Necessary Trouble

So we just started reading the second book for our class: Sarah Jaffe’s Necessary Trouble: Americans In Revolt. I just want to start off by saying that Sarah Jaffe seems like a super cool (and smart as hell!!) woman that I would want to eat dinner or get coffee with.

In this book, Jaffe gets political and recounts recent social movements. Like, really recent. The book was published in 2016, so I can actually remember some of the movements that she’s brought up so far. The first big thing I noted about the book, however, I noticed before I even cracked it open. The cover of her book is a bright school bus yellow accented with some hot pink text and a hot pink map outline of the United States. The cover design and her choice of color is so obnoxious in the absolute best way possible.


Photo by: Sara Nicotra

As you may be able to tell  by the design of this blog, pink is my favorite color. It always has been and it probably always will be. However, pink is not a color that is often, or ever, associated with political discourse (it’s usually red or blue), or, I would argue, even intelligence. Maybe it’s because it’s a traditionally feminine and girly color, but the color pink, I think, is not taken seriously. I LOVE Jaffe’s use of the bright, obnoxious, hot pink on the cover and also love how she carries it and her in-your-face personae through the book’s website and her Twitter.

I was hesitant to make part of my blog pink, a color that I like and think reflects who I am, because I didn’t want it to take away from any credibility that I might have. But hey, if Jaffe can do it for her politically charged book then I can do it for my blog.

As far as the actual content of the book goes, I’m finding it extremely interesting and I love her style of writing. She frames the events as a narrative that makes it easy to read and it makes me want to read what she has to say.

The first chapter, called “Banks Got Bailed Out, We Got Sold Out,” Jaffe writes about the rise of the Tea Party, which, to be completely honest, I knew almost nothing about even though I knew what it was. In her description of the early days of the movement, I noticed some similarities between the Tea Party and other recent movements, specifically Black Lives Matter. Jaffe explains how “loose networks formed around Twitter hashtags” (23). That is literally how BLM got started – with a Twitter hashtag. Well, technically it was a Facebook hashtag first, but still.

She also says that “the Tea Party wore their anger on their sleeve. Often, it was directed at the newly elected president, but it was also often aimed at local representatives who were not seen as being responsive enough” (25). Individuals that are involved in BLM are angry as hell and they have not been hiding it. African-Americans continued to be victims of police brutality and violence and no one with power was doing anything about it, they were not “being responsive enough,” and still aren’t.


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