Welcome to my eighth Diversity Spotlight Thursday! This wonderful weekly blog meme was created and is hosted by Aimal at Bookshelves and Paperbacks! For more information about the meme, please read the announcement post here.
My participation in this meme is to help me with one of my reading goals: to read books with a variety of perspectives, especially ones different from my own. Every two weeks I will share with you:
- A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
- A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
- A diverse book that has not yet been released
This week’s theme for Diversity Spotlight Thursday is: books by black authors!
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.
I picked up this book because I fell in love with Woodson’s story in Flying Lessons and Other Stories called Main Street. The narrative in Main Street was achingly beautiful, nostalgic, and poignant, and so on a whim, I picked up Brown Girl Dreaming at my library without so much as a glance at what it was about – just in time for Black History Month too.
As per tradition, I have to begin this monthly recap with the age-old question: how the heck is it already February?
This month was Black History Month, which is not a part of my country’s history, but to a lot of my friends and followers, it is a part of yours. All my book reviews this month, my Book Recs post, and a Diversity Thursday Spotlight was dedicated to Black History Month, wherein I highlighted and shared books by black authors.
Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she’s been given: to protect this young slaveholder until he can father her own great-grandmother.
Kindred is a truly outstanding book. Not only is it the first science-fiction written by a black author – making it an incredible piece of black American literature – but it is an amazing book by its own merits. And there are many.
The month of February is Black History Month.
In New Zealand, we don’t observe Black History Month, so when I first learned about Black History Month and its historical and current significance, it was through watching American television. Black History Month may not be a part of my country’s history, but it is important to so many of you, so I wanted to take the time to highlight this important and absolutely necessary month.
So, I want to take this opportunity to celebrate black authors and their incredible work. I also want to take this opportunity to raise the issue of anti-blackness and how this is a global issue that we must work hard to address, fight against, and to end. To my non-black-PoC friends (especially my non-black Asian friends), I highly encourage you all to [read this article]. Listen, learn, reflect, unlearn, repeat.