Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s debut novel “We Cast a Shadow” is set in an unnamed Southern city in the not too distant future. American society has become more racially restrictive. To avoid the various prejudices suffered by Black people, some resort to “demelanization”, a painful procedure that removes physical traits associated with Black people. The book is a slightly off-beat dark comedy about a nameless narrator who goes to desperate lengths to shield his son from this race-based dystopian society.
Category: <span>Book Reviews</span>
“Behold the Dreamers” by Imbolo Mbue is the story of a couple, Jendi and Neni Jonga, who emigrate from Cameroon with their young son, Liomi, in hopes of a better life in New York City. The couple struggles for a while with Jende initially working as a cab driver while Neni works as a nurse’s assistant and is studying to become a pharmacist. Things seem to be heading in the right direction when Jende lands a better paying job as the driver for a wealthy family, the Edwards. That is until both families’ lives are turned upside down by the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
“The Girl Who Smiled Beads” by Clemantine Wamariya charts her and her sister, Claire’s, experience as refugees during the Rwandan genocide. Born into a relatively comfortable family, the girls’ lives are disrupted as the country descends into civil war and then ethnic genocide. Sent away from their family home in an attempt to keep them safe, the girls find themselves constantly on the move between countries and refugee camps in search of safety and some sense of normalcy.
A review of “The Underground Railroad Records” by William Still, an important book to read. A vitally important to read because the book shares the experiences of people who escaped or attempted to escape slavery by the Underground Railroad. It recounts some of the experiences of people who passed through the Philadelphia area and had some contact with the Vigilance Committee of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, of which William Still was the chairman.
A review of “A Kind of Freedom” by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, the story of three family members which provides a glimpse into issues such as Jim Crow, drug addiction, and mass incarceration that have plagued the Black community.