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Rated: 13+ · Book · Personal · #2091338
A blog for all things personal, informational, educational, and fun.
Here at my personal blog Thoughts & Things, I share a wide variety of, you guessed it, thoughts and things. Anything that sparks my interest is up for discussion. For those who are uncertain of what that might cover, I'll generally talk about reading, writing, books, movies, music, games, history, current events, and feminism. I talk about my personal emotional and health struggles from time to time. I'm also a big fan of lists.

This is the place here at WDC where you can get to know me best, as I talk about the things that interest me, impact me, and amuse me.
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June 17, 2018 at 8:21pm
June 17, 2018 at 8:21pm
When I was a little girl, I lived for ancient history. I was especially interested in ancient Egyptian history, especially the social and cultural aspects. I read every fiction and nonfiction book I could get at my tiny school library and the tiny (but slightly less so than the school) public library. I watched documentary specials that played on TV. It was my thing.

I especially had an interest in mummies. I especially have an interest in mummies that extends beyond the Egyptian variety (particularly bog bodies). But I will always have a soft spot for the Egyptian mummies that started that fascination. For probably close to twenty years, I have wanted to see a real-life mummy. I don't live in a big enough city to get those kinds of artifacts at the local museums (although the city is large enough to have decent museum options). But I've hoped I could make it out to visit a museum that would have a mummy.

Yesterday, I fulfilled my dream! My mother took me to visit the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto for my twenty-fifth birthday. We got to wander parts of the city as well, enjoy some good sights, good food, and got to walk through the Taste of Italy festival (which actually had a major fire today). But we spent the bulk of the day at the ROM.

There were many exhibitions that I enjoyed a great deal, featuring incredible artifacts from around the world and throughout history. Every part of the day was well worth my time. But as we wandered through the Egyptian section, we came across a mummy. The Mummy of Antjau, dated to approximately 664-600 BCE, and found in Western Thebes, Egypt. He may not be a well known historical figure, but he is still a mummy, and my mind is blown.

I hope this isn't the last mummy I ever see, but I have been so pumped that this happened. I needed to share it somewhere. It's not every day that you get to fulfill a lifelong dream!
March 3, 2018 at 5:37pm
March 3, 2018 at 5:37pm
We all have our own little fears. Those irrational things that you can't help but be afraid of. Most of mine are medical fears, because why not? But then there are some things that are not even irrational, but deserve to be feared. These aren't the things that you think about when listing your main fears. These are the things that are just instinctively frightening. Here are five things that scare the pants off of me.

Deep Sea Creatures
Have you seen deep sea creatures? The ones that humans today have been able to catch a glimpse of are absolutely terrifying to behold. The knowledge of all the ones we might never see is even scarier. I don't need to see space monsters to be afraid. What other alien monsters lurk unknown right here on our own planet?

We Are In An Ice Age. Right Now.
Ice Ages tend to last millions of years. We are currently in the interglacial period of an ice age. This means that we are in a period of warmer temperatures considering that it is an ice age, but that does not mean it is any less of an ice age. The most recent "ice age" we are familiar with from 10,000 plus years ago is actually just the most recent glacial period of the current ice age. Mammoths and sabre tooth tigers lived during the same ice age we are in right now.

Animals That Survived Extinction Events
I'm mostly looking at you, crocodiles. During the K-T extinction event, most of the species on earth were wiped out, but some species survive today. Crocodiles survived what dinosaurs could not, despite looking remarkably similar to how we picture the dinosaurs having looked. Other animals that survived the K-T extinction event include the platypus, sharks, cockroaches, and others.

Black Holes
Nothing that gets near a black hole can escape. Nothing. Not even light. There is a supermassive black hole here in the Milky Way (there is one at the centre of every galaxy) called Sagittarius A. According to NASA, "It has a mass equal to about 4 million suns and would fit inside a very large ball that could hold a few million Earths." I want nothing to do with Sagittarius A, or any other black holes (especially those classed supermassive).

