Saturday, July 17, 2021

Book Review: Ida B. the Queen

The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells

Stars: 3/5

I hate to give it the ill-defined 3.5 stars but I feel that I must. As a tribute to Ida B. Wells-Barnett, I read this book around the time of her birthdate, July 16th. I could recommend the same for you next year as you probably could read this book in a day or so. However, this is by no means a complete biographical account of the life of Ida B. Wells-Barnett. This book gives just a peek into her life and attempts to convey comparisons between her vigilant acts for justice and modern day activism, in its many forms:

“...her tactic of truth-telling as a weapon to challenge unequal systems and structures has impacted our country for decades since.  Countless activists, organizers, journalists, and public officials have drawn inspiration from her life and the work she did to push the country toward a freedom that many people have never known.”  (p.67)

And with that, in this book, you’ll see references to Colin Kaepernick, Muhammand Ali, Jesse Jackson, Kamala Harris, Maxine Waters, Stacey Abrams, and others…   Towards the end, with paged-sized photos and colorful art/illustrations, it took on more of a picture-book feel with pages turning over at a faster rate.

I do appreciate Michelle Duster’s work.  She is the great-granddaughter of Mrs. Wells-Barnett and Ida B. the Queen will continue to support her legacy and her crusade for equality and justice.  Like me, you’ll draw on the inspiration from reading this book and look forward to reading a fuller narrative of her extraordinary life.


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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Book Review: Zora and Langston

The Collabo Fallout

Stars: 4/5

I read other reviews where some thought that this book was too scholarly. Well, for one, it was well-researched, including the author re-tracing the trip Zora and Langston took through the South. Secondly, there were several words I had to use google to get the definition. However! I thought the story of their relationship and their relationships with others was absolutely fascinating!

Their relationship status went from ride-or-die: “Langston was not just Zora’s best friend, but one of the few people with whom she felt a deep kinship.”(p.176) to, they in for a squabble, no doubt:  “If Mule-Bone was Zora and Langston’s child, the fight over its fate was their epic custody battle.” (p.190).

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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Book Review: The Sword and the Shield

Malcolm X as the sword wielding," Americas prosecuting attorney" and MLK Jr, the shield carrying "...nations chief defense attorney."

Stars: 4/5

As I was reading about the relationship between Martin & Malcolm, I began thinking about a binary star system (and my knowledge of celestial science is beyond limited, but work with me here). I envisioned these two giants of men spinning around each other, their action plans diverging greatly at the onset. Their gravitational fields - stronger than anything in the vicinity - pulled & pushed on each other and others close to them. Over time they became stronger, brighter, magnetic, and in the end, a sort of convergence of philosophy; almost identical. Even though they were in the same space, history has them meeting only once, but destiny has them linked together forever. Hopefully, The Sword and the Shield will have you in deep reflection as well. This is my third Peniel Joseph book on the shelf.  I was waiting for the release of this book and it was worth the wait.

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additional sources:
Review in NY Times
*  video source:  National Council for History Education webinar, 2020

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Book Review: First Martyr of Liberty: Crispus Attucks in American Memory

“Dead men make such convenient heroes.”

Stars: 4/5

Very good (3.5 - 4 stars). Well researched. Unfortunately, there just isn't a lot of information on Crispus Attucks, which has allowed inaccuracies and rampant suppositions to seep into the historical narrative of this man. Kachun sets the record straight. As an honest broker, Kachun keeps a vetted biographical framework intact as he traverses from 1770s to present day; debunking falsehoods and speculation to produce a reliable profile of the man whose death sparked a revolution.

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Sunday, December 1, 2019

Book Review: We Are The Change We Seek

We Are The Change We Seek

Stars: 4/5

It should not be forgotten what an outstanding orator President Barack Obama was/is. Contained here are 27 selected speeches chronologically ordered from 2002 - 2017. Since all of us have heard him speak numerous times, the voice in my head, as I was reading, was Barack Obama's. It was a refreshing journey; one I may take again in its entirety or just hit some of the favorites: 'A More Perfect Union', 'Amazing Grace', or the 'Trayvon Martin' speech.

[video:  Interview Excerpt . CBS News Red & Blue, Jan., 2017]

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Friday, November 1, 2019

Book Review: Faces at the Bottom of the Well

Faces at the Bottom of the Well

Stars: 3/5

I thought the parables/allegories were creative, different and very thought provoking. I wasn't feeling the debates with his vision, Geneva. Maybe I'll give it another chance at a later time.

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