5 YA Books By Black Authors You NEED // police brutality, West African magic, LGBTQ+ contemporaries, and more

Hey friends!

It’s been quite a few days since I’ve last posted here, which is disappointing me. (yes, disappointing me– the same person who made the decision to procrastinate on my blog posts.)

The last post I wrote was a quite angry rant dedicated to any of my lovely “All Lives Matter” readers who I hope I pissed off.

This time, though, I want to write something a little bit more actionable beyond just thoughts (although thoughts are incredibly powerful). That’s why I wanted to share five amazing books by Black authors that I’ve read and loved.

In these troubling times, it’s crucial that we support Black-owned businesses and, as a part of the bookish community, I want to use my small platform to raise awareness of these phenomenal reads. Also, almost all of these books written by Black women authors, and the only non-woman author is nonbinary.

Before I get into these recommendations, I wanted to add that I am not a #ownvoices reviewer when it comes to books by Black authors. Please support Black book-content creators and take their word when it comes to accurate/harmful representation in books! However, as far as I know, most of these books are well-liked and do not have any “controversies” regarding representation. Feel free to correct me so I can add a disclaimer in my post!

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1. “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas

Continue reading “5 YA Books By Black Authors You NEED // police brutality, West African magic, LGBTQ+ contemporaries, and more”

Why it’s #BlackLivesMatter, NOT #AllLivesMatter

*TW: police brutality, racism*

i can’t explain how dejected i feel right now-

PSA: i am not black and in no way am i trying to say that i understand how it feels to live this nightmare. however, i am a poc and i also fear for my life, although to a lesser extent because i have privilege- the criminal justice system doesn’t hate me as much as they hate my black brothers and sisters and siblings.

For everyone who doesn’t live in the USA or just doesn’t have an idea what I might be talking about, the USA has had a stream of racist hate crimes and police brutality over the last month or so.

It makes me really angry to see that people DENY that this is police brutality, that this is racism- it literally is.

In late March, Ahmaud Arbery was out jogging (mind you, he was holding a TV, but he was just out in his neighborhood) when two white men (who were later identified to be white supremacists) shot. him.

Guess what? THERE WAS A VIDEO. But no action was taken. 

Those men weren’t even freaking arrested. A month later, the video was leaked onto social media and it went viral. The hashtags #JusticeForAhmaud and #RunWithMaud became trending and the local police department FINALLY took action and arrested these two men.

THEY WERE GOING TO GET AWAY WITH IT.

THEY. WERE. GOING. TO. GET. AWAY. WITH. MURDER.

Then a few weeks ago, Breonna Taylor and her husband were sleeping in their apartment at 1:00 AM like any normal person would do.

Breonna was a healthcare worker, and she worked on the frontlines with COVID patients. She saved lives.

The police knocked down their door at 1 AM (because they suspected her boyfriend committed a crime that he didn’t, actually- the suspects lived 10 miles away!) and, well, Breonna’s boyfriend was obviously worried that they were being robbed.

He fired one (1) shot, and the police proceeded to unload over twenty shots at them. Eight hit Breonna.

She died on the spot. Her boyfriend was charged with attempted murder. The cops were not charged at all.

Okay, okay, but maybe this one wasn’t a hate crime, right?

A few days ago, a video surfaced of George Floyd, a Black man, laying on the road with a white police officer’s knee at his throat. For ten minutes, the police officer slowly suffocated him until he died at a hospital soon after.

He could be heard saying “I can’t breathe“. Maybe you’ve seen the hashtags #JusticeForGeorge and #ICan’tBreathe on Twitter and Insta.

Maybe you’ve also seen #BlackLivesMatter. The sudden spike of posts under this hashtag has also warranted a spike in the amount of #AllLivesMatter posts.

I’m here to tell you something important: if you say ‘All Lives Matter’ , you’re unintentionally being racist.

First: this doesn’t mean that you’re a racist. A few years ago, a teacher talked to us about Black Lives Matter and I remember thinking, annoyed, don’t brown lives matter too? ALL lives matter, why specifically black people?

I’ve realized, though, that the problem with All Lives Matter is not the words- yes, all lives obviously matter, we all know that– it’s the connotation and the line of thinking that goes behind these words.

