Recently, I read a book that captivated my attention more than any I’ve read lately. I’m not a book blogger and have no desire to be, but this book has compelled me to come on here and write a post inspired by it! The book is called How I Resist and is a collection of interviews, essays, poems, and narratives by activists of all ages. Edited by Maureen Johnson, How I Resist is meant to help and teach young activists learn how to resist (hence the name) and create change. Let me tell ya, the book does exactly this and much more! I gained amazing knowledge and learned about new people to look up to for my own activism.
In this post, I’m going to share my favorite quotes, takeaways, and how I, myself, resist. I hope this blog interests and inspires you, but if it doesn’t quite do the trick, be sure to check out How I Resist for yourself!
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Here are my favorite lines that were all written by different activists that took part in this book. Even while I was typing these into the post, they continued to make me want to act and understand the art of activism further!
“And when you feel ready to get to that podium, literal or metaphorical, take what hurts you and try and make it hurt someone else less.“
“Because you being you is the most powerful kind of resistance of all.”
“Although I understand the importance of individual narratives, movements are more powerful when understood as collaborative efforts.“
“Their job—–our job—–is to stand up for everyone who isn’t as lucky, to know, as Jews recite ever Passover, that while one of us is still in bondage, none of us are free.“
“When you learn to make stuff, you are subverting a culture that tries to remove the hand of people from the things around them.“
“People think it’s easier to be silent. To tiptoe around stuff, as opposed to having conversations and confronting and disrupting.”
“And here’s the amazing thing: if you stand up and do it, someone else will. And two voices are louder than one. And so on … and so on.”
“Resist with the flag / Red, white, and blue / Mean freedom not oppression.“
How I Resist taught me so many valuable things in the 250 or so pages it had, but I think the most important thing I learned from it is that there are MILLIONS of different ways to be in and take part in the Resistance. For some people, Resistance is something they were born into, solely because of the way they are treated based on their skin color, abilities, and looks. For others, an experience in their life has pushed them to become an advocate for something greater or injustices they come across daily make them want to take action. People who took part in the book talked of resisting through poems/songs, essays, videos, podcasts, protesting, spreading awareness, etc. And everyone viewed their special way to Resist differently. It was eye-opening to see the different ways people were called to Resist and the way they express their Resistance.
How I Resist let me see through the eyes and into the minds of people whose experiences will never be something I have to face, but are something I should fight for. The book gave me new ideas into what I can do as a Resister, and how I can stand up for those who need a voice more desperately than I.
Also, let’s talk about how much INSPIRATION and MOTIVATION How I Resist gave me to share what I had learned and spread awareness with you all! I felt renewed in my activism ventures, and ready to speak more loudly about needed justice to my family, friends, and followers. This book made me hopeful for the future of human rights and gave me more faith in the world around me in its ability to combat threats to human rights.
The amount of recommendations I could give for How I Resist are endless, but I’ll start by recommending it to all of you. This book is for the young Resister, the old Resister, the all-in Resister, and the hesitant Resister. Even those of you who think: “I’m not big on activism, I’ll pass on this one,” challenge yourself and your views, as that’s the best way to learn! How I Resist will either solidify what you already believe, or give you more questions to ask.
Can’t wait to hear from you all who decide to give this book a go 🙂