Thank you to everyone who made the first month of #BecauseWeveRead such a beautiful success! Within our first month of launching this radical, international book club, we shipped countless books around the world from Madagascar to Pakistan to the United Kingdom, have built a beautiful community on Instagram and Twitter, collaborated with local activists and readers to host in-person discussion meet-ups in 4 continents and over 10 cities around the world, and had a really beautiful and insightful conversation on Instagram live last weekend with organizer, writer, & educator Benji Hart!

We'll be sharing a summary of Assata Shakur's autobiography as it was discussed over Instagram live, additional related readings, and a video of our conversation next week, so stay tuned for the summary! In the meantime, let's get started on book 2!

New to #BecauseWeveRead? Here are our intentions & goals!


MAY 2018 BOOK OF THE MONTH: 

BLACK SKIN WHITE MASKS, FRANTZ FANON 

BATTLE OF ALGIERS (FILM)


This month we're mixing things up: Fanon's lesser-known Black Skin White Masks is a more accessible, shorter read than the infamous Wretched of the Earth (also a great text), and because it's so short (roughly 200 pages depending on the publisher) we're giving you a bit of time to catch up on Assata Shakur if needed AND watch a film to supplement the reading. Because we're cool like that and there are more ways to learn than just from books.

You cannot talk about colonization as it's manifested in the individual today without talking about Fanon. Despite being born nearly a century ago, Fanon's work continues to be deeply influential in both academic spaces and liberation movements, from Palestine to South Africa. Certainly an integral foundational read for any radical book club. Born in the then-French colony of Martinique and educated as psychiatrist in France, Fanon published Black Skin White Masks as his first book (after it was rejected as a dissertation for his doctoral program) exploring anti-Blackness, identity, and internalized colonialism, among other themes.

The 1966 film Battle of Algiers documents a particular set of moments from the Algerian resistance movement against their French colonizers, focusing particularly on the years 1954-1957 at the height of the resistance, and was banned in France when first released (can we commit to hosting an in-person meetup in France this month?). This incredibly powerful film is not only entangled in many of the same concepts that is grappled with in Black Skin White Masks, but Fanon himself was a member of the Algerian National Liberation Front, and was deeply inspired by, and inspired, the liberation movement. It was filmed on location with only a single "professional" actor (the rest of the cast are local non-actors), and indigenous Algerian drumming and music can be heard throughout the film. A resistance movie at its finest.

The additional suggested reading is a contemporary complement of the themes present in both Black Skin White Masks and the Battle of Algiers film: identity, anti-Blackness, colorism, internalized colonialism, resistance, and self-love. Sociologist, professor, and breath-taking poet Dr. Eve Ewing published Electric Arches, an Afro-futurist (a genre she so eloquently self-described in a recent lecture as "the somehow radical idea that Black people exist in the future") book of poetry which lives in the legacy of Audre Lord and other emotionally-captivating brilliant Black, feminist, liberation poets. 


BOOK + FILM: 


+ Black Skin White Masks (1952), Frantz Fanon - Full PDF available here

(if you need a physical copy and are financially unable to purchase a copy please email me and we can mail you a book as supplies last) (if you would like to sponsor a book/books you can do so via paypal here or venmo: @hoda-katebi, but be sure to include a note about the bookclub so we can be sure to allocate funds accordingly!) 

+ Battle of Algiers, 1966 film (director: Gillo Pontecorvo) - Full film available here


ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READS:


Electric Arches, Dr. Eve Ewing, available on Haymarket Books


DISCUSSION GROUPS:

Official partners/discussion leads are listed below, along with their email addresses and social media to get in touch! They will be releasing the date for their meetup and additional information as the month progresses, so be sure to follow them on social media, email them letting them know you're interested in joining, and/or keep this page bookmarked as we continue to update as information arises! 

If you'd like to collaborate to host an in-person meetup in your city, please drop me a line at hoda@joojooazad.com with the subject line: #BecauseWeveRead Local Meetup (City Name), including any connections you have to youth groups, universities, student groups, organizing collectives, and community centers!  


NORTH AMERICA

Ann Arbor/Detroit, Michigan: Samantha Rahmani (email)

Boston, Massachusetts: upcoming

Cincinnati, Ohio: Sara Zandvakili (email)

Columbus, Ohio: upcoming

Houston, Texas: Laila Khalili (email)

Los Angeles, California: Joubin Khazaie (email, instagram, twitter)

Montreal, Canada: Mona Ghassemi (emailtwitter)

Sacramento, California: karen kaur dhillon (email)

San Francisco Bay/Oakland, California: Allison Chan (email, instagram)

Seattle, Washington: Anisa Jackson (email, instagram, twitter)
Seattle Facebook Group

Toronto, Canada: Yeldah Yousfi (email, intsagram, twitter)

Ottawa, Canada: upcoming

Washington D.C., USA: Wided Khadraoui (email)


AFRICA

Nigeria (no cities, as this is a national Whatsapp group): Hulaimah Kolawole (email, instagram)

Cape Town, South Africa: upcoming


ASIA

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Anisa Alkunshalie (email)

Bombay, India: upcoming

Istanbul, Turkey: Zineb Sadok & Hiba Abdennabi (email, instagram)

Lahore, Pakistan: Madiha Tallat (email, instagram)

Singapore: upcoming

Tehran, Iran: Mohammad Javad Hamzeloo (email)


EUROPE

Leeds, England: Halima Nawaz (email)

Newcastle, England: Amy Cass (email)



OCEANIA

Auckland, New Zealand: upcoming

Melbourne, Australia: upcoming


LIVE, MONTHLY DISCUSSION:


We're excited to introduce this month's discussant, which will happen later in the month! In the meantime, mark your calendars for Saturday, May 26th for our group conversation on Instagram Live (the conversation will also be saved and uploaded to next month's post for those who cannot make it)!

Happy reading (and viewing)! Can't wait to read all of your thoughts as you're reading -- be sure to tag us & hashtag #BecauseWeveRead to join the club & conversation!