March is Women’s History Month, and these exceptional books from the past year explore feminism, gender and women’s history from new perspectives.
Writer and activist Feminista Jones explains how black feminist thought and theory is going mainstream through the power of social media, especially Twitter. From #BlackLivesMatter to #BlackGirlMagic, black women are building digital communities, promoting dialog, and advancing scholarship to inspire change and engage a new generation in feminist activism. In between candid details from her own life story and successes in internet activism, Jones tackles topics like sex and sexuality, white feminism and motherhood. Her work is hard-hitting and challenging but also optimistic and fun. You can find Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists are Changing the World from the Tweets to the Streets at the John T. Richardson Library.
As election season gears up, consider the powerful contributions that women make through political appointment. Kaitlin Sidorsky argues that many more women are appointed, rather than elected, to political office and uses original survey data to provide insight into the ambitions and motivations of female appointees. How does appointment change the landscape for women’s involvement in American politics? This is a fresh look at the gender gap in politics and political ambition among women. An e-book edition is available for All Roads Lead to Power: The Appointed and Elected Paths to Public Office for US Women.
Maria Popova is the reader and writer behind Brain Pickings, and her poetic book links together remarkable women of science and literature across time and discipline. The connections she makes among subjects like astronomer Maria Mitchell, journalist Margaret Fuller, sculptor Harriet Hosmer, and environmentalist Rachel Carson are astounding, and their stories reveal the immense obstacles women have faced along their paths of artistic and scholarly achievement. Full of primary source material from letters to diaries to personal writings, it’s a tribute to language, curiosity, and women’s lives. You can find Figuring at the Loop Library’s Popular Reading Collection.