Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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How to Be an Antiracist

I’m very grateful to have a book club of women who all strive to be better and support each other in that goal. We are focusing on the issue of racism and how we, as individuals and as a group, can try to make the worlds around us a more equal and just place.

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi was not the most engaging read, I’m not going to lie. And most of it left me feeling hopeless and powerless. There was a little hope at the end, but for the most part it read like a thesis with personal anecdotes. Kendi spends each chapter discussing the different kinds of racism, which was definitely informative. I agree that the first step is to recognize how we are antiracist, both as individuals and as a society. My main takeaway was that the racist policies and policymakers should be the main focus of an antiracist’s energy, not focusing on individuals within a race. To recognize what policies and policymakers you support, vote for, encourage, and help implement (both consciously and unconsciously). And to think that there is not a deeply rooted culture of racism in this country and that every person is given the same opportunity and treatment is just ignorant.

Right now, I feel like my job is to research every person I am considering voting for. What are their views on issues and policies that are inherently racist: healthcare, housing, jobs, police brutality and oversight. And no, there will not be any candidate for any position who is perfect. And no, I do not automatically vote for someone based on party. I will vote for either side if a candidate is working for equality and justice and yes, antiracism. And I challenge everyone to do the same. Forget party affiliations and don’t focus on just one hot button issue. Take the time to look at the candidates and what they actually want to accomplish. And then take the time to vote.

Either racist policies or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.”

Ibram X. Kendi


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The Silver Star

This was a great, quick read and a welcome hiatus from the historical fiction I seem to keep picking up! The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls takes place in the early ’70s, following a family made up of Charlotte, the mom, and her two daughters, Liz and Bean (nickname for Jean). Charlotte disappears occasionally and this time the girls make their way from California back to Virginia to Charlotte’s small hometown of Rye. They find their uncle in the large family house and ultimately end of staying there a while.

The story hits on a lot of issues and is a little heavy at times, but keeps moving along and seems to be fairly accurate of small town life at that time. There are major class issues between the higher ups of the cotton mill, the main employer of the town. Race issues abound as the high schools desegregate. Pride issues flare as the the girls break tradition of their family being at the top of the totem pole, at least for appearances sake. And a major justice issue of one man taking advantage of anything and everything because of his race, gender, and position of power. But does he get what’s coming to him? You’ll have to read to find out!

Again, this was a great quick read – I think I sat down 3 times from start to finish. Great for small reading breaks to break up the monotony of working/living/being at home 24/7. Enjoy!