Happy new year to my lunar calendar-oriented fans! Welcome to the Year of the Tiger. I don’t know what this year means for us (maybe it’s a time to be bold, or the year eats you, or it’s a time to be bold but then the year eats you anyway), so if you have some special insight or warnings, please share.
I’m in a book promo about empowerment! Check it out here:
I had to explain what about my book is empowering when I joined this promo, and it made me nervous, like the organizer was going to reject me if I/my book wasn’t empowering enough.
February is also Black History Month in the United States, and the whitewashed narrative about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that the public schools of my youth taught always emphasized his speeches (actually just one speech, the least inflammatory one) but never covered his action. (And if you wanted to learn more about Malcolm X, or any other Black activist, you had to go get that info on your own, elsewhere.)
Action is a big part of empowerment. Empowerment is a tricky thing, because it can’t be given to you. You have to give it to yourself. You can read a book that inspires you towards empowerment. But the book doesn’t do the empowering. Just categorically, it can’t. Reading a book can only incite your own empowerment. Then there needs to be action.
Think about Snakes on a Plane. There are, like, all these motherfucking snakes on the motherfucking plane. And Samuel Jackson isn’t like, oh let’s draw up an action memo and circulate it, and see what the back of the plane thinks versus the front, and then we’ll collate the results of the public opinion poll…
But are the snakes empowering? No. SLJ empowers himself to act against the snakes.
There’s this trend now in mainstream commercial action movies to only have superheroes as heroes, and that’s a little disempowering as far as pop culture trends go, because the message is: our only shot at being superheroic is to get bit by a radioactive spider or participate otherwise in some experiment gone wrong, or be wealthy and angry, or get born that way? (I dunno if this is an exhaustive list: I’m not a close follower of these franchises, in case you didn’t notice.)
And I can’t say for sure that my book will lead you to your own revelation that, yes, in fact, you do need to get these motherfucking snakes off this motherfucking plane. But I will say I think it’s an exhilarating read, and the main character (Alice) of my Snakes on a Plane (Corporate Torsos Need Not Apply), does have this same moment, where she’s fed up. And she’s not going to take it anymore.
So check out the promo, check out my book, check out the other books. Happy lunar new year, happy Black history month, and happy empowerment.
I hope you get yours.