My American Meltingpot
How to be a Revolutionary Writer

How to be a Revolutionary Writer

July 31, 2020

On episode 46 of the podcast, I want to encourage everyone to pick up their pens and fight. Yes, become a revolutionary writer. We can all put pen to paper and write for our lives. You don’t need permission to write. You don’t need fancy tools or equipment. You simply must write.

 

You can write newspaper articles, blog posts, poems and manifestos. You can  write novels, comic books, biographies and letters to your congressperson. You can write pamphlets, plays, memoirs and letters to your younger self. You can write text books and guide books and an entire magazine if you’re up for it. You can write song lyrics, movie screenplays, and letters to your racist uncle.  

 

Join me as I share how revolutionary writers are born and stick around to hear from three extraordinary revolutionary writers – Tracey Lewis-Giggets, Kenrya Rankin and Zetta Elliott –  who are all busy creating revolutionary works right now. 

 

By the end of the show, I hope everyone is inspired to write!

 

For full show notes and links to the work of our guests, please visit My American Meltingpot.com.

Title: All Hail The Queens of the Resistance

Title: All Hail The Queens of the Resistance

July 24, 2020

On episode 45 of the podcast, I'm talking about a brand new book series called The Queens of the Resistance. A perfect collection for any wanna-be Revolutionary Reader, The Queens of the Resistance series is a group of four biographies saluting four of the most beloved boss ladies in Congress: Maxine Waters, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren. Written by Brenda Jones & Krishan Trotman, these easy-to-read, illustrated biographies are super inspiring and informative. Also, the books themselves are absolutely beautiful to look at and would make a welcome addition to any bookshelf or coffee table.

 

It's another mini Revolutionary Readers episode, but we still get to hear from one of the co-authors of The Queens of Resistance series, Krishan Trotman.

 

Also, because self-care is also revolutionary, I also take a moment on the show to share my definition of a perfect summer beach read and two options for you to consider reading.

 

If you feel inspired by this episode and now you want to be a revolutionary reader, please share this episode with a friend or tell a lot of friends by leaving us a rating or review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

 

For full show notes with links for resources mentioned in this episode, please visit My American Meltingpot.com.

How to Raise a Revolutionary Reader

How to Raise a Revolutionary Reader

July 17, 2020

On episode 44 of the podcast we're continuing with our Revolutionary Readers summer series. The topic? We’re going to be talking about how to raise young revolutionary readers, with the hope that the young people in our lives go from being revolutionary readers, to revolutionary leaders. Think about it, reading can be the spark that leads young people to do great things. Keeping in mind of course, that 'great things' could be defined as becoming the first female president of the United States, or it could mean starting a food drive for those in need in one’s community. 

In addition to my suggestions for raising revolutionary readers, I also share my latest book crush, The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet. This book incorporates all the elements  I love to read about from Black identity, to family bonds, to colorism. You'll probably want to read it too!

Be sure to check the show notes at My American Meltingpot for a full recap of the show and for additional book recommendations for the young revolutionaries in your life. 

Revolutionary Readers Book Club: Exile Music

Revolutionary Readers Book Club: Exile Music

July 10, 2020

I'm baaaack...for a special summer series on My American Meltingpot.

Normally, I would have taken the summer off from the podcast, to relax and refresh, but I just couldn’t put down the mic when there is just so much to talk about. But rather than rehash the day’s news, respond to every new event, or simply continue producing regular full-length episodes about race and real life,  I decided to do something a little different.

For the next five weeks, I’m going to be hosting the Revolutionary Readers Summer Book Club here on the  podcast.

I’m going to be sharing some reviews, recommendations, and interviews with authors. These are going to be short episodes that will hopefully inspire you to read and learn and take action in these crazy times we’re living in. I’ll be talking about fiction, non-fiction, books for kids and teens. I’ll be sharing about the books I’m reading and why. I’ll offer suggestions for books to help you cope and even books to make you laugh when everything else seems to be falling apart.

Basically, I'm going to be talking about how books and reading can be part of the revolution. 

The book I'm talking about on this episode, is called Exile Music by Jennifer Steil.

For full show notes and links to books and resources, visit My American Meltingpot.com

P.S. I hope you LOVE our new logo as much as I do!

