We’re excited to announce a few things happening with the Feminist Library On Wheels this month!
If you’re interested in participating in F.L.O.W. as a volunteer, join us on February 3rd from 10am-1pm for a mini retreat to talk about the mission statement we drafted in July 2018, our plans for the future, and how we do what we do. This gathering will be in lieu of our usual monthly meeting, and give you a chance to get to know us better.
Come during our usual office hours on February 17th from 10am-1pm for a letter-writing gathering to support people who have been incarcerated. Inspired by gloria galvez’s residency and the work of Critical Resistance, we’ll talk about the prison industrial complex and prison abolition, and write notes of support to women and LGBTQ people inside.
We’ve long admired the work of Ola Ronke and The Free Black Women’s Library in Brooklyn, NYC, “a free interactive traveling biblio-installation that features a collection of over 900 books written by Black women, as well as films, performance, readings, workshops and conversations.” Now Asha Grant is starting a chapter here in Los Angeles! For the month of February, please help us build their collection: every book by a Black woman writer in our donation box this month will be a gift to The Free Black Women’s Library LA. Follow the project on social media to stay up-to-date and find out about more ways you can support their work.
Rad Reads for February
F.L.O.W. has quite a few books on the subject of imprisonment and the carceral state. If you’re curious to know more you might check out two collections of life histories: Inside this place, not of it: Narratives from women’s prisons, edited by Ayelet Waldman, and Wall Tappings: An Anthology of Writings by Women Prisoners, edited by Judith A. Scheffler. We also have writer, activist, and educator Walidah Imarisha’s creative nonfiction memoir, based on her own experience of sexual assault and accountability, and the experience of her adopted brother Kakamia, Angels with Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison, and Redemption. For deeper historical context, try Talitha L. LeFlouria’s Chained in Silence: Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South, which traces the experiences and labor of black women in the increasingly profit-driven prison system in Georgia from the 19th through the 20th century. Historian Jennifer Manion’s Liberty’s Prisoners: Carceral Culture in Early America examines the development of American prisons by going back to its first penal institutions, in 18th-century Philadelphia. In our politics section you can also find civil rights lawyer and legal scholar Michelle Alexander’s 2010 The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.
If you’ve been following the UTLA strike here in Los Angeles, another book to expand your understanding of the workings of the prison industrial complex would be Heather Ann Thompson’s Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, the first definitive history of the uprising and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for history in 2017. Or you could check out revolutionary German socialist Rosa Luxemburg’s Reform or Revolution & The Mass Strike, two of her most important works, complete with notes and explanatory material (this year marked 100 years since her assassination). We even have books on strikes for younger readers, like Diana Cohn’s bilingual Si, Se Puede!/Yes, We Can!: Janitor Strike in L.A., about a young boy who helps his mom during her janitors’ strike (published by Cinco Puntos Press, which specializes in bilingual children’s books--they also printed Subcomandante Marcos’ The Story of Colors/La Historia de los Colores: A bilingual folktale from the jungles of Chiapas); or Joan Dash’s We Shall Not Be Moved: The Women’s Factory Strike of 1909, which details the labor organizing of women garment workers in New York around the turn of the 20th century. Young ones might also be inspired by Monica Brown’s Side by Side/Lado A Lado: The story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez.
If you’re planning to attend the “Cripping Up Sex Toys” workshop on February 10th (or even if you’re not!), you might want to check out some of our books on disability. We have Feminist Disability Studies, edited by Kim Q. Hall, which includes pieces like Sharon Lamp and W. Carol Cleigh’s “A Heritage of Ableist Rhetoric in American Feminism from the Eugenics Period,” and Nirmala Erevelles’ “The Color of Violence: Reflecting on Gender, Race, and Disability in Wartime.” My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities, edited by Yantra Bertelli, contains chapters by “smart, strong, tender, scared, victorious, sleep deprived, dedicated parents, whether by birth or adoption, [that] will make you cry with laughter, empathy, and solidarity,” according to Maximum Rock N Roll. Mimi Sheller’s 2018 Mobility Justice: The politics of movement in the age of extremes, “is a new way to understand the deep flows of inequality and uneven accessibility in a world in which the mobility commons have been enclosed. It is a call for a new understanding of the politics of movement and a demand for justice for all.”
Remember you can browse our shelves any time the work space is open, 10am - 6pm Monday-Friday, during our office hours every other Sunday (check the calendar), or look online in our searchable catalog.