Cover Image: Be a Revolution

Be a Revolution

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Member Reviews

BE A REVOLUTION is the third book by Ijeoma Oluo that I’ve read and I continue to learn so much from her writings. I greatly appreciate how inclusive Oluo’s work is regarding justice. Intersectionality is the best way forward because everything is connected: race, gender, sexuality, disability, and so on.

Oluo covers topics from labor to education, gender and the arts. The environmental justice section had the greatest impact on me, and Oluo provides important interviews and resources on a more inclusive approach to environmental justice. Environmental work tends to be white-centered, but as Oluo and Indigenous movement worker Matt Remle state, white people need to allow others to lead and to take a supportive role when it comes to environmental change.

I am thankful for Oluo’s work and writings and for introducing me to environmental justice organizations that I will support.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn how they can be a revolution.

Thank you to NetGalley for the eARC.

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I think this should be required reading to anyone who claims they are an ally when it comes to intersectional feminism and/or any social justice cause. If you're familiar with Oluo's past work, this will feel familiar but expands on that with everyday actions and guides for dialogue so you can empower others and make a difference. I will read anything by Oluo and I will absolutely be buying a physical copy on pub day!

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"Be A Revolution" by Ijeoma Oluo provides timely wisdom and guidance amidst the distressing events currently happening in our world. With ongoing genocide, chaos in places like Gaza, the Republic of the Congo, and Sudan, the need for collective action and empowerment feels more crucial than ever. Oluo's book presents a vital roadmap for readers grappling with the current state of social upheaval and uncertainty.

Oluo expands on her previous groundbreaking books, "So You Want To Talk About Race" and "Mediocre," to guide us into taking action against systemic oppression. "Be A Revolution" is a rallying call, urging us to move beyond conversations and into actionable steps toward genuine societal change. It's not just about recognizing the oppressive structures; it's about actively participating in their dismantling.

Oluo's brilliance lies in her recognition that each of us holds a unique role in the pursuit of collective liberation. She emphasizes that our diverse skill sets, privileges, and abilities grant us different entry points for meaningful change. Through the narratives of community organizers and advocates for marginalized populations, she provides a blueprint for diverse activism, inspiring readers to recognize our individual and collective potential to effect change within our communities.

One of the most resonant aspects of Oluo's upcoming release is her unflinching honesty about our current reality. She paints a vivid picture of the world, confronting the 'worst-case scenario,' urging us to confront our fears and anxieties as a prerequisite for meaningful action. Her book serves as a powerful reminder that, in the face of overwhelming challenges, action rooted in honesty and courage becomes paramount.

"Be A Revolution" is not merely a call to action; it's a source of hope and direction as well. Oluo shifts the narrative from a space of pain and trauma to one of collective empowerment and action. This is a book we need now more than ever. She underscores the importance of community, offering insight into how individuals, with varied backgrounds and strengths, can come together for the greater good. Thank you to the author and publisher for the e-arc copy!

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What do you do when problems like systemic racism feel too huge to solve? Author Oluo talked to several activists addressing the ways in which racism intersects with the penal system, education, labor, reproductive rights, and many other areas of social justice, and she found many examples of "unapologetic imagination" and collective action to dream of what could be done beyond the status quo -- and to build on those dreams. The result is a collection of inspiring stories as well as insightful discussions of how different social justice issues weave together.

For me, I found these topics especially enlightening:
--making the connections between reproductive rights, bodily autonomy, and how Black and brown bodies are seen and treated in society
--how disability justice needs to be a part of any form of social justice and how we all need to address our internalized ableism first in order to understand why this is so critical
--how racism and unions have often intertwined and why it's necessary to involve a new generation of workers in union activity to ensure that everyone's needs are met
--the ways in which the environmental movement fails to involve BIPOC communities and often harms those communities

While the book isn't a how-to for wannabe activists, Oluo makes a couple of key points for those who want to do something: listen to the communities that are affected by a certain issue so you can understand their needs (without imposing your own ideas on them), and work for both collective action and collective care (because activism takes its toll on minds and bodies). And even if you don't see yourself as an activist, read the book anyway to broaden your understanding and to spark your own imagination. 4 stars.

Thank you, HarperCollins and NetGalley, for providing an eARC of this book. Opinions expressed here are solely my own.

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