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Literature about oppression and social injustice usually sounds more interesting than it reads—and it doesn’t help that self-righteous activists make themselves redundant through repetition. Thankfully, in The Meaning of Freedom and Other Difficult Dialogues, famed activist Angela Y. Davis proves that it’s still possible to find a new, refreshing way to discuss race, gender, class, and sexuality. In this heartfelt and on-point examination through previously unpublished speeches, Davis discusses these issues with simple language and challenges us to think about how feminism and racism relate to our everyday lives. In the opening selection, “Report from Harlem,” she considers...
When I chose the awesome-looking craft book Star Wars Origami to review, I squealed like a Jawa on the wrong end of a blaster. I’ve been a Star Wars fan since I was a toddler (thanks, parents!), and although no origami expert, I have fond memories of making dozens of paper cats and frogs as a kid. I figured Chris Alexander's Star Wars Origami would be much the same: follow the instructions carefully, fold the paper, and — ta-da! — you have something amazing.  Unfortunately, I was...
  For thousands of years, embroidered patches have been a means of identification. Dating back to the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean, Mideast, China, and India, elaborate hand-stitched fabric swatches were tools used for the military. Other times, such embellishments were a sign of beauty for other important personnel, stitched onto the robes of royalty or religious figures. Even today, patches are seen on a wide range of people: from the military to sanitation workers and even, of course, on Boy and Girl Scouts. In the...
    I’m from Jersey, born and raised.  While I am shamelessly proud of my state, outsiders tend to judge it by its awful reputation. (Jersey Shore, you ruin EVERYTHING!) Still, we can all agree that there’s one great gift that Jersey has offered the world. Yep, I’m talking about The Boss. For any child of a baby boomer who grew up in New Jersey, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band has at least made an appearance in their upbringing.  In my case, my mother shared her...
Halloween happens to be one of the best holidays ever, but it also can be one of the most upsetting. Whether it’s sexist, historically inaccurate, a shameless rip-off of something in pop culture (A “Ticktock Orange Juice”, anyone?), or just plain stupid, there's a cheap, offensive costume for everyone out there. As a Halloween enthusiast I thought I was pretty well acquainted with the dark underbelly of cheap mass produced costumes. Turns out, not so much. While perusing this list of 10 Inexplicable and Possibly Offensive...
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