Mantle Arts & Culture Editor Aria Chiodo features in Rankin's book, part of the Words of Change series.Literature
Activist and award-winning journalist Kenrya Rankin celebrates the lives and voices of anti-racist leaders, pop culture icons, activists, and thinkers throughout history in her new book Anti-Racism: Powerful Voices, Inspiring Ideas, the first installment of the Words of Change Series from Spruce Books.
The book features brief biographies of each individual to introduce and contextualize a quote exemplifying their work. The luminaries include: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ibram X. Kendi, Elaine Welteroth, Serena Williams, W.Kamau Bell, Lizzo, Opal Tometi, Alicia Garza, Jason Reynolds, Audre Lorde, Bayard Rustin, Malcolm X, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Frederick Douglass
"I sourced quotes that speak to various parts of the anti-racist experience and came from people of varied backgrounds in the hopes that readers would see themselves — or the people they want to be — on the page," Rankin said. "It was also important to me, even as I strove for representation from many people of color, to center the experiences and advocacy of Black people who bear the brunt of racism."
We are especially excited to announce that our very own Arts & Culture Editor Aria Chiodo is featured in the book!
My quote comes from the essay Finding Power in Solidarity, part of an editor's roundtable, When Women's Voices Rise, published on The Mantle in early 2018. It was just after the 2nd annual Women's March, and the female editorial staff were trying to come to terms with the direction of the feminist movement and to reckon with the state of activism in the country and throughout the world.
This quote does not directly address racism or even sexism; rather, it speaks to all issues and the potential for everyone to be an activist, as a way to progress forward. But my essay as a whole did put emphasis on the importance of intersectionality, and making sure everyone's voice is heard, including those that are too often ignored or drowned out due to marginalization, which fits with the book's focus on anti-racism.
I'm so honored that Kenrya Rankin recognized my call to action and included it among so many powerful words. The idea of putting quotes from new activists side by side with historical figures is so essential because it shows how the past and present work in tandem to create change.
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