Black History Month is coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean the celebration of Black culture stops on March 1st. This short list of books focuses on parts of Black American life that rarely hit the mainstream. Included are titles for kids and teens, titles for families to enjoy together, and titles for adults interested in atypical examinations of our culture and history. Add these books to your library for the other ten months of the year.

 

This Is A Rope: A Story of the Great Migrationrope by Jaqueline Woodson: Jacqueline Woodson, author of the National Book Award winning, Newbery medal honored Brown Girl Dreaming, has a few other amazing books up her sleeve. This Is a Rope uses a jump rope to share the story of the Great Migration with readers, ages 5-8:

“The story of one family’s journey north during the Great Migration starts with a little girl in South Carolina who finds a rope under a tree one summer. She has no idea the rope will become part of her family’s history. 

The rope is used to frame a thoughtful and moving story as readers follow the little girl’s journey. During the time of the Great Migration, millions of African American families relocated from the South, seeking better opportunities. With grace and poignancy, Woodson’s lilting storytelling and Ransome’s masterful oil paintings of country and city life tell a rich story of a family adapting to change as they hold on to the past and embrace the future.” (source)

[click to continue…]

{ 2 comments }

The Book of NegroesWhen I heard Lawrence Hill’s novel, The Book of Negroes, was being adapted for a three part miniseries, I immediately skedaddled over to Goodreads to push it up on my reading list. The book had been there for some years, but I wasn’t in a rush to open it because of its subject matter: slavery.

The Book of Negroes (published in the US as Someone Knows My Name) is the story of Aminata Diallo, a fictional African girl, brought to America in the 1700s. The novel starts when Aminata is a young child in her village of Bayo, being raised by her father, a Muslim jeweller who can read (rare for the circumstances), and her mother, a baby catcher or midwife. Her parents are from different ethnic groups, resulting in Aminata being multilingual and quick at learning new languages, a quality that will be to her benefit in the Americas.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet. 1977, May 3, six thirty in the morning, no one knows anything but this innocuous fact: Lydia is late for breakfast.”

And so beEINTYBookCovergins, Everything I Never Told You, a novel about how 16 year old Lydia Lee ended up dead at the bottom of a lake. Celeste Ng takes us on a familial journey, with beautiful, engaging prose about dysfunction born of prejudice, the kind of dysfunction that is not always visible, but instead lies quietly hidden under layers of smiles, hugs and good intentions.

Lydia is the middle child of Marilyn and James Lee. James is Chinese-American, born to immigrant parents who wanted the best for him. He grows up in a world where he is always different, a feeling that he eventually despises because America’s strange curiosity with different often leads to being left out. He soon meets Marilyn, a white college student with hopes to become a doctor in a time when women were pushed to attend school only to find a husband. They fall in love and Lydia soon arrives carrying the parts of them that they both covet: the love of science and academic drive of her mother, and the popularity that her father always craved.

Or does she?

[click to continue…]

{ 4 comments }

I’m baaack. I’ve missed my space over here and I’m ready to get back to blogging about Black books and the people who write them. First off, I figured I’d give you my favorite reads of 2014.

[click to continue…]

{ 2 comments }

Happy Birthday, Toni Morrison!

February 18, 2014

Toni Morrison is my absolute favorite writer of all time, with her novel Sula being my favorite novel by her. I’m also in love with Song of Solomon, and Paradise. I just finished her novel, Jazz, last week, and I plan on picking up Tar Baby sometime this summer. 2015 will be the year of […]

Read the full article →

10 Memoirs and Essay Collections for Black History Month

February 13, 2014

I’m a novel kinda gal, but I have slowly come to realize that non-fiction can be just as fascinating as fiction, especially if written in a narrative, conversational tone. This kind of engaged writing usually goes hand in hand with memoirs and essay collections. I recently mapped out my annual reading list and noticed that […]

Read the full article →

21 Novels That I Absolutely Positively Swear I’m Going To Read in 2014, Part III

January 16, 2014

The last installment of my Novel Must Reads is finally here. I think these last seven novels may be my most most anticipated reads on the list. Can’t wait to get my hands on them. Click HERE for Part I Click HERE for Part II     15. Forty Acres by Dwayne Alexander Smith (2014) – […]

Read the full article →

21 Novels that I Absolutely Positively Swear I’m Going to Read in 2014, Part II

January 15, 2014

More goodness in the form of my 2014 Must Read List. Click HERE for Part I.   8. The Good Lord Bird by James McBride (2013) – James McBride’s novel about a young boy slave who travels the land disguised as a girl, while following the abolitionist John Brown, recently won the National Book Award. […]

Read the full article →

21 Novels That I Absolutely Positively Swear I’m Going To Read in 2014

January 15, 2014

I make promises to read specific books every year…and every year I fail. 2013 was no exception. Though I still met my goal of 45 books, only 15 of those were from my list of Must Reads. I’m easily distracted by new shiny titles, but here I am again, promising to get my ish together […]

Read the full article →

45th NAACP Image Award Nominations for Literature (2014)

January 10, 2014

The NAACP Award Nominations were announced yesterday, and of course the first thing I always look for are the nominations for best literature. Very disappointed that The Good Lord Bird by James McBride isn’t nominated. It won the National Book Award for goodness sake!! And yet again, Chimamanda Adichie’s Americanah was passed up for another […]

Read the full article →