In Search of Our Mothers Gardens: Womanist Prose by Alice Walker

I don’t know if I was looking for something in particular when I began reading this book of essays. I had previously been introduced to the creative work of Alice Walker through her book, The Color Purple but landed upon this text when attempting to curate an African feminist syllabus. Little did I know then that as the title of the book suggests, I too would find my literary mother’s garden in the intellectual work of Alice Walker. Going through each essay, I felt like I was communing with my mother,not as a girl or daughter though those two remain to be true but more so as one woman to another about what it means to live a conscientious life in 2019. Tayari Jones in the book An American Marriage perhaps best describes what happened between Zora and me, “Something shadowy and female happened between them, as mysterious and primal as witches brew.” Continue reading In Search of Our Mothers Gardens: Womanist Prose by Alice Walker

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An American Marriage: A Love Letter to the Black Community

“Georgia, this is a love letter. Everything I do is a love letter addressed to you.”

There are a few books that can be best described as books you cannot put down once you start reading. Sure enough, An American Marriage fits the description. Similarly, every now and then, a book comes along that adds to the richness of the black literary canon. Tayari Jones gifts us with one of them enclosed within 300 pages of storytelling. Continue reading An American Marriage: A Love Letter to the Black Community

Born a Crime: A Stand-Up Comedy In Writing

I loved this book. Period.

I know I came late to the party as it’s been out for a couple of years but who cares, I’m happy to say I finally joined the boat!

If Trevor was to give this book a different title, it would probably be namesakes with his latest Netflix special, “Son of Patricia”. After all, it is an ode to a mother brave enough to want something and go in to the world to get it in the form of a little mixed-ish boy. It is a libation to a black woman audacious enough to raise a black man without limitations in a country whose existence is based on placing limits to everyone’s personhood. It really is the story of Patricia, a woman stubborn enough to say before us African feminists could conjure up the guts to say so, “my body, my choice”, and then go on to have a living reminder of that chant in the form of Trevor. Continue reading Born a Crime: A Stand-Up Comedy In Writing

Where Reasons End: A Meditation

CW: This might be a hard one for some of you as there are mentions of suicide. Feel free to stop here if you need to.

Days are not the only place where we live, Nikolai said.

Time is not the only place where we live, I said.

Days are. I don’t have to have days to live now.

And yet I have to live in days, I said.

I’m sorry, he said.

Days: the easiest possession, requiring only automatic participation. The days he had refused would come, one at a time. Neither my allies nor my enemies, they would wait, every daybreak, with their boundless patience and indifference, seeing if they could turn me into a friend or an enemy to myself.

Never apologize, I said, for what you have let go.

Where Reasons End is a love letter from a mother to her dead son. She lived. He died. Same illness, different outcomes. Continue reading Where Reasons End: A Meditation