What We’re Reading: Black Women, Sex and the Lies our Mothers Told Us and More – Upspoken

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What We’re Reading: Black Women, Sex and the Lies our Mothers Told Us and More


You may have seen our list of 6 Black Women (Real and Fictional) Owning Their Power where we highlighted Black women authors that center the experiences of Black women and in an effort to dedicate more of our time to reading (always), we decided to read some sex-positive books. 🔥 Check out our list and happy reading!

Black Women, Sex and the Lies our Mother’s Told Us: For the Empowerment and Uplift of the Black Female Sexual Experience:

Community psychologist, Dr. Hareder McDowell wrote this beautiful anthology based on real conversations with Black women about sexuality, sexual identity, and sexual experiences. Many of the stories interweave the complexities that impact Black women’s sexuality such as religion, guilt, abuse, and American history overall. Dr. McDowell also dives deep into how Black mothers communicate norms and ideals to their daughters and explains the different ways that sexuality is explored in Black households. The book asks thought-provoking questions and will leave you thinking about how to improve how you communicate about sex.

The Body is Not An Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love

Back in 2011, poet and activist Sonya Renee Taylor wanted to share a photo of herself wearing a black corset on her Facebook page, but was unsure how people would receive it because of her “big, brown, queer, body.” Born from a desire to put an end to self-censorship, Sonya created a movement of radical self-love and launched the website, The Body Is Not An Apology to help women reject body shaming. Her book The Body is Not An Apology expands on this philosophy and acts as a tool for women to, “heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems,” that perpetuates self-hatred and body censorship.

Learn more about the book and read an interview with Sonya here.

Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good

adrienne marie brown, one of our favorite writers, is publishing a book this February and we can’t wait to read it. adrienne challenges the idea that activism needs to be a relentless cycle of self-sacrifice and punishment, and asks readers to think about awakening their desires and pleasure and how to heal to build a politics that actually feels good.

Share in the comments any books you’re reading to inform the decisions you make about love, sex, and relationships!