The Destruction of Knowledge
The loss or destruction of different forms of knowledge both breaks my heart and terrifies me. What are we as a species without knowledge? We have so much recorded knowledge that it is humbling to think about all the things that we know as a species but could never have the time to learn as individuals. Knowledge is either recorded or passed down verbally, but what happens to the knowledge we lose? So much of it is just gone. How much knowledge from a thousand or more years ago is just gone? How much knowledge that we have today will be gone in another thousand years?
March 1, 2018 at 12:05am
March 1, 2018 at 12:05am
As I post this final reading list for Black History Month 2018 (and I do hope to share a new series of reading lists in February of 2019 for Black History Month), the month is rolling over into March. That's okay. Black history is overlooked by most of the general public, and by many education systems. We take the shortest month of the year to acknowledge the history of millions of people, of millions of lives. February is a great opportunity to learn more about Black history, to learn things you might not otherwise learn. But if you are interested, if you care, you always have the option to read these books after February, or before February. So here is my final list for the month, running a little late, but as relevant as it was just minutes ago when it was still February.

This reading list will include books about the arts communities. Music, film, visual art, comic books, photography, dance are all things that I have included. Additionally, the books included here might lead you to other media where people of colour are underrepresented. I hope that you find something here that interests you, and that you end up enjoying.

Black Magic by Langston Hughes

Encyclopedia of Black Comics by Sheena C. Howard

African Canvas: the Art of West African Women with photographs and text by Margaret Courtney-Clarke; foreword by Maya Angelou

Art of the South African Townships by Gavin Younge; foreword by Desmond M. Tutu

African American Art and Artists by Samella Lewis

Harlem Renaissance: Art of Black America introduction by Mary Schmidt Campbell ; essays by David C. Driskell, David Levering Lewis, and Deborah Willis Ryan

Blues legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday by Angela Y. Davis

Blind Tom, the Black Pianist-Composer (1849-1908) by Geneva Handy Southall

Kill 'em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul by James McBride

A Pure Solar World: Sun Ra and the Birth of Afrofuturism by Paul Youngquist

Black Music by LeRoi Jones

Black Nationalism and the Revolution in Music by Frank Kofsky

Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide: a Memoir by Darryl "DMC" McDaniels with Darrell Dawsey

The Devil Finds Work: An Essay by James Baldwin

Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams: The Story of Black Hollywood by Donald Bogle

Alone With Me: A New Autobiography by Eartha Kitt

True South: Henry Hampton and Eyes on the Prize, the Landmark Television Series That Reframed the Civil Rights Movement by Jon Else

Viewfinders: Black Women Photographers by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe

In/sight: African Photographers, 1940 to the Present presented by the Guggenheim Museum, with contributions from Clare Bell, Okwui Enwezor, Olu Oguibe, Octavio Zaya

Josephine Baker art by Catel Muller; written by José-Louis Bocquet

Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina: My Story of Adversity and Grace by Misty Copeland, with Charisse Jones

Dancing spirit: An Autobiography by Judith Jamison, with Howard Kaplan

Previous posts available here:
"A Black History Month Reading List: Introduction
"Black History Month Reading List: Poetry
"Black History Month Reading List: Children's Books
"Black History Month Read List: Middle Grade Books
"Black History Month Read List: YA Books
"Black History Month Reading List: The Canadian Edition
"Black History Month Reading List: Adult Fiction
February 21, 2018 at 1:01pm
February 21, 2018 at 1:01pm
I have gathered together a series of smaller lists for this one larger post. Rather than just give a list of a few general fiction books, I have narrowed down many books into smaller list of genres. The lists feature books by and about black people to celebrate the varieties of books that incredible minds have given us over the last century. Hopefully the break down of genre means that more people are able to find a great book that suits their tastes.

Historical Fiction
Home by Toni Morrison
The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat

Sci-Fi and Fantasy
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
Everfair by Nisi Shawl
Dossouye by Charles R. Saunders
My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due
Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord

Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey
Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley
Darkness and the Devil Behind Me: A Lanie Price Mystery by Persia Walker
Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett
Blanche on the Lam by Barbara Neely

White Teeth by Zadie Smith
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Baby of the Family by Tina McElroy Ansa
Halsey Street by Naima Coster
An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins
An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole
A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson
Surrender the Dark by L.A. Banks
Treasure by Rebekah Weatherspoon
Kissing the Captain by Kianna Alexander

The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
Passing by Nella Narsen
The Living is Easy by Dorothy West
Efuru by Flora Nwapa
Jubilee by Margaret Walker
The River Between by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
The Changeling by Victor LaValle
Jesus Freaks by Andre Duza
Crescendo: Welcome Home, Death Awaits by L. Marie Wood

