the power of the written word

i have a confession . . .

I love books. Like really LOVE books. As a result of this love I have for the written word, there has been a war, I mean "battle" going on in my house as my books require more and more space. The Hubster, who has built me shelves and been very accomodating when he trips over the stacks of them, has made every attempt to steer me towards electronic solutions yet they aren't the same.

Don't get me wrong, I have a few Kindles but I only really use them when traveling, and it still feels odd. Convenient, but odd. The feel of a hardcover or paperback in your hands, the weight of the knowledge, heartbreak, outrage, and inspiration you anticipate; the smell of the ink on the pages, or the oils of the many hands it has passed through is intoxicating. Dog-eared pages, handwritten notes in the margins, highlighted passages, and worn seams. That is how you are supposed to experience a book. Plus, added bonus, when the zombie apocalypse comes and we don't have electricity, I shall have my books!

As with anything, your taste in what you like to read will change. As a child, I loved reading things that would take me away to far away places where I could have adventures. As a teenager, I wanted to read things that were the opposite of education and, while in college, I stopped reading altogether as there was enough of that with course materials. Now, I crave anything and everything that deals with a history I never learned, social justice I, and the rest of Black folks are looking for, and stories of stength and inspiration for a future that looks really bleak right now. I know that sounds like a corny-ass greeting card or something right now, but, it's true.

change gonna come

See, the more I read about the past, the more I see our present. While we seem to be moving forward in a lot of directions, when it comes to race and equality, we are, in my eyes, repeating history. We just have more nuanced methods and technology to trick us into thinking we are well beyond that 'bleak' time in history. We aren't.

Dealing with issues of race, racism, equality, privilege, and generational trauma is not easy. As a Black woman, I have found it very hard to confront so many of these issues and the reality of how they truly have had an impact on my life.  The Hubster does not understand why I continue to subject myself to this renewed trauma daily. I tell him simply - because I have to. For me and our children, I have to. So here we are.

However, I am a firm believer that it is important to have open discussions and dialogue when you need to process new, and sometimes conflicting, information. We, colletively, need to address not only the societal implications, but the personal affects of doing this work.

So, in my efforts to understand the world a little better, I am sharing with you some of those books that have made an impact on me and how I see our history and future. I will highlight some books that are worth every-second-of-your-time to read, and some that will give you a little extra "insight" reading. Please note - I will not hold your hand through this process. It is enough for me to read/watch/listen to this information and still be able to get out of bed. My goal is not to make you feel comfortable or take your feelings into account. That ship sailed so long ago.

What I have done is gone through all of the 'noise' that you can find and I have curated, what I believe to be, solid and reliable sources of information to start you on your journey, whatever it may be. There are some books that I have not yet read, but I will still encourage you to read them and share your thoughts.

a few notes you should know

The list of books will constantly change as I add more material and I read more books. So make sure that you check back often so you know when a new one has been added!

Some of the materials have lesson plans and discussion guides that go with them. DISCLAIMER: not all of the lesson plans will be *my* original material. Some have been obtained through open-source methods, and there are some that I have used an adaptation to the original, and some have inspired me to re-create them in a more specific way. In any case, the original source of the materials (along with links when available) will be provided. 

Now that we have the formalities out of the way, let's start reading!!