NEW Reading Calendar: Women of Color Edition!

My favorite and amazing dosts, we did it!! We created this amazing reading calendar with women of color authors ONLY. Why is this so important? Keep reading!

Who knew about women of color authors in the 2000s?

Okay amigos, the year is 2014 and cue the start of my Masters at the University of Chicago. It was all books, intellectual engagement, and pizza. And I 👏 was 👏 LOVING 👏 IT 👏👏👏!

I remember my 2 years in Chicago fondly. I thrived (is this a real word??), made friends, explored, tried new foods, and read….a LOT.

Deciding on a Masters in Religion, I read a multitude of texts, articles, and passages from a variety of mediums. I read about a book a week per class (with an average of 3 classes per quarter), so you can imagine I was in the library for most of my time (**sigh** it was like my second home ❤️).

Opened library locker in the library with things inside including Lysol wipes, St. Ives lotion bottle, Daisy perfume, coffee mug, books, and a red tote bag with clothes inside.
Actual footage of me with my library locker (yes, they’re absolutely a thing!) circa 2015. The books were definitely not by women of color authors 😅.

Now back to the matter at hand. Notice how I said a variety of mediums, not necessarily authors. I was reading the whitest of the white authors in most of my classes (who are considered some of the greats/classics, true, however I wasn’t going to get much else in the ivory tower). Luckily the city of Chicago was close to a mosque of mine and I didn’t feel too too left out outside of school, especially on holidays (check out my blog post on why it’s important for minorities to celebrate their holidays here!).

I even remember taking a Religion and Literature class (taught by a woman to say the least) in which I read Virginia Wolfe…and I could barely get through it 😣. The issue was not the lack of discipline, effort, or even will. I could not relate to the text even in the slightest (like legit what is this lady talking about??).

I remember trying to read that book and feeling completely lost, underwater almost. I went to class feeling defeated and overcome. I thought maybe everybody had a similar reaction to this book, that it wasn’t just me. Maybe it was my level in my Masters since I was still relatively new/still learning.

Yupp, you guessed it, I couldn’t be more wrong. I walked into class with low morale and saw my white colleagues had no issue with the book and discussed it in class as if it was an afterthought. My shoulders slumped even more and I felt like I wasn’t good enough, like I wasn’t worth it. Who was I, pretending I belong in this classroom filled with mostly white people, pretending to read a language that I sometimes didn’t even consider my own? And it is for that Heena and other girls like her, sitting in their classes feeling defeated and conquered, that we created this calendar.

Dosts, let me be the first to tell you, NOTHING IS WRONG WITH YOU. The reason why you don’t connect with the many books you read in class is because many of them have experiences and stories that don’t match ours. When did you read the story by the woman of color in school? How about the one by first generation Americans?

Many times these books aren’t chosen or taught in the curriculum because they are not “classics” and do not represent the “majority views” of the population (yea don’t even get me started on that one).

Soooooo we created a thing. We created a calendar. A 6 month calendar that gives 1 book a month with a quote, some discussion questions and some reading reflection questions for women of color. This calendar was made by women of color, for women of color. And these authors’ texts are some of nearest and dearest ones I’ve read in the past few years, so please let me know what you think!

We hope that this calendar will help you keep track of your reading habits (during summer it’s so hard dosts 😅) and help you dive into the wonderful world of reading with authors we hope you will come to love. The difference with this calendar is all the authors are WOMEN OF COLOR. I read all of these books and connected with each of them on a deeper level because I felt like somebody was finally speaking my language, and I could talk back.

Check out the calendar link here. I’m selling it for $4.99 (because I think EVERYBODY should have access to amazing book recs that they’ll relate to) but for reading about it on my blog, I’ll give a 10% discount at checkout (Use code: SOCIAL10).

No brown girl should feel as lost as I did in that Religion and Lit class, and I’m here to tell you that it’s NOT YOU. It’s the system we were born and raised into (it doesn’t cater to us). And that’s okay, because there are voices today that are trailblazing and making sure we feel heard, safe, and stay connected with each other.

Lets change the world dosts, together!

Heens ❤️

PS: I had to show this product off on my blog because it was ESSENTIAL during grad school (this is soooo not sponsored haha). If you’re a warm coffee drinker like me and drink copious amounts (I used to in grad school before switching to decaf), you have to check out a coffee warmer. When it’s winter (in cold places, especially like Chicago) you’ll want a warm cup of coffee all the time. And this doesn’t always happen when you’re sitting at the library for hooourrsss on end. So I invested in a coffee warmer (this one was Mr. Coffee) and it was uh-MAZE-ing. I’m telling you peeps, game chaaaaangerr!! Anyways, check out one of the best investments of my life during grad school and my super cool mug that goes with it (because y’all know it’s true 😂).

White mug with saying "I'm not saying I'm Batman. I'm just saying nobody has ever seen me and Batman in a room together" on a Mr. Coffee coffee warmer on a desk. Binder and red bookmark displayed.
Actual footage of my coffee warmer and heroic mug that I got off of Amazon during grad school. It’s the little things that make life special dosts ❤️.
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