As many of you probably know, it’s Black History Month! This month is important to me because, well, I’m black but also because it’s good to acknowledge all the accomplishments of black people as well as recognizing the adversity they face while getting there. I (everybody including other minority groups) would never be here if it weren’t for these black heroes/heroines and I think it’s paramount for us to spread awareness of these individuals.
I try to do my part in Black History Month every year. Last year, I wrote an opinions article for my school newspaper on why it’s important to celebrate Black History Month that was in response to the white boys in my ASB class saying that Black History Month shouldn’t be celebrated because it’s “Our/American History.” I was angry and so I wrote an article and it received mix feedback but that’s what journalists want anyways.
The year before that, I wrote an article on the connotation of the “N” word. I wrote about if it’s appropriate to use it, who can use it, and if it’s really different if they use “ga” instead of “er” at the end. Again, mixed feedback but still proud.
This year, I’m in college and I’m not part of any school newspaper or media club. So, instead, I thought I would do something something simple, dedicate my reading and reviewing this month to Black Authors/Black Protagonists. I know that I should be doing this in general anyways but I really want to specifically read more black authors, especially for this month and then review those books.
I also thought I would make more post on black history month, black lives matter and maybe post some of my articles from my High School Newspaper on my blog about black culture.
So, these are the books that I’m thinking about reading this month.
Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
Mary B. Addison killed a baby.
Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a church-going black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.
Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.
There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?
In this gritty and haunting debut, Tiffany D. Jackson explores the grey areas in our understanding of justice, family, and truth, and acknowledges the light and darkness alive in all of us.
Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaiportra and Dhonielle Clayton
Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in this soapy, drama-packed novel featuring diverse characters who will do anything to be the prima at their elite ballet school.
Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette’s desire to escape the shadow of her ballet-star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever.
When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.
When I Was The Greatest by Jason Reynolds
In Bed Stuy, New York, a small misunderstanding can escalate into having a price on your head—even if you’re totally clean. This gritty, triumphant debut captures the heart and the hardship of life for an urban teen.
“A lot of the stuff that gives my neighborhood a bad name, I don’t really mess with. The guns and drugs and all that, not really my thing.”
Nah, not his thing. Ali’s got enough going on, between school and boxing and helping out at home. His best friend Noodles, though. Now there’s a dude looking for trouble—and, somehow, it’s always Ali around to pick up the pieces. But, hey, a guy’s gotta look out for his boys, right? Besides, it’s all small potatoes; it’s not like anyone’s getting hurt.
And then there’s Needles. Needles is Noodles’s brother. He’s got a syndrome, and gets these ticks and blurts out the wildest, craziest things. It’s cool, though: everyone on their street knows he doesn’t mean anything by it.
Yeah, it’s cool…until Ali and Noodles and Needles find themselves somewhere they never expected to be…somewhere they never should’ve been—where the people aren’t so friendly, and even less forgiving.
* Also, plan on reading The Hate U Give but that doesn’t come out till the very end of February so I will most likely read that in March.
I struggled finding books because for some reason, my overdrive library doesn’t have black authors/protagonists books and I can only recommend them. Future discussion post?
I’m also asking for people to maybe comment some recommendations because I need help (and it can also help others too).