Impassioned writers bearing witness to survival, creativity, and hope.

ALL THE WOMEN IN MY FAMILY SING

WOMEN WRITE THE WORLD: ESSAYS ON EQUALITY, JUSTICE, AND FREEDOM

Essays by women of color offer intimate, candid reflections on their lives.

Santana gathers an articulate, often moving collection of essays focused on cultural and gender identity, the meaning of home, work experiences, social justice, family and friendship, beauty, sexuality, illness, and journeys. Many of the contributors are Californians, either by birth or adoption, and reflect on their affinity for—or estrangement from—the communities in which they live, work, and raise their children. Brief biographies follow each essay, summarizing the writer’s accomplishments; still, despite achievements as writers, educators, and activists, most are likely to be unfamiliar to general readers. Among the recognizable names are actress America Ferrera, represented by an excerpt from her speech at the Women’s March in Washington on Jan. 21, 2017; Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, who celebrates the “great heritage of strength, courage, faith and belief” demonstrated by social reformers; Emmy Award–winning newscaster Belva Davis, whose essay takes the form of a letter to her granddaughter, urging her “to move through life with no barriers”; and novelist Natalie Baszile, who writes of her connection to Louisiana, where her father grew up. Fulbright scholar Ethel Morgan Smith writes about her friendship with the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, a relationship that foundered over Smith’s respect for Barack Obama and Angela Davis. Exasperated, Smith told her friend “she didn’t own all of the pain in history.” Pain is a recurring theme in essays that consider racism, xenophobia, and inequality. Black Latina Nuris Terrero reveals the challenges she faced as a single mother determined to break the cycle of violence that blighted her own family. Art historian Terezita Romo speaks to the need for “inclusive American art” in museums. “There are some moments in history,” essayist Hope Wabuke asserts, when writers “have a responsibility to look. To bear witness.” Other contributors include Jennifer De Leon, V.V. Ganeshananthan, and Porochista Khakpour.

Impassioned writers bearing witness to survival, creativity, and hope.

Pub Date: Jan. 30, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9972962-1-1

Page Count: 366

Publisher: Nothing But The Truth Publishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE

Straight talk to blacks and whites about the realities of racism.

In her feisty debut book, Oluo, essayist, blogger, and editor at large at the Establishment magazine, writes from the perspective of a black, queer, middle-class, college-educated woman living in a “white supremacist country.” The daughter of a white single mother, brought up in largely white Seattle, she sees race as “one of the most defining forces” in her life. Throughout the book, Oluo responds to questions that she has often been asked, and others that she wishes were asked, about racism “in our workplace, our government, our homes, and ourselves.” “Is it really about race?” she is asked by whites who insist that class is a greater source of oppression. “Is police brutality really about race?” “What is cultural appropriation?” and “What is the model minority myth?” Her sharp, no-nonsense answers include talking points for both blacks and whites. She explains, for example, “when somebody asks you to ‘check your privilege’ they are asking you to pause and consider how the advantages you’ve had in life are contributing to your opinions and actions, and how the lack of disadvantages in certain areas is keeping you from fully understanding the struggles others are facing.” She unpacks the complicated term “intersectionality”: the idea that social justice must consider “a myriad of identities—our gender, class, race, sexuality, and so much more—that inform our experiences in life.” She asks whites to realize that when people of color talk about systemic racism, “they are opening up all of that pain and fear and anger to you” and are asking that they be heard. After devoting most of the book to talking, Oluo finishes with a chapter on action and its urgency. Action includes pressing for reform in schools, unions, and local governments; boycotting businesses that exploit people of color; contributing money to social justice organizations; and, most of all, voting for candidates who make “diversity, inclusion and racial justice a priority.”

A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58005-677-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Seal Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS

Maya Angelou is a natural writer with an inordinate sense of life and she has written an exceptional autobiographical narrative which retrieves her first sixteen years from "the general darkness just beyond the great blinkers of childhood."

Her story is told in scenes, ineluctably moving scenes, from the time when she and her brother were sent by her fancy living parents to Stamps, Arkansas, and a grandmother who had the local Store. Displaced they were and "If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat." But alternating with all the pain and terror (her rape at the age of eight when in St. Louis With her mother) and humiliation (a brief spell in the kitchen of a white woman who refused to remember her name) and fear (of a lynching—and the time they buried afflicted Uncle Willie under a blanket of vegetables) as well as all the unanswered and unanswerable questions, there are affirmative memories and moments: her charming brother Bailey; her own "unshakable God"; a revival meeting in a tent; her 8th grade graduation; and at the end, when she's sixteen, the birth of a baby. Times When as she says "It seemed that the peace of a day's ending was an assurance that the covenant God made with children, Negroes and the crippled was still in effect."

However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1969

ISBN: 0375507892

Page Count: 235

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1969

Did you like this book?

more