of race, belonging, and ethnicity in other countries.
On The Come Up, by Angie Thomas- This novel, by the bestselling author of The Hate U Give, is about sixteen-year old Bri, a daughter of a hip hop legend who wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Bri expresses her frustration over her mom losing her job, her empty fridge, and her label as a "hoodlum" at school in her first song, which becomes famous for all the wrong reasons. Bri is determined to make it after her family is threatened with eviction, but it is hard to make it and be yourself, and for Black people, free speech isn't always possible.
Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City, by Wes Moore- This book is about the five-day uprising following Freddie Gray's arrest and death that took over Baltimore. Wes Moore observed everyone in the city come together over this uprising after attending Gray's funeral. This story is told from the point of view of eight Baltimoreans, including conflicted Black police captain Partee, young White public defender Jenny Egan, Tawanda Jones, who protested her own brother's death for a year, and city council member Nick Mosby.
Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York, by Elon Green- This book describes a series of crimes against gay men in New York in the 1980s and 1990s. It details not just the crimes but the lives of those men targeted. It tells the story of the Last Call Killer, who killed these men at a Townhouse Bar, and the quest to find him.
Long Way Down, by Jason Reynolds- This novel in verse is the story of Will, who is trying to decide whether to murder the guy who killed his brother. He knows the rules: no crying, no snitching, and revenge. The novel takes place in an elevator and discusses what happens when the elevator stops on each floor.
Last Night at the Telegraph Club, by Malinda Lo- Seventeen year old Lily Hu has been grappling with the desire for other women. This feeling intensified when she and Kathleen Miller walked into a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club. But Chinatown in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially for Chinese Americans like Lily. With Lily's father's deportation looming, Lily and Kath risk everything for their love to thrive.
Concrete Rose, by Angie Thomas- This novel is the prequel to the best-selling The Hate U Give (another awesome book that I highly recommend). Seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter takes care of his family while his mom works two jobs and his dad is in prison. Unfortunately, as the son of a former gang legend, the only way he knows how is by dealing drugs for the King Lords. However, with a cool girlfriend and a loyal cousin, Maverick thinks he has everything under control. That is, until he finds out he is a father. After Maverick's baby, Seven, is born, he takes a chance to go straight because it is hard to finish school, sell drugs, and raise a child. However, it is hard to walk away from being a King Lord, especially after his cousin gets murdered. Maverick has to figure out what it means to be a man after he is torn between responsibility, loyalty, and revenge.
We Speak For Ourselves: How Woke Culture Prohibits Progress, by D. Watkins- This book tells the story of the "Down Bottom", a community of poor, Black neighborhoods in East Baltimore, and argues that the perspectives of poor Black communities are missing from modern intellectual discourse on race. It discusses the disadvantages poor Black people face, the uprisings in Baltimore, and the actions people need to take for social change.
The Vanishing Half: A Novel by Brit Bennett- This novel is about African American twins Stella and Desiree Vignes, who live entirely different lives after running away at age 16. Many years later, one lives with her Black daughter in the same town that she once tried to escape, and the other passes for White, living with a husband who knows nothing about her past. However, their daughters' eventually meet, and their family history unfolds.
Memorial: A Novel, by Bryan Washington- Benson and Mike are two young men who live together in Houston. Benson is a Black daycare teacher, while Mike is a Japanese-American chef. They've been together for a few years and love each other, but their relationship is floundering. When Mike visits his estranged, dying father in Japan, things really get rocky between them. Mike's mom comes to visit without Mike in town, and Benson is stuck with her as an unconventional roommate. Both Mike and Ben end up changing in ways neither of them could have predicted.
A Lesbian Belle Tells: OUTRageous Southern Stories of Family, Loss, and Love, by Elizabeth McCain- This memoir, based on the one-woman play "A Lesbian Belle Tells.." by Elizabeth McCain, is about Elizabeth's struggles coming out to her traditional Mississippi family, dealing with family estrangement in the middle of her career as a psychotherapist, and finding love and community. Elizabeth's true stories range from her last boyfriend suggesting that she become a lesbian to her friendships, romantic relationships, experiences at lesbian events, experience at the Memphis Cotton Carnival, and coming out to church ladies at her mother's funeral.
Freedom Libraries: The Untold Story of Libraries for African Americans in the South, by Mike Selby- This book tells the story of Freedom Libraries, which were created in the Deep South for African Americans during the Civil Rights movement when most libraries were only desegregated on paper. These libraries were staffed by voter registration workers, and many of them created the first experiences African Americans had with a library. These libraries include libraries in Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Philadelphia.
Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches, by Audre Lorde- This collection of fifteen essays and speeches discusses racism, sexism, homophobia, and classism and suggests actions for social change.
