Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Black Lives Matter: A Look Back

I'm looking back at my reading journals to see what Black writers I read. I can only go back to 1990. I'm not doing this retrospective to say, "Oh, look how aware I was!" or "Oh, look at what a wretched one-dimensional reader I was!" It's just a look back, bookworm warts and all.

1990: Zero books by Black writers.

1991-1992: I wasn't keeping track these years.

1993 - 1998 Journal: One book by a Black writer. Mary: An Autobiography by Mary E. Mabane. There was also a note on a wishlist at the back of the book to read the 1948 novel The Living is Easy by Dorothy West.

From what I remember about the Mebane autobiography, Mary Mebane was discouraged by practically everyone she met in her life: Black, White, male, female, young, old, rich, and poor. Still, she persisted. She succeeded. She kicked ass and took names and wrote her two-volume life story. The sequel to Mary: An Autobiography is called Mary, Wayfarer, which I haven't read but always thought that the title was melodic.

1999-2009 Journal: Fourteen books by Black writers.

Three on the wishlist:
The Uncalled by Paul Laurence Dunbar (with the Dewey Decimal number listed: 823 D898a)
The Living is Easy (1948) by Dorothy West
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

1. A Lesson Before Dying - Ernest J. Gaines. Novel.

2. The Motion of Light in Water - Samuel R. Delany. Memoir.

3. The Broke Diaries - Angela Nissel. Humor.

4. Go Tell It on the Mountain - James Baldwin. Novel.

5. Quicksand - Nella Larsen. Novel.

6. Song of Solomon - Toni Morrison. Novel.

7. The Color of Water - James McBride. Memoir.

8. Passing - Nella Larsen. Novel.

9. Malcolm X - Randy DuBurke. Graphic Biography.

10. The Measure of a Man - Sidney Poitier. Memoir.

11. The Known World - Edward P. Jones. Novel.

12. Dreams From My Father - Barack Obama. Memoir.

13. Native Son - Richard Wright. Novel.

14. Black Boy - Richard Wright. Memoir.

1 comment:

Care said...

Yep. I heartily recommend The Color of Water. McBride is on my tops list. I was just about to start Deacon King Kong but decided to do a communications business book. It's short, don't worry.