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The Black Agenda

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The Black Agenda, a compilation of essays by Black authors, is a wake-up call for all who wish to be allies. All too often, well-meaning allies think they know what minorities need. We need to keep our mouths closed and our thoughts to ourselves and look to the real experts in the field instead. 

This book provides the guidance we need. Black scholars, advocates, and visionaries delineate the problems and solutions from an authentic point of view. We need to take the time to read and listen. This will lead to better understanding and help us become better allies. True allies don't just march a few times in protest. They make expanding their knowledge and understanding a life-long practice.
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The Black Agenda's "agenda" is to expose you to black voices talking about important topics, such as health care, education, climate change and incarceration. While these topics affect all Americans, they often affect black and brown people to a greater extent. Too often we only hear the opinions of and research done by white Americans, even about how these issues and crises are affecting black and brown people.

I found myself wanting more information than just what was offered in these short essays, but I also appreciate this form of literature. It made this book easier to read in short chunks during the day, and I felt I learned some interesting things I didn't know in every section.
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THE BLACK AGENDA isn't casual reading. Every one of these chapters reads like a journal article, so adjust your expectations accordingly. At one point the editor describes the book as a "big policy proposal inclusive of bold ideas as told through the lens of Black experts, communicators, activists, and organizers," and I think that's a pretty good description.

The book focuses on eight areas that need our attention if we really want a more equitable society: climate, health care, wellness, education, tech, criminal justice, economy, and public policy. Each section has three to five essays written by different experts offering perspective, history, suggestions, or even just wishes for change. Initially, I thought the book was more focused on fantasy "wish lists" and too vague on concrete changes we can make to push our country in a more fair and inclusive direction. But I was wrong. The more specific advice is there if you take the the time to dig in. I could write synopses of each chapter, but meh. Instead I'll list my favorite takeaways.

Black women are still being ignored in the BLM movement. We talk about men who are killed or incarcerated, but do we lift up and support the women and families who are left behind? Great point.

I had no idea that racism and bias was a problem in tech and especially Artificial Intelligence. Even something as simple as facial recognition software not being as "intelligent" with the details of brown skin vs. peach skin can be harmful--if police are looking for a suspect, but the suspect looks like "any brown man," then suddenly an entire community of innocent people become suspicious.

Some concrete action steps that could decrease inequality:
--expand Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act and/or consider national health insurance
--increase investment in infrastructure
--support unionization among workers, especially workers in the care professions
--increase the minimum wage for disabled and tipped workers
--consider a public banking system
--provide free broadband services (this feels key to me)
--forgive student loan debts for people under a certain income level

THE BLACK AGENDA is a dense and detailed read, but if you put in the time and focus, there's a lot of good perspective, hope, and advice within these pages.
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This book is powerful & informative. Each essay gives personal insight into the topic then provides some realistic solutions to the issue. After each insight is a complete list of sources that you can go to & dive deeper into a topic if you are so inclined. I enjoyed the layout of this book & the ease with which it flowed within each topic. Thank you to NetGalley & the publisher for advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
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This non-fiction book provides a welcome, highly readable collection of short essays addressing the systemic racism levied towards African-Americans in several areas, notably health care, socioeconomic conditions, housing, and education. The text is highly excerptable--I can imagine easily adopting it in a classroom situation, in order to provide essential background readings that help establish context for themes addressed in my course addressing the voices of minorities in America: racism, police brutality, inadequate access to resources. The book provides valuable, and possibly eye-opening information for a readership who might not fully grasp the gravity of these social problems, due to their privileged position.
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The Black Agenda is just what I thought it was and what I needed...at this time. As many continue to tackle institutional, systemic racist/white supremacist practices, "The Black Agenda" provides a Black perspective to many of these fields, including climate change, education, artificial intelligence, the VERY FLAWED criminal justice system, and more. This book provides many calls to action that America needs at this time. I even appreciate the agendas being introduced before experts in the field add their research and calls to action. I will be purchasing this for my classroom and even some people in my life. #StayWoke
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This book is an absolute must-read. I'm honestly not really sure how else to review a book this important, but to simply say, "read it, read it now."
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An amazing and eye-opening read about race…a good read to learn from in these times. Learning about how things are viewed is the first step in understanding and moving towards better relationships.  This book can set the stage for that first step.
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The Black Agenda is the first book I have seen that uses essays by experts all over to give us a perspective on issues we may not be aware of and if we are aware and just want to know more and what to do to effect change, it’s perfect.

There are so many issues addressed here. From mental health to climate change. This subject of police brutality and a culture of racism in every aspect of society. The inequalities and injustices against people of color. Even the question of infant and mother health issues.

If there is to be any hope for America, it needs to begin with true equality for all people. This is truly one of the best books I have read this year.

