Book 18: Eloquent Rage, A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower–Brittney Cooper

What I loved about reading this book is that she spoke so directly to so many of my life experiences, particularly when it comes to Black exceptionalism, overachieving, and adherence to respectability. While we decidedly had very different economic upbringings, it was like we experienced the same social frustrations and racial animosity of instructors and…

Read More

Book 17: Gathering of Waters–Bernice McFadden

This may be the first book on my list I really didn’t enjoy, which is unfortunate because I was truly looking forward to it. The book cover is a set up; it is not at all an accurate reflection of what the story is about. Gathering of Waters is a deeply engrossing tale narrated by…

Read More

Book 15: Homegirls & Handgrenades–Sonia Sanchez

Another book of poetry, another reminder of how difficult poetry is (can be) to fully grasp. I feel like to truly appreciate Sonia Sanchez I need to read this in a class with someone facilitating a discussion; someone who knows more about her, knows how to interpret her stylizations. I never could figure out what to…

Read More

Book 14: The Color Purple–Alice Walker

I’ve seen The Color Purple with Whoopie Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Oprah, no less than ten times. I’ve also seen the (first) broadway version of story and would like to see the more recent (and apparently better) broadway musical. But I’ve never read the book. Surprisingly, I didn’t finish the book and think about how…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

Book 5: Half of a Yellow Sun–Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

It should come as no shock that I know nothing about Nigerian history. We barely learn anything about American history beyond the anglo/christian/hetero/male perspective, so why would I expect to learn anything about the continent of Africa in general, let alone the history of one country in particular. Although Half of a Yellow Sun is…

Read More