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Works by Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman


Common Knowledge




The Black Agenda: Bold Solutions for a Broken System, edited by Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman, presents not just ideas toward solving many problems we face but a transformative and overlooked perspective on these problems.

Many of the problems that we face as a society adversely affect communities of color yet their voices are seldom heard and never centered. To such an extent that these issues are almost ignored even within those communities most affected. This book serves as a step toward correcting this.

While I found the essays very interesting and the ideas for solving problems important, it isn't the main thing I took away from the book. I think just as valuable is raising the awareness, both within communities of color as well as within the specialized areas of knowledge that work on these problems, that these are civil rights issues. Black voices, whether scientists within those fields or activists in the communities, need to make sure they are heard and centered. I know some people think that centering Black voices means neglecting other voices, but the center doesn't have to be as small as it currently is. The groups most affected should have a bigger voice.

Having made that point, I want to also emphasize that these essays work very well toward bringing people into the issues. They are short, to the point, and accessibly written. Each has a works cited page so readers can delve deeper into the area(s) they feel they can be most effective in. I think by keeping the essays short and focused they are more welcoming for those of us ignorant of many of the fields involved.

This book works very well as a source of knowledge and information so the reader can better understand what needs to be done. But I think of it more as a call to action, for the reader to work to make the change needed and not simply better understand what needs doing.

I would recommend this to anyone who wants society to be better in every way for every person. I particularly recommend this to people in communities of color who might wonder why some issues they think of as distant are much closer to home than they think. I also believe those experts in these fields need to read this and understand that the status quo is not, and really never was, working or sufficient.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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pomo58 | Oct 7, 2021 |