NetGalley/February 1st, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press
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When I saw the title here on netgalley I knew I needed to give this book a read. The collection of essays presented in this book were informative on so many levels. I did find myself having to re read some sections, but did not find this to be a deterant. This book provided the much needed factual perspective of topics I have not thought hard on before. It really helped to further remind me and validate the privilege I grew up with and where we still neede to grow as a society.
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I really enjoyed reading this book. With the current climate in this country right now, this book was perfect.  Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman laid out critical topics for the Black community brilliantly.  For each topic, she complied essays from the experts in their respective areas.  These topics ranged from economics, education, health, climate, to technology.  At the end of each essay topic, there were sources for additional reading.  

I highly recommend this book.
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This book acknowledges that it is not exhaustive or enough to fix everything, but it is a helpful tool and resource for individuals, and a list of places to start to move forward after the hype of summer 2020 died down.  

A lot of the essays are very short, really just introductions to some of these ideas, but they explain in a quick and accessible way how things are wrong and some concrete steps to fix them, at least in the short term while coming up with larger solutions. They're broken into sections focusing on areas like climate, health care, wellness, education, technology, criminal justice, the economy, and public policy. 

There are different points of view, including a couple contradictory ones--I was surprised that the first criminal justice essay argued for diversity in police, but then another essay did argue for abolition. Overall though these essays provide a fairly detailed summary of ways to solve so many of the most pressing issues in the United States right now, with a clear focus on Black Americans. 

I'm really glad I got the chance to read The Black Agenda: Bold Solutions for a Broken System; I feel like if even one of these policy proposals are implemented, it will be a small step in the right direction. 

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the chance to read and review this ARC.
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I expected more from this book not a rehash of other info from other books.  It could have been a lot better and more details provided on how to stay out of debt and get your financial picture on to fight a system that has been against you from the beginning.
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5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I would definitely be recommending this book to readers on my Instagram bookstagram account.
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This is an incredible collection of brief essays from such a variety of brilliant experts. I’ll be buying this when it comes out, not least so I have a list of names whose work I should be looking for. If there is ever another edition of or follow up volume to this, I would love more inclusion of creatives and organizers.

I also really enjoyed the foreword and introduction. They provided great context and justification for the collection.

Many thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a digital galley.
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I really loved this book!! It had so many twists and turns. It kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next!! This was my first book by this Author, and it won’t be the last!! Quick read!! Highly recommended!! You won’t be disappointed!!
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i received an advanced copy of The Black Agenda from NetGalley. this review is not sponsored.

The Black Agenda centers experts in their respective fields - ranging from Policy to Health Care to Economics to Criminal Justice, and beyond, to examine the current state of affairs, with an emphasis on highlighting the work being done “in house.” it seems The Black Agenda is supposed to act as a sort of up-to-date manual for reference when investing our individual and collective resources to effect change for ourselves and our communities. in that, intersectional models and frameworks are presented for use. The Black Agenda does an excellent job showcasing Black experts who are pushing the discourse forward, in many areas, to ultimately usher in a world where the humanity of Black people is fully realized. i felt particularly galvanized into action by the piece titled “Queer as in Abolishing the Police” by Preston Mitchum.

Excellent read and excellent starting place to learn solutions to decades long multilayered oppression Black people have lived under and for a sneak peak into what we intend to do about it.
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This book is an intelligent collection of articles regarding subjects that have been and are currently under-served in black communities.  I found it thoughtful and wide-reaching in its scope; covering subjects such as climate change, diversity, disabilities, infant health, education, etc.

I suggest reading the book before reading the editor's introduction, which had a negative tone that the rest of the book lacked.  The subject was covered at the end of the book quite well, and honestly, I feel that it will turn away many otherwise open-minded and interested people who deserve the opportunity to know more about the more pressing (and less decisive) subjects.

Most of these subjects were not new to me, but the way they were approached--especially climate change and technology in healthcare--were a little surprising.  These subjects (among others) have not been adequately addressed on a national or local level.  Over all, this is an important collection of work, and well worth the read.  I'm glad I was given the opportunity!

4/5  Stars

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the free preview of this book!

#TheBlackAgenda #NetGalley

Note to the publishers:  I suggest including the editor's "introduction" to the last section of the book, or deleting it.  As I said, the subject is well covered in the main text.
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Thank you Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for this eye-opening book. I have led a privileged life, and until recently have not really paid attention to politics. This book made me realize that everything is political. Climate, Health Care, Education,  Criminal Justice, the  Economy,, everything. The book cites sources if you're interested in further reading. This is an important book, and everyone should read it.
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What an incredibly important and necessary read. These essays cover many of the “buzz” topics that matter  to all  of us in America  but which directly and disproportionately ·impact people of color, especially black residents,  Written by experts from the communities we see not only the problem, we see the solution.  Clearly and concisely we learn how to address and rectify these issues.  You can also delve into each essay more which is helpful for those of us who do not have the full information through mainstream news outlets.  Recommended reading for everyone.  I learned a lot and will implement what I learned in my community.
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