Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Refugee Books

Read books by or about refugees

Diasporas have a huge impact on literature and other cultural motifs.  Think about how much of ours deals with the fallout of things like the African slave trade or the Holocaust.  Wait 10-30 years and today's mayhem will settle into history and inspire great art just like other calamities before it have done.  Each diaspora develops its own signature, and some of them have given us truly glorious things like jazz or chicken tikka tacos.

Also, people have a tendency to look back at past examples and imagine how they would have treated Jewish refugees in the 1930s-40s or Mary and Joseph at the door.  Well, look at how you treat refugees today, and there's your answer.  If you wish that people would have done better by those in the past, try to help those in need right now.  I may not be able to fix America's racism, but I can drop an extra $5 into the tip jar of the Hispanic places we frequent.  I figure if they're not struggling themselves, they probably know someone who is.  Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.

All this is a lot easier if you've read their own words about what's happening.  I tend to favor articles because they're smaller and faster, but for depth and reference quality, you can't beat books.
Tags: activism, ethnic studies, networking, reading
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