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Showing posts from March, 2018

The Turner House by Angela Flournoy

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The Turner House by Angela Flournoy


The Turner family has owned the house on Yarrow for decades. Cha-Cha was seven when they moved in and all of the thirteen Turner children grew up within those walls. But it’s been a while since Francis, the patriarch of the Turner family, has passed. Viola, the matriarch well into her eighties, now lives in Cha-Cha’s home and the Yarrow house has been abandoned. Furniture “borrowed” by different family members has left most of the house bare. The “Big Room” where all of the children have once called their own, and where Cha-Cha, once fought a haunt has nothing but a twin bed and bare walls. What to do with the house that holds their memories when it is worth nothing more than the past it holds? The Turner House is a really well written novel that centers around what it means to be a family, to struggle with addiction, to contemplate ghosts and to move toward the present. Flournoy did an amazing job flushing out her main characters and in doing so, al…

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

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Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhoodby Trevor Noah

This is such a great collection of essays. Just enough comedy to make light of some extremely tough situations, with amazing insight into social issues that resonant across every boundary. Born A Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood is the story of Trevor Noah’s life growing up in South Africa with the apartheid finally ending. With his birth being that of a literal crime is where these essays begin and we travel with him throughout his life, following through his trials and tribulations, the difficulties of growing up a poor “colored” child in South Africa, trying to negotiate a social scene that he never necessarily fit into. I was genuinely surprised to learn so much about Noah and his experiences in South Africa. Part of it has to do with how little I know of the apartheid in South Africa. The other part has to do with how much shit Noah experienced throughout his life. If you had told me that one of these e…

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

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An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz




I just finished reading this book so excuse me as I try to process my thoughts while writing this blog. This is not an easy read. I was well aware that atrocities took place on United States soil directed solely at the Indigenous People but never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined much of what Dunbar-Ortiz mentions here. This is a rough book where readers are forced to process information that is extremely hateful, spiteful and shows exactly how horrible human beings are capable of being. And yet, these horrors are the actual history of a country that claims to be one of the greatest in the world. The history of the Indigenous Peoples’ are taught in a way to appease and satisfy. “The Indians were here, they welcomed the Europeans with open arms, even breaking bread with them at Thanksgiving and we all lived happily ever after.” I don’t remember anyone teaching about the genocide that took place or the f…

They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery

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They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movementby Wesley Lowery



Some books I begin reading knowing that they will be difficult emotionally for me to get through. That’s how I felt about They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement. I bought it because of the hype and put it off for months. I forced myself to read it and yes it was an extremely emotional read. But it was an extremely important and relevant read for the current environment in the United States. They Cant Kill Us All is the story of the systematic injustice taking place across the country written by Lowery a reporter on the ground after the deaths of Michael Brown and many others killed by police. He tells the story of the protest, the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement and the key players that took the reins organizing protest. Lowery includes his own experiences growing up and how being a Black man in America sh…

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

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The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle


Well, I'll be damned. I was not expecting this. At all. I was in the mood for a quick, dark supernatural tale. What I got was a quick, dark, supernatural with an extremely stark and direct narrative about race. And when I say extremely stark and direct that is exactly what I mean including a brutal case of police brutality and critical observations of society. This book takes place in 1924 New York and revolves around the life of a hustler, Tommy, a man trying to make ends meet while supporting his father. He meets a man, who offers to show him other worlds. When Tommy accepts the invitation he ends up becoming a monster bringing a promised destruction. This is an interesting concept and the execution is so well done because of how LaValle chooses to talk about race. Tommy is a black man whose entire existence is constantly policed by those around him. The actual police harass him. The people he interacts with constantly belittle and speak …

Night by Elie Wiesel

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Night by Elie Wiesel


This is a powerful story. It’s the story of a fifteen-year-old boy whose world was ripped away when he was forced to load a cattle car and taken to Auschwitz in 1944. His family was ripped apart. He only knows the fate of his father who he has been lucky enough to stay with. Nothing else is lucky. Food is minimal. Work is harsh. And yet he is alive. Alive and doubting the existence of the God he was reverently worshiping before everything changed. Now his faith has failed him as he watches atrocities befalling everyone around him, including himself. I’ve read plenty of nonfiction accounts of the Holocaust. Accounts of the people who somehow managed to survive and of others whose lives were taken because of hate. It never fails to break my heart. It never fails to hurt and this is no exception. Wiesel firsthand account of Auschwitz is chilling. Chilling in its simplicity and its recounting of facts. In the beginning there was a warning that went ignored. Then there …

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

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Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay


I've come to the end of this collection of essays with quite a lot of feelings. This is a very intense, honest, in your face collection of essays and it does exactly what it’s supposed to it. This collection of essays by Roxane Gay makes you confront how you feel about different issues ranging from race, politics, sexuality and justice. It makes you confront your idea of feminism, what it means to be a feminist and how we judge and categorize women. It is Gay expressing her thoughts, emotions and beliefs in a way that only Gay can: emotionally, viscerally, sarcastically, and truthfully. I love Gay’s writing for all those reason and I loved this collection of essays. I relate in a myriad of different ways to what Gay was saying throughout this collection. The majority of what she has written I wholeheartedly agree with. Not just because I am a black woman but because I am an imperfect black feminist. In many ways I can assume that I would be considered a b…