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Publisher's Summary

In this scintillating combination of critical race theory, social commentary, veganism, and gender analysis, media studies scholar Aph Ko offers a compelling vision of a reimagined social justice movement marked by a deconstruction of the conceptual framework that keeps activists silo-ed fighting their various oppressions - and one another. Through a subtle and extended examination of Jordan Peele’s hit 2017 movie Get Out, Ko shows the many ways that white supremacist notions of animality and race exist through the consumption and exploitation of flesh. She demonstrates how a critical historical and social understanding of anti-blackness can provide the pathway to genuine liberation.

Highly listenable and full of startling insights, Racism as Zoological Witchcraft is a brilliant example of the emerging discipline of black veganism by one of its leading voices.

©2019 Aph Ko (P)2020 Lantern Books

What listeners say about Racism as Zoological Witchcraft: A Guide to Getting Out

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Narration makes complex text more understandable

I don't know how Aph Ko does it. She's like your kind and generous older sister with a PhD who re-states academic social theory in a way that makes it relevant to your life. She still uses phrases like "decolonial Black epistemic frameworks," but never leaves you hanging there confused. She puts things in the context of "The Bachelor" and the horror film "Get Out," which is used throughout the book to describe the ways that white supremacy exploits and consumes black and brown bodies as well as animals.

As with her great book "Aphro-ism" (co-authored with sister Syl Ko), one of my favorite parts is how she explains that intersectionality is not a good method for analyzing oppressions. Excerpt:

"Although activists are accustomed to taking “race,” “gender,” and “class” and making them intersect, most people don't question how they have been trained to understand what “race,” “gender,” and “class” are to begin with. The reason why Black women are excluded from both the anti-racist movement and the feminist movement is because our cultural understandings of what constitutes a “Black person” and what constitutes a “woman” are already tainted and separated at the root. The mainstream public thinks of a “Black person” as a man and a “woman” as a white female. Making these two spaces connect doesn't discursively birth a Black woman."

Or she discusses how black men are excluded from positions of power in the Black Lives Movement as well as from stories of race-based sexual violence. I didn't know, for example, that Trayvon Martin might've thought George Zimmerman was a rapist. And I didn't know the long history of whites literally consuming slaves, making them into purses and even eating them, and how taxidermy has been used as a symbol of white supremacy.

Anyway, if the following passage speaks to you, you'll love this book:

"How is it possible that we live in an era in which anti-racist activists are acutely aware of how white supremacy treats people of color “like animals,” but are discouraged from examining how literal animals are casualties of this racial caste system as well?"

While I loved the book from the beginning, I read it fairly slowly because of the big words. When I switched to the audio version, I raced through. Both were helpful — the former so I could highlight parts I wanted to think upon later, and the latter so I could simply enjoy the discussion of how our society deals with race, gender, and animals.

Grade: A

As for the narration, Dana Brewer Harris was perfect. She really helped the complex ideas go down smoothly.

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vegan is about more than just not eating meat

like the natural hair movemnt is about way more than hair. "sista vegan" cracked me open and this book filled me with acknowlegement and empowerment. this book dosent do that shamy blamy all black people thing. im relistening now. this book is permission to free yo miiind. think for yourself. listen to yourself

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Brilliant! Eye opening and a must read.

For anyone interested in liberation of any kind, this book speak about the common denominator in the world of social change. If we think intersectionality is the way forward, we miss the 3 dimensional view. Where intersectionality is a look at where different movements "intersect", a look at animality, shows us the full breadth of the underlying root system of white supremacy. Thanks to Aph Ko's easy to understand narrative, we get a glimpse into the consumptive behaviors perpetuated by the idea that that dominance is natural, and that some living beings are superior to others. Beautifully illustrated with thorough research, and many a welcome trip outside of the thinking boxes we create for ourselves and each other. Deep gratitude for this painstaking witnessing of the scenes behind the curtains we draw on so much in our history.

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easy read, great intellectual content

the author does a great job at illustrating her points. as a community organizer, this book gave me a lot of great things to reflect on.

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  • deborah cadden
  • 07-18-20

Eye opening!

Vegan here just venturing into the world of consistent anti-oppression. Glad to have come across this! Made easier to understand with the glossary of terms for words and concepts that were new to me.