Beloved

I recently listed to an episode of one of my favorite podcasts, Still Processing, in which the hosts Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris drew parallels between Jordan Peele’s newest thriller, Us, and Beloved. I was so intrigued by the connection they make between the characters Red in the film and Beloved in the text  that I decided to explore them further here. So I hope you’ve seen the movie too!

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Thick and Other Essays

In Thick, Cottom writes on the Black woman’s body — how it is judged by our own, by others and the life or death outcomes of that judging. She reminds readers to “Trust Black Women,” and of the consequences of stripping Black girls of their girlhood. She discusses the heirarchy of Blackness in how one is deemed more or less acceptable based on being “black-black” or “worthy black” ethnic black. 

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Children of Blood and Bone

You should read this book (and give it to the children in your life to read!) because it opens your eyes to what Black imagination looks like. We should have the space to imagine ourselves in every way possible. Science fiction is not a genre reserved for people who do not look like us; I’ve never considered any of the faeries or wizards I’ve read about in my youth could have been Black like me. In Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi reminds us that we can be anything. 

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Reading and Discussion Guide: Barracoon

What an incredible read. I was so excited to dive into this book, and Ms. Hurston did not let me down! In her foreward, Alice Walker calls it a “maestrapiece,” defined as “the feminine perspective or part of the structure, whether in stone or fancy, without which the entire edifice is a lie.” Walker’s writes an opening blessing over this work that primes you for the breadth and depth of the experience you are about to embark upon.

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How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective

You should read this book if you actually care about how Black women must get free. It requires that we connect the past to the present and honor the women that came before us, who were radical before we even understood what it meant to be so, and who were willing to put their bodies on the line before we were even born. For me, this is critical literature for conscious resistance in our current time. 

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