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Aphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism from Two Sisters

4.77  ·  Rating details ·  146 ratings  ·  26 reviews
In this lively, accessible, and provocative collection, Aph and Syl Ko provide new theoretical frameworks on race, advocacy for nonhuman animals, and feminism. Using popular culture as a point of reference for their critiques, the Ko sisters engage in groundbreaking analysis of the compartmentalized nature of contemporary social movements, present new ways of understanding ...more
Kindle Edition, 202 pages
Published May 16th 2017
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4.77  · 
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 ·  146 ratings  ·  26 reviews


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Martin Rowe
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm the publisher of this book, and I thought I'd offer a few thoughts on its publication. One of the joys of reading is surely to be invited into a world you might otherwise have little knowledge of or not necessarily be privy to. In 2010, I published SISTAH VEGAN, which was a collection of articles, poems, and essays by a number of black-identified female vegans. The diversity of voices, media, and issues raised was truly eye-opening for me. It allowed me to be present in a conversation where, ...more
E.D.E. Bell
I really enjoyed this book. “Enjoy” may be an unexpected word choice for a series of essays meant to challenge thought on issues of humanity connected to animality in the context of race, but I’m one of those people who loves for my ideas to be thoughtfully challenged. If this isn’t normally a book you’d read, I encourage you to consider it anyway. (More about that below.)

Often, people advocating against their own oppression are confronted with the assertion that the issues they raise are exagge
...more
A. Breeze Harper
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant. Afro-futuristic approach to veganism, animal studies, feminism, and pop culture. They deliver. This is beyond even the concept of "intersectionality". My favorite is the concept of animality that they bring in and how it is contingent upon white supremacy, racism, and speciesism. Like wow, amazing.
Ireene
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh my, where do I start? How do I express my deep gratitude for given a chance to read this very important book? It is mind blowing, it is amazing, it is a must read. So many new ideas, so much to think about, so much to learn. I'll probably start reading it again because I want to understand better and be challenged again. Everything you have ever thought about antiracism, feminism and veganism gets a new angle. Nothing is the same. But suddenly the future is so much brighter. It just might be ...more
Corvus
I have been reading the writings of Aph and Syl Ko since the beginnings of APHRO-ISM and Black Vegans Rock as blog sites. Back then it was already very exciting to see people coming out with ideas that were not only tackling topics at the root of huge fighting and divisions between vegan, animal lib, and social justice communities, but doing so in fresh new ways. Aph and Syl both have brilliant minds and ways of combining their powers together through conversation then reproducing them beautiful ...more
Stu
Relentlessly smart and uncompromising critical of its own "side," Aphro-Ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism from Two Sisters argues, among other things, for a political understanding of veganism that goes far beyond curated grocery lists and activism-via-consumerism passivity. In fact, the argument goes even deeper, drilling down to unquestioned foundational concepts, the very intellectual bedrock of animal activism, and examining how certain major vegan talking points/rally ...more
Raffi Marhaba
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Aphro-ism is an essential tool for activists in *any* social justice fight. It deconstructs Eurocentric views (aka white supremacy + colonialism) in relationship to its founding roots in animality.
“The human-animal divide is the ideological bedrock underlying the framework of white supremacy. The negative notion of “animal is the anchor of this system.” Their notion of “the animal” - construed under their white supremacist framework as “subhuman,” “nonhuman,” or “inhuman”- is the conceptual veh
...more
Rhiannon Curtis
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Exceptional. My book of the year without question.
Heather Rockwood
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
WOW. This book and the critical theory these two sisters provide is enlightening and cuts deep. They explain in accessible ways that help you to expand your mind to the new possibilities of true liberation (a liberation that is necessarily intertwined for all the oppressed from the beginning). I whole-heartedly recommend this book and eagerly anticipate more of these women's ever-changing and critical insight.
Rachel Olzer
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, feminism
Just WOW!!
Cat
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Groundbreaking way to think about animal rights/liberation that is applicable, if not fundamental to other social justice causes. Puts forth better theoretical framework for approaching animal rights framework than the prevailing one based in Peter Singer's Animal Liberation. I enjoyed the essay-driven format.
Margaly
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Life changing book

