Read a Book

Black History matters. We are at a critical juncture in race relations in our country. There is so much conflict and very little understanding.

This February offers some unusual opportunities for learning about the Black perspective on American culture and history. Fences is a powerful movie based on a play about a Black family in the 1950s and early 60s. I had such a strong reaction to the acting, which has been nominated for a number of awards. And won some too!

Another important film that is doing well at the box office and winning awards is Hidden Figures. It’s about the key role a group of African American women played in the space race. It’s got so much good stuff in it and moves fast enough that you can miss some things if you aren’t careful. I’m thinking of seeing it again.

But wait! There was a book before there was a movie! Wouldn’t you know? Speaking of books, I want to share a couple reading lists that can get us started down a road to better understanding the Black experience of America. Powell’s Books published this Black Lives Matter Reading List.

The New York Times ran a story about a group of teenagers who vandalized a historic Black schoolhouse in Virginia. Their punishment was to read a book a month for a year and report on it.

I’ve read some, but not nearly enough of the books on these reading lists. I can personally recommend these though:

  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett

So, take some time to see a movie or read a book. Then let us know what you think about them, and how they make you feel. And maybe even how you might change a little bit.

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