“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.
Category: <span>Book Reviews</span>
“Island on Fire: The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire” by Tom Zoellner recounts Samuel Sharpe’s rebellion in Jamaica and how it led to the abolishment of slavery. The book delves into the structure of Jamaica’s system of slavery and the experiences of the enslaved. There’s an in-depth explanation of Jamaican society with regard to culture but there’s also the island’s economics.
“Queenie” by Candice Carty-Williams is a novel about a young Black woman in her mid-20s who was born and raised in London. The story follows her through the ups and downs of a year of her life, much of it spurred on by her relationship drama and personal issues.
“Finding Me: A Memoir” by Viola Davis is an account of the actress’ personal and professional life. Some of the experiences that she shares about trying to establish a career are similar to stories I’ve heard from others in her profession. But Davis’ personal journey was more interesting to me. I felt like I took more away from her personal story and found it incredibly inspirational. Fair warning that this is a tough read as there is some discussion of domestic violence, sexual abuse, sexual assault, poverty, and a host of other uncomfortable topics. But all in all, I thought Finding Me was just an absolutely incredible read.
“When No One Is Watching” by Alyssa Cole is a thriller and romance that makes for an entertaining and somewhat lighter summer time read. The book centers on, Sydney, a young Black woman who decides to create a history tour to tell the story of her rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn, New York neighborhood. A troubling series of events leads to Sydney and other neighbors feeling unsafe and questioning their own sanity.