Top 10 Reads You May Have Missed in August

Photo by Janine Robinson

This summer has been a season full of headlines and reckonings in the social justice space. There is the ongoing global pandemic and climbing infections in the U.S.; a re-centering of racial justice activism, Black Lives Matter and policing reform in May; Pride Month and LGBTQ activism in June; Disability Pride Month and accessibility activism in July, along with the ongoing attacks on the USPS and vote-by-mail. Needless to say we’ve kept busy at Fenton supporting our clients—and our own teams—through a tumultuous few months.    

We are now less than three months away from one of the most consequential elections of our lifetime. Everything we’ve been faced with this summer, and over the last four years, is on the ballot in November. Both the Democratic and Republican national conventions have come and gone, and brought with them a new slate of headlines and history-making moments. 

This reading list focuses on the road to November 3rd: what do we need to prepare for, what structural reforms should we be pushing harder on, and how do we get out the vote in a global pandemic? 

  1. The Convention Has Finally Become What It Always Was. For decades, political conventions have adapted to every indignity that progress and technology could throw at them.
    By Andrew Ferguson, The Atlantic
  2. How Decades of Racist Housing Policy Left Neighborhoods Sweltering. In the 1930s, federal officials redlined these neighborhoods in Richmond, Va., marking them as risky investments because residents were Black.
    By Brad Plumer and Nadja Popovich, The New York Times
  3. Women provided the muscle for the March on Washington: This too was freedom. Often history overlooks the work of Black women because it occurs in the sphere of the domestic rather than in hot streets behind a megaphone.
    By Roger Reeves, The Undefeated
  4. President Obama Is Right: To Save Our Democracy, End the Senate Filibuster. On July 30, a nation mourned as we put to rest one of America’s greatest heroes: Congressman John Lewis. As a young man during the 1960s civil rights movement, he repeatedly put his own freedom, even his own life, on the line to fight for the democratic principles our country was founded on.
    By Senator Jeff Merkley, Data For Progress
  5. How We Can Prevent Electoral Disaster In November. After disastrous primaries in the early days of the pandemic, some of the same states have run better elections in August as voters have cast record numbers of mailed-out ballots and many in-person polling places reopened in metro areas, even though the same states’ COVID-19 rates are now higher.
    By Steven Rosenfeld, The National Memo
  6. The visual language American women used in the fight to vote and get elected. The struggle for women’s political power in the U.S. has been a fight illustrated with bold typography and conscious color choices. Through symbols and imagery, women from suffragettes to modern female politicians have built their own visual language.
    By Hunter Schwarz, Yello
  7. The NBA Wildcat Strike Is How a Revolution Starts. Black cultural institutions have always contained the seeds of radical rebellion.
    By Lester Spence, Mother Jones
  8. The Lived-In Grace of Chadwick Boseman. The actor, who died Friday at the age of forty-three, brought to his roles a sense of history, responsibility, and implicit but intensely personal political commitment.
    By Richard Brody, The New Yorker
  9. How Bias In Medical Textbooks Endangers BIPOC. Malone Mukwende’s eyes light up when he talks about why he wants to be a doctor. “Going to medical school came from a place of understanding that medicine is the study of people,” he tells me via Zoom. “Once you know how people operate when they’re well, you can work backwards and figure out how they’ll be when they’re not.”
    By Molly Longman, Refinery29
  10. A Brief History Of Political Interference In The U.S. Postal Service. The U.S. Postal Service is suddenly at the center of a political firestorm.
    By Christianna Silva, NPR