The FADER Weekend Reading List

Our favorite reads from this week, featuring boombox musicals, sneaker heads, and threesomes.

July 17, 2015
The Mixed-Up Brothers of Bogotá

Susan Dominus, New York Times (7/9)

Do you believe in telenovelas? This is the true story of how two sets of twins in Colombia were swapped at birth, how they found each other, and what happened next. Yeah. For real. Read about William, Wilbur, Jorge, and Carlos for ultimate goosebumps.

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The Boombox Musical

Richard Morgan, The Awl (7/10)

A new kind of musical is blowing up on Broadway. It's called Hamilton, and it's a supremely smart, fun and poignant account of the life of Alexander Hamilton. As Richard Morgan writes, “Broadway is whiter than the Supreme Court, whiter than Harvard University’s student body, whiter than all of France,” but Lin Manuel Miranda's show that knocked everyone's socks off at veteran off-Broadway theater The Public is anything but white. It poses Hamilton's story as that of an immigrant in New York City, not only just trying to get by, but trying to make a change. And the best part about Hamilton is that every single insanely talented member of the cast is a person of color. Imagine a scene in which three of the founding fathers—Jefferson, Madison, and Burr—stand on stage together, played by three non-white men. Incredible, groundbreaking, and full of dope as hell beats. Read about it in Morgan's piece on The Awl.

The Hard Truths of Ta Nehisi-Coates

Benjamin Wallace-Wells, New York (7/12)

Ta Nehisi-Coates' new book, Between the World and Me, is structured as a letter to his son about black America. The book has gotten praise in pretty much every publication that's reviewed it, and even Toni Morrison herself lauds Coates: “I’ve been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died,” Morrison wrote. “Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates.” It's a book we all should read. For more on Between the World and Me, check out Shani O. Hilton's female perspective think piece on Coates' book, "The Black Experience Isn't Just About Men" on Buzzfeed.

The Really Big One

Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker (7/14)

"An earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest. The question is when." Kathryn Schulz at The New Yorker explains the impending earthquake that will devastate part of our west coast. She gives us a history of how explorers like Lewis and Clark discovered the geography and landscape of our country, as well as a handy (pun intended) way to visualize the structure of North America's tectonic plates. It's kind of like a fun activity from fifth grade science class, only terrifying.

Beyond the Model Minority Myth

Jennifer Pan, Jacobin (7/14)

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“To succeed in America is, somehow, to be complicit with the idea of America—which means that at some level you’ve made peace with its rather ugly past,” as Harvard professor Vijay Iyer said in a speech at Yale. Race is a huge issue in the U.S., and has been at the forefront of the political conversation for a while now. Jennifer Pan's extremely insightful piece on capitalism, minority status, and Asian-American racial identity in light of recent events is both challenging and captivating. Read it!

Why Women Are “Sidelined” at the Brooklyn Museum’s Sneakerhead Exhibit

Mike Sheffield, Hopes&Fears (7/15)

The next few articles I've compiled are about women who rule the streets and the net and the world. This first one is about the Brooklyn Museum's current exhibition, "The Rise of Sneaker Culture." The exhibit was curated by Elizabeth Semmelhack, who told Sheffield of Hopes&Fears that there are many reasons women are sidelined from sneaker culture: “from lack of sneakers in their sizes to the fact that I think that a lot of sneaker culture is about masculinity. That part of this dates back to a historic reluctance to let women engage in sports [and] femininity being called into question when women [were] interested in athletics.” Women aren't generally included in sneaker culture because of historical sexism, which makes sense. But chicks wear sneakers, too. Duh. Sheffield's piece explores female sneaker culture and features interviews with dope ladies in dope kicks, and why sneakers bring them joy.

Hero Woman Refuses to Be Shamed After Her Public Threesome Goes Viral

Sarah Ratchford, Vice (7/15)

There was a segment on John Oliver's Last Week Tonight in June about revenge porn and women being harassed online. If you didn't see it, you should watch it, but the gist of it is that women are constantly being trolled and humiliated on the internet, and there really isn't an efficient way of policing these harassers. Sarah Ratchford wrote this piece for Vice about a woman named Alexis Frulling, who had a threesome with some dudes that was filmed without her knowledge. That in itself is messed up, but the video was posted online and subsequently went viral. Can you imagine over a million people watching you have a threesome that you did not consent to having filmed? WTF, am I right? Well, Alexis Frulling has taken control of her own narrative, and claimed her space as a woman online. As Ratchford writes, "The men involved have presumably disappeared back into their normal lives and clearly don't feel the same pressure to speak up for themselves. It's only Frulling who has to stand up for herself in this way, because she's the only one being shamed." But Frulling won't allow herself to be ashamed. She's definitely the role model type.

The Pink Ghetto of Social Media

Alana Hope Levinson, Medium (7/16)

Okay, so when you think of the title "Social Media Manager," or any variation on that role, do you think high power? Probably not. At least, that's what's up with men who hire mostly women to do the job of social media marketing. Which, actually, requires an in-depth knowledge of how each and every social media platform works, and how to navigate and sell stories within each platform. Basically, those old fuddy duddies who don't know how to use The Twitter have been hiring women to do the job because it seems "easy," and obviously women are only suited for "easy" jobs (LOL, not). Alana Hope Levinson writes about what's being called the "Pink Ghetto" (or, as Jennifer Pan called it "Pink Collar"), and how in ten or so years, all those badass social media ladies will be running shit. Look out.

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The FADER Weekend Reading List