All posts tagged: black girl magic

Book 13: The Taste of Salt-Martha Southgate

In essence, this novel is about flawed people with a flawed family, who try to do right, try and lead normal productive lives, and still find themselves in messy, difficult, overwhelming situations. What was refreshing about The Taste of Salt, was that it had atypical Black characters with both typical Black-life problems and typical life problems in equal measure, presented in that universally relatable way that most movies and stories with all white characters are. By that I mean, there’s this tendency to write and view the stories of predominately white characters as being the “everyman’s” story, where the scenario could have happened to anyone, and a white face is the essential blank canvas with which to ensure those scenarios relate to all audiences. When you get stories with predominately POC characters, even if their issues are just as relatable, they suddenly get framed as a niche market–a Black/Latinx/Indian/fill in the blank coming of age story; the same scenarios are presented but are eclipsed by cultural identifiers. And I’m not saying we should all strive to …

MC Elis – 6 year old Brazilian musical artist

This young girl is over here singing about: Loving her natural hair: it’s NOT dry/hard, it’s her crown as a queen Being sick of racism Pride in her Blackness: referring to herself explicitly as Black (preta) rather than one of the endless other terms that refer to color (mulata, moreninha) but try to maintain distance from being of African descent. Also, peep the black panther on her shirt! Go dance with Elis! LYRICS Vem dançar com a elis Vem dançar com a elis Aqui não tem caô Só chegar e ser feliz Eu já estou cansada Dessa ideia de racismo Eu não tô de mimimi Fale o que quiser nem ligo O meu cabelo não é duro Ele é crespo e muito lindo Vou passar logo a visão Tá incomodado comigo? Vem dançar com a elis Vem dançar com a elis Aqui não tem caô Só chegar e ser feliz E não venha com esse papo de mulata e moreninha Sou preta com muito orgulho Minha coroa é de rainha (Note: some of they lyrics …

Book 11: All About Love: New Visions–bell hooks

Another admission: this is the first bell hooks work I’ve read cover to cover (I’m a terrible Oberlin grad, lol!) Anyway…I chose this book out of intrigue with the first sentence of the back cover description: “The word ‘love’ is most often defined as a noun, yet…we would all love better if we used it as a verb.” This work explores the meaning of love; how we typically define it, what that definition lacks, and the importance of creating an operational definition of what love is (and isn’t) in order to have a common place of understanding to be able to work towards healthy and functional relationships. It was heavy in content but had an easy flow about it, mixing research, narrative, and opinion. In the introduction she writes, Awesomely, our nation, like no other in the world, is a culture driven by the quest to love (it’s the theme of our movies, music, literature) even as it offers so little opportunity for us to understand love’s meaning or to know how to realize love …

Book 10: Silver Sparrow–Tayari Jones

This is another book that I came across through one of those lists that circulate of “books all black girls should read” or “the essential books black women should read in their 20s” or “the definitive list of black woman authors every black woman PERSON should know” or something of that sort. I thought it would be nice to add some more contemporary fiction to a list of books that are otherwise focused on heavy subject matter or are the autobiographies of women with tremendous lives. This was a fantastic story! And it was great to read a book that allowed me to get out of my head; I didn’t pick up a pencil to underline or write notes in the margin one time. It was another strangely timed read, with all the sudden surges in reality shows about polygamy on TLC, mostly centered around white families (it used to just be Sister Wives, but now there’s Seeking Sister Wife, and some other show). This was the story of a Black man with two families–a …

Parable of the Sower, Chapter 10

When apparent stability disintegrates, As it must– God is Change– People tend to give in To fear and depression, To need and greed. When no influence is strong enough To unify people They divide. They struggle, One against one, Group against group, For survival, position, power. They remember old hates and generate new ones, They create chaos and nurture it. They kill and kill and kill, Until they are exhausted and destroyed, Until they are conquered by outside forces, Or until one of them becomes A leader Most will follow, Or a tyrant Most fear. –Parable of the Sower, p. 103, Octavia Butler