Why Colorism Matters at this Moment

Why Colorism Matters at this Moment

June 19, 2020

On episode 42 of the podcast (the final episode of Season 4 by the way), I’m giving a lesson on colorism - that is the preferential treatment given to others based on the color or shade of their skin.  At this pivotal moment in American society, as people grapple with dismantling racism, it is critical that folks understand that racism has a crafty cousin named colorism.  And the truth is, if we don’t recognize the role colorism plays in maintaining a white supremacist society, then the fight to dismantle racism will never be won. If you want to slay the dragon, you have to kill all her helpers too. So, stay tuned for my primer on colorism, taught in five easy lessons that will help everyone be a better warrior in the fight against racism and discrimination. 

But before we get to the conversation on colorism, I'm taking a meltingpot minute to honor Juneteenth Day, aka, Black America’s Independence Day.

For additional resources on colorism and/or Juneteenth Day, please visit the My American Meltingpot blog

Don't forget to leave a review and/or a rating of the My American Meltingpot Podcast on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. I'll be back for the summer season of the podcast in July. 

A Loving Day Message for Today’s Turmoil

A Loving Day Message for Today’s Turmoil

June 12, 2020

Happy Loving Day! Do you know what Loving Day has to do with today's current racial justice moment? Listen in to this inspirational Meltingpot Minute to hear how a supreme court decision in 1967 paved the way for people of different races to legally marry in all 50 states,  AND dealt a serious blow to white supremacy. I hope this episode enlightens you about our history, and inspires you to keep fighting for our future. 

For more information about Loving Day and how you can celebrate it with your family and community, visit MyAmericanMeltingpot.com.

A Message for Today: How We Fight White Supremacy

A Message for Today: How We Fight White Supremacy

June 2, 2020

I know it's not Friday, but I wanted to launch this special Rewind episode of the podcast  – with a new intro – as soon as possible. This moment that we're in right now as a nation, demands it. 

Back in April 2019, journalists Akiba Solomon and Kenrya Rankin joined me on the show to talk about their new book, How We Fight White Supremacy. While I knew at the time how powerful the episode was, today I am convinced that this episode was made for this moment. Not only do Akiba and Kenrya break down exactly what white supremacy is and what it looks like in our daily lives, we also talk about the many ways we all can participate in the fight to dismantle this pernicious and multi-layered system of oppression.

The episode is extremely informative and enlightening, but more importantly, it is encouraging. Yes, there are tears on this episode, but I promise there is laughter too.  My hope is that all who listen will understand why we have to fight white supremacy and how to get started. Nobody is promising a simple or easy battle, but it is possible once you understand that white supremacy is a lie and a distraction that harms us all. 

Even if you listened to this show when it first aired in 2019, I beg you to listen again with fresh ears. Considering what is happening in America right now, I guarantee this conversation will resonate deeply. 

For More Information 

Please buy a copy of How We Fight White Supremacy for yourself and a friend. On Amazon, or an indie bookseller

To keep up with journalist Akiba Solomon, follow her on Twitter at @akibasolomon. Update: At the end of 2019, Akiba left Colorlines to become Senior Editor at The Marshall Project

To keep up with journalist Kenrya Rankin, visit her website, Kenrya.com. Update: At the end of 2019, Kenrya became Editorial Director of Colorlines

For more resources on how to fight white supremacy and racism, please visit the Resources page on My American Meltingpot.

If you want to join the My American Meltingpot book club, we're doing a diverse reading challenge for 2020

Remember that one of the easiest things you can do in this fight is to bring someone else along who needs to get to work but doesn't know where or how to start. Please share this episode with someone who needs to hear it.

Peace! 

Dear White People, You Have to Fix Your Racism Problem

Dear White People, You Have to Fix Your Racism Problem

May 29, 2020

On Episode 39 of the My American Meltingpot podcast, I explain my agenda for white America in light of recent events in New York City and Minneapolis. Essentially, it's time for white people to fix America's race problem. 

 Here's a taste of what you'll hear on this incredibly important Meltingpot Minute. 

Black Lives Matter

"Black people have been marching, protesting and reminding the public that Black Lives Matter for centuries, but it hasn’t really moved the needle in ending racism. We’ve changed laws, yes, but we haven’t dismantled racism. We haven’t been able to convince white and white adjacent people that Black lives are as inherently worthy as their own. 

Racism is Like an Addiction But We All Feel the Pain

Racism is an illness that white people suffer from. All white people. Even the white people who don’t feel like they caught the racism. Trust me, they have it. But let’s just say, you’re one of the white people who might consider themselves super woke and not racist. I’m proud of you and happy for you. But you still have to do the work that Black people cannot do. You must be the doctors that help your fellow racist white brothers and sisters out.

Racism is like an addiction. And like anyone who suffers from an addiction, you can’t solve the problem for the addict. They have to do the work themself. First they have to admit that they have a problem and then they have to be willing to do the work to rid themselves of the problem.