In our criminal justice system, in our country, in our society, in our WORLD, Black lives matter less.

The system has placed Black lives below white lives and even other people of color’s lives.

I’m Asian, I’m brown-skinned, but in my community, there is anti-Blackness. I have seen it first-hand. I have had to unlearn my own biases (and I’m still doing it).

In the media, headlines about Black people are thought to be ‘less important’ and shoved to the backseat. Job applications with names that “sound Black” (e.g. DeShawn or Precious) are often thrown out without a glance. Black people just walking makes white women steer clear and grab their children close. White people with Confederate flags (reminder for my intl friends: that was the South in the Civil War. They supported slavery) are protected by the police while peaceful Black protestors are sprayed with tear gas.

The Black Lives Matter movement just wants Black lives to matter just as much as white lives.

By saying “All Lives Matter”, you’re drawing attention away from the movement which is actively trying to fight for equity regardless of skin color. You’re literally taking away from the anti-racist movement.

In other words, you’re (accidentally) helping the racists.

But it’s okay, making mistakes is okay. Learning from them is awesome! Just understand that the BLM movement is saying that in the status quo, Black Lives do not matter to America- they are undervalued. The goal is for Black lives to matter just as much as others’ lives.

Here’s an example:

Imagine that three patients have been admitted to the hospital. Patient One has a cold. Patient Two has a broken arm. And Patient Three has lost blood and needs life support ASAP.

Who needs the most immediate care?

Patient Three, who is suffering the most, of course.

The All Lives Matter movement is basically saying that you should treat them all as if they are equal wounds. As if the person dying is suffering the same as the person with the cold.

Now, this is a simple analysis in which Person One is White America, Person Two is other POCs like me, and Person Three is Black America.

Obviously, Person Three needs support now. They are at a DISADVANTAGE.

That’s how Black America feels.

Now, another part of the All Lives Matter movement are just people who are plain racist. But a HUGE portion is people like me-two-years-ago, who just didn’t understand why All Lives Matter is not the right saying to make a difference.

And then there’s those fragile white people, especially, who badly want to be oppressed.

(also a little like me-two-years-ago. so I guess mostly white ppl but also random uneducated POC)

Of course, the majority of white people do not feel like that, but there are some people who are literally desperate to be ‘oppressed’.

~bUt OnE tiME a bLaCk pErSon wAs MeAn To mE~

I just want everyone who is reading this to stop. 

Look away from the screen and breathe, deeply.

Mourn for Ahmaud, mourn for Breonna, mourn for George, and mourn for all the Black people who lost their lives as a result of racism.

We remember you, and we will not stop fighting for you.

– Aditi ✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿

Why Feminism Sucks

Feminism is stupid.

It’s completely, utterly stupid.

I mean, can you imagine that? Wanting equality? Isn’t that just wishy-washy nonsense? There’s obviously a hidden meaning behind that.

You may be thinking, Well, I’m a feminist! Why would you ever say that it is stupid? But I have a revelation for you. You might think you’re all high-and-mighty, demanding something so radical and unachievable (come on- it’s not like it even makes SENSE) but you’re just poor, misguided and bored little girls.

Even the dictionary agrees that feminism is idiotic! See, look at Merriam-Webster: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of-” 

Oh. Well. It’s not like M-W is even RELIABLE. Urban Dictionary, of course, will give us the most accurate answer. See, there’s even three amazingly accurate definitions:

  1. “The worship of self. If you are a woman. Especially if you are a deadbeat weight to society.”

  2. “Feminism is a movement full of women who seem to think that their ability to (have a baby) entitles them to bigger and better everything.”

  3. “What women who can’t get (a date) turn to when lesbians don’t want to be around them, either.”

As you can see, the very reliable and trustworthy editors of Urban Dictionary agree with me! After all, the very radical and incomprehensible causes of equality doesn’t warrant anything much! Continue reading “Why Feminism Sucks”

Hinduism Q&A ANSWERS*! ft. another late q&a answer post

***contents under pressure***

*written by a very brain-dead human who duly apologizes for the late post*

Well, hello there. Let’s get started, huh?

