In Spring of 2022, Charnice Milton Community Bookstore and We Act Radio launched reading and conversation with the aim of understanding the workings of oppression and our part in them. We cannot work effectively to end what we do not comprehend. And we cannot act effectively if we feel hopeless, ill-equipped, over-whelmed, and isolated. So, this project is an attempt to address these issues with a shared journey. The journey is based on the Exodus story — not as a text of anyone’s religious covenant but as an engaging and provocative narrative about power and about what happens when disparate groups share the same space.
Rereading Exodus along the Anacostia: some lessons of cross river dialogue, now available as ebook and paperback via BOOKSHOP — 30% of proceeds from all purchases made through our WeLuvBooks Bookshop go directly back to CMCB — or direct from Lulu.
For those local to DC, print copies are also available. Contact WeLuvBooks for details.
More information and peeks inside.
Preface for Rereading Exodus is below.
Here’s a link to part of the “Preliminaries” chapter of Rereading Exodus.
Errata page (basic typos corrected)
Excerpt introducing Joseph and Exodus stories:
Profits from e- and print books benefit Charnice Milton Community Bookstore, which supports literacy in DC and provides free books to children, especially east of the river.
Preface to print edition of Rereading Exodus:
Rereading Exodus is a journey, and I appreciate everyone who takes even a few of its steps with me. This book uses Exodus narrative — a story important to many aspects of popular culture — as a tool for exploring power, oppression, and clashes of perspectives. The goal is to learn how we got into this “Narrow Place” of inequality, militarism, and racism and how we might get ourselves — all of us — out.
This book has been in process, in one form or another, since the Before Times. Back then, I fretted that some of what I wrote was too harsh, not “balanced” enough, or just too direct. Today, I am not sure there are words harsh enough for our country’s lethal racial divides. I never deliberately share falsehoods or half-truths; at the same time, however, I recognize no “other side” on when it comes to denying anyone’s humanity and human rights. As for over-directness, I recall a long-ago ballet teacher who told her classes: If you are timid in your presentation, I might miss a dangerous mistake. Whatever you’re doing, do it all the way, and then we can work on corrections together.
…I have hesitated many times in sending this book out to the world. In some ways, the easier course would be to keep my words to myself…or hold out for perfection, its impossibility shielding me from ever finishing. But there are conversations we need to have, and work we need to do. Now. It is my fervent hope that this far-less-than-perfect offering will launch some necessary discussions.
It is not humblebrag to say I am sure there are mistakes in here. There will undoubtedly be typos and nonsense ahead — [I’ve seen some, but can no longer change the text for now] for those I apologize and hope they are not too distracting. There will also be more serious missteps — for those I hope readers will engage the concepts and let me know where future discussions need shifting, as well as advising me of errors or lack of clarity. — Virginia in DC, March 29, 2022/26 Adar II 5782