Take a Hint, Dani Brown: A Novel, by Talia Hibbert- In this 2nd novel of the Brown sisters series, Danika Brown, a Black, bisexual PhD student, wants professional success and recognition, not romance. Romantic partners either hurt her or are a drag. Therefore, she asks the universe for a friends with benefits instead. Rugby player Zafia rescues her from a fire drill, and the video goes viral. Zafia asks Dani to fake a relationship with him to gain publicity. Zaf is secretly a hopeless romantic and has a crush on her, but his anxiety disorder serves as an obstacle to wooing her.
Juliet Takes a Breath, by Gabby Rivera- In this coming of age novel, closeted Puerto Rican lesbian from the Bronx Juliet Milagros Palante comes out to her family the night before flying to Portland Oregon to intern with her favorite feminist author. When her mom reacts poorly to her announcement, she is unsure they will ever speak again. Juliet thinks legendary author Harlowe Brisbane will help her figure out how to be a Puerto Rican lesbian, but Harlowe is White, not from the Bronx, and often racially unaware despite her intentions to be a good ally. During Juliet's summer internship, she discovers what it means to come out through queer brown dance parties, a fling with a motorcycling librarian, and explorations of race and identity.
Conundrum, by Jan Morris- This book tells the story of travel writer Jan Morris, who was born as James Morris. James appeared to be a masculine man due serving in the military, climbing mountains, and being a reporter. James was also happily married with several children but always felt like a woman at heart. This book tells the story of Jan's early life as James, her decision to come out of the closet as transgender, and her transition with hormone treatment and surgery.
White Tears, Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color, by Ruby Hamad- This book describes how White feminism has aided White supremacy and patriarchy and ignored women of color. This book describes the history of White feminism from the slave era to the present day. It gives White women's antipathy of Latina politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, their reaction towards the portrayal of Rue in the Hunger Games movie, their defensiveness when women of color call them out on racist behavior, and the lynchings of both Black men and Mexicans as examples of how White women have upheld racism.
What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays, by Damon Young- This memoir, written by a Black man growing up in Pittsburgh, discusses the challenges of growing up as a Black man in America, including compulsory heterosexuality/masculinity, gaining confidence around girls, poverty, moving, learning to drive, gaining credibility as a writer, and Damon's mother's death, among other topics.
The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig- This novel is about how choices can determine outcomes in life. Nora Seed, a woman in her thirties suffering from depression, encounters a Midnight Library when trying to commit suicide. In this library, Nora encounters many alternate lives she could have lived had she made different decisions. However, some of Nora's lives are not what she imagined they would be. I thought this was a refreshing take on how mental health is not based on external success, but that the best way to live comes from within.
The Antiracist: How to Start a Conversation About Race and Take Action, by Kondwani Fidel- This book describes the various racial injustices Black people face, including police brutality, violence, lack of access to fresh food, stereotypes, and poor living conditions and education. It describes the author's own experiences growing up Black in West Baltimore. It also highlights the racial biases that both White people and people of color have against people of color and suggests ways that they can increase their activism.
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson- This book describes how the caste system has shaped the United States and shows how our lives are still influenced by hierarchy, particularly when it comes to discrimination against minorities. It compares the American caste system with those of Nazi Germany and India. It also gives examples of how caste affects the health and well-being of minorities, as well as how it affects the American political climate.
Passionate for Justice: Ida B. Wells as Prophet for Our Time, by Catherine Meeks & Nibs Stroupe- A historical account of Ida B. Wells co-authored by a Black woman and a White man. This book describes her life, involvement in social justice work, and how she shaped both their lives and views of racism in today's society.
The Poet X, by Elizabeth Acevedo- A novel in verse about teenage Afro-Latina poet Xiomara Batista, who feels misunderstood in her Harlem neighborhood. Xiomara’s life and innermost thoughts, including her romance with a fellow classmate, frustrations with her religious mother, and relationships with her best friend and her twin brother, are expressed through poetry. Xiomara gets invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, but it takes her a while to muster the courage to go due to her mother’s expectations that she attend church confirmation class instead. However, once Xiomara finally gets the courage to join the poetry club, she finds her voice and a new community of friends.
The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin- This book contains two essays about race in America, including a letter to Baldwin's nephew. The letter to Baldwin's nephew focuses on the role of race in American history, including the mistreatment of Blacks at the hands of Whites. The second essay deals with the relationship between race and religion and describes both Baldwin's early experiences in the Christian church and the ideas of Black Muslims.
Breathe: A Letter to My Sons, by Imani Perry- This book explores the experience of coming of age as a letter from a mother to her Black sons. Perry expresses love to her sons and encourages them to be themselves and be proud of their heritage. She references ideas from leaders such as James Baldwin, W.E.B. DuBois, and Ida B. Wells.
Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World, by Linda Hirshman- This book is about the relationship between Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first two women on the Supreme Court. It discusses how they fought to be recognized in a male-dominated Supreme Court, how they influenced each other, each of their lives, and their differing political ideologies,. It also discusses how they shaped both the Supreme Court and feminism through cases on fair pay, abortion, affirmative action, sexual harassment, and other issues.
Negroland: A Memoir, by Margo Jefferson- This memoir is about Jefferson's experiences growing up in 1950s-1960s upper-class Black America. It details Jefferson's experiences growing up in privileged private schools, clubs, fraternities, and sororities. In these institutions, achievement and hair color were important and upper-class Blacks saw themselves as "better" than poor Blacks but still couldn't quite fit in with Whites. This book references the influence of popular culture icons on upper-class Black philosophy and how Jefferson's experiences growing up in an upper-class Chicago neighborhood interacted with the civil rights and feminist movements.
An American Sunrise: Poems, by Joy Harjo- A book of poetry focused on Native American land and the traditions of Harjo's ancestors. Some topics include Harjo's mother's death, her involvement in the Native American rights movement, and her romance with her current love.
Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World, by Tracy Kidder- A biography of Paul Farmer, who founded Partners in Health, an organization dedicated to solving global health problems. This book describes health issues like AIDS and multidrug resistant tuberculosis in countries such as Haiti, Peru, and Cuba; the impact poverty and social structure have on disease; and Farmer's balance between travel and medical school.
The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World, by Melinda Gates- This book is about Melinda Gates's efforts to lift women up. It showcases lessons Melinda has learned from people she's met at work and while traveling and covers topics such as child marriage, education, lack of access to contraceptives, and gender inequality both in the workplace and in marriages. It also discusses Melinda's journey from school to working at Microsoft to starting a family and her own foundation, as well as how her own marriage with her husband, Bill Gates became equal.
Thick: and Other Essays, by Tressie McMillan Cottom- I second Cecilia Tellis's recommendation. This feminist book of essays is about what it's like to be a Black woman and covers topics such as beauty, media, money, technology, Black ethnics vs. Black Americans, discrimination in health care, and being seen as "too much".
What Kind of Woman: Poems by Kate Baer-This collection of poetry describes the beauty and struggles of being a woman today. It covers topics such as friendship, motherhood, coming of age, identity, and men.
She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story that Helped Ignite a Movement, by Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey- A story of two journalists' investigation of Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault of others at his company, Miramax, and how it affected the #MeToo Movement. Features interviews with actresses, former Weinstein employees, and other sources. This investigation resulted in many women going on the record, and other allegations of sexual abuse arose as well, including at McDonald's, by Donald Trump, and Christine Blasey Ford's testimony against supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The Virgin Suicides, by Jeffrey Eugenides- In this novel, the five beautiful Lisbon sisters, who are watched from afar from their male neighbors, all commit suicide over the course of a year. The boys piece together the mystery of the girls' family issues and adolescent angst. Although this novel is set in a White, middle class suburb of Detroit, I enjoyed the focus on mental health issues and mental health awareness. This novel was also remade into a movie, which I saw in June and highly recommend.
Educated: A Memoir, by Tara Westover- This memoir is the story of Tara Westover, who was born to a family in Idaho that did not believe in education or the government. Because of Tara's family's isolation from society, no one ensured that Tara got an education or stopped one of her brothers from becoming violent. Nevertheless, Tara was determined to get into college to learn more about the world after she saw another brother get into college. Although Tara often felt like an impostor and had to struggle in college due to not having a basic education, she received a high GPA due to her hard work and got a PhD from Cambridge University.
Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America, edited by Ibi Zoboi- A book of young adult short stories about growing up as a Black teenager in America. Includes stories about sisters exploring their relationship at summer camp in Oregon, two girls kissing, a debutante dating a boy her mother would not approve of, a love story at a hackathon camp, three friends walking back from the pool, and others.
Becoming, by Michelle Obama- A memoir/autobiography written by the former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, about her childhood in the South Side of Chicago, education, career, relationship with Barack Obama, challenges balancing motherhood and work, and experiences and initiatives as First Lady.
This is Your Time, by Ruby Bridges- This picture book is about civil rights icon Ruby Bridges's experiences as the only child at William Frantz Elementary School after White segregationists pulled their children out. It also describes her experiences with civil rights today and calls young people to fight for racial equality. This book is perfect either for educating young children about racism or if you just want something you can read in one sitting on the subject.
