What got me thinking in July


It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts, which is a shame. I love keeping everyone abreast of the things that I’ve been reading around the web, because it gives you a bit of insight into the person I am outside of my book reviewing. 

I’m starting with this because July 10th was Bahamian Independence Day, meaning big celebrations in my house. However, the link isn’t about our Independence Day– instead, it’s about the travel warning that urges young male citizens to “exercise extreme caution” around American police.

If nothing else, that article sets the tone for the heavier things I read this past month. For those who had problems digesting everything in the news over the last month (really over the last 2 years), The Undefeated curated a great playlist of songs that will keep you engaged, while allowing you maintain your sanity. A close friend of mine also wrote on this piece on Christianity and Black Lives Matter  When you’ve finished with that, The Atlantic has “An Alternative to the Madness of Proving Police Injustice,” which examines the potential of restorative justice in the aftermath of police killings. Vann uses the term restorative justice as “a process that allows for direct mediation between victims of violence and police perpetrators,” with echoes of South African reconciliation efforts. On second thought, read that after GQ’s investigative journalism on the attempted coverup of the Tamir Rice story.

louise lintons trash book
To satisfy your intellectual curiosity.

Changing gears slightly, here’s the recently resurfaced “I Want to be Neenja” video by a former Miss Oregon and ex-‘Apprentice’ contestant. If you choose to watch, please pay special attention to the body language of the only Asian in the room. It’s an older article, but if you want a great piece on the importance on Asian representation read “What I learned from Kristi Yamaguchi.” Tone deaf beauty queens weren’t having the best month, particularly Louise Linton, whose book and associated article about her hellish gap year in Africa went viral for all the wrong reasons.

If we’re talking about Africa and Europe, I can’t possibly overlook the importance of Germany’s apology for the genocide in Namibia. Undoubtedly an overdue apology, but perhaps one that will set a precedent– surely there are more European (and American) apologies that could be made. Because these posts are one big exercise in word association, I’m hoping from Germany over to this Brain Pickings piece on Schopenhauer’s definition of genius, and how it differs from talent. “Talent achieves what others cannot achieve, whereas genius achieves what others cannot imagine,” writes Maria Popova. While this sadly means I’m probably not a genius, I still think it’s a pretty solid distinction.

By now, everyone probably heard about Leslie Jones and the racist Twitter trolls that harassed her after the Ghostbusters premiere. Harassment on Twitter isn’t anything new (remember the time trolls ran Robin Williams’ daughter off twitter after his suicide?), but that doesn’t excuse it’s continued existence. Women continue to bear the brunt of dudebro cyber harassment, and Twitter still hasn’t thought of sufficient ways to handle the problem. While we’re talking about harassment, here’s your regular reminder not to touch people without their permission.

Delving a bit into academia, the NYTimes put together this piece that triggers college PTSD, analyzing how people from non-wealthy backgrounds make unpaid internships work in DC. Along those same lines, The Atlantic published, “Where books are nonexistent,” linking limited access to book stores and libraries in places like Detroit and Southeast Washington D.C. with larger child illiteracy rates.

Continuing down the bookish wormhole, Chimamanda once again proved how much of a boss she is by secretly having a baby. This brought up so many great conversations about what it means to “perform pregnancy,” particularly as a woman in the public sphere. Following the theme of badass literary women, Zadie Smith wrote an incredibly human response to the Brexit craziness. It’ll give a bit of perspective to those outside of the UK, or even outside the EU. For people who have want more bookish goodness, Audible just started a series this month called Authorized, hosted by Ashley Ford, that will have interviews with various authors (Janet Mock and Yaa Gyasi so far).

As always, we celebrate diverse book bloggers here on Brown Books & Green Tea, so I absolutely have to direct you to this post by Word Contessa about the importance of diversity in the reviewer cohort. It’s BRILLIANTLY done.

Alright, that’s it! It was a long post, but hopefully y’all found something worth reading in that dump. July has been a heavy month, and I think that’s probably been reflected in this post. What content has kept you engaged this summer? Drop some links in the comments so I can read them too! 

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  1. […] Smith | I linked to a recent Zadie Smith article in my latest “What Got Me Thinking” post. If I really decided to read everything she’d ever written, that wouldn’t […]


  2. […] What got me thinking in July: You know what books I read, but if you’re interested in what I read around the net, here’s your chance. I love compiling these posts every few months! […]


  3. I was really glad to see that Germany had apologized to Namibia. I’ve actually been thinking about that a lot for a while — I heart Namibia and read about it whenever I can because Namibia is a super great country and it is underappreciated — because Germany seems like in general it’s been great about accepting responsibility for the Holocaust and apologizing for it and trying to make amends. But at the same time there was this whole huge Namibia thing from the turn of the century that they never talked about. So that was terrific to see.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Belated as it was, I was incredibly happy as well. The apology might not mean much from a policy standpoint, and it won’t bring back lives, but there’s something to be said for accountability!


  4. This is FABULOUS. Thank you for sharing all these links!


  5. Fantastic links, thanks so much! Going to be reading these for the next few days I think.


    1. Thanks for reading! I might have been a bit overzealous with the linking, but I figured there was a little bit here for everyone!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t apologise- it’s fantastic! 😀


  6. So many excellent links! I’ve just read the Zadie Smith piece and it was illuminating, with so many parallels to our upcoming election. I’ll be checking out other links later – thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! Glad you found something good in this list. And yea, so many parallels in the Zadie Smith piece!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Whitney, I adore this feature(lovin’ the links you’ve shared)!

    The Linton debacle was so much cringe, I mean what was she thinking?

    Thank you so much for linking my post, girl. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know WHAT she was thinking, haha! And no problem– I thought I should link to it considering how much I talk about related subjects! It’ll give people good background!


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