By Jonathan Rosenblum | It’s not just actors, writers, and autoworkers powering this year’s strike wave in the United States. Healthcare workers, too, are flexing their collective muscles in greater numbers. And for good reason.
Welcome to Beacon Broadside, the blog of Beacon Press!
Want to receive all of our new posts by email? Subscribe below.
By Jess Zimmerman | The first thing you saw when entering the Dangerous Beauty exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was a vintage dress from Versace’s 1992–1993 “Miss S&M” collection. Straps of quilted leather crisscrossed the throat and décolletage of a headless mannequin, each strap adorned with a dollar-sized brassy coin bearing the head of a howling Gorgon, a play on Versace’s usual logo of a placid Medusa face. The overall effect was oddly militaristic, a sort of four-star dominatrix look.
By Aviva Chomsky | Few predicted that the peace accords and neoliberal reforms of the 1990s would lead to a flood of out-migration in the following decades, as flight would increasingly become the last resort of people desperate to survive, and ties to the United States made it the obvious destination. Migration has been an inherent aspect of all human history, including Central American history.
A Q&A with Bill Ong Hing | I have seen children as young as two separated at the border from their families. When I interviewed these traumatized children in border patrol detention, I was ashamed of our what our nation does in the name of border enforcement. When I said goodbye to a fifty-year-old undocumented man at his home the night before he was deported, it was impossible for me to explain the rationale behind the removal of a twenty-five-year resident with no criminal problems to his US citizen children for whom he had served as soccer coach, homework tutor, insurance provider, driver to after-school programs, and loving father.
By Jonathan Rosenblum | “I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel. Everything is closed. We are fighting human animals, and we will act accordingly.” Those were the chilling words of Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in the wake of the murderous Hamas attack on Oct 7 that killed more than 1,400 Israeli civilians and soldiers.
By Rashid Khalidi | Why is the study of the failure to achieve Palestinian statehood important? It is important, first, because Palestinian history has significance in its own right. It is a hidden history, one that is obscured, at least in the West, by the riveting and tragic narrative of modern Jewish history. Where it is recognized at all, it tends to serve as an appendage or feeble counterpoint to that powerful story. Palestine is a small country—and the Palestinians even today number perhaps only 9 or 10 million people—and yet the people and the land of Palestine loom large in world affairs beyond all consideration of their size. Their drama has been a central one.
By David Delmar Sentíes | The way we access good tech jobs in this country is essentially a pay-to-play model: you need to spend a lot of money to make a lot of money. If you don’t have the opportunity to graduate from college, you’re shut out of many of those jobs. And that’s it. There die our hopes for an equitable tech workforce. There’s not a DEI workshop in the world that can change that, and we need to stop pretending that there is. Equity cannot be achieved by coloring inside the lines of a system that is inherently inequitable.
By Christian Coleman | So much has happened for Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States” in the ten years since it was originally published. It won the American Book Award. It made the New York Times Best Sellers list in 2021. Filmmaker Raoul Peck used it as source material for his HBO docuseries “Exterminate All the Brutes.” The young adult version adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese came out in 2019. Since then, the YA adaptation has earned the honor of becoming a banned book in Texas.
By Christian Coleman | When Latinx workers across the US came together for International Workers’ Day on May 1, 2006, their strike sent more than one message. As historian Paul Ortiz writes in An African American and Latinx History of the United States, they protested immigration restrictions that threatened their families, their livelihoods, and their dignity. The protested to pass national legislation for a living wage. Shutting down meat packing, garment manufacturing, port transportation, trucking and food services in many parts of the country was an act of resistance to neoliberalism, mass incarceration, militarism, and imperialism. Latinx workers from numerous cultures were all in.
A Q&A with Amanda Montei | I’ll say that in both creative and academic circles, the subject of motherhood is often seen as niche and unserious, and personal struggles with caregiving and domestic work are as well. I’ve experienced some pretty outright sexism over the years, but also so many subtle dismissals of my work and my intellect as a mother writing about motherhood, or even just “women’s issues.” Alongside the very real struggle of securing affordable childcare.
Publishing has been my opportunity to participate in a cause which best puts to use the skills I acquired throughout college.
By Mike Rose | Educational opportunity depends on more than what happens within the schoolhouse. Employment, housing, food security, healthcare, safe streets—these are the social and economic issues that significantly affect how children do in school. They are the core problems in the community where I grew up, and in the many communities in our country that bear resemblance to South Central Los Angeles.
By Christian Coleman | It’s back-to-school season, and the US is still upset by its own sense of identity. James Baldwin knew all about it. In his “Talk to Teachers,” he said that if we changed the curriculum in all schools so that Black students learned more about themselves and their real contributions to US culture, we’d not only be liberating Black people; we’d be “liberating white people who know nothing about their own history.” The side-eye for FL, TX, and other states is warranted and righteous, because they’re still hell-bent on suppressing Black history or completely whitewashing it.
By Heidi Boghosian | A new bill designed to strengthen kids’ privacy online might have the opposite effect. The Kids Online Safety Act of 2022 (KOSA) could expose users to heightened surveillance and data collection while also leading to digital content censorship. Increases in surveillance and content cutbacks will affect not just kids but adults as well.
By Charles Euchner | On August 28, the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, we celebrate the power of words. On this day, Martin Luther Dr. King, Jr. delivered his immortal “I Have a Dream” oration before 400,000 souls at the National Mall. Dr. King was joined by countless others whose words should be remembered for the ages. Fred Shuttlesworth charged the throng to “walk together, stand together, sing together, moan together, groan together.”
By Naomi McDougall Jones | Because filmmaking is hard—for anyone, even in the best circumstances—I am well aware that there are still skeptics about whether there is discrimination against women in Hollywood at all. Thus far, I’ve built the case, I hope, for what is happening. But if you work long enough and hard enough at it, you could suggest reasons why discrimination wasn’t at the heart of each anecdote and career story I’ve provided. Let’s zoom out, then, to look at the wide shot of what is happening to women and their careers in Hollywood. Let’s look at the data.
In college, someone told me to think about the things I loved when I was younger, because those things would bring the most joy in my career. Books meant everything to me as a kid. Beacon was a great fit because of my political science degree and nonprofit internships in college. Also, I mostly read nonfiction.
By Christian Coleman | Come on, Barbie! Let’s go party . . . in your library! You’re about to become Bookworm Barbie and read the days and nights away. Don’t worry about Ken. He’ll be fine because he’s just Ken. Now that you’re in your self-discovery era, you’ll have lots of questions. Like why you’re in a blockbuster summer movie and how the film industry works. We got you. And everything you want to know about empowerment for women and girls, beauty (and health) standards, life in plastic in the real world, the patriarchy, and all the badassery in women’s history is in these books from our catalog. Each sold separately!
By Julia Watts Belser | Ever since I began writing “Loving Our Own Bones,” I knew I wanted to craft a plain language version. The book brings disability culture into conversation with Jewish and Christian traditions, inviting readers to explore how disability insights can transform our politics and our spiritual lives. At its heart, it’s a book about challenging ableism—a book that calls us all to build a radically accessible world.
By Ben Mattlin | When you’ve grown up in a world not quite made for you or are forced into one from an accident or illness, and when you feel you should be able to do what everybody else seems to do, when you feel as if you’ve been inexplicably singled out for punishment, it can be utterly, achingly soul sinking. Worse still, it’s hard to shake. “Internalized ableism” is believing the prejudicial assumptions and expectations thrust on you by society, believing you’re inferior, undesirable, burdensome, don’t fit in, and/or in need of repairing or healing or fixing or curing.