Previous posts in the series are:
"A Black History Month Reading List: Introduction
"Black History Month Reading List: Poetry
"Black History Month Reading List: Children's Books
"Black History Month Read List: Middle Grade Books
"Black History Month Read List: YA Books
"Black History Month Reading List: The Canadian Edition
February 10, 2018 at 7:44pm
February 10, 2018 at 7:44pm
In my series of reading lists to consider for Black History Month, I have included books from a variety of places. That said, I fully realise that the lists are very American heavy. As it is also Black History Month here in Canada, I would like to provide readers with some Canadian specific options. Whether you are Canadian, or just interested in Black history in Canada, I hope you find something to read from this list of fourteen Canadian history books.

To Stand and Fight Together: Richard Pierpoint and the Coloured Corps of Upper Canada by Steve Pitt
Richard Pierpoint was a black man who helped create a unit of black men during the War of 1812, and actually served in an active combat role. They also served during the Rebellion of 1837, and served as a police force.

The Hanging of Angelique: The Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old Montreal by Afua Cooper
Marie-Joseph Angélique was a black slave in Montreal in the 18th century. In 1734, Montreal burned, and 46 buildings were destroyed. Marie-Joseph Angélique was charged with arson, and although she maintained her innocence, they tortured a confession out of her, and she was hanged.

Viola Desmond's Canada: A History of Blacks and Racial Segregation in the Promised Land by Graham Reynolds with Wanda Robson
Viola Desmond is often referred to as "the Rosa Parks of Canada." She sat in the whites only section of a segregated movie theatre in 1946, and was arrested. Not only does this tell the story of Viola Desmond (with the help of her youngest sister Wanda Robson), it also tells the little known history of segregation laws in Canada.

Execution Poems: The Black Acadian Tragedy of "George and Rue" by George Elliott Clarke
Winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry, Execution Poems tells the story of George and Rufus Hamilton, two black men who were hanged in 1949 for murder. It tells of poverty and racism, and the poetic narrative is shared by a cousin of the two men who were hanged.

Razing Africville: A Geography of Racism by Jennifer Nelson
Africville was an historic black neighbourhood in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The city evicted all of those living in the impoverished community, and razed the entire neighbourhood under the guise of "slum clearance."

From Midnight to Dawn: The Last Tracks of the Underground Railroad by Jacqueline L. Tobin and Hettie Jones
Like many other books, this one addresses the story of the Underground Railroad, the path to freedom for runaway slaves. Unlike many other books, this one also addresses what happened to the fugitive slaves upon their arrival in Canada. We may see the stories of lesser known abolitionists, and the stories of black communities that were formed as a result, such as the town of Dawn.

North of the Color Line: Migration and Black Resistance in Canada, 1870-1955 by Sarah-Jane Mathieu
Following the Civil War in America, many black men and women came to Canada. North of the Color Line looks at politics, labour, laws, racism, and segregation in Canada, often with a focus on the sleeping car porters on trains, almost always a job held by black men

Queer Returns: Essays on Multiculturalism, Diaspora and Black Studies by Rinaldo Walcott
Rinaldo Walcott uses this essay collection to talk about how multiculturalism and diaspora effect personal cultures, and one's own identity. Walcott also addresses how areas like queer, black, and black queer can complicate these politics.

In the Black: My Life by B. Denham Jolly
B. Denham Jolly's autobiography tells the story of how he came to Canada in the 1950s, and ultimately had success in his business dealings, despite facing many forms of discrimination. The discrimination he faced led him to a battle to obtain a license for a black-owned radio station in Toronto, Canada's first black-owned radio station, which he successfully opened in 2001, and used to promote black musicians in Canada.

Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present by Robyn Maynard
Despite Canada's image of tolerance, racism has been a prevalent issue from the time of slavery, and persists today. The same type of state violence against black lives that exists in the States is also present in Canada. Policing Black Lives addresses the different forms of institutional racism in Canada, such as racial profiling, police violence, incarceration, black poverty, and much more.

