Book Talk “Grieving While Black” and “Be the Refuge”
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Submitted by the Event Organizer
Join us on Thursday, June 10 at 6pm PT when Breeshia Wade and Chenxing Han join us to discuss their books, Grieving While Black and Be the Refuge on Zoom!
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Praise for Grieving While Black
“Grieving While Black expands the notion of grief beyond its quick association with death to examine all of the spiritual and psychological tolls of racism and sexism. By drawing on her experiences as a birth doula and chaplain, Breeshia Wade complicates grief itself by exploring different forms of loss while also imagining a path toward healing. A bracing, illuminating read.”
—BRIT BENNETT, author of the New York Times best sellers The Vanishing Half and The Mothers
“Breeshia Wade has written a moving testament to the power of grief and healing at the intersection of generational loss, race, and sexuality. This book is a must-read for anyone looking to enact compassionate antiracism in their activism and in their lives.”
—SARAH VALENTINE, PhD, author of When I Was White
About Grieving While Black
An exploration of grief and racial trauma through the eyes of a Black end-of-life caregiver.
Most of us understand grief as sorrow experienced after a loss—the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or a change in life circumstance. Breeshia Wade approaches grief as something that is bigger than what’s already happened to us—as something that is connected to what we fear, what we love, and what we aspire toward. Drawing on stories from her own life as a Black woman and from the people she has midwifed through the end of life, she connects sorrow not only to specific incidents but also to the ongoing trauma that is part and parcel of systemic oppression.
Wade reimagines our relationship to power, accountability, and boundaries and points to the long-term work we must all do in order to address systemic trauma perpetuated within our interpersonal relationships. Each of us has a moral obligation to attend to our own grief so that we can responsibly engage with others. Wade elucidates grief in every aspect of our lives, providing a map back to ourselves and allowing the reader to heal their innate wholeness.
Praise for Be the Refuge
“In Be The Refuge, Buddhists from all backgrounds will find truth in the words of like-minded people from various Asian streams, dealing squarely with the complexity of ‘betwixt-and-between’ racial identities and life experiences.” –San Francisco Book Review (5/5 stars)
“Chenxing Han writes with a singular grace, missing nothing in a work that draws from a well of academic origins, while merging cultural critique and luminous voices into a moving memoir. No doubt many an Asian American Buddhist will find themselves heard and championed here, even as the book’s careful sifting of histories and possibilities makes it valuable reading for future scholarship. Above all, Be the Refuge lives up to its name.”
—erin Khuê Ninh, author of Ingratitude: The Debt-Bound Daughter in Asian American Literature
About Be the Refuge
A must-read for modern sanghas–Asian American Buddhists in their own words, on their own terms.
Despite the fact that two thirds of U.S. Buddhists identify as Asian American, mainstream perceptions about what it means to be Buddhist in America often whitewash and invisibilize the diverse, inclusive, and intersectional communities that lie at the heart of American Buddhism.
Be the Refuge is both critique and celebration, calling out the erasure of Asian American Buddhists while uplifting the complexity and nuance of their authentic stories and vital, thriving communities. Drawn from in-depth interviews with a pan-ethnic, pan-Buddhist group, Be the Refuge is the first book to center young Asian American Buddhists’ own voices. With insights from multi-generational, second-generation, convert, and socially engaged Asian American Buddhists, Be the Refuge includes the stories of trailblazers, bridge-builders, integrators, and refuge-makers who hail from a wide range of cultural and religious backgrounds.
Championing nuanced representation over stale stereotypes, Han and the 89 interviewees in Be the Refuge push back against false narratives like the Oriental monk, the superstitious immigrant, and the banana Buddhist–typecasting that collapses the multivocality of Asian American Buddhists into tired, essentialized tropes. Encouraging frank conversations about race, representation, and inclusivity among Buddhists of all backgrounds, Be the Refuge embodies the spirit of interconnection that glows at the heart of American Buddhism.
Categories: *Top Pick*, Literature, Online