christina

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: Wires and Waves Reads

This blog post is part of a weeklong celebration of feminism started by Kelly Jensen.

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I am a feminist because I am a human. Many people mistakenly assume that a self-declared feminist is playing the victim. I do not see myself as a victim. I am not writing to defend feminism. I am writing to tell you what feminism means to me.

Being a feminist means developing empathy for all types of people because feminism should be for and about everybody (this is a very basic generalization of the concept of intersectional feminism). I am trying to do this by reading, listening to, and sharing perspectives of people who do not look like me. I typically try to read books that meet that qualification, as I think books are one of the best ways to learn about and develop empathy for other people.

I recently read Angie Thomas’ debut novel The Hate U Give, and Thomas’ protagonist, Starr Carter, embodies both badassery and real feminism (that is: “political, economic, and social equality of the sexes” (Merriam-Webster)). Starr is a black teenager who leads two different lives. At home in Garden Heights, she can be herself. At her private school, she must be less “ghetto”; in effect, she must act white. After witnessing a cop kill her best friend Khalil– a young, black man– Starr’s dual personalities collide as her city protests. She is afraid that publicly announcing this fact will cost her some friendships; she is also afraid of being called out for abandoning her friends and her neighborhood.

Identity struggles are nothing new, particularly for teenagers. Starr’s struggles in particular are important due to the forced way in which she must confront them, as well as their relevancy to current events. Starr has a few school friends who grow tired of her “rants” on racism. In a conversation with one particular friend, Starr says she is tired of being expected to go along with her friend’s feminist agenda while being expected to keep her mouth closed about social justice.

If your feminism does not include people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, non-binary people, people who are disabled, and people of all religions, then who is it for? I was inspired by Starr’s activism and her reconciliation of herself with the lives of all the people she loves, even, and especially, people who make mistakes. The Hate U Give was a phenomenal book, and I recommend it to everyone.

Also, the other half of this ol’ blog, Zach, created a playlist featuring music by cool ladies.


 

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Xtina’s Song of the Day

Back in the Myspace heyday, a friend of mine had a song by the Spinto Band on her page. When I saw that Paste was streaming their new album, I got really excited. I really enjoy it, and I think you will, too. Here is a great song from the album. It reminds me of Beachwood Sparks or Beach Boys or the Beatles or Tame Impala, sometimes. Good, happy, trippy, poppy music.

Christina’s Favorites of 2012

No big surprises here. Some of my favorite bands and musicians released new music this year, which is always exciting. I haven’t posted this due to the nagging feeling that I have forgotten plenty. I am a forgetful person. Also, I keep discovering music. It never ends. However, these are the things that kept me company throughout the year. Thanks, music and things. 
 Love, Christina 

 Favorite 20 Albums (in no particular order, really.) 
 1. Circa Survive- Violent Waves
 2. Benjamin Gibbard- Former Lives
 3. Say Anything- Anarchy, My Dear
 4. Sucre- A Minor Bird 
 5. The Avett Brothers- The Carpenter
 6. Passion Pit- Gossamer
 7. Fiona Apple- The Idler Wheel is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do 
8. Sufjan Stevens- Silver & Gold 
9. The Walkmen- Heaven 
10. First Aid Kit- The Lion’s Roar 
11. Anthony Green- Beautiful Things
 12. Good Old War- Come Back as Rain 
13. The Avett Brothers- The Carpenter
 14. Father John Misty- Fear Fun
 15. M. Ward- Wasteland Companion 
16. Best Coast- The Only Place
 17. Titus Andronicus- Local Business
 18. Andrew Bird- Break it Yourself 
19. Bad Books- II
 20. Japandroids- Celebration Rock 

Songs: 
 1. One of my Kind- Conor Oberst 
2. Cry for Judas- Mountain Goats
 3. The Only Place- Best Coast 
4. MariKKKopa- Desaparecidos
 5. Simple Song- The Shins
 6. The North- Stars (both)
 7. Cherokee- Cat Power
 8. Lost River- Murder By Death
 9. 192 Days- Eisley 

 Best new discoveries: 
1. Laura Gibson
 2. St. Vincent 
3. Mutemath
 4. Titus Andronicus 
5. Japandroids
 6. Frank Ocean 

 Favorite TV Shows: 
1. Gossip Girl 
2. New Girl
 3. Ben and Kate 
4. 90210 (Don’t judge me.)
 5. Hart of Dixie 

 Favorite Movies: 
1. Dark Knight Rises
 2. Beginners 
3. Midnight in Paris 
4. Young Adult 
5. Moonrise Kingdom 
6. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World 

 Favorite Books (that I read in the last few months…)
 1. The Sea is My Brother- Jack Kerouac 
2. The Marriage Plot- Jeffrey Eugenides
 3. Freedom & The Corrections- Jonathan Franzen 
4. Newlyweds- Nell Freudenberger
 5. Wuthering Heights- Emily Bronte
 6. Incendiary- Chris Cleave 
7. Interpreter of Maladies- Jhumpa Lahiri
8. Plainsong- Kent Haruf