February may be a short month but the Lending Library is not short on great additions to our shelves! Explore the intersections of queerness, fatness, and also Blackness this month with three new books that will do everything from challenge you to teach you to give you a voice that gets you.
Check out Bad Fat Black Girl: Notes from a Trap Feminist by Sesali Bowen. More than a memoir, Bowen’s book seeks to discuss and expand on how we engage with and what we think of as feminism. Inspired by music and how she envisions an evolving relationship with it and herself, Bowen uses the term “trap feminism” to describe a new way to look at feminism. From the book cover:
“Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Sesali Bowen learned early on how to hustle and stay on her toes as she navigated Blackness, body-shaming, friendships, sex work, and more. In her memoir, Bowen recounts how she forged her own path in hip-hop journalism, where she interviewed game-changing artists like Megan Thee Stallion, Lizzo, and Janelle Monáe—and then decided to change the game herself.
Mainstream feminism often leaves out Black women: their lives, their needs, their dreams, and yes, their love for hip-hop. Determined to create a more inclusive space for all women, femmes, and nonbinary babes, Bowen coins and defines the term “trap feminism,” a contemporary framework that examines where hip-hop and feminism meet. An unforgettable, genre-defining debut and quintessential text for the hot girl era, Bad Fat Black Girl continues a Black feminist legacy for all.”
Next we’re shelving Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness by Da’Shaun L. Harrison. With research, interviews, and personal experience, Harrison delves into the intersections of Blackness, fatness, gender, and violence in new and imaginative ways. A short, yet deeply engaging text, this is a book that challenges its readers to move beyond many things—beyond health, beyond self-love, beyond the world. From the back of the book:
“To live in a body both fat and Black is to exist at the margins of a society that creates the conditions for anti-fatness as anti-Blackness. Hyper-policed by state and society, passed over for housing and jobs, and derided and misdiagnosed by medical professionals, fat Black people in the United States are subject to socio-politically sanctioned discrimination, abuse, condescension, and trauma.
Da’Shaun Harrison—a fat, Black, disabled, and nonbinary trans writer—offers an inclusive, fresh, and precise exploration of anti-fatness as anti-Blackness, foregrounding the state-sanctioned murders of fat Black men and trans and nonbinary masculine people in historical analysis. Policing, disenfranchisement, and invisibilizing of fat Black men and trans and nonbinary masculine people are a pervasive, insidious ways that anti-fat anti-Blackness shows up in everyday life.
Taking on disability politics, the limitations of gender, the connection between anti-fatness and carcerality, and the incongruity of “health” and “healthiness” for the Black fat, Harrison viscerally and vividly illustrates the myriad harms of anti-fat anti-Blackness. They offer strategies for dismantling denial, unlearning the cultural programming that tells us “fat is bad,” and destroying the world as we know it, so the Black fat can inhabit a place not built on their subjugation.”
We have one more new book for you this month and it’s Fat and Queer: An Anthology of Queer and Trans Bodies and Lives. This collection of work features a diverse selection of creators writing everything from essays to prose to poetry. These pieces seek to speak to those who have struggled with their bodies, their identities, their selves. The pieces here celebrate bodies and lives often othered, and insist on creating space to live and love on their own terms. From the back cover:
“We’re here. We’re queer. We’re fat.
This one-of-a-kind collection of prose and poetry radically explores the intersection of fat and queer identities, showcasing new, emerging, and established queer and trans writers from around the world. In writing that is intimate, luminous, and emotionally raw, this anthology challenges negative and damaging representations and offers readers ways to reclaim their bodies, providing stories of support, inspiration, and empowerment that celebrate the diversity and power of fat and queer voices and experiences.”