Aphro-ism

Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism from Two Sisters
By: Aph Ko, Syl Ko
Narrated by: Dana Brewer Harris
Length: 5 hrs and 30 mins
5 out of 5 stars (46 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this lively, accessible, and provocative collection, Aph and Syl Ko provide new theoretical frameworks on race, advocacy for nonhuman animals, and feminism. Using popular culture as a point of reference for their critiques, the Ko sisters engage in groundbreaking analysis of the compartmentalized nature of contemporary social movements, present new ways of understanding interconnected opressions, and offer conceptual ways of moving forward, expressive of Afrofuturism and Black veganism. 

©2017 Aph Ko and Syl Ko (P)2017 Lantern Books

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Takes vegan philosophy to a higher level

A fascinating examination of how racism and animal rights are intertwined even while most people who work in both philosophical areas intentionally try to keep the two ideas separate. Each chapter explores feminism, race, and animal rights from a different angle, and the overall book brings everything together in a path forward that I wasn't expecting. Animal rights books for years have basically been rehashing different aspects of Peter Singer's arguments in "Animal Liberation," but this one is fresh and vibrant and much more inspiring than most books on the topic.

There is some serious graduate level race theory academic language used throughout. Soon after using a jargon bomb, the authors use a simple metaphor or real world example that makes everything crystal clear. I point this out because I could see excerpts taken out of context that would make the book seem like a chore, but I never felt overwhelmed with talk about decolonizing one's diet in a white supremacist patriarchal society.

Also, it's worth noting that people often caricature thinkers who write about such topics as shaming and judgy, but that vibe never comes across. They sound more like sisters working through their own ideas, sharing their ideas, and asking you to join them.

So here are a few excerpts/ideas to give a feel for the book.

* The authors mention how it came out during the Rodney King trial that Los Angeles public officials in the justice system routinely used the acronym N.H.I. to refer to the rights of young black men being violated: "no human involved."

* "'Animal' is a category that we shove certain bodies into when we want to justify violence against them, which is why animal liberation should concern all who are minoritized, because at any moment you can become an 'animal' and be considered disposable."

* "Intersectionality is a wonderful and useful tool to help oppressed folks navigate current systems of oppression that we never created, but it was never designed to map out the future. This is, in part, why some movements that claim to be 'intersectional' feel stagnant; they keep dogmatically regurgitating the same analyses. Many intersectional movements assume liberation rests in finding newer intersections of oppression and creating new terms to add to the lexicon of oppression. These activists tend to replicate cosmetic diversity under the guise of intersectionality. Unfortunately, intersectionality doesn't really trouble the systems looming over us that we never created. Intersectionality maps out the world that has been imposed on us; it doesn't begin the process of mapping out the future."

Grade: A

P.S. Excellent narration.

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Absolutely Essential

Please take the time to read this fantastic book. It covers topics essential to understanding and taking on systems of oppression in the most effective of ways. Beautifully insightful.

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  • D. T. Grassian
  • 04-10-18

Incredible

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

YES, it's incredibly thought provoking, well written and full of interesting insights and new ways of thinking about complex issues.

What other book might you compare Aphro-ism to, and why?

Sistah Vegan is the only other book that is at all similar I would recommend, though very different in approach.

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  • Miss B
  • 09-04-17

Fantastic Afro-Futurism

This book is dangerous and brilliant.
Loved it and recommend it for stretching your thinking.