Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's A Good Year to Celebrate Black History Month...

... through reading one or more of works by critically acclaimed authors, past & present. Every year is a good year to celebrate Black History Month...

...this past week, I have participated in a couple of post-Presidential Inauguration discussions where I felt the need to not only defend the fact that President Obama is, in fact "black" regardless of his also factual bi-racial background, but also that those with black skin are still discriminated against today. The month of February is a perfect time to embrace the differences between black and white, reflect on history, and remind us that regardless of what integrated suburb we live in, we still have a long way to go until we can truly recognize equality for all persons, regardless of color, age or gender in this country.

When discussing the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday last year, my son, Isaac told me that I had black skin and he had white skin. I am hopeful that the next generation will truly not see color, as Isaac does not yet to this day. I take that responsibility seriously as a parent... and I hope you do too.

I am excited, but will read with trepidation, Kindred which is one of the books below. I hope that you will take the time to read one of these works, as well. Enjoy & celebrate!

A Rage in Harlem, by Chester Himes
A suspenseful tale of a man who spirals downward after losing his life savings to a con artist.

Kindred, by Octavia E. Butler
The story of a young woman who, while celebrating her 26th birthday, is abruptly snatched and transported back to the time of slavery.

Passing, by Nella Larsen
The story of a young woman who hides the fact that she is black by severing ties with her past.

Iola Leroy or Shaddows Uplifted, by Frances E.W. Harper
Iola, the title charatcer, is born into a family unaware that her mother is legally her father's slave.

Daddy Was A Number Runner, by Louise Meriwether
A coming-of-age story about a 12-year-old girl living in Harlem during the Great Depression.

Brother, I'm Dying, by Edwidge Danticat
In this heart-wrenching family memoir, Danticat leaves her home in Haiti for a new life in America.

The Street, by Ann Petry
A single mother struggles to raise her son amid violence and poverty in the late 1940's.

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