Homegoing is a work of historical fiction but it’s a good jumping off point for venturing into the history of the Black diaspora. If you’re a fan of Roots, you’d also enjoy Homegoing. I’d especially recommend the book for young adults and adults who are trying to get into reading. The book and chapters are quite short which makes it very easy to pick up the book, read a chapter, and put it down. It’s not the kind of book that requires a lot of focused time.
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The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead tells the story of Cora, a young slave woman who makes plans to escape with a fellow slave, Caesar. I decided to read The Underground Railroad after seemingly seeing it everywhere. I thought the book was pretty good but not as amazing as I expected it to be. By all means, The Underground Railroad is a solid book but I still don’t get why it was being pushed as an amazing novel. I enjoyed the book but it wasn’t life changing.
Watch Me Fly is more than the story of the widow of a civil rights hero. It’s also the story of a rather sheltered woman who struggles to find herself in her thirties after her world is ripped apart. I’d recommend Watch Me Fly if you’re interested in the Civil Rights Movement or the Black experience. But, the book also delves into Myrlie’s personal journey and her quest to improve herself. Watch Me Fly could also be very appealing if you’re into self-help books or are looking for motivation to become better versions of themselves.
Freeman by Leonard Pitts, Jr. follows three main characters at the end of the Civil War. Tilda, a former slave woman freed by the end of the war. Her estranged husband, Sam Freeman, who had been a slave but managed to escape to the North. And Prudence Kent, a White woman from Boston whose father was wealthy. It was an emotional roller coaster that had me in my feelings at quite a few points.
The 13th Amendment to The United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude. It created a protected right for citizens to be free from bondage. But, a loophole allows suppression of this right for criminals who are being punished following a conviction. This 14-word phrase charted a path for the American prison-industrial complex. 13th, a documentary by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, explores the history of institutional racism through the lens of the 13th Amendment.