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Young and Disaffected: Some (bittersweet) notes for growing up Southern

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If not you, then who? Young and Disaffected shines a spotlight on the people working hard to make the American South a better place for the younger, more progressive generations. Author Valencia Richardson wrote this love letter to her home region; featuring stories from young adults fighting the good fight to empower Southern youths. It's a demand to take action and stand If not you, then who? Young and Disaffected shines a spotlight on the people working hard to make the American South a better place for the younger, more progressive generations. Author Valencia Richardson wrote this love letter to her home region; featuring stories from young adults fighting the good fight to empower Southern youths. It's a demand to take action and stand up for their rights despite obstacles created by deep-rooted conservative political roots. Interviewing young activists with their boots on the ground and recounting to historical accounts from civil rights leaders, this book's goal is to show younger generations that you don't have to sit back and wait for change. Instead, they can stand up right now and get involved in forcing a change through political activism. For example, you'll hear a story about an undocumented immigration activist risking his safety and freedom to raise awareness about the plight of people like him in the South. While Young and Disaffected doesn't presume that hope is a given, it does show that hope is always an option even when all seems lost. To all Southerners looking for this hope, look no further than the young people already doing the work.


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If not you, then who? Young and Disaffected shines a spotlight on the people working hard to make the American South a better place for the younger, more progressive generations. Author Valencia Richardson wrote this love letter to her home region; featuring stories from young adults fighting the good fight to empower Southern youths. It's a demand to take action and stand If not you, then who? Young and Disaffected shines a spotlight on the people working hard to make the American South a better place for the younger, more progressive generations. Author Valencia Richardson wrote this love letter to her home region; featuring stories from young adults fighting the good fight to empower Southern youths. It's a demand to take action and stand up for their rights despite obstacles created by deep-rooted conservative political roots. Interviewing young activists with their boots on the ground and recounting to historical accounts from civil rights leaders, this book's goal is to show younger generations that you don't have to sit back and wait for change. Instead, they can stand up right now and get involved in forcing a change through political activism. For example, you'll hear a story about an undocumented immigration activist risking his safety and freedom to raise awareness about the plight of people like him in the South. While Young and Disaffected doesn't presume that hope is a given, it does show that hope is always an option even when all seems lost. To all Southerners looking for this hope, look no further than the young people already doing the work.

36 review for Young and Disaffected: Some (bittersweet) notes for growing up Southern

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dana Sweeney

    (Note: I am not a neutral reader as I am a friend of the author, and as I am briefly featured in this book alongside many much cooler young Southerners.) This was a quick and surprisingly light read that left me feeling refreshed and hopeful about what is possible in the Deep South. Richardson’s title, “Young and Disaffected,” describes the feelings of frustration, outrage, and refusal that many young Southerners experience when thinking about our relationships to home. Many of us are are harmed (Note: I am not a neutral reader as I am a friend of the author, and as I am briefly featured in this book alongside many much cooler young Southerners.) This was a quick and surprisingly light read that left me feeling refreshed and hopeful about what is possible in the Deep South. Richardson’s title, “Young and Disaffected,” describes the feelings of frustration, outrage, and refusal that many young Southerners experience when thinking about our relationships to home. Many of us are are harmed and repulsed by the inequalities and injustices we have inherited. And yet, those harms and feelings of disillusion are complicated for many by a deep love for our communities. How do we hold that tension? How do we reconcile our love for a place with the horror and pain of what it does to us, and to our people? The story of young and disillusioned Southerner is too often viewed interchangeably with the “escape” narrative of young Southerners who are suffocated by the many deeply-rooted oppressions of this region, who become “disaffected” in believing that it is a place incapable of change, and who flee the South for big metros elsewhere. This is a book about young Southerners who are disaffected with the way things are, but it’s not about the ones who left — it’s about the ones who stayed, and who are fighting like hell all over the South to deliver a better future for ourselves and our people right here. Through the profiles included in the book, readers get an on-the-ground view of how young people are fighting for a better South across many different issues. Readers also get good insight from Richardson about dynamics of the region, and a bit about her own trailblazing story fighting for student voting rights in Louisiana (she is amazing). The civil rights activist Grace Lee Boggs once wrote: “The most radical thing I ever did was to stay put.” It’s one of my favorite declarations. So many of these stories moved me and made me feel more able to be a small-town Southerner who stays put, who defiantly claims my home and does my best to make it right. There is so much encouragement, hope, and possibility carried in this slim text. There are so many futures. I am so glad I read it, and I hope that others might read it, too.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Wow. I really ended up feeling like Richardson said many of the things I was feeling but didn’t know. As someone who grew up in the South and grew to be disdainful of the tropes associated with it, and ultimately left the South for college but returned, this book really hit home. It reads like a bubbling call-to-action that makes you want to get on your feet and go do something for the cause RIGHT NOW. Fabulously written and right about so many things. I’m glad someone else has been feeling the Wow. I really ended up feeling like Richardson said many of the things I was feeling but didn’t know. As someone who grew up in the South and grew to be disdainful of the tropes associated with it, and ultimately left the South for college but returned, this book really hit home. It reads like a bubbling call-to-action that makes you want to get on your feet and go do something for the cause RIGHT NOW. Fabulously written and right about so many things. I’m glad someone else has been feeling the fundamental contradiction.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    It's amazing to read about someone else's love/hate relationship with the south. Being from Alabama and having lived in Louisiana and Texas, I never know how to explain that I love my home but I hate the politics. That I struggle between going back or staying in Baltimore where I can feel remnants of New Orleans. So this is a beautiful book that deserves a lot more love. It's amazing to read about someone else's love/hate relationship with the south. Being from Alabama and having lived in Louisiana and Texas, I never know how to explain that I love my home but I hate the politics. That I struggle between going back or staying in Baltimore where I can feel remnants of New Orleans. So this is a beautiful book that deserves a lot more love.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Woodson

    Valencia puts out the call home to all the children of the south, and a call in to those who might belittle the South as a foregone electoral conclusion. And on a night like tonight—as Georgians elected Rev. Warnock and Jon Ossoff to the Senate, it deserved a full read cover to cover.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  6. 5 out of 5

    Robert T. Parker

  7. 5 out of 5

    Khristen Jones

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alicia Dixon

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dorothy J

  10. 5 out of 5

    Heather Abraham

  11. 4 out of 5

    Meghan Hochstetler

  12. 4 out of 5

    Saylar Epperson

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Waterwash

  14. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  15. 4 out of 5

    Teddy Sims

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tom Woolf

  17. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Goodwin

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alex Dugan

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brianna Mason

  20. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  21. 5 out of 5

    Helen Rose Patterson

  22. 4 out of 5

    Johanna Boult

  23. 4 out of 5

    Seth Nieman

  24. 4 out of 5

    Hope Ortego

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nick Doran

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kaylee

  27. 4 out of 5

    darnella biddle

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dave

  29. 4 out of 5

    Denise

  30. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

  31. 4 out of 5

    Genevieve F.

  32. 4 out of 5

    Megan Kurtz

  33. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Kish

  34. 4 out of 5

    Macy Osman

  35. 5 out of 5

    Erin Degler

  36. 4 out of 5

    Courtlyn Burgess

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