“One Righteous Man” by Arthur Browne tells the story of Samuel Battle, the first Black police officer in New York City. In addition to braving the expected dangers of patrolling the streets Battle also had to contend with his fellow officers who felt he didn’t belong on the force. Over his decorated 40-year career Battle would fight crime but also discrimination and sabotage within the department.
Category: <span>Book Reviews</span>
“The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives” by Lola Shoneyin is a novel about a polygamous Nigerian man, Baba Segi who has four wives and seven children. The household was stable and had a steady rhythm until the arrival of the fourth wife, Bolanle. When she joins the household her being younger and more educated than the other women incites their jealousy which leads to them plotting and scheming to get her out. Her position is made even more precarious as her and the baby-obsessed Baba Segi struggle to conceive a child which leads to some big family revelations.
“When Affirmative Action Was White” by Ira Katznelson tells the story of how the progressive programs of the 1930s and 1940s solidified and expanded the American middle class. The implementation of these programs were designed to especially benefit White citizens while excluding Black citizens whenever possible. Coupled with other economic injustices of the past, this unfair distribution of resources and opportunities contributed to the wealth gap that persists to this day. Yet, because the underlying political shenanigans are often unmentioned, it has allowed people in the present to oppose more recent affirmative action programs intended to rectify the situation.
Reading the synopsis for “killing the black body” by Dorothy E. Roberts, it seemed like the perfect book to discuss intersectionality as it touches on both race and reproductive rights. Racial, gender, and socioeconomic issues are often discussed separately but not nearly enough in combination as they occur in the real world. Here there’s a discussion of how those factors result in a difference in the approach to reproductive rights with regards to Black versus White women, especially within different income levels.
Published in 1970, “The Bluest Eye” was Toni Morrison’s debut novel and earned her a Nobel Prize. A deceptively short book that packs quite a punch, the story follows eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove, a Black girl growing up in Lorain, Ohio shortly after the Great Depression. Growing up in a family plagued by generational dysfunction and a community plagued with self-hate, Pecola comes to believe that having blue eyes will make her beautiful in the eyes of others and solve all of her problems.