Episode 20: #NerdFarmReads Audio Bookclub "The Hate U Give"

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Kenny Coble: Literature Aficionado, Bookseller, Observer of the Human Spirit

Jamika Scott: Tacoma Action Collective, Activist, Mimosa Lover

Hope Teague-Bowling: English Teacher, Interchangeable White Lady, Pod Spouse

This week during the book club, Nate and company discuss the good, the encouraging, and the controversial nature of “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas. The novel follows protagonist, Starr, on her journey after a childhood friend is murdered by a police officer. Starr wrestles with herself, the system, the police, and her relationships.

According to Kenny, this book has a unique way of "meeting you where you are." Whether you’ve been paying attention or you’re new to these issues, you have an opportunity to glance inside this painful, confusing world. Wherever you are in your Woke Journey, this book is a great first or next step.

Starr’s voice is maintained throughout the novel, and yet her speech changes with different characters. Angie Thomas does an impeccable job of using code-switching throughout Starr’s different relationships.

The crew find their favorite characters and characters that remind them of people in their lives. From Uncle Carlos to her parents “kitchen dancing” after a fight to White non-ally Hailey, this book contains a lot of people we all know personally.

Near the break Jamika told us about her organization Tacoma Action Collective:

First, it was a march with a national call to action, 4 mile march, based on the number of hours Mike Brown was laying out in the sun after he was killed, the 4 minutes Tamir Rice went without medical attention after being shot. I learned about Mike Brown via Tumblr.

“Black Brunch” took us into “White Spaces.” We took a little time,  3-4 minutes, to speak about people being murdered and uplifting the names with our voices. After a while, a journalist wrote a story about us. It was dangerous. We made the group to almost disguise ourselves. [It] began with 3 black women. The activism that TAC does changes with what is happening in our lives.

Why should you read the book?

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Jamika: It meets you where you’re at. If you’ve been focused on the movement in the past or if you’ve never seen it from this point of view, or even if you feel like ‘all lives matter.’ It’s going to touch you. There will be something meaningful.

Hope: I think it’s important for white people to read this book. If you think you’re woke, if you think you know things, it’s just another perspective that may open your eyes.
 

Hot Takes

  1. Jamika: What is the best brunch in Tacoma? (She's wrong by the way)

  2. Kenny: If someone enjoyed this book as Woke Literature, where should they go next?

  3. Hope, Unofficial Mayor of White America: What should White Allies start or stop doing?

 

The Socials

 

Going Further

Code Switching Turning Black Men Into Method Actors

Black Brunch article

Stop Being Awful to Parents of Color Over Charters

 

Kenny’s Book Recs

Dear Martin

The New Jim Crow

Don't Call Us Dead

 

Next Book Club!

Evicted by Matthew Desmond

The Nerd Farmer Podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play and is brought to you by Alaska Airlines and the Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus

 

Nathan Bowling

Republic of Cascadia