Jamia Wilson is quite fond of the Florynce Kennedy quote, “Don’t agonize! Organize!” — a sentiment which prompted her to co-create the kick-ass guide, Road Map for Revolutionaries: Advocacy for All, just out today (Happy Pub Day!).
“In the post-Trump frenzy, I turned to books written by strong women disruptors as a roadmap for what to do, says Jamia who co-authored the book with Elisa Camahort Page and Carolyn Gerin. “I was compelled to collaborate on a direct, snappy guidebook that showcases tools you need to ignite the change you want to see in the world.”
Jamia is also the director of Feminist Press, the author of Young, Gifted, and Black, and she wrote the oral history in Together We Rise: Behind the Scenes at the Protest Heard Around the World. Carolina-born and Saudi Arabia raised, she currently lives in New York City, where she’s an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
“I love teaching undergraduate classes about gender studies and revolutions,” she says. “We can learn so much from the past to help inform a better future.”
1. On the nightstand: Training School for Negro Girls, by Camille Acker is the first book I edited for Feminist Press. It’s a striking love letter to one of my former homes, Washington, DC and a testament to the multidimensionality of black women and girls’ lives. I am re-reading it in anticipation for its debut in October. It is sitting on my nightstand along with my glasses and some heavenly orange blossom perfume I picked up in Paris over the summer.
2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: I write, therefore, I am. Or is it, I am, therefore I write? I’m wrapping up my next children’s book, Step into Your Power, illustrated by Andrea Pippins. When I’m not at work and when I have time over the weekends, I’m sipping matcha and working on this guide for young girls on the subway, at The Wing, in my writing nook, and on planes.
3. Jam of the minute: I’ve also been listening to my husband Travis Sullivan’s band the Bjorkestra’s arrangement of Bjork’s “Army of Me” on repeat to stay fired up and ready to slay patriarchy and white supremacy every day.
4. Thing I miss: I miss going shopping for back to school stationary sets, books, and first-day-of-school outfits like I did as a child.
5. 80s crush: I fell in love with Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet during the “Let Love Rule” era.
6. Current crush: Senator Kamala Harris during the Kavanaugh hearings and Rep. Maxine Waters every day.
7. Will whine about: I was made for the equator. I can’t stand the extremes of winter, but I love living in New York City.
8. Will wine about: There are few things more delicious than champagne, chocolate, and uproarious laughter with girlfriends. My friend Meggan Watterson used to hold REDLADIES spiritual circles in her home where we partook in communion with divine conversation, wine, and chocolate. I miss those days and always think of them when I’m connecting with lady friends to share libations and truth.
9. Best thing that happened yesterday: I moderated a panel with feminist children’s literature authors and illustrators Renee Watson, Vashti Harrison, Kate Schaatz, and Miriam Klein Stahl at the Brooklyn Book Festival. I left feeling uplifted and full of hope after engaging with this squad of literary activists and the kids who joined us.
10. Looking forward to: I’m looking forward to restarting French lessons this year so I can discover some of my favorite books in their original language and so I can be less shy when I encounter native speakers.