Posts

Showing posts from September, 2018

The Bone and Sinew of the Land: America's Forgotten Black Pioneers and the Struggle for Equality by Anna-Lisa Cox

Image
The Bone and Sinew of the Land: America's Forgotten Black Pioneers and the Struggle for Equality by Anna-Lisa Cox



I don’t know if I have ever even stopped to think of the existence of Black pioneers. The image of a pioneer that automatically comes to mind are the images that I’ve been shown: white men and women, with their children in tow making their way across the land like in the old (and epically amazing) game “Oregon Trail.” That’s the history I’ve always been shown in school. It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned of the atrocities committed against Native Americans on that march West. And it isn’t until now that I’m learning about the existence of the courageous Black men and women who settled in the Northwest Territory, cultivated the land and became successful farmers.
Hundreds of Free Black men and women chose to settle in the Northwest Territory. They owned hundreds of acres of land and for a while, the men even had the right to vote. They started families, brav…

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

Image
Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

Sierra Maria Santiago should be finishing the mural at the Tower. Instead, she is heading to the first party of the summer, meeting up with some of her best friends and enjoying the end of the school year. Well, that was the plan. Until her grandfather tells her that she is a shadowshaper and that the weird kid at school that has drawings all over his clothes will help her finish the mural. Sierra has no idea what he is talking about. Her grandfather had a stroke a year ago, and has barely said anything coherent since. That is until tonight. But what does it even mean to be a shadowshaper? The people who know won’t give her a clear answer, and the night she asks Robbie she ends up being chased by a reanimated dead body known as a corpuscule. But shadowshapers use magic to help the dead and unknown to Sierra, she comes from a family of them and she will be part of the legacy.
Hold on to your garters because things happen quickly in this book. From very …

Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves edited by Glory Edim

Image
Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves edited by Glory Edim


I’ve always been a voracious reader. My mother used to read me bedtime stories at night and as soon as I learned how to read, more often than not you would find me with a book in my hands. There are two books that stand out that were an obvious reflection of me and my family: The People Could Fly by Virginia Hamilton and Pass It On: African American Poetry by Wade Hudson. Those two books had Black people on the covers, Black people on the pages and were about Black people. Those were the two books I would always go back to. Even after years of reading Goosebumps, Fear Street and Stephen King. Even after imagining myself as Hermione in Harry Potter and well into my teenage years I would still find myself randomly grabbing those two books and reading the pages that influenced me so much when I was young. Reading this anthology brought me back to those books even though it’s been over a decade since I’ve…

The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King

Image
The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King


What memories do I have of Fred Rogers? I remember his show and I remember puppets but I don’t remember much of the man. Regardless I was intrigued by this biography and the concept of learning more about this man, whose songs I remember but whose life I do not. I feel like everyone remembers the man in the cardigan but no one knew him. After reading this book I feel like I know him and more than that, I miss him. I wish that I had incorporated him into my child’s life at a young age. I wish I could remember the lessons he taught and the make belief neighborhood he created. King does an amazing job letting readers into the life of a man who cherished children and was so invested in their education. From his family, to his upbringing, to his passions and drives this book puts everything together and really emphasizes the things that made Fred Rogers the man he was. I would have never even considered the amount of work t…

Memphis, Martin and the Mountaintop by Alice Faye Duncan, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

Image
Memphis, Martin and the Mountaintop by Alice Faye Duncan, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

April 4th, 1968 is a day that is burned into memory of this country. It’s the day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered while standing on the balcony of the Memphis motel, Lorraine. I can recall those images clear as day even though I was born decades after the assassination happened. The man who spoke of his dream, was now dead. Memphis, Martin and the Mountaintop explains the events that led up to Dr. King’s death, the Memphis Sanitation Strike. Two Black men, Echol Cole and Robert Walker were killed while working as garbage collectors. Tired of working at poverty level, unable to be recognized as a union and afraid for their lives working in unsafe conditions the Black men working as garbage collectors in Memphis went on strike. This story, told through the eyes of Lorraine a woman recounting her days as child, details what it was like during those times. Lorraine remembers seeing her fath…