Mary Ann Shadd Cary: The Black Press and Protest in the Nineteenth Century by Jane Rhodes
Mary Ann Shadd was the first black woman in Canada to edit and publish a newspaper, published in the 1850s and known as the Provincial Freeman. She used her education and freedom to fight for the end of slavery, the end of racial discrimination, women's rights, and many other issues. When she returned to the US, she also recruited black soldiers to the Union Army and taught freed slaves.

The Queen's Bush Settlement: Black Pioneers, 1839-1865 by Linda Brown-Kubisch
The Queen's Bush settlement refers to an area near present day Hawkesville. At the time the land had been as yet unsurveyed, but a group of black pioneers cleared and settled the land, forming the remote Queen's Bush settlement. The settlement became a significant area for fugitive slaves to settle.

Fear of a Black Nation: Race, Sex and Security in Sixties Montreal by David Austin
Black power had significant, although brief, moments in the spotlight in 1960s Montreal. The Congress of Black Writers at McGill University brought together many significant black thinkers of the time, from Canada, Africa, America, and the Caribbean. Sir George Williams University served as the site of a major black-led protest. These events, highly publicised in their time, led to a great deal of public concern about Montreal becoming a world leader in radical politics.

Go to School, You're a Little Black Boy: The Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander: A Memoir by Lincoln Alexander and Herb Shoveller
Lincoln Alexander was born in 1920s Toronto to a railway porter and a maid. He fought for education, against racism, and had successful careers in law and politics. He became Canada's first black member of Parliament, the first black federal Cabinet Minister, the first black Chair of the Worker's Compensation Board, and served as the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario.

Previous posts in the series are:
"A Black History Month Reading List: Introduction
"Black History Month Reading List: Poetry
"Black History Month Reading List: Children's Books
"Black History Month Read List: Middle Grade Books
"Black History Month Read List: YA Books
February 8, 2018 at 12:45am
February 8, 2018 at 12:45am
Once again, I am here to share a list of books to consider reading for Black History Month. This list includes fifteen young adult books, primarily fiction, although I have slipped a little nonfiction into there as well. I have included a mixture of genres as well (contemporary, historical, memoir, speculative, etc), so I hope that everyone can find something to their taste.

Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Dear Martin tells the story of a young man named Justyce who is arrested by the police for something he did not do, and then released without apology. Following this, he becomes interested in the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr, and begins writing him letters.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Starr Carter witnesses the death of her childhood best friend at the hands of police. They shot him down, even though he was unarmed. Headlines about it are everywhere, people are protesting, and Starr is surrounded by chaos, where she is the only person who knows what really happened.

American Street by Ibi Zoboi
Fabiola was born in the USA, but was raised in Haiti, her mother's home country. As a teenager, Fabiola is returning to the US with her mother. Her mother is detained at customs, and Fabiola is left in Detroit with her aunt and cousins, trying to navigate an unfamiliar place and culture without her mother.

Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper
Amari lives a near perfect life with her family and tribe in Africa. That is, until her family is murdered and she is sold into slavery. Slavery is an unimaginable cruelty, but she makes her escape with an indentured servant, as they run for solace in a Spanish colony in Florida.

Solo by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess
Solo, a novel in verse, tells the story of Blade, the son of a washed up musician and drug addict, who has nothing in common with his father except music. Nothing has been the same since Blade's mother died, and it seems like his father is going to cost him his relationship with his girlfriend. Then Blade receives a letter from his deceased mother that sends him all the way to Ghana.

The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara and Susan McClelland
The Bite of the Mango is the real life story of Mariatu Kamara. Born in Sierra Leone, her childhood seemed peaceful, until she was twelve years old and was attacked by rebel soldiers while walking to a nearby village. Mariatu loses both her hands, and loses her family. She bounces from living in a refugee camp to begging in Freetown to moving all the way to Toronto.

No Laughter Here by Rita Williams-Garcia
Akilah and Victoria are best friends, and are inseparable and constantly having fun. Victoria takes a summer trip to her home country of Nigeria for a "coming of age ceremony" and when she returns to the US, she just isn't the same anymore. She won't laugh at all, and seems to have lost all her confidence. Akilah learns about FGM. A difficult topic, but tackled beautifully.

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith
Ida Mae Jones wants nothing more than to be a pilot, just like her father, but as a young black woman in the 1930s, this dream doesn't seem attainable. America enters WWII, and starts the Women Airforce Service Pilots, and thinks this is her chance, but even WASP won't take black women. Ida Mae decides to pass as a white woman to be a WASP.

