We Gon’ Be Alright and other reading

We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation by Jeff Chang is a book I began before the disaster of an election almost two weeks ago. I was really appreciating it before the election, but afterward it began to feel even more important. It’s an essay collection with pieces on the idea of diversity, student protest, Black Lives Matter, race and the Oscars, what it means to be Asian-American, and everything that has happened in Ferguson. This last is the subject of Chang’s longest essay where he goes in depth on the history of the city, everything that led up to the shooting of Michael Brown, and the aftermath of his death and the protests. Chang’s writing is clear and incisive, and the book as a whole feels necessary. We need smart people writing good books about race in America right now. I don’t feel like I have a lot to say about the book, as I don’t want to get into the details of his arguments, but the book is useful as a way of thinking about the state we’re in.

As for other reading, I haven’t been doing much in the last couple weeks. It’s been a busy and stressful time, and generally not a happy time. I am in the middle of Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam, and although I’m reading it very slowly, I’m liking it. It’s a story about the friendship between two women in their early 30s in New York City as they figure out their relationships and work while keeping their friendship going. Not much happens in it — or at least not much so far — and I’m liking that. A mildly-escapist look at female friendship is just the thing for right now.

10 Comments

Filed under Books

10 responses to “We Gon’ Be Alright and other reading

  1. It’s interesting that you’re enjoying a book in which “not much happens.” Writers are told such a book cannot succeed. (I actually disagree). I hope your life becomes less stressful soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have not heard of Chang’s book. Sounds good, necessary and important. thanks for the tip!

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  3. I am in a “mildly-escapist” (or maybe fully escapist) reading phase right now, post-election. I just read a cozy British mystery and am currently rereading Little Women!

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  4. Hi. I just came across your blog! I am definitely intrigued by We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation , given its relevance to the current context. I am sorry to hear you are undergoing a stressful time and do hope it gets better soon.

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  5. Have you seen the movie Arrival? It’s about the importance of communication over military actions to solve an ‘aliens problem.’ It happens that the film is based on a short story written by another smart, Asian American writer, Ted Chiang. 🙂

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