My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, by Resmaa Menakem-I second Tom Nielsen's recommendation of this useful book. It discusses how racism and racial trauma manifest in the body, including theories such as the lizard brain, clean and dirty pain, and the soul nerve. This book also describes neuroscience and somatic healing techniques for healing racism in our bodies. Finally, this book suggests steps we can take to become more inclusive of others and transcend the racial divide.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi- A young adult remix of the national book award winning Stamped from the Beginning, by Ibram X. Kendi that is an interesting, fast-paced little nugget of history. If you want a more detailed version, my friend read the adult Stamped from the Beginning as an audiobook. Both the adult and young adult versions take the reader through America's racist past and present, from 1415, when the world's first racist appears, to today. They describe how racist ideas started, discuss how some seemingly anti-racist figures actually held some racist beliefs, and tell readers how to identify and prevent racist thoughts.
Not in My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City, by Antero Pietila- This book describes the history of discrimination against African Americans and Jewish people in Baltimore, MD. It focuses on discriminatory housing practices, including blockbusting, redlining, predatory lending, and targeting minorities for subprime loans. It also discusses the White flight to the suburbs after World War 2 and touches on the decline of the public transportation system in Baltimore. This book may be of particular interest to those DICE members in the Maryland or DC Chapters, since this is close to home for a lot of us.
How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir, by Saeed Jones- A memoir by a young, Black, gay man in the South who is trying to come out and belong within his family and within society. Jones discusses his boyhood, adolescence, college years, and graduate school years trying to become a writer. He describes his relationships with his family and friends, as well as with lovers and random flings. The intersectionality between race and sexuality, power and vulnerability, and love and grief are discussed.
Down Along with that Devil's Bones: A Reckoning with Monuments, Memory, and the Legacy of White Supremacy, by Connor Towne O'Neill- If you haven't read this book already for last Wednesday's webinar, I thought it was very informative about the history of racism in America. This book describes the history of White supremacy in America through the battle over whether to take confederate monuments down. This book centers around the monument of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, in Selma, Alabama, but it also discusses other confederate monuments in Memphis, Tennessee and Nashville, Tennessee.
Echo: Scandinavian Stories About Girls. edited by Ia Dubois and Katherine Hanson- A collection of short stories, selections from memoirs, and children's stories by Scandinavian female authors about Scandinavian girls. Discusses friendship, family life, and school life, among other topics.
So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Olou- A guide to talking about different subjects relating to race, such as intersectionality, affirmative action, hair touching, white privilege, and "model minorities". Includes the author's own experience dealing with discrimination related to these subjects.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown, by Talia Hibbert- This romance novel, the first of a series about three African American sisters by a Black British author, is about Chloe Brown, a chronically ill computer geek who writes a list with seven items to help her "get a life" after a near death experience. Chloe enlists the help of Redford "Red" Morgan, a hot superintendent with a motorcycle and tattoos who is a secret painter, to help her be bad. Chloe already secretly spies on Red while he paints, but she finds herself falling for him as she gets to know him better and learns a lot about his secrets, including why he doesn't show his art to anyone anymore.
Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehshi Coates- A letter from a Black father to his teenage son that answers questions about how racial classification hurts Black people and what coming of age in a Black body is like. Coates describes his experiences growing up in Baltimore City, studying in the all-Black "mecca" of Howard University, living in his current home in New York City, and traveling abroad in Paris.
My Own Words, by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams- I actually read this one two years ago, but the DC Chapter is reading it for their book club in February, so I thought now would be a good time to recommend it. In this biography, Justice Ginsburg talks about gender equality, being Jewish, the Supreme Court, her hobbies, her relationship with her husband, Marty, her law career, the U.S. constitution, and her friendships with other justices. Her biographers, Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams, introduce each chapter and include quotes from interviews with the justice.
In Praise of Paths: Walking Through Time and Nature, by Torbjorn Ekelund- A memoir of one person's experiences walking everywhere after his epilepsy diagnosis rendered him unable to drive. In this book, Ekelund describes his interest in the paths he walked and the health and psychological benefits of walking.
Aphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism from Two Sisters, by Aph Ko and Syl Ko- A book of essays about how Black veganism is a different form of activism than mainstream White veganism and how treating nonhuman animals and Black humans with dignity are equally important. This book also discusses how White veganism can be implicitly racist through their emphasis on similarities to Black vegans because they deny Black vegans' lived experiences. and it touches on how women are seen as objects of beauty.
Upright Women Wanted, by Sarah Gailey- A Western novel focusing on librarians. The main character, Esther, has hidden in the librarians' wagon to avoid a marriage her father has arranged for her after her best friend and lover, Beatriz, was hanged. The librarians are seemingly nun-like and are in charge of an approved materials list, but they are secretly queer and on a mission to escort three women to Utah.
