The Body Is Not an Apology with Sonya Renee Taylor

Sunday March 4, 3:00PM

@ Red Emma's

Humans are a varied and divergent bunch with all manner of beliefs, morals, and bodies. Systems of oppression thrive off our inability to make peace with difference and injure the relationship we have with our own bodies. The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. World-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor invites us to reconnect with the radical origins of our minds and bodies and celebrate our collective, enduring strength. As we awaken to our own indoctrinated body shame, we feel inspired to awaken others and to interrupt the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies. When we act from this truth on a global scale, we usher in the transformative opportunity of radical self-love, which is the opportunity for a more just, equitable, and compassionate world for us all.

Sonya Renee Taylor is the Founder and Radical Executive Officer of The Body is Not An Apology, a digital media and education company committed to radical self-love and body empowerment as the foundational tool for social justice and global transformation. TBINAA.com reaches over 1 million people each month in 140 countries with their articles and content focused on the intersection of bodies, personal transformation and social justice. Sonya is also an International award winning Performance Poet, activist, speaker, and transformational leader whose work continues to have global reach.

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Heart X-rays is a twenty-first-century beat epic poem that ranges across landscapes and voices, with appearances by Banksy, Pussy Riot, hip-hop, the down and out, the up and coming, heartbreak and joybreak, while exploring the mystery we call the human heart. If indeed poetry can offer an RX, a prescription to the bloody joyful teary-eyed American paradox, it is one that calls forth all the voices that have not yet been heard, that harbors an innocence that reaches into the very heart of our own excellence. A collaborative work between two poets and working-class activists, Heart X-rays is a poetic memory of today written in the alphabet of a future.

@ Red Emma's

Join us as M. Earl Smith Presents, Stars Over Latin America, a children’s book based on the nonfictional account of Ernesto "Che" Guevara and Alberto Granado and their 1952 motorcycle trip through several Latin American countries. Stars Over Latin America explores this revolutionary history, presenting it in a relatable format making this timeless tale easily accessible for future generations.

Cosponsored by Not Without Black Women!


In 1932, Mittie Maude Lena Gordon spoke to a crowd of black Chicagoans at the old Jack Johnson boxing ring, rallying their support for emigration to West Africa. In 1937, Celia Jane Allen traveled to Jim Crow Mississippi to organize rural black workers around black nationalist causes. In the late 1940s, from her home in Kingston, Jamaica, Amy Jacques Garvey launched an extensive letter-writing campaign to defend the Greater Liberia Bill, which would relocate 13 million black Americans to West Africa.


Gordon, Allen, and Jacques Garvey—as well as Maymie De Mena, Ethel Collins, Amy Ashwood, and Ethel Waddell—are part of an overlooked and understudied group of black women who take center stage in Set the World on Fire, the first book to examine how black nationalist women engaged in national and global politics from the early twentieth century to the 1960s. Historians of the era generally portray the period between the Garvey movement of the 1920s and the Black Power movement of the 1960s as an era of declining black nationalist activism, but Keisha N. Blain reframes the Great Depression, World War II, and the early Cold War as significant eras of black nationalist—and particularly, black nationalist women's—ferment.

In Chicago, Harlem, and the Mississippi Delta, from Britain to Jamaica, these women built alliances with people of color around the globe, agitating for the rights and liberation of black people in the United States and across the African diaspora. As pragmatic activists, they employed multiple protest strategies and tactics, combined numerous religious and political ideologies, and forged unlikely alliances in their struggles for freedom. Drawing on a variety of previously untapped sources, including newspapers, government records, songs, and poetry, Set the World on Fire highlights the flexibility, adaptability, and experimentation of black women leaders who demanded equal recognition and participation in global civil society.

@ Red Emma's

In the United States, both struggles against oppression and the gains made by various movements for equality have often been led by Black people. Still, though progress has regularly been fueled by radical Black efforts, liberal politics are based on ideas and practices that impede the continued progress of Black America. Building on their original essay “The Anarchism of Blackness,” (link: https://roarmag.org/magazine/black-liberation-anti-fascism/ ) Zoé Samudzi and William C. Anderson make the case for a new program of self-defense and transformative politics for Black Americans, one rooted in an anarchistic framework that the authors liken to the Black experience itself. This book argues against compromise and negotiation with intolerance. It is a manifesto for everyone who is ready to continue progressing towards liberation.

