This Valentine’s Day, UC Press explores expanding our definitions of love to include care for our communities. Focusing on activism and social change, the books featured highlight movements and ideas to make the world more inclusive from the first half of the twentieth century to the mutual-aid groups of today.
The Auntie Sewing Squad Guide to Mask Making, Radical Care, and Racial Justice
edited by Mai-Linh K. Hong, Chrissy Yee Lau, and Preeti Sharma
Founded by performance artist Kristina Wong, the Auntie Sewing Squad is a quirky, fast-moving, and adaptive mutual-aid group that showed up to make and funnel masks to asylum seekers, Indigenous communities, incarcerated people, farmworkers, and others disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Led primarily by women of color, the group includes some who learned to sew from mothers and grandmothers working for sweatshops or as a survival skill passed down by refugee relatives. The Auntie Sewing Squad speaks back to the history of exploited immigrant labor as it enacts an intersectional commitment to public health for all. Written and edited by Aunties themselves, this collection of essays and ephemera is a community document of the labor and care of the Auntie Sewing Squad.
From social theorist and psychotherapist Rabbi Michael Lerner comes a strategy for a new socialism built on love, kindness, and compassion for one another. Revolutionary Love proposes a method to replace what Lerner terms the “capitalist globalization of selfishness” with a globalization of generosity, prophetic empathy, and environmental sanity. Inspired by Herbert Marcuse, Erich Fromm, and Carol Gilligan, Revolutionary Love offers a strategy to create the “Caring Society.” Lerner details how a civilization infused with love could put an end to global poverty, homelessness, and hunger. He asks that we develop the courage to stop listening to those who tell us that fundamental social transformation is “unrealistic.”
Not Yo’ Butterfly
My Long Song of Relocation, Race, Love, and Revolution
by Nobuko Miyamoto
Not Yo’ Butterfly is the intimate and unflinching life story of Nobuko Miyamoto—artist, activist, and mother. Beginning with the harrowing early years of her life as a Japanese American child navigating a fearful west coast during World War II, Miyamoto leads readers into the landscapes that defined the experiences of twentieth-century America and also foregrounds the struggles of people of color who reclaimed their histories, identities, and power through activism and art.
Her narrative intersects with the stories of Yuri Kochiyama and Grace Lee Boggs, influential in both Asian and Black liberation movements. She tells how her experience of motherhood with an Afro-Asian son, as well as a marriage that intertwined Black and Japanese families and communities, placed her at the nexus of the 1992 Rodney King riots—and how she used art to create interracial solidarity and conciliation.
Love’s Next Meeting
The Forgotten History of Homosexuality and the Left in American Culture
by Aaron Lecklider
Well before Stonewall, a broad cross section of sexual dissidents took advantage of their space on the margins of American society to throw themselves into leftist campaigns. Aaron S. Lecklider uncovers a lively cast of individuals and dynamic expressive works, revealing remarkably progressive engagement with homosexuality among radicals, workers, and the poor. Leftists connected sexual dissidence with radical gender politics, antiracism, and challenges to censorship and obscenity laws through the 1920s and 1930s. In the process, a wide array of activists, organizers, artists, and writers laid the foundation for a radical movement through which homosexual lives and experiences were given shape and new political identities were forged.
The Next American Revolution
Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century, Foreword by Danny Glover and Afterword with Immanuel Wallerstein
by Grace Lee Boggs and Scott Kurashige
In this powerful, deeply humanistic book, Grace Lee Boggs, a legendary figure in the struggle for justice in America, shrewdly assesses the current crisis—political, economical, and environmental—and shows how to create the radical social change we need to confront new realities. A vibrant, inspirational force, Boggs has participated in all of the twentieth century’s major social movements—for civil rights, women’s rights, workers’ rights, and more. She draws from seven decades of activist experience, and a rigorous commitment to critical thinking, to redefine “revolution” for our times.
In exploring an array of intimacies between global migrants Nayan Shah illuminates a stunning, transient world of heterogeneous social relations—dignified, collaborative, and illicit. At the same time he demonstrates how the United States and Canada, in collusion with each other, actively sought to exclude and dispossess nonwhite races. Stranger Intimacy reveals the intersections between capitalism, the state’s treatment of immigrants, sexual citizenship, and racism in the first half of the twentieth century.