Emma Gray’s tiny book of feminist resistance promises to be a guide to doing more and doing good in a world that seems to have turned against women all together. The book is extremely readable and well-put together, starring personal anecdotes, interviews with amazing activists, and step-by-step guides made to help us as readers do one thing: Resist. And of this, Gray does a bang-up job.

The book begins with a semi-detailed history of a little known Union meeting held by young, female garment workers in the 1900s to discuss the poor working conditions plaguing their industry. The meeting led to a large protest, where 15,000 shirtwaist makers went on strike. A good beginning for a book that promises girls a guide to starting movements much like this one. The book is full of little history anecdotes like this, form the shirtwaist workers of the 1900s to Bloody Sunday and the SNCC. The histories are powerful and diverse, painting a picture of resistance and the power of protest that would give even the most cynical feminist hope.

Gray’s advise in her guidebook is both powerful and graspable. She lists out important info in easy-to-read steps, offering both little and grand ways we can all get involved in the resistance. She lists out websites to go to to keep up with politics, how to fact-check and actually sort through fake news, offers empowering playlists and T.V shows, as well as a list of organizations that accept volunteers. She gives advice on how to take action, from running for office to having tough conversations with people you may disagree with (offline, she stresses). Gray gives everyone a chance to fight back—to make a difference in whatever way they can.

Greater still than Gray’s dedication to giving homage to the women of the past, is her dedication to intersectionality and her discussion of privilege. “My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit,” she says, bringing up the importance of trans and black leaders in the movement, and making sure the reader knows that they can become a leader in the resistance without pushing out others. “Listen to the women who are already leading the resistance,” she advises, “especially women of color.”

Gray isn’t afraid to point out hard truths in her guidebook. “Xenophobia, islamophobia, racism and sexism” have existed in our nation’s subconscious before Trump took over, she says. It’s only his election that has caused them to some “bubbling up to the surface.” In one of Gray’s many interviews with powerful activists, organizer and writer Raquel Wills says that “a lot of silver spoons were pulled out of mouths,” after the 2017 election, forcing those of us with privilege to become just as involved as we always should have been. While Gray definitely does not shy away from this fact, (in fact, she has a whole chapter dedicated to it), she also does not dwell on guilt, putting her attention and focus again on what people can do—the actions that need to be taken, she stresses, are more important than dwelling on guilt. “No one is coming to save us except us,” says Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza in and interview with Gray, “so we might as well get to work.”

Our thanks to Bookstore Supervisor Laura Lannan for this review.

CUBA Trip Flier

Trip to Cuba – Book Now!

Calling all artists, writers, poets, thinkers, & dreamers! Join the Busboys and Poets Travel tribe on a once in a lifetime cultural exchange trip to Cuba. Spend 6 nights and 7 days in Havana & Vardarero with the nation’s most prolific creatives. Join us as we lay a plaque in tribute to the influential friendship … Continued

Covid-19 Protocol

Covid-19 Protocol

Due to the upcoming vaccination/testing requirements, we are re-posting the Busboys and Poets Safety Protocol: “The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented moment in history and has impacted the hospitality industry unlike anything else we have experienced before.  This manual is an introduction to how Busboys and Poets plans to get in front of the situation, … Continued

covid 19 banner2 920x460

Community Resources for COVID-19

Here are some resources that you may be able to take advantage of: Find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you Back To School After Lockdown – Tips From An NHS Psychologist One Fair Wage – Emergency Funding for Tipped Employees/Service WorkersRWCF- Restaurant Workers COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund USBG- COVID-19 Relief Grants for Bartenders Restaurant Opportunities Centers- United … Continued

angela signing

Watch Angela Davis in conversation with Amy Goodman

Last night a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock opened for a conversation with activist and scholar Angela Davis with Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman at Busboys – 450K.  The private events room at 450K is named after Angela Davis and she signed a photo of herself on the mural created by our founder/CEO Andy … Continued

andy

Calling All Southeast DC Artists!

We’re amping up to open the doors of Busboys and Poets Anacostia and are seeking southeast DC resident artists for a mural or mural commission! Sound like something you’re interested in? Submit an email of interest along with five to seven sample images of your work to art@busboysandpoets.com by January 25, 2019. Artists will be … Continued