X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon
Cowritten by Malcolm X's daughter Ilyasah Shabazz, X tells the novelized story of Malcolm X before he was known as Malcolm X. Following Malcolm X from childhood to his time in prison at the age of twenty, when he became a member of the Nation of Islam, a turning point in his life that set him on the path to being the human rights activist that he was known as.

The Blazing Star by Imani Josey
16 year old Portia holds an Egyptian scarab in her hands during history class which bestows her with additional strength and abilities. When she touches it again, she is swept back in time to ancient Egypt, with her twin sister and a freshman from her school swept along with her. The three of them have to get back to their own time and place, but they are swept along a surprising journey on the way.

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds, Brendan Kiely
Rashad is brutalised by the police when they believe he is he is stealing something because he is black. He is left in the hospital, broken and bruised, for weeks. Quinn, a white classmate, witnessed the ordeal, and initially remained quiet. But as rumours spiral out of control, and the news picks the story up, Quinn realises that not being involved is a luxury that he cannot take.

Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
A teenager in 1960s Harlem, Perry dreams of attending college, but this doesn't work out as he had hoped. When he cannot attend, he joins the military, and commits to service on the front in Vietnam. As he experiences the horrors of war firsthand, Perry is left wondering why the black soldiers are treated the way they are, and why the Vietnam War is even happening at all.

Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
Noughts & Crosses tells the story of Sephy, a Cross, and Callum, a Nought. Noughts and Crosses are different races, and in this world, these races do not mix. They have been friends since childhood, and long to be more, but in their world of prejudice, racism, and distrust, noughts and crosses can never be anything more. Terrorism unfolds around them, and a romance unfolds between them, and danger lies ahead.

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
Jade wants to be a success, which to her means she needs to get out of her neighbourhood. She takes every opportunity available to her, including a scholarship to mainly white private school. The school puts her into a program for "at risk girls", which is more like code for "black girls."

Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis
Mare's War switches back and forth between the modern day story of Octavia and Tali going on a road trip with their eccentric and unusual grandmother, whom they call Mare, and Mare's story from her time in the African American Battalion of the Women's Army Corps during WWII.

Previous posts in the series are:
"A Black History Month Reading List: Introduction
"Black History Month Reading List: Poetry
"Black History Month Reading List: Children's Books
"Black History Month Read List: Middle Grade Books
February 6, 2018 at 12:19am
February 6, 2018 at 12:19am
The latest in my series of reading lists for Black History Month, this list will focus on books for middle grade children. These are typically children between the ages of eight and twelve. I have included primarily fiction stories, but some nonfiction is included. They all focus on different points in history, ranging from the eighteenth century to present. They are primarily historically based, but I have included some with a contemporary setting, including a fantasy story.

Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson
Rose Lee Carter, a 13 year old black girl in Mississippi, dreams of a different life until her world is changed by the murder of Emmett Till, in the first book in this series.

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
A young and brilliant girl has a bright future until the Great Depression strikes, and her whole family is uprooted so her father can find work where it is still available for black men.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Woodson shares the story of her own childhood through poetry, tackling issues that come with being a black girl in America in the 60s and 70s.

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Young sisters go to California to stay with their mother for the summer in the 1960s and meet the Black Panthers, in the first book in a series.

The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney, Illustrated by Shane W. Evans
Told in poetry, and set in Sudan, a young girl looks forward to a bright future until the Janjaweed militia group terrorize her village. While living in a refugee camp, she is given a red pencil that restores her hope.

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
A young albino girl in Nigeria discovers she and her friends have unique magical abilities, and they use those abilities to hunt a serial killer.

Look to the Hills: The Diary of Lozette Moreau, a French Slave Girl by Patricia C. McKissack
Part of the Dear America series. Lozette is a slave in France. Her masters move her over to America, where she must adapt to a different life.

Color Me Dark: The Diary of Nellie Lee Love, the Great Migration North, Chicago, Illinois, 1919 by Patricia C. McKissack
Part of the Dear America series. Nellie Lee lives in Tennessee until Uncle Pace is murdered by the KKK. Like many black people at the time, her family relocates to Chicago.