Ruth: Justice Ginsburg in Her Own Words- This 2019 documentary features and is about the late supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the challenges she faced on her way to the Supreme Court, as well as her hobbies, friendships, and the legal cases she argued for and dissented on.
Ballerina Boys- This documentary is about the all-male ballet company the Trocks, a company that mixes ballet classics with comedy. This film follows them on tour as they make fun of strictly gendered ballet and advocate for LGBTQ rights.
Unlikely- This feature documentary explores America's college dropout crisis and the obstacles students face to getting their degrees and pursuing meaningful careers. It focuses on the lives of five students who previously were unable to finish college that are now fighting for a second chance to get their degrees.
Soundtrack for a Revolution- This documentary explores the American Civil Rights movement through the powerful songs that inspired it.
Mr. Soul!- This documentary is about the history of the music and talk television series Soul!, which was aimed at a Black audience and was produced by African American Ellis Haizlip.
Talking Black in America- This documentary is about the impact slavery had on the lives and language of contemporary Black Americans. It also depicts the influences of British and Southern American dialects and the creativity and resilience of people living through oppression, segregation, and civil rights movements. It reveals how language affects identity and triumph over adversity.
Life Interrupted: Telling Breast Cancer Stories- This documentary features empowering stories of breast cancer survivors coming to terms with a life changing diagnosis. These women rebuild their lives with honesty, dignity, and grace.
Mission: Joy: Finding Happiness in Troubled Times- This documentary film is about the friendship between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the methods those two use to cultivate joy in their lives. Both have experienced adversity in their lives, but both use lived experience, ancient traditions, and science to find joy despite life's challenges.
Sound of Metal- This drama movie is about metal drummer Ruben, who thinks his career and life are over after he loses his hearing and a doctor tells him his condition will get worse. When his girlfriend Lou checks him into a rehab facility for the deaf to prevent his addiction from relapsing, she hopes he will adjust to his new life. After he is accepted for being himself, he has to choose between his new and former lives.
Leitis in Waiting- This documentary is about Joey Mataele and the Tonga leitis, a group of Native transgender women fighting religious fundamentalism in their South Pacific Kingdom.
Resilience: the Biology of Stress & the Science of Hope- This documentary explores scientific research on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and how they can lead to bad health and behavioral outcomes. It also describes a new movement to prevent and treat toxic stress.
Freedom Riders- This documentary is about American civil rights activists' struggles for racial justice through a bus boycott in Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama in the 1960's. It is based on the book Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice, and it describes officials' response to the Freedom Riders, including John F. Kennedy and the FBI.
20 Feet From Stardom- This documentary is about the lives of backup singers. It features several African American backup singers, as well as African American lead singers, including Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and Ike and Tina Turner.
Henry Gamble's Birthday Party- This drama film is about Henry Gamble's 17th birthday party. At this party, Henry explores his sexuality, and so do other adults and teenagers at the party.
The Biggest Obstacle- If you didn't get to see this documentary with DICE and SLY New York, hopefully you can find another screening! This documentary follows the investigative research of disability rights activist Jessica Murray on public transit accessibility for people with disabilities in New York City as she deals with the progressive worsening of her own multiple sclerosis. It features interviews with many people with disabilities, including blind people, people with cerebral palsy, hearing impaired people, and autistic people, as well as an interview with New York City transit president Andy Byford about his work to improve accessibility in New York City; and it covers footage of protests.
Summer of Soul- This documentary, directed by Questlove, is about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. It features Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and other famous Motown and soul musicians.
When I Stutter- This documentary depicts the emotional impact stuttering has on people, including anxiety about making friends and dating, watching one's speech, using substitute words, and depression over not fitting in, among other things.
Who's On Top?: LGBTQs Summit Mt. Hood- This documentary is about a group of LGBTQ+ mountaineers who attend a summit to climb Mt. Hood, a mountain in Oregon. These mountaineers challenge stereotypes about gender and sexuality and show their journeys in climbing both figurative and literal mountains.
Ahead of the Curve- This documentary is about the story of Franco Stevens's founding of Curve, a lesbian magazine that fosters lesbian visibility and community. After a disabling injury, Franco questions the relevance of Curve but reaches out to LGBTQ+ women to understand how Curve can continue to serve the LGBTQ+ community today.
ReMastered: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke- This documentary film investigates the circumstances surrounding the murder of Sam Cooke, including his involvement with the Civil Rights movement.
Crips and Bloods: Made in America- This documentary film depicts the social conditions that led to gang violence in Los Angeles among young African Americans, including police brutality, lack of resources, and wrongful incarceration of these African Americans' fathers. It features the notorious Los Angeles gangs Crips and Bloods.