"As Black as Resistance is a searing indictment of the U.S. settler colonial project and a call to action to save ourselves from the forces of oppression and tyranny. The philosophy of the book might well be summarized as 'we’re all we’ve got.' This book appears in a chaotic time when the gap between rich and poor continues to grow, when climate change is causing mass devastation, when fascism appears resurgent and when the ever-expanding carceral state is criminalizing and prematurely killing millions. In this context, William C. Anderson and Zoé Samudzi insist that our current political moment demands that we reject liberalism and embrace a more radical program to transform our conditions. They argue persuasively that grounding ourselves in the Black radical tradition offers the best path forward toward freedom and liberation." —Mariame Kaba, from the Foreword

Polyamorous people and communities can appear, at first glance, to be very open and welcoming. In many case, they don't take the time to get introspective about why they may come across as unfriendly or inaccessible to people of color. Love's Not Color Blind is a book about what we can do to change that landscape. Join author Kevin Patterson for a workshop on intersectional polyamory and a personally-driven discussion on how race can impact polyamory on both individual and community levels.

@ Red Emma's

Using his unique lens as a critical race theorist and law professor, Khaled A. Beydoun captures the many ways in which law, policy, and official state rhetoric have fueled the frightening resurgence of Islamophobia in the United States. Beydoun charts its long and terrible history, from the plight of enslaved African Muslims in the antebellum South and the laws prohibiting Muslim immigrants from becoming citizens to the ways the war on terror assigns blame for any terrorist act to Islam and the myriad trials Muslim Americans face in the Trump era. He passionately argues that by failing to frame Islamophobia as a system of bigotry endorsed and emboldened by law and carried out by government actors, U.S. society ignores the injury it inflicts on both Muslims and non-Muslims. Through the stories of Muslim Americans who have experienced Islamophobia across various racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines, Beydoun shares how U.S. laws shatter lives, whether directly or inadvertently. And with an eye toward benefiting society as a whole, he recommends ways for Muslim Americans and their allies to build coalitions with other groups. Like no book before it, American Islamophobia offers a robust and genuine portrait of Muslim America then and now.

@ Red Emma's

The story of Christine Jorgensen, America’s first prominent transsexual, famously narrated trans embodiment in the postwar era. Her celebrity, however, has obscured other mid-century trans narratives—ones lived by African Americans such as Lucy Hicks Anderson and James McHarris. Their erasure from trans history masks the profound ways race has figured prominently in the construction and representation of transgender subjects. In Black on Both Sides, C. Riley Snorton identifies multiple intersections between blackness and transness from the mid-nineteenth century to present-day anti-black and anti-trans legislation and violence.


@ Red Emma's

Lisa Ko’s uncompromising, timely debut novel, THE LEAVERS, not only won the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Fiction – awarded by Barbara Kingsolver to a novel that addresses contemporary issues of social justice – last year, but was also a finalist for the National Book Award and the Barnes & Noble Discover Awards. Ko’s penetrating and emotionally rich work courageously tackles rarely-talked-about subtleties behind larger issues of immigration and adoption as it looks at questions of what it means to belong. Garnering tremendous critical acclaim nationwide, THE LEAVERS became one of the best books of 2017.


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@ Red Emma's

In Fighting For Space: How a Group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle with Addiction; author, Travis Lupick, recounts how Downtown Eastside activists marched in the streets to force politicians to change how we respond to the challenge of addiction. Drawing from the experience of the drug crisis in Vancouver in the 90’s. Lupick’s work explores a history of harm-reduction activism that connects the story in the book with the Downtown East-side’s response to the fentanyl crisis today. In the 1990s, drug overdoses killed hundreds and then thousands of people in Vancouver. Eventually, the city responded in incredible ways. Politicians listened to the demands of drug users and that led Vancouver to establish the continent’s first supervised-injection facility, Insite. Solutions to Vancouver’s crisis of the ’90s came from the drug users themselves.  It was a political war that took nearly two decades but the activists eventually won. Today Vancouver is championed for pioneering harm reduction. Lupick will talk about where those activists are now, what roles they’ve taken on since fentanyl arrived, and what these drug users and their allies argue must happen next to begin to reduce overdose deaths.