No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, Illustrations by R. Gregory Christie
Award winning author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson tells the story of her own great-uncle, a man who ran one of the most important bookstores in Harlem.

Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Lanesha lives in the Ninth Ward in New Orleans in the mid 2000s. She and her family must prepare for the incoming storm that is Hurricane Katrina.

Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper
Stella lives in North Carolina, and Jim Crow laws are in full effect. The story takes place just in time to see the KKK make a return to her town.

The Land by Mildred D. Taylor
The first in a series about the Logan family, here we see Paul-Edward Logan, a biracial boy in post-Civil War Georgia, grow tired of being discriminated against by white people, black people, and his own family, and set out to find land of his own.

Ghetto Cowboy by G. Neri, illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson
Cole is left, unhappily, to live in Philadelphia with his dad. He expects to hate it, but finds solace with a group who rescues horses and uses them to keep youth out of trouble.

Hidden Figures Young Readers’ Edition by Margot Lee Shetterly
Hidden Figures, the nonfiction book on the black women who helped make space travel possible, has been adapted for middle grade readers.

Previous posts in the series are:
"A Black History Month Reading List: Introduction
"Black History Month Reading List: Poetry
"Black History Month Reading List: Children's Books
February 4, 2018 at 6:50pm
February 4, 2018 at 6:50pm
My BHM Reading List series continues with a collection of fifteen children's books. These books are primarily authored and illustrated by black authors, with a focus on Black history. These books are mainly targeted towards younger readers. Keep an eye out for future posts, which will include middle grade and young adult lists.

Remember: The Journey to School Integration by Toni Morrison
A renowned, award-winning author of adult fiction, Toni Morrison wrote this children's nonfiction story of school integration, accompanied by archive photos.

My People by Langston Hughes, photography by Charles R. Smith Jr.
My People was originally a stand alone poem, but has been adapted into a story book for children, featuring photography of real kids, in a glorious celebration of self and of blackness.

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly, Illustrated by Laura Freeman
Hidden Figures, originally a nonfiction book for adults and now a major film, has been adapted for children in this picture book.

Little Leaders: Bold Women In Black History by Vashti Harrison
Little Leaders features the stories of forty different black women throughout history. It includes well-known women, along with those lesser known, ranging from writers to activists to scientists and many others.

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale by John Steptoe
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters received numerous awards in the 1980s, and was even a Reading Rainbow book. This story blends traditional African folk tale with Cinderella-esque elements.

Harlem by Walter Dean Myers, Illustrated by Christopher Myers
Harlem, written as a poem, is filled with the history, culture, and people that make up Harlem as a place and community, serving as an ode to said history, culture, and people.

Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges
Ruby Bridges was the first black child to desegregate her all white school in Louisiana, accompanied by US marshals for her protection. This is her story in her own words.

Rosa by Nikki Giovanni, Illustrated by Bryan Collier
Much lauded poet Nikki Giovanni tells the story of Rosa Parks, serving as a perfect introduction for children to learn about her groundbreaking acts of resistance and protest.

Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine, Illustrated Kadir Nelson
Henry's Freedom Box tells the true story of Henry Brown, a young slave with the desire for freedom, who eventuallymails himself north in a crate to escape slavery.

Ron's Big Mission by Rose Blue and Corinne J. Naden, Illustrated by Don Tate
During his adulthood, Ron McNair was a physicist and NASA astronaut who lost his life during the Challenger explosion. This tells the story of his childhood, and of his mission to get a library card in his town's segregated library.

We are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson
We are the Ship serves as a children's guide to the history of Negro League baseball from when it began until its decline as players like Jackie Robinson made it into Major League Baseball.

Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? by Bonnie Bader, Illustrated by Nancy Harrison and Elizabeth Wolf
This children's biography of Martin Luther King Jr serves as a detailed introduction to the dedicated man who did so much for the civil rights movement.

28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World by Charles R. Smith Jr., Illustrated by Shane W. Evans
28 Days includes a story for every day during Black History Month. Stories span over two hundred years of important moments and people in black history.

Be Boy Buzz by bell hooks, Illustrated by Chris Raschka
bell hooks is most well known for her adult nonfiction on race and gender, but she has released a number of empowering picture books. Be Boy Buzz is a celebration of boyhood.

