5 Books to Read for Women's History Month
Women's History Month has been celebrated in the United States for more than 30 years now! A great way to personally celebrate Women's History Month is to read books that celebrate modern womanhood. From Chimamanda by Ngozi Adichie to Esmeralda Santiago, there are so many women authors who champion the rich history and lives of women plus the importance of intersectional feminism. Check out this year's list of 5 books you must read during Women's History Month.
1.) lyrical.catharsis by Jessica Edwards
lyrical.catharsis is a collection of poems that captures the powerful emotions of doubt, anxiety, and love while exploring topics of intersectional feminism and systemic racism. Pairing perfectly with the content, you will also get to admire Martin Uwah’s raw visuals of black life. I’ve personally admired Jessica’s poetry for years now— I even had the opportunity to interview her, read the interview here. Her words and poetic technique are always intentional and eloquent—something refreshing to me in an age abundant in prose. When she published lyrical.catharsis, I was among the first to buy the collection— TWICE, one to gift. lyrical.catharsis holds true to its name, accurately releasing the many nuances of black American womanhood: the beauty, struggle, joy. I think women, especially women of color, would benefit from reading lyrical.catharsis because whatever your experience you can find validation, and if needed healing.
I learned about Ambition in Black + White while reading about women of color navigating corporate America. As a college-educated black woman wanting to shatter the glass ceiling or forge my own entrepreneurial path, I realized that I have a lot of fire, ambition that those around me often seemed to lack. I know that white women and women of color experience different career challenges, but I am unaware exactly how these experiences differ. Ambition in Black + White is the narrative that accompanies the research conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation regarding college-educated women working in white-collar jobs. This book is on my reading list because I want to learn more about the obstacles that I may face as I continue building my career. Plus Ambition in Black + White offers strategies that I can utilize to take my career to the next level. If you are a woman working in corporate America, you should definitely add this to your must read list.
3.) Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire by Sonia Shah
Even though Asian Americans are people are color too, the Asian American perspective always seems conveniently missing from racial and ethnic studies. Historically, the feminist movement has largely ignored the interests of all WOC. It is no surprise that I am familiar with the history of black feminism and its contributions to intersectional feminism. Personally, I have a goal to learn more about feminism through the eyes of non-black WOC. I discovered Dragon Ladies: a collection of 16 essays from Asian American feminists while researching books that true (code: intersectional) feminist should read. Women who identify as feminist would benefit from reading Dragon Ladies because we should validate, support and learn from the experiences of every community of women. PS- The book is pricey and/or hard to find online. So, head on over to your local library if you are interested in reading Dragon Ladies.
Recommendation By: Aisha, Entrepreneur, @anomadicswahili
Love, InshAllah is a book of short narratives detailing the love lives of Muslim American women of all ethnic backgrounds. I believe women should read this book because it will change their perspective entirely regarding Muslim women. At our very core, Muslim women are still women before we are anything else. We have needs, desires, we crave love, sex, affection, etc. I personally read Love, InshAllah expecting to read a romance narrative I could identify with, but discovered many narratives and not all were fairytales. As a Muslim, things like romance, sex, and love are almost taboo topics to discuss so many of us grow up groping in the dark. It was affirming to see I'm not alone in the way I feel and that many women like me have gone through heartbreak. At times like these when Muslims, especially Muslim women, have become targets, I think this book will gently remind others of our humanity.
5.) Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
Recommendation by Melissa, Healthcare Program Manager
Isabel Allende is a Chilean American author who writes novels weaving together elements of myth and realism while nodding to her personal experiences, historical events, and the lives of women. Daughter of Fortune (Hija de la fortuna), is a novel about a young Chilean-American woman's search for self-knowledge. In the novel, Isabel explores the themes of obsession, love, and freedom. Why should women read this novel? Because like many great books, Daughter of Fortune is timeless tackling race, class, colonialism, sex, gender roles.