Brené with Tarana Burke and Jason Reynolds on
You Are Your Best Thing
This week’s episode features two audio essays from You Are Your Best Thing, an anthology on the Black lived experience of vulnerability and shame resilience, led by my friend Tarana Burke, an organizer, writer, activist, and the founder of the ‘me too.’ movement. It starts with an introduction from Tarana and me, followed by an essay from Jason Reynolds, award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author. All of the essays in the book are urgent, compelling, heartbreaking, and heart affirming. I’m proud and grateful to share this work with you.
Tarana J. Burke
For more than twenty-five years, cultural worker and organizer Tarana J. Burke has worked at the intersection of sexual violence and racial justice. Fueled by commitments to interrupt sexual violence and other systemic inequalities disproportionately impacting marginalized people, particularly Black women and girls, Tarana has created and led various campaigns focused on increasing access to resources and support for impacted communities, including the ‘me too’ movement, which to date has galvanized millions of survivors and allies around the world. Tarana has received numerous accolades and awards for her tireless work, including being named Time magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year as part of the Silence Breakers, and one of the 2018 Time 100 Most Influential People. She has also received the 2019 Sydney Peace Prize, Harvard University’s Gleitsman Award, and the Ridenhour Courage Prize.
Jason Reynolds is the New York Times best-selling author of All American Boys, the Track series, Long Way Down, For Everyone, and Miles Morales-Spiderman. He is an American author who writes novels and poetry for young adult and middle-grade audiences, including Ghost, a National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature. Born in Washington, DC and raised in neighboring Oxon Hill, Maryland, Reynolds found inspiration in rap to begin writing poetry at nine years old. He focused on poetry for approximately the next two decades, only reading a novel cover to cover for the first time at age 17 and publishing several poetry collections before he published his own first novel, When I Was The Greatest, in 2014. He won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent for this first work of prose and seven more novels followed in the next four years, including Ghost (2016) and two more books in what became his New York Times best-selling Track series, Patina (2017) and Sunny (2018); As Brave As You (2016), winner of the 2016 Kirkus Prize, the 2017 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Youth/Teen, and the 2017 Schneider Family Book Award; and a Marvel Comics novel called Miles Morales: Spider-Man (2017). Reynolds returned to poetry with Long Way Down (2017), a novel in verse which was named a Newbery Honor book, a Printz Honor Book, and best young adult work by the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Awards.
You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience by Tarana Burke and Dr. Brené Brown brings together a dynamic group of Black writers, organizers, artists, academics, and cultural figures to discuss the topics the two have dedicated their lives to understanding and teaching: vulnerability and shame resilience. Contributors include (as they appear) Jason Reynolds, Austin Channing Brown, Tanya Denise Fields, Kiese Makeba Laymon, Prentis Hemphill, Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts, Marc Lamont Hill, Keah Brown, Luvvie Ajayi Jones, Shawn A. Ginwright, Kaia Naadira, Deran Young, Sonya Renee Taylor, Irene Antonia Diane Reece, Yolo Akili Robinson, Laverne Cox, Jessica J. Williams, Aiko D. Bethea, Imani Perry, and Tarana Burke.
To learn more about the contributors, visit our You Are Your Best Thing page.
You Are Your Best Thing audio. The included audio is excerpted courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio from You Are Your Best Thing, edited by Tarana Burke and Brené Brown, read by Tarana Burke and Brené Brown, the Contributors, Mirron Willis, Bahni Turpin, JD Jackson, and L Morgan Lee. Available as a CD and digital download. For more information, please visit penguinrandomhouseaudio.com.
Unlocking Us podcast episode Tarana Burke and Brené on Being Heard and Seen
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