When Harriet Met Sojourner by Catherine Clinton, Illustrated by Shane W. Evans
When Harriet Met Sojourner tells the individual stories of Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth, as well as what happened when the two incredible women met.

Previous posts in the series are:
"A Black History Month Reading List: Introduction
"Black History Month Reading List: Poetry.
February 3, 2018 at 8:29pm
February 3, 2018 at 8:29pm
As explained in my post "A Black History Month Reading List: Introduction, I will be creating a number of relevant reading lists throughout Black History Month for those looking to learn, enjoy, celebrate, understand the varying facets of Black History. For my first post, I have compiled a list of twelve poetry volumes written by black poets. The poetry ranges from hundreds of years old to modern releases. I hope you find something you are able to connect with and enjoy.

Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral by Phillis Wheatley
Phillis Wheatley was the first black woman in America to be a professional and published poet. This collection of 39 poems was published in 1773.

For Malcolm: Poems on the Life and Death of Malcolm X edited by Dudley Randall and Margaret G. Burroughs
Edited by two important black poets from the mid-twentieth century onward, For Malcolm is a poetry collection written and released following the death of Malcolm X.

And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou is beloved for her poetry and her autobiography series, and this collection ranks among her best and most significant work in poetry.

Hard Times Require Furious Dancing by Alice Walker
Best known for her novel The Color Purple, Alice Walker is also an incredible poet with a great many collections under her belt. This collection deals with a great deal of loss, and is a personal favourite.

On the Bus With Rosa Parks by Rita Dove
Rita Dove was the first black woman to serve as Poet Laureate in the US, as well as the youngest person to hold that position. She is a must-read poet, and this collection serves as an excellent starting point.

Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day by Nikki Giovanni
A significant piece of work in Nikki Giovanni's long career in poetry, this collection deals with both the personal and the political.

Selected Poems by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes was considered a leader of the Harlem Renaissance, and this collection of his poems provides a great many examples of why this was so.

Shake Loose My Skin by Sonia Sanchez
Sonia Sanchez has been a much lauded poet, activist, and teacher for several decades. Shake Loose My Skin is a look into some of the best works in her unique style.

Jimmy's Blues and Other Poems by James Baldwin
James Baldwin was better known for his novels and essays than his poetry, but this posthumous collection shows off his versatility to full effect.

There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce by Morgan Parker
Morgan Parker published this collection, her second ever, only in 2017. Being the most recently published poet here, her style and content tends to be very modern.

Supplying Salt and Light by Lorna Goodison
Lorna Goodison is a Jamaican poet, whose poetry collection Supplying Salt and Light weaves culture and history into personal and emotive poems.

Angle of Ascent: New and Selected Poems by Robert Hayden
The first black person to hold to the role of Consultant in Poetry (Poet Laureate precursor) in the US, Robert Hayden's work was pivotal in twentieth century poetry. Angle of Ascent demonstrates his precise form and his story-telling elements.
February 3, 2018 at 12:28am
February 3, 2018 at 12:28am
February is Black History Month (BHM) here in Canada, as well in the United States. BHM is a chance for us to look back at a history that is too often neglected. We have the chance to develop a deeper understanding of the events of the past, and an appreciation for the people who have shaped our present. BHM gives us the chance to acknowledge, study, understand, and celebrate black history, and I find the best way to do all of these things is through books.

Over the next several days, I intend to post a number of reading lists for BHM. I have broken this up into several posts for a number of reasons. Black History Month is meant to cover an entire history in only twenty-eight days. There is so much to study, and I think too much of it goes unnoticed. We end up seeing a lot of information shared about slavery and the civil rights movement, and even though these things are important parts of history as a whole, and black history specifically (and I do intend to include reading lists for these areas), there is so much more to be learned.

There is an absolute wealth of information available to the public on so many aspects of black history, and as we are taking the month to acknowledge and learn about black history, I think it's important for us to take a look at different books available to us in this area.

I have separated the lists into categories and multiple posts to make them as bite-sized as possible, as well to make them as accessible as possible for those looking for something to read. I have tried to make sure that there is a little something for everybody, so I hope that everybody who sees this finds a little something. Keep an eye here on Thoughts & Things over the next couple weeks or so as I put out categorised reading lists for Black History Month.

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