Yellow Brotherhood- This short documentary film is about a basketball team formed for young Asian boys to prevent drug abuse and other mental health issues and the friendships formed through this team.
Bedlam- This feature documentary film is about the care of people with mental illnesses in Los Angeles, California. It describes the jailing of many people with mental illnesses in Los Angeles, the inefficacy of treatment and medication in Los Angeles, and the dashed hopes and dreams of many patients.
Love and Mercy- This biographical drama focuses on the Beach Boys' co-founder and lead singer Brian Wilson and his struggle with psychosis. It alternates between Brian's production of the album Pet Sounds in the 1960s, when he develops symptoms of psychosis and stops touring, and his treatment under controlling therapist Eugene Landy's 24-hour therapy program in the 1980s, when he meets his second wife, Melinda Ledbetter.
The Claudia Kishi Club- This short documentary film describes how the Babysitters Club series's Asian American character Claudia Kishi busts the "model minority" stereotype for Asian Americans and serves as a role model for young Asian girls everywhere for being herself.
MLK/FBI- This documentary film explores how the FBI spied on and harassed Martin Luther King, Jr. This investigation was led by J. Edgar Hoover, who believed MLK Jr. was a communist but also spied on his civil rights involvement and romantic life.
I am Greta- This documentary follows Greta Thunberg. a Swedish climate change activist with Asperger's syndrome, as she starts a school strike for the climate. It follows her travels around the country and internationally as she tries to persuade people to listen to scientists' research on the climate crisis.
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution- This documentary, executive produced and directed by Barack and Michelle Obama, is about a summer camp for teenagers with disabilities that helps inspire a movement to pass equal rights laws for people with disabilities.
Love is All You Need- This short film is about a reversed world where homosexuality is mainstream and heterosexuality is forbidden. In this film, a girl and a boy develop a love affair and get teased by their homosexual classmates.
Vanilla Sky- This fantasy romance movie is about a self-involved publishing magnate who has trouble differentiating dreams from reality after a car accident with a resentful lover. I thought it was great at showing that even the most privileged people can end up with disabilities and mental illnesses at some point in their lives.
The United States vs. Billie Holliday- This musical drama depicts Billie Holliday's experiences being followed by the FBI both for drug possession and for singing Strange Fruit, which was an anti-lynching song. This movie also depicts Holliday's affair with FBI agent Jimmy Fletcher.
Chi-Raq-In this musical crime comedy drama, the girlfriend of a Chicago gang leader persuades other women to deny sex from the men in their lives to stop gang violence. This film is based on the Greek tragedy Lysitrata.
John Lewis: Good Trouble- A documentary about civil rights icon John Lewis's 60+ years of social activism and legislation on civil rights, voting rights, health care reform, gun control, and immigration. Features interviews with other politicians and acquaintances of John Lewis.
On the Record- This documentary focuses on sexual abuse and harassment allegations against hip-hop artist Russell Simmons. It features interviews with 20 women, but it centers on Drew Dixon, who Simmons raped in his apartment. This documentary also highlights the erasure of Black women's voices from the MeToo movement and the difficulty many Black women have in choosing between protecting Black men and speaking out against rape.
Circus of Books- A conservative Jewish couple takes over an adult bookstore as a way of supporting their family during hard economic times. This bookstore becomes a huge distributor of gay porn. The couple has challenges balancing their huge involvement in the LGBTQ+ community due to the bookstore's serving as a refuge for gay people during the AIDS crisis with their religion's issues with homosexuality. Their son also comes out as gay, which the woman has a hard time reconciling with her religion. In addition, the bookstore faces an obscenity prosecution, resulting in jail time for the couple.
Moonlight- A coming-of-age drama about a Black, gay boy growing up in a poor Miami neighborhood trying to find where he fits in.
Nomadland- The experiences of a van-dwelling nomadic woman whose husband died and her struggles to find work and with the nomadic lifestyle.
In My Shoes: Stories of Youth with LGBT Parents- This short documentary features youth with LGBTQ parents. It depicts their family lives and their views on marriage, the stigma attached to having LGBTQ parents, what it means to be a good ally, social justice, and how they define family.
Picture a Scientist- This documentary features women scientists' experiences with discrimination in the sciences, including sexual harassment and more subtle instances of discrimination such as not being heard in meetings and being passed over for promotions. It features biologist Nancy Hopkins, chemist Raychelle Burks, and geologist Jane Willenbring, who all discuss their experiences in the sciences. This documentary also features other scientists who offer their views on how to make science more diverse, inclusive, and equitable.
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom- This film depicts fierce African American Blues icon Ma Rainey's conflicts with her bandmates and efforts to record an album in Chicago in 1927.
