I remember, as a child, loving to read. Getting lost in a book for hours at a time, imagining each and every character in the story. There were a vast amount of writers whose work I enjoyed but it wasn’t until my grade school teacher introduced us to black literature that I was truly inspired.
Reading something that related to me changed my entire perspective on literature. Some of which I did not appreciate until now. I was introduced to authors and poets such as Maya Angelou, Lorraine Hansberry, Langston Hughes, to name a few. I was even more intrigued by literature written by black women. For those moments, I felt understood. These writers went in depth on our distinctive looks, skin color, hair and how impactful these attributes are on the course of our lives.
Unfortunately, as time went on and teachers changing, I saw a decrease in the amount of black literature that was presented to me. Reading went from being leisure to a requirement. By the time I graduated college, I did not want to see another book!
With technology moving at such a fast pace and social media booming, the consumption level had become obsessive. However, the little black girl in me started to become curious of reading again.
I recently started to read again and I realized how much I missed it. Turning the pages and imagining the characters brings me back to the feeling that I once remembered. This time I around, I want to really explore black women in literature because I think we can be overlooked in that space.
Since the month of February is Black History Month (although black history IS HISTORY), I would like to highlight a few black women in literature and some of their work.
Toni Morrison is literally a living legend! She is a Pulitzer Prize- and Nobel Prize winning novelist. Her stories will captivate you. I recently just finished God Help the Child and it was amazing. Her most notable work includes:
Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon and Sula.
Lorraine Hansberry, a Chicago native writer and playwright. She was the first black woman author to have a play performed on broadway. Her most notable work includes:
A Raisin in the Sun and To Be Young, Gifted and Black.
Now I can go on and on about the many black women writers but this time around I would like to learn from you all!
For the month of February, I am offering a special for those who bring in either a physical copy or E-book (Kindle or iBooks) written by a black woman. Since I have mentioned Toni Morrison and Lorraine Hansberry, they are excluded. It can be hair related, social, political, beauty, etc. I believe it is important for us to learn how influential we WERE and currently STILL ARE to history. I encourage you to share this with a friend as well!
Can’t wait to hear what you all have learned!