While it may seem easier to forget the events of 2016 and move on, its that kind of complacent attitude that leads to situations like the one we currently find ourselves in today, one where racism, sexism, bigotry, and hatred are the accepted common standard of behavior for our politicians, our media, and our everyday citizens. So instead of burying your head in the sand for the next four years (I know, it's tempting), it's time to get ready to fight back by reading these books about activism to help prepare you for Donald Trump's presidency.
Today is the day least-liked president in four decades is sworn into office, the entire country — excuse me, the entire world — is preparing to protest the incoming administration's hate-filled rhetoric and dangerous policies. Concerned citizens everywhere are starting to stand up for the human right's the soon-to-be president and his party's platform threatens, but as the rest of the world is hard at work organizing grassroots campaigns and establishing protests, you might find yourself wondering, what the hell can I do to make a difference?
In short, the answer is a lot, as long as you know where to start. Never been involved in social activism before, and not sure how to get involved in a meaningful way?
Forget moving to Canada or becoming a recluse in the woods, and read these 7 books about political activism and social change that can help prepare you for a Donald Trump presidency. All it takes is one voice to start a movement, so what will you use yours to say?
1. 'Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement' by Angela Y. Davis
From the very first word of her title to the last sentence in her latest book, world-renowned activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis reminds us that to maintain our freedoms, we must constantly struggle. In this latest collection of speeches, essays, and interviews, Davis talks about everything from the importance of black feminism and intersectionality to the urgency around abolishing the prison industrial complex and systematized violence against minorities. Freedom Is a Constant Struggle is a slim yet powerful book that takes a comprehensive look most important battles we fight today, and even hints at how to win them.
2. 'Grassroots: A Field Guide for Feminist Activism' by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards
So many people shy away from activism because they simply don't know where to start, but with the help of Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richard's Grassroots, anyone can start a revolution. Whether you're worried about the gender wage gap, same-sex marriage, or human rights violations across the globe, this book will help you go beyond letter writing and donating and into the world where you can make real, lasting change. Accessible and inspiring, Grassroots is can help you realize just how easy activism can be.
3. 'Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities' by Rebecca Solnit
Updated in 2016, Rebecca Solnit's Hope in the Dark is a bright ray of sunshine in our otherwise dark modern times. A short yet inspiring read, Solnit relies on her own experience as an activist to argue that radicals have made serious and lasting changes in the past, and with a little bit of hope and a lot of hard work, can continue to do so in the future.
4. 'Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution' by Andrew Boyd
Dozens of successful and seasoned artists and activists come together in Andrew Boyd's Beautiful Trouble, a practical toolbox for anyone interested in enacting social change. An informative guide that shows how both political strategy and artistic efforts can have a powerful effect, this accessible manual is perfect for newcomers to activism, as well as anyone who wants to a refresher in real social change.
5. 'Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything' by Becky Bond and Zack Exley
From the team behind Bernie Sander's groundbreaking presidential campaign comes a useful and powerful lesson book about making big changes, starting from the ground up. In Rules for Revolutionaries, authors Becky Bond and Zack Exley, tech rebels who are changing the way people think about politics and digital communication, lay out 22 simple rules for "Big Organizing" that any grassroots campaign can use to drive the power behind their social movement. An empowering read, Rule for Revolutionaries will have you itching to pound the pavement in the name of your cause.
6. 'This Is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century' by Mark Engler and Paul Engler
If you've ever wanted to know how nonviolent social movements get started, what makes them succeed, and what causes them to fail, then Mark and Paul Engler's This Is an Uprising is the perfect read for you. In it, the brother writing duo explores some of the most successful social uprisings of the past and present through the eyes of some of the most successful activist leaders, including Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Frances Fox Piven, and more. Both a collection of inspiring true stories about the world's most influential movements and a practical guide to using nonviolence as a method of political and social change, This Is an Uprising shows readers how transformation really happens, and how you can help.
7. 'When We Fight, We Win: Twenty-First-Century Social Movements and Activists That Are Transforming Our World' by Greg Jobin-Leeds
In When We Fight, We Win, social activist Greg Jobin-Leeds and artist and organizer collective AgitArte come together to create a book celebrating the most influential movements of the past decade. From same-sex marriage to Occupy Wall Street to #BlackLivesMatter, this graphic-heavy collection combines inspiring narratives, breathtaking artwork, and remarkable interviews with some of the most influential artists and activists to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience every aspiring changemaker will find inspiration in.