February is here and I have decided to join in with a read-along I discovered only a few days ago. Feminist Lit February is a month-long reading project, created by ItsJaneLindsey, helping to promote feminist and diverse stories, authors, and content.
There are five reading challenges that go along with it and I’ve decided to try and complete all of them.
Challenge #1 – Read a book of feminist fiction
This is one of the staples in LGBT American literature and, not only explores the subject of lesbianism, but also challenges the roles both women and men play in society. Brown wrote this book during the ’70s and it is still hailed as important piece of feminist literature.
Challenge #2 – Read a book of feminist nonfiction
The #MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman) hashtag is one I follow religiously on twitter and in the news. This is an issue that is ignored by the mainstream and I will never understand why. Right now, there are over 4000 missing and murdered indigenous women across Canada. That is the number Canadian officials acknowledge, though it is estimated that there are a lot more unaccounted for.
I know most people taking part in the #FeministLitFeb read-along will expect me to hold up a copy of Everyday Sexism or How to be a Woman for this challenge. But this is a feminist issue. If your feminism is excluding the MMIW crisis, you’re doing it wrong.
Challenge #3 – Read an #ownvoices book
This is the follow-up memoir to Mary Brave Bird’s first book, Lakota Woman, in which she described her early life, growing up on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in the ’50s and ’60s, and her time as a member of the American Indian Movement in the early ’70s.
I checked to see if #ownvoices could be a nonfiction book and got some affirmative results so I figured this would be a good choice. This memoir covers Mary’s life after separating from Leonard Crow Dog.
Challenge #4 – Read a book written by a black woman, or someone who is black and non-binary/gender fluid.
For this challenge, I’ve decided to read Jessie Redmon Fauset’s Plum Bun. Not only was Fauset a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance, discovering and mentoring the likes of Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Jean Toomer, but she was also the literary editor of The Crisis, the official magazine for the NAACP.
Her novels were known to focus on middle-class African-American life, a concept that American society found baffling and inconceivable at the time, and the themes in her work involved racial discrimination, feminism, and ‘passing’.
This will be the first of Fauset’s work I’ll read and I can’t wait to pick it up. It’s been on my TBR way too long.
Challenge #5 – Feminist freebie – ask for a recommendation or read anything you want that’s a piece of feminist literature!
Joy Harjo is a native feminist icon. Not only is she a fantastic poet and musician but her activism for Native American and women’s rights goes back a long way.
Crazy Brave is her memoir and I was fortunate to receive a copy from my parents for Christmas. This is one I’m really looking forward to picking up this month.
And there is it. That is my TBR for this month’s #FeministLitFeb read-along. Will you be taking part? Let me know so I can visit your blog or watch your booktube vid on it.