I am Not Your Negro- This documentary depicts African American writer James Baldwin's final manuscript on racial issues in modern America. I first saw this film early pandemic but found it so engaging that I saw it a second time with DCSLA this weekend. It portrays the influence of Baldwin's upbringing in culturally diverse New York City and his relationships with Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Medgar Evers on his racial views.
Loving- This biographical romance movie describes the story of Mildred and Richard Loving, the interracial couple in the case Loving vs. Virginia, which overturned Virginia state laws banning interracial marriage. Before taking part in that case, the Lovings were arrested and banished from their Virginia home to Washington, D.C. for a 25 year sentence. Their desire to raise their children near family in the Virginia countryside motivated them to take their case to the Supreme Court five years later.
Challenging Homophobia- A short film discussing the psychological effects of homophobic bullying. The bullying of LGBTQIA+ students leads to absenteeism and to LGBTQIA+ students leaving school earlier than heterosexuals. This film centers around the efforts of Turton High School Media Arts College in Bolton to incorporate the prevention of homophobic bullying into their school curriculum for Year 9 students together with Bolton Public Health. The curriculum involves a lesson geared to help students change their attitudes towards LGBTQIA+ students' sexuality, and it features interviews with LGBTQIA+ staff who have experienced discrimination to demonstrate the ill effect bullying has on LGBTQIA+ British students and teachers.
Soul- This Disney comedy is the first Pixar film to feature an African American lead protagonist. It centers around Joe, a middle school band teacher who is feeling unfulfilled with life. He is good at and passionate about jazz, but his soul and body get separated just as he gets his first big jazz gig. This story is about his quest to reunite his soul and body and explores themes of friendship, generosity, and the meaning of life.
The Life and Death of Marsha P. Johnson- In this documentary, Victoria Cruz re-examines the 1992 death of Marsha P. Johnson, a legendary transgender woman and Stonewall activist, using archival interviews with Johnson and new interviews with Johnson's family, friends, and other activists. This death was initially thought to be a suicide, but there were suspicions that it was a murder. Also centers around Johnson's fellow activist Sylvia Rivera.
A documentary about the 1996-1997 efforts of a group of exotic dancers at the San Francisco Peep Show's Lusty Lady to unionize, Live Nude Girls Unite depicts the dancers' working conditions, anger over race-based scheduling and lack of sick pay and holidays, and bargaining efforts with the anti-union law firm that the managers hire. This documentary is narrated by Julia Query, a lesbian dancer and comedian who has difficulty telling her mother that she is a stripper.
One Night in Miami - This fiction film is about the lives of and relationships between Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, Muhammad Ali, and Jim Brown. It centers around a night in Miami celebrating Ali's boxing win. The men discuss racial issues and their roles in the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
Prom- In this musical movie, a group of self-obsessed actors travels to a conservative town in Indiana to support a high school girl who wants to take her girlfriend to the prom but who is kept out of prom due to being gay. After a civil rights case, prom gets a Broadway makeover.
Let's Get Frank- This documentary is about congressman Barney Frank's involvement in President Bill Clinton's impeachment hearings. It also covers Frank's coming out and the homophobia of Congress in the 1990's.
... I second Marilee Tutte's recommendation of Rising Phoenix. This documentary film, which is about the Paralympic games, is very heartwarming because it features the stories of athletes with disabilities, their challenges, and how they got into their sports. It also discusses what different countries thought of the Paralympic games and how they inform a global understanding of disability and diversity.
Dear White People- This television comedy-drama series, based on the film Dear White People, is about the challenges of students of color navigating life, politics, and microaggressions at an Ivy League college that is not as post-racial as it claims to be.
The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song- This TV mini-series, hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., explores the 400-year-old history of the Black church in America, the evolving nature of congregations, and the people who led them.
Never Have I Ever- This coming of age comedy/drama television show is about the complicated life of a modern first-generation Indian American teenage girl who wants to improve her social status. However, friends, family, and feelings won't make it easy.
Atypical- This television comedy/drama show focuses on the life of 18-year-old Sam Gardner, a teenager on the autism spectrum who wants to find a girlfriend. This sets his mom on her own life-changing journey as her son tries to become more independent.
Hillary- This documentary mini-series examines the life story of the former First Lady Hillary Clinton. It details her involvement in the feminist movement, her presidential campaigns, and her relationship with her husband, Bill Clinton.
Leading Women- This CNN TV series follows two to three famous, extraordinary women in each episode. I especially recommend the episode on Beyonce and Sheryl Sandberg, where the hosts discuss how Beyonce got famous through her girl band, Destiny's Child, and Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook discusses her philosophy on leaning into the workplace and feminism.
