Blackness, history & love · Books · Gender · Performance & Arts · Whiteness & racism

Genius frustrated

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers My rating: 5 of 5 stars McCullers adopts an omniscient author pose as completely as the anonymous teller of fairy or folk tale, her sentences as rhythmic, martial, unequivocal as their subjects are opaque, suggestive, unnerving. They get inside your mind-corners like sand into your clothes… Continue reading Genius frustrated

Blackness, history & love · Books · Colonisation · Gender · Performance & Arts · Political · Whiteness & racism

arts & spirits of cloth

Black Style by Carol Tulloch My rating: 5 of 5 stars I ordered this online and I wasn’t expecting the content to be so great (fashion books can be so much marshmallow). My only complaint is that it’s such a slim volume, though its lack of heft did make it easier to read in bed… Continue reading arts & spirits of cloth

Blackness, history & love · Books · Colonisation · Political · Whiteness & racism

Dreaming from a dark place

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler My rating: 5 of 5 stars This was a compulsive page-turner for me. Compared with at least one contemporary USian perspective, say, that of the low waged service worker, Lauren lives in one version of utopia: a close-knit community, like a village, shaped by an ethics of… Continue reading Dreaming from a dark place

Blackness, history & love · Books · Colonisation · Education · Gender · Political · Whiteness & racism

Short Strong Stalks

The Granta Book of the African Short Story by Helon Habila My rating: 4 of 5 stars Helon Habila has done a damn fine job of selecting a diverse and striking stories for this in my opinion, but he has made one editorial decision that didn’t suit me: putting the pieces in reverse chronological order.… Continue reading Short Strong Stalks

Blackness, history & love · Books · Colonisation · Whiteness & racism

The Elegant Literature of Outrage

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass My rating: 5 of 5 stars Houston A Baker Jr introduces Douglass’ narrative by positioning it within a rich tradition in two senses. Firstly, many former slaves published accounts of their experiences – a fact that I was not aware of and… Continue reading The Elegant Literature of Outrage

Blackness, history & love · Books · Colonisation · GSRM/LGBTQIA · Political · Whiteness & racism

Not your images, not your words

One Day I Will Write about This Place by Binyavanga Wainaina My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is the memoir of a book addict, and Wainaina’s savour for language glows from the first. His descriptions dance, they sing, they jump, syncopated, a lively, twisting flow like swift water, throwing rainbows of unexpected images into… Continue reading Not your images, not your words

Blackness, history & love · Books · Gender · GSRM/LGBTQIA · Whiteness & racism

The stickiness of race

Passing by Nella Larsen My rating: 5 of 5 stars Judging by the fact that this book has an introduction by the awesome Ntozake Shange, extensive notes and a detailed critical foreward by Mae Henderson loaded with references to related books and other critics who have written on Larsen, and that Bitch magazine devoted a… Continue reading The stickiness of race