This book took me longer than I thought it would to read, but that's only because I had to take breaks to digest every essay. As a black vegan I've struggled with feeling like I can advocate for both animals and the anti-racism struggle, but this book has shown me that not only can I advocate for both but intrinsically I already was. I recommend this book to so many of my Activist and vegan friends, and I can't wait until it takes its rightful place in the canon of vegan litera
...more
Sarah
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Part of activism is finding yourself in a new space of confusion, allowing yourself to step into new conceptual terrain. When you abandon commonly held oppressive beliefs, you might not exactly know what to do afterward, and that's where more activists need to be...

There is seemingly nothing worse for an activist than being introduced to a new perspective or theory that challenges the way you've been doing things. Rather than acting as though that perspective doesn't exist, we should immerse o
...more
Izabela
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
6 out of 5 stars. This should be required reading.
C.S. Malerich
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Five stars because everyone should read and consider it.

For some years, sisters Aph and Syl Ko have been blogging under the title Aphro-ism about black veganism (and other related topics); Aph also started the Black Vegans Rock! website. I knew of them, but hadn't sat down with their thinking before this book. Here they collect and revise some of the key posts from the blog.

One of the running themes is the human-animal binary, a conceptual framework that they trace to the colonial, Enlightenment
...more
Shel
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A phenomenal call for creativity! In a series of essays, sisters Aph and Syl Ko provide thoughtful and analytical responses to some key cultural issues and introduce black vegan and afrofuturist perspectives (while defining and providing context for those terms).

They explore how we consider diversity, intersectionality, feminism, veganism, humanity — as well as why it's worthwhile to talk about and probe these terms, how they are used, and what they mean.

They provide fresh approaches to a varie
...more
Alyson Fortowsky
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An instant classic of animal rights literature. Nothing in this genre has changed me this much since the first time I read Animal Liberation. Follows in the tradition of Frantz Fanon and other postcolonial theorists. Each essay is incredibly thoughtful and as a collection this book is varied, but to (probably over)simplify, Aph and Syl Ko both posit that the framework that defines animality is the same one that upholds white supremacy. For that reason, they argue trying to dismantle the hierarch ...more
Di
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely life changing...no matter your culture or background this book will definitely change the way you see the world as a whole but especially if you are a person of colour. I have realised how I was defining most things in my life based on my mind being 100% colonised and having growing up in a post colonialism era in Africa that of course helped in no way. I am warning you though: there is no turning back. If you are a woman of colour this is a MUST READ to add to your list as a matter o ...more
Sarah
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stay-woke
This book transformed my philosophy behind my veganism. The same system exploits humans and non human animals, not an "interconnected" one. Aph and Syl Ko's work is some of the most important work being done for epistemology that will lead to a more just future. No matter who you are, read this book! It will change you and prepare you better for the world around you.
Chel Schaefer
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant philosophers (and sisters) Aph and Syl Ko's collection of letters and essays on being black, female, and vegan. Your IQ will jump 5 points after just a few chapters, I swear. Their collective intellect is both intimidating and hypnotizing.
Rita
Extremely thought-provocative and unapologetically disruptive of our current social system in the west. Definitely US-centered but I think(?) that was the point so not necessarily a flaw. A must-read for any people interested in animal rights and/or social justice.
Anne DeLessio-Parson
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
a must-read for understanding the revolutionary potential of veganism, as Aph Ko and Syl Ko present a framework and Black vegan philosophy with the power to transform how we think about what it means to eat vegan, and how that connects to currents of social justice and racial equity.
WellReadNegress
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was really blown away by a lot of the theories presented in the book. It gets a little wordy but it's relevant.
COIL
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So happy that Aph and Syl wrote this book! Hoping for many more in the future.
Dilshad Shawki
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
MIND BLOWN.
Fridrich Nikelyovich Bogdanov
rated it really liked it
Jan 29, 2019
Pete
rated it it was amazing
Feb 20, 2019
Jackie
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Aug 24, 2017
Natalia Scollo
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May 14, 2019
Judith Worrall
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Apr 13, 2019
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