Queers- Eight new writers respond to the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act, which penalizes homosexual acts between men.
NPR Podcast: Eric Garcia on the Life Kit- This podcast, in conjunction with the National Book Festival, features Eric Garcia, the author of "We’re Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation” and Laine Kaplan-Levenson. It discusses how we must change our worlds to help autistic people rather than expect them to become "normal".
LibVoices- This podcast features the voices and stories of librarians of color. Topics include putting yourself first, having your own space, and being real.
PsychEverywhere- This podcast series focuses on a lot of diversity issues related to psycholgy. Some episodes include how to talk to people about disabilities without using microaggressions against them, how gender stereotypes have changed over history, how racism is prevalent in psychology research, and common racist slurs people often use.
Body Stuff with Jen Guntner, Episode 5: Anxiety Disorders- This podcast episode discusses the effect stigma surrounding mental illness has on seeking help for anxiety disorders, the science behind the body's fight or flight response, what makes it malfunction, and effective ways of treating anxiety disorders.
Stuff You Missed in History Class: Audre Lorde, Part 1- This podcast episode describes Audre Lorde's life, relationships, and involvement in social justice issues.
Body Stuff with Jen Gunter, Episode 3: Is Menopause the Beginning of the End?- This podcast episode discusses the stigma around menopause and the importance of having conversations about this life stage.
Reach Out and Read, Episode 24: Inner Truths, Part 2 The Research Behind LGBTQ+ Children's Books- This podcast episode discusses how to evaluate LGBTQ+ children's books, common portrayal of LGBTQ+ families in children's books, accessibility and privacy issues surrounding LGBTQ+ children's books, and censorship of these books.
Knowledge Equity Lab- This podcast is about the politics of knowledge production and how the power of majority groups influences it. Some episode topics include reducing health inequities in Blacks through knowledge production methods such as open access; abolishing caste; and using art to help minority groups.
Political IQ, Episode 37: Adjust What You’re Doing By 1%- This podcast episode, hosted by Nancy Halpern and featuring Aubrey Blanche, is about how organizations should “walk the walk” instead of “performing” diversity, about being more empathetic, and about the importance of inspiration.
Dare to Lead with Brene Brown: Episode on the Dangers of Toxic Positivity- This podcast episode features Dr. Susan David, author of Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life. In this podcast episode, Brown and David discuss how emotional flexibility benefits us as leaders. However, they say that fake positivity actually hurts our mental health. They discuss the importance of being honest with one's emotions to having good mental health.
Consider This, April 2 Episode: It Hurts People: How Trans Youth Are Being Targeted by State Legislation-This podcast, hosted by NPR, details how transgender youth are hurt by health care and sports legislation in various states. including South Dakota, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Alabama. It highlights the ban of gender-affirming therapy in Alabama for teens under age 19, and it provides examples of transgender youth that have benefitted from gender affirming therapy and the ability to compete as their preferred gender in sports.
Demystifying Diversity- This podcast features firsthand accounts of unexamined biases and bigotry. It features topics such as biraciality, developmental disabilities, Asian Americans as the "model minority", LGBTQIA+ people, body diversity, and interracial marriage.
Shots in the Back: Exhuming the 1970 Augusta Riot- Describes the first major Civil Rights Era riot in Augusta, Georgia, resulting in the murder of Charles Oatman, an African American teenager who the police held in the County jail.
Intersectionality Matters- This podcast, hosted by Kimberly Crenshaw, discusses various topics through an intersectional lens, including voting rights, the Me Too movement, the Stonewall uprising, slavery, and others.
Dewey Decibel Podcast Episode 59: Talking About Race- This episode of the American Library Association's Dewey Decibel podcast is a discussion about race and racism. It features an interview with author, Fox sports analyst, and former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho about his book and YouTube series Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. It also features an interview with youth media services manager Jessica Bratt discussing the toolkit she created for librarians to discuss and create programs on racial issues.
1619, from The New York Times- This podcast series discusses the history and consequences of slavery. It is part of the 1619 Project, which observes the 400th anniversary of the start of slavery in America. I especially liked the episodes on health care, which highlighted how African Americans were disadvantaged due to lack of health insurance and access to doctors, and on music, which described the history of African American musical traditions.
Women in Business Technology Episode 4: Strategies for Male Allies and Advocates- In this episode, the hosts attend the Create and Cultivate Conference and talk to attendees about how important diversity, inclusion, and community are in career development. This episode features male ally Scott Hanselman, who discusses how to create inclusive teams, and how he lends his privilege to populations underrepresented in technology, including women and racial minorities. Hanselman says he seeks out women on his technology radio show since they are less likely to self-promote their work than men.