And yet, this time has been going on for over 500 years. White people broke it. We’ve got to help fix it.
We can go our entire lives without realizing that there are many parallel Americas, and we have only to open our eyes a little to see that they exist. There are so many things we weren’t taught as Gen-X schoolchildren. We’re big readers in our home. Every time we discover a new historical figure or writer, we ask each other, “Why did we never hear of her / him before?”
If you love Lee and Alcott and Hemingway and Steinbeck, but haven’t yet read American black authors, you’re missing out on brilliant examinations of the American story. Readers will enjoy the differing perspectives and education afforded by the words of Americans who’ve been invisible for far too long.
I listen to audiobooks all day long while making soap. Can I get a hell-yeah for audiobooks? They make it easier to work, make long drives, deal with the pandemic, and get educated. Many of the following works of literature are available through public libraries.
Here is an excerpt from Balm, by Doren Perkins-Valdez: “Sadie had never been south. What kind of place was it where men would rather die, than release human beings to their own destiny?”
- Doren Perkins-Valdez Wench and Balm
- Bettye Kearse The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President’s Black Family
- Walter Mosely (Private Investigator Leonid McGill mysteries)
- Zora Neale Hurston Barracoon
- Colson Whitehead The Underground Railroad
- Erica Armstrong Dunbar Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge
- Ijeoma Oluo So You Want to Talk About Race
- Solomon Northup Twelve Years a Slave
Some of this content is very hard to digest. Prepare to have your mind blown. It’s not for wimps.
Helpful update 2020/07/23: Anti-racism resources for white people.