“The Revisioners” by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton tells the story of two Black women dealing with racial tension during different time periods. Josephine’s story jumps back and forth between her enslavement as a child and being a free woman with grown children in the post Civil War years. As an adult, Jospehine married a man with whom she was able to acquire some property and achieve financial independence though it later sparks jealousy in White neighbors who are less fortunate. Ava is a biracial woman raising her son as a single mother in present-day New Orleans. She’s experienced some setbacks and in hopes of improving her financial situation to offer her son a better life, Ava agrees to move in with her White grandmother. While loving at times, her grandmother is a study in microaggressions and has episodes that hint at the prejudiced views she held and could more openly express in her younger years.
Tag: <span>historical fiction</span>
“Yonder” by Jabari Asim is in a sense a slave narrative but it differs from others as it doesn’t just follow one particular character but rather a group. And specifically a group comprised of people who share typical relationships that we might take for granted. Within the group are two sets of couples who share romantic love at different stages. A couple of soon-to-be parents anxious about the birth of their child. Another couple apprehensive about taking a chance to find love in a new relationship after multiple heartbreaks. And then overall friendship between all of the members of the group.
“The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois” by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers is an epic saga that tells the story of several generations of a Black family from a small fictional town in Georgia. Spanning decades before the Civil War to the recent present the story explores various facets of Black History and is tied together by the writing and philosophy of W.E.B. Du Bois. The book clocks in at an initially daunting 800+ pages but is an engrossing read that will go by quickly. Despite being Jeffers’ first novel it is masterfully written with a rich fictionalized history seemingly brought to life with a cast of complex and incredibly human characters.
Summary “Song Yet Sung” by James McBride is in part a story about the Underground Railroad. But it’s also about much more. The story takes place in 1850 about a…
“Kindred” is a 1979 novel by Octavia E. Butler that blends science fiction with historical fiction by combining time travel with slave narratives. Dana is a Black woman who is a writer living in Los Angeles. She suddenly finds herself being transported back and forth between the then-present and a plantation in Maryland before the Civil War. During her travels to the past, Dana meets ancestors both enslaved and slave owners at different points in their lives. In effort to ensure that she will exist in the future, Dana tries to balance navigating antebellum society with attempting to have a positive influence on her ancestors.