Books Archives

About seven months ago, I read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun. Primarily, it was the fictional story of how wealthy Nigerian twin sisters and their lovers (one Nigerian, one White) dealt with the harrowing effects of the Biafran-Nigerian War (1967-1970). Before reading the novel, I knew nothing about this conflict or how Read More

Winner of a Bellwether Prize for Literature of Social Change, The Girl Who Fell From the Sky is the story of Rachel, a biracial adolescent being raised by her African American grandmother, in the wake of a horrific tragedy that left Rachel critically injured and her Danish mother and two siblings dead. Bestselling author Barbara Read More

In an effort to eradicate the myth of the “seductive/sexually-empowered slave mistress” (most recently perpetuated by Touré on Twitter, apparently), new novelist Dolen Perkins-Valdez has penned a work of historical fiction set in a real location: Tawawa House, a summer resort that catered to white slaveholders and their enslaved “lovers,” in the free state of Read More

Julia Roberts is going to play the lead in Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2006 memoir that was on the best-seller list for hundreds of weeks. It makes a lot of sense to combine everything in the world we despise into one entity. Now we don’t have to divide our loathing for Roberts’s toothy, over-earnestness Read More

“Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.”  -John Maynard Keynes In The Myth of the Rational Market, Justin Fox, the “Curious Capitalist” columnist for Time,  traces the lineage of the efficient market hypothesis,  a school of thought backed by the economic powerhouse Read More

My earliest reading of Wallace Thurman’s The Blacker the Berry, I believed and still contend that this novel is a defense of dark-colored skin. His portrayal of the light-skinned antagonists and the bevy of characters who subscribe to the “light is right” mindset are one-dimensional and often vicious. This is similar to what Richard Wright does with Read More

[Via.] UPDATE: Publisher’s Weekly responds via Twitter. While I respect everyone who may be offended, I think the photo is a delightful and wry expression of historical Afro Americana. Oh. That explains it. UPDATE #2: I was going to leave this in the comments as a response to Literanista’s comment, but I figured I’d post Read More

Emma Lou Brown is a dark-skinned black girl in the 1920s. born to a family reaching for status and desperate to avoid any semblance of blackness. For Emma, it’s a daily reminder of why everything in her life is wrong. Written in 1929, The Blacker the Berry is a fierce defense of dark-colored skin. At the time, critics who Read More

During dinner a friend of a friend foolishly told me he didn’t read. My confusion at the notion turned to heartbreak, then I tried to reserve my judgment. He couldn’t have possibly known he was having dinner with a girl who goes to bookstores for fun. Seeing the disappointment on my face, he quickly added Read More

Referred to as a “tragic mulatto tale,” an accurate description, yet one that has never interested me, Quicksand by Nella Larsen is about the most frustrating black female lead I’ve ever read–Helga Crane. She’s a woman whose eccentricities today, I imagine, would be imitated and fawned over. Her described beauty would be put on magazine covers Read More

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