All posts tagged: words of wisdom

bell hooks–on love of death

In our culture the worship of death is so intense it stands in the way of love… We will witness the death of others or we will witness our own dying, even if it’s just in that brief instance when life is fading away. Living with lovelessness is not a problem we openly and readily complain about. Yet the reality that we will all die generates tremendous concern, fear, and worry. It may very well be that the worship of death, indicated by the constant spectacles of dying we watch on television screens daily, is one way our culture tries to still that fear, to conquer it, to make us comfortable… Ironically, the worship of death as a strategy for coping with our underlying fear of death’s power does not truly give us solace. It is deeply anxiety producing. The more we watch spectacles of meaningless death, of random violence and cruelty, the more afraid we become in our daily lives. We cannot embrace the stranger with love for we fear the stranger. We believe …

Audre Lorde on Race Consciousness

But we never ever talked about what it meant and felt like to be Black and white, and the effects that had on our being friends. Of course, everybody with any sense deplored racial discrimination, theoretically and without discussion. We could conquer it by ignoring it. … How meager the sustenance was I gained from the four years I spent in high school; yet, how important that sustenance was to my survival. Remembering that time is like watching old pictures of myself in a prison camp picking edible scraps out of the garbage heap, and knowing that without that garbage I might have starved to death. The overwhelming racism of so many of the faculty, including the ones upon whom I had my worst schoolgirl crushes. How little I settled for int he way of human contact, compared to what I was conscious of wanting. It was in high school that I came to believe that I was different from my white classmates, not because I was Black, but because I was me. -Audre Lorde, …

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

Book 6: Parable of the Sower – Octavia E. Butler

In my last post I said that I hadn’t binge-read a book since Harry Potter 7 came out a decade ago (jeez has it really been 10 years?!), but I only started the binge once I got around half way through the book. This time, I exceeded myself;  I read Parable of the Sower cover to cover in less than 24 hours. I left my family watching TV and went into another room and just stayed there. I’m impressed (with myself 😜) I’m not entirely sure why it’s taken me so long to read another book by Octavia Butler. Kindred sat on my parents’ bookshelf for years before I decided to pick it up and read it, and then I couldn’t put it down. That was also probably over a decade ago. I clearly love this genre, her style of writing. Why have I deprived myself from her other work? This book was phenomenal! I know that I’ve basically said the same thing about every book I’ve reviewed to this point, and that I’m risking sounding hyperbolic and …

Book 4: Selected Poems–Gwendolyn Brooks

I don’t read much poetry. I don’t really read any poetry the way I did in my AP Lit class senior year of high school. It’s unfortunate, because there’s so much great poetry out there. But it’s also not surprising, because poetry can be difficult to read. Gwendolyn Brooks was the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize, and on the back of this book of collected poetry is this quote: “She is a very good poet, the only superlative I dare use in our time of misusage; compared not to other Negro poets or other women poets but to the best of modern poets, she ranks high.” In reading this collection, I learned two things:  Gwendolyn Brooks has a vocabulary that far exceeds mine. I spent many of these pages looking up words in the dictionary hoping it would help me better understand what she was saying. Sometimes it made all the difference; other times, I finished a poem and still had no clue. Maybe context would’ve helped, a teacher who knows the time period …