If you want to hide something from a black person, put it in a book. Well, that’s what they say at least. They, of course, being the infamous all knowing, ever present, acquaintance to all, and speaker of no lies, and the “they” that informs us of everything we should know. All kidding aside, the existence of this horrible stereotype is real and often seen as truth by those whom I’d like to call ignorant but whom we consider and call friends, co-workers, and the people we’re surrounded by. You know, the same folks that think all black people love friend chicken, watermelon, and grape soda; which ironically or maybe not so ironically I do enjoy, just not in public. Well, not in public if I can manage to not succumb to my melanin induced draw to said indulgences. However unlikely and unrealistic it may be that this stereotype is of any validity, I continue to impose the challenge to those surrounding me to crack a book open from time to time.
It was my mother during the summers of my childhood that wouldn’t allow me and my brother to just chill like we wanted to. Nope. Instead we were drag to libraries, forced to participate in summer reading programs, and though at the time it was what I’d describe as torture, I’m now quite thankful for the building of an appreciation for writing and reading that I’ll say ma’dukes embedded in me. Literacy, in my opinion, is the single most important part of any education. It is the basis of any level of intellectual prowess. Reading (the act of, not the ability to) for me, was not necessarily something I took to like some of my idols or the great writers that I’ve become a fan of have been said to have. It took time for me to enjoy it at the level in which I do now, and considering my affinity for writing, I soon realized that in order to be great I’d have to read the greats. With that being said, I’ve composed a list of books that I intend to read this summer. I’m going to do my best to make it through them all. Join if you’d like.
Also, I’d like to thank and give a huge shout out to @_Sugahoney (http://www.sugahoney.com) for sharing her reading list with me. Some of what’s listed was recommended by her.… Thanks!
2012 Summer Reading List
The Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on black Life in America by Mumia Abu-Jamal and Marc Lamont Hill
How should a person be? by Sheila Heti
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
We Real Cool: Black Men & Masculinity by Bell Hooks
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Pulphead essays by John Jeremiah Sullivan
Women, race & Class by Angela Davis
Black Cool: One thousand Streams of Blackness by Rebecca Walker
The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene
Is Just a Movie by Earl Lovelace