4 Recommendations: July ’20

Welcome to my final monthly summary of things I’ve been reading, listening to or discovering. I’ll talk more about why I’m wandering away from this format at the end of the post. For now, let’s get started on these recommendations. I have a slightly smaller set this time as I know I’ll do 1 of my planned recommendations more justice at a later date with its own full post!

1) Queer as Folk, an album by Grace Petrie

If you like folk and are anti-austerity, I can’t see any reason you wouldn’t enjoy a song like “Farewell to Welfare“. “Someone’s got to foot the bill… Let’s start with the Disabled and the, mentally ill…”. If you would’ve been on a pride march, had our coronavirus not come along, “Pride” might be a good one to put on at your socially distanced, mask wearing garden gathering. “Sometimes, It’s like an uphill climb, But I’m right by your side, and that’s what we call… Pride.”. Personally I have many favourite moments, including the enthusiasm in “Black Tie” (about not conforming with gender expectations, particularly in regards to clothing). “And the images that f***ed ya, were a patriarchal structure…” ooh that rhyme. And the more gentle (sad!!) style in “Baby Blue“. “Oh my lover, is in the arms of another tonight, I won’t recover, I will not heal with the morning light,”. And the story telling in “Beeswing“. “She was a rare thing, Fine as a bee’s wing, So fine a breath of wind might blow here away,”. Look up the album or track titles wherever you find your music!

2) Educating ourselves on systemic medical racism… A Reading List

A reading list by @ScrubsAndShiz found via Able Zine’s Instagram. Attaining suitable medical care for chronic conditions is rarely easy but disability cuts across all other communities, so race has a role to play here as much as anywhere else! As a white teenager I rarely considered this. Choosing to learn about it now rather than having dealt with it all my life, I’m well aware, demonstrates the privilege I do hold (disabled or not!!).

Couldn’t find the original of these further recommendations so here’s Able’s repost:

View this post on Instagram

Able wanted to share this list of resources titled “Racism in Healthcare” created by @scrubsandshiz. Here we reshare and develop the list using further resources made in the comments. (3/3) ⠀⠀ Here is what @scrubsandshiz had to say: ⠀⠀ “After seeing such a positive response yesterday regarding the post on disparities in healthcare, I wanted to try to take it a step further and provide a list of resources so we all can take actionable steps to become better providers. This huge gap in healthcare will only start to decrease if we make an active effort to un-learn our unconscious racial biases and re-learn how to provide better quality of care to everyone, regardless of the color of their skin. Racism is a public heath issue and it is our responsibility as healthcare workers to educate ourselves and change the future of medicine. I am also still learning, so this is a reminder to myself first! The first step towards change is always acknowledging that there is a problem in the first place.⁣ ⠀⠀ Swipe through to see just a few of the many books discussing racism in healthcare and what we can do about it as healthcare workers. If anyone knows of anymore books I can add to my list, feel free to drop them below.” ⠀⠀ Please note the majority of the authors listed are Black or POC however, others such as 'The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks' aren't and therefore we recommend readers do their own research before buying and are conscious to buy reading materials from Black owned businesses where possible. ⠀⠀ 1. The Unapologetic Guide To Black Mental Health by Rheeda Walker, PHD 2. Seeing Patients: Unconscious Bias in Health Care by Augustus White 3. The Spirt Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman 4. The Deepest Well by Nadine Burke Harris 5. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot 6. Fearing The Black Body the racial origins of fat phobia by Sabrina Strings ⠀⠀ Image Descriptions in the comments

A post shared by @ ablezine on

I’ve followed through with buying a couple of these books (and watching a related TED talk) but will write more about those in future posts. I’m no stranger to getting caught up in a panic of “If I don’t share all the right posts all the time about all the injustices in the world I’m one of those silent-violent people who are revealing they don’t care at all!” but I’m trying to shuffle back a bit, remember there’s more to this than instagram stories, and take a good look at each thing I share. Asking if it’s useful and if it provides direction on how to aid people or act. Social media is excellent, free and leads to great resources like this reading list, petitions or blog posts and videos on various topics. But I always end up overwhelmed by the scale of everything I don’t know, saving far too many things for a ‘later’ that never comes. For me personally, books are grounding in the middle of all that. I never fail to be surprised by how little my knackered brain can tolerate reading though. But I could easily write a whole other post on those frustrations…     

3) Sticking with Reading Lists and moving to Disability Pride Month

(something I would’ve focused on more had the last of my original five recommendations been included!)

@MyElasticHeart on Instagram shared a wide variety of recommendations in her post at the beginning of July, I’d already seen “FEMINIST QUEER CRIP” included casually in another of her photos. When the cheapest price I could find for it was just over £17 on ebay, I decided it was justifiable under the umbrellas of “birthday present to myself” and “my kind of education, cheaper than tuition fees!”. One thing I will say is that educational books often aren’t affordable. That’s part of why I love Britt’s list because it’s not exclusively books or paid resources. There are YouTube, podcast and “names to know” (people you could do your own research on) included too.

A link to @MyElasticHeart’s post which refused to embed fancily for some reason.

I do intend to make my way through many of the paid items on these lists as well. Only, planning that involves a lot of multiple tab searches cross referencing what’s available at my local libraries with ebay costs and wider Google searches. Whenever I mention books I’ve bought in future posts I’ll try and include pointers in terms of price and where I found them to be cheapest. Fortunately I work through each book so slowly that there’s always time for saving up!

And finally a couple of UK Government petitions

Increase funding for research into Endometriosis and PCOS.

Scrap removal of free transport for under-18s from TfL bailout

Now, to finish us off, I promised an explanation of why this is my last “monthly recommendations” post. I came up with this idea as a way of encouraging myself to explore the world of podcasts, blogs and albums available through my smartphone. Equally I wanted to mark out a space within this site where I would be committed to sharing the creative work of others. I didn’t anticipate how difficult I would find putting this kind of post together. All the jumping about finding links and making decisions on what to include would be worthwhile if I felt excited to share these posts with the world. But I don’t. Somehow they’re the ones I’m least confident in posting about on social media, the ones I never hold out much hope for in terms of people feeling motivated to click through from my Instagram and read the article itself. Maybe this is telling me something. Something about the way I enjoy writing and (more importantly to you!) what I think my friends and readers would enjoy scrolling through.

I’ll do each recommendation a better service if I share them individually. No more worrying about keeping each review as short as possible so people are still interested at the end of the list, no more burning myself out cognitively for uncharacteristically concise lists the world doesn’t really need from me.

I’m excited to get going again and can only hope you enjoy my future reviews! …Recommendations? Discoveries? Blog posts at any rate.

Until next time,

Sakara x

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