Black people could have the definitive 12-step Racists Anonymous guidebook or even the racism equivalent of methadone and it wouldn’t help if white people won’t accept the fact that they are in fact sick. 

#FixYourselves

White people, this is your problem to solve. And here’s the thing. You’re not solving the racism problem to make Black people feel good. You’re curing yourself from an insidious affliction that hurts you just as much as it hurts people of color. Just like a drug addict may feel good when he inhales, or shoots up, we all know he’s killing himself. The same is true for racism. And just like second hand smoke, your addiction hurts all of us too.

So, white people get to work. Fix yourselves. Fix your families. Fix your kids. Make this your number one issue. Talk about it at book club. Pray on it at church. Have conferences. Go on retreats and meditate on it. I believe in you. I know you can do it. I mean, if you can put a man on the moon, you can definitely rid yourselves of racism. People of color want you to do this for yourselves. We know you’ll feel so much better when you’ve rid yourself of racism. And we will certainly feel better too."

Resources for Further Study

Teaching Tolerance - An educational organization that provides social justice resources for parents and educators. 

Embrace Race - A parent-led organization that creates tools and resources for parents and educators to raise children who can confidently navigate issues of race and identity and be stewards of social justice. 

An Anti Racist Reading List compiled by author Ibram X. Kendi for the New York Times. 

Podcasts for Learning about Racial Justice

My American Meltingpot Resources 

 

Author Erin Entrada Kelly talks Diversity and Dreaming of Space

Author Erin Entrada Kelly talks Diversity and Dreaming of Space

May 22, 2020

On episode 38 of the My American Meltingpot podcast, I am excited to have award-winning author, Erin Entrada Kelly join me to talk about her brand new book, We Dream of Space, her impressive career writing middle grade novels, and why she's so committed to including (truly) diverse characters in all of her work. Since Erin is also a Filipina-American, and it’s the middle of May, we also take time to chat about being Asian American in the age of Covid-19, and how celebrating Asian-American Heritage Month can help combat some of the discrimination we're seeing against this community. 

Erin Entrada Kelly is a New York Times bestseller whose book, Hello, Universe won the Newbery Medal in 2018. Her 2017 fantasy novel, Lalani of the Distant Sea received six starred reviews and was named one of the best books of the year by the New York Public Library, The Horn Book, Booklist, BookPage, and others. Erin is the author of six books in total, all of which are Junior Library Guild Selections. Her latest book, We Dream of Space, is her first work of historical fiction. It’s set in January 1986, in the weeks leading to the Challenger disaster.

We Dream of Space Giveaway!

If you’d like to win a free copy of Erin Entrada Kelly's newest book, We Dream of Space, simply follow My American Meltingpot on Instagram and leave a comment on our post for this episode with the hashtag #WeDreamofSpace. Everyone who follows MyAmericanMeltingpot and leaves a message with the #WeDreamofSpace hashtag by Monday May 25 2020, 8pmEST, will be entered to win. The winner will be announced on Instagram on Tuesday and the book will be sent directly from the publisher. Note: Only people living in the United States are eligible to enter because of limitation on shipping due to #TheRona.  

For complete show notes, please visit, My American Meltingpot.com.

 

 

A Meltingpot Book Review: Girl, Woman, Other

A Meltingpot Book Review: Girl, Woman, Other

May 15, 2020

Episode 37 of the podcast is a quick Meltingpot Minute. Yes, it's a short episode, but it's long enough for me to share my honest review of the 2019 Booker Prize winning novel, Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo. The book is a delightful invitation into the lives of a diverse group of Black British women.

Spoiler Alert: I loved it.

Girl, Woman, Other is the perfect pandemic read. Why? Because the book is actually more like a collection of connected short stories than a novel, so even when my brain was fried, which it has been a lot thanks to our lockdown lifestyle, I could easily read a chapter of the book, and feel like I’d just read a great short story. Then the next time I picked the book up, whether it was one, or two, or three days later, I didn’t have to remember what I’d read the day before, because I’d be introduced to a brand-new character with a brand-new story to dive into. 

Listen to the episode to hear all of my thoughts about Girl, Woman, Other, and who I think will also enjoy this massive, but also massively readable, tome. And then please let me know if you too liked the book. Also, let me know if there are other books by Bernadine Evaristo that you think I should read next. 

For complete show notes, please visit My American Meltingpot.com

Episode 37 of the podcast was sponsored by the My American Meltingpot store

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