The upcoming Oakland Book Festival features a conversation between two preeminent social theorists: Angela Davis and Judith Butler. In preparation, it’s worth re-reading some of their best works. Acknowledging it’s impossible to pick one book that captures the full brilliance of these intellectual giants, we recommend the following: Check out Blues Legacies and Black Feminism and Are Prisons Obsolete? by Davis; and Gender Trouble by Butler. Blues Legacies examines the music and lives of three Black women singers in the post-slavery, pre-Civil Rights Movement world, tracing the political and culturally transgressive powers of their art. Prisons is one of the most crucial interventions against mass incarceration, mapping the social and economic forces that have us believing penitentiaries and mass incarceration are inevitable in order to show us they’re not. And Butler’s Gender Trouble is the mischievous text that pulled the rugs of heteronormativity and naturalism out from under us when it comes to thinking about sex and gender. Butler and Davis will chat along with UC Berkeley Rhetoric Professor Ramona Naddaff in the Oakland City Council Chambers on May 21.
Sunday, May 21, 12:30pm, free, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, OaklandBookFestival.org.