The New Self-Help

You’ll better understand the complexity of oppression, and what we can do to challenge it

This story is part of The New Self-Help: 21 Books for a Better You in the 21st Century.

Sometimes people assume that outspoken Black women — perhaps especially outspoken Black women professors — came out of the womb wearing a “Black Girl Magic” T-shirt and quoting Angela Davis. But the truth is that like most people in this country, I was not socialized to take Black women’s knowledge seriously — which of course means that I was not socialized to take my own knowledge seriously.

Many Black women have had to struggle against the intertwined forces of patriarchy, racism, and…


Why I walked away from the platform that had nurtured my writing career

Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

Last fall, in the midst of touring for my latest book, I stepped away from the public stage that arguably made my publishing career possible.

After investing six years into growing my following on Twitter from zero to over 42,000, with millions of monthly engagements, I left the platform, at least for now. This might not sound like such a momentous decision, but it was for me. My 127,000 tweets — an average of 57 tweets per day — had dramatically raised my profile as a writer, sociologist, and scholar on race. …


We are surrounded by stupid ideas about race — and even stupider ideas about how to talk about it

Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images

“It is an aspect of their sense of superiority that the white people of America believe they have so little to learn.”

— Martin Luther King Jr.

Hundreds of years after establishing a nation based on colonial genocide and chattel slavery, people are kinda-sorta-maybe-possibly waking up to the sad reality that our racial politics are (still) garbage. But as our society increasingly confronts the social realities of race, we are faced with a barrage of confusing developments.

For instance: How could the same country that twice voted for an Ivy League–educated black president end up electing an overt racist who…

Crystal Marie Fleming

Professor, sociologist and author of two books, including my latest: HOW TO BE LESS STUPID ABOUT RACE. Photo credit: Nicole Mondestin

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