I wanted you guys to comment below any questions you have about Hinduism. From meditation and yoga to rituals and beliefs to food and holidays- I’m answering everything you wanted to know! First, I’d like to start off with an overview:

Hinduism is a lifestyle. It started as Sanathana Dharma, a way to live, and a way to carry yourself through the day with something to believe in and keep you on a morally clear path throughout your life. When the British took over (omg Ellll 😂) they named Sanathana Dharma ‘Hinduism’, since India is also called Hindustan. That’s where the name came from.

Hindusim believes in one God, an energy that keeps us grounded and lives in each and every one of us. We also call it the Universe, or paramatma. That’s what we mean when we say that God is in all of us. You may have thought that we worship hundreds of gods- and that’s partly true. Most of these gods (Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, Devi, Karthikeya, Ganesha, etc.) are other just ways to worship God and be able to relate to God more, in a personal way, through the stories and mythology. For example, Ganesha is the god of removing obstacles and Hindus pray to Him when we want success and luck.

We understand that God is an omnipresent energy that lives in us and everywhere around us, and the best way to live our lives is to follow the path of dharma (truth), do our duty, give back to the Universe, and live with a balanced karma. When we die and leave the body (our vessel through this life only), our soul/spirit/athma chooses another body for reincarnation. Our next life is based upon the type of life we lead now.

Other gods, like Krishna and Rama, were real people who lived on Earth with the rest of us. They are incarations of God, blessing us in our direst times. They are both incarnations of Vishnu, god of transformation and preservation.

I know lots of you don’t know anything about Hinduism at all, so I hope this overview helps you understand what’s going on in this post! (btw we’re at 700 words already just with the questions and this omg)

Continue reading “Hinduism Q&A ANSWERS*! ft. another late q&a answer post”

Dear America, End Gun Violence// rants & rambles

Dear America-

Honestly, I should have said this a long time ago.

215 days into 2019, America had witnessed 249 shootings. Mass shootings.

As an American, born and brought up in America, I’m ashamed. Isn’t America supposed to be the “land of the free”? The “home of the brave”?

I don’t think there’s anything brave at all about grabbing a gun and shooting a whole bunch of people. Is there really any reason to still be proud of my country when everything is crumbling around me?

Yet I am still an American. I belong here, and there’s no changing that.

However, what we can change is the fact that there were so many shootings in barely 200 days. Is that ok? Can we just slap a label on it and agree with President Trump for everything?

The world is watching, guys. The world’s watching America flustered and stammering all over the place. They’re laughing at us. And we’re okay with that? We’re going to take it and stand there, ashamed, looking at our feet?

I mean, they’re right. Continue reading “Dear America, End Gun Violence// rants & rambles”

Diving Into Religion: Hinduism Q&A ft. moi… and another Q&A

The title is interesting.

Yeah, I should really spice up my intros.

Hey hey hey! Once again, I’m stealing an idea from the wonderful Bayance. Her Q&A about Islam was wonderful and eye-opening, leading me to think about how lots of people don’t know anything about Hinduism, and it would be wonderful to see what questions you have!

I want you guys to comment below any questions you have about Hinduism. From meditation and yoga to rituals and beliefs to food and holidays- I would be thrilled to answer them!
Please note that I have the right to not answer anything that makes me feel uncomfortable. But I know you guys are great and I hope I don’t have to exercise this right!

This is another small-ish post-
wait jk I’m writing this backwards and now it’s at like 1000 words and I oop-

-but I think that’s okay. Anyways, the Q&A will be super long assuming people even want to read this post and give questions so this will be the calm before the storm.

Btw I’d like to thank Olivia @ Purely Olivia for making me become re-obsessed with changing the font sizes 😉 so you can totally blame her for the cRaZiNesS.

And can I just shout-out Mukta for a moment- she hasn’t posted in a while (WAIT! NEW POST JUST CAME I’M SO HYPED WHOOO) but she’s SO sweet and we have SO much in common and she’s Indian (and I’m pretty sure she’s a Hindu, I don’t know though…).

I’ll be accepting questions until August 15th, when I’ll start compiling the answers (I’ll do my best to be as accurate as possible) and hopefully get them out faster than my last Q&A!! It took like a month smh I’m great…

Continue reading “Diving Into Religion: Hinduism Q&A ft. moi… and another Q&A”