Activism has all the time been part of Ashtin Berry’s life, and after years working as a bartender, she turned it right into a profession. Berry is a co-founder of the collective Radical Xchange, which hosted the Resistance Served symposium in February. The now-annual New Orleans-based convention acknowledges the contributions of black and African-American folks to the hospitality trade, and reckons with the systematic obstacles to management for this group. In her work as a advisor main trainings on intersectionality, Berry equally raises consciousness across the inequality constructed into the hospitality trade, and works to struggle it.

One e book has most knowledgeable how she approaches this work: All About Love by bell hooks.

A e book everybody ought to learn

“It’s an exploration and an unpacking of the way that capitalism and other structures impact the way we think about love and how we engage with it and process it, and how oftentimes what we’re talking about is not love. It talks a lot about mental processing, engagement. It’s a book that everyone should read at some point in their lives.”


An older woman, Leah Chase, sits in a chair, while a younger woman, Ashtin Berry, kneels to her left.

Leah Chase and Ashtin Berry at an occasion for the Radical Xchange convention Resistance Served
Photo courtesy Ashtin Berry

Taking cues from a fellow black feminist

“I’m the type of person who’s a researcher. I read an average of three books a month, and I figure out how to fine tune the things that I do. Thinking about the processes in which you frame words, thoughts, actions, is really important to that, and bell hooks is one of the premier black feminist thought teachers. A lot of the work you see other people doing, like adrienne maree brown, would not be here if people like bell hooks had not done that work prior.”

A basis for understanding id politics

“Her work is a part of a lot of things I do. While she didn’t coin the term ‘intersectionality,’ she certainly is someone who talks about identity politics has been talking about identity politics for a while. She wrote the leading book on feminism (her and Angela Davis and I would say Audre Lorde, too) are the foundation of intersectional feminism.”

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