28 Days of Literary Blackness With VSB | Day 9: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

Publisher Synopsis: Set in Mississippi at the height of the Depression, this is the story of one family’s struggle to maintain their integrity, pride, and independence in the face of racism and social injustice. And it is also Cassie’s story—Cassie Logan, an independent girl who discovers over the course of an…

28 Days of Literary Blackness With VSB | Day 8: The Autobiography of Malcolm X (As Told to Alex Haley)

Publisher Synopsis: In the searing pages of this classic autobiography, originally published in 1965, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement. His fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the…

28 Days of Literary Blackness With VSB | Day 7: But Some of Us Are Brave, Edited by Akasha Gloria Hull, Patricia Bell Scott, and Barbara Smith

Publisher Synopsis: Originally published in 1982, All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women’s Studies is the first comprehensive collection of black feminist scholarship. Featuring essays by Alice Walker, the Combahee River Collective, and Barbara Smith, and original…

28 Days of Literary Blackness With VSB | Day 3: Our Kind of People: Inside America's Black Upper Class by Lawrence Otis Graham

Publisher Synopsis: Debutante cotillions. Million-dollar homes. Summers in Martha’s Vineyard. Membership in the Links, Jack & Jill, Deltas, Boule, and AKAs. An obsession with the right schools, families, social clubs, and skin complexion. This is the world of the black upper class and the focus of the first book…

28 Days of Literary Blackness With VSB | Day 1: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Today is the first day of Black History Month, the annual celebration in these here United States of America where schools make kids learn about Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Sprinkle in a few facts about a black person being the first person to do this or that, and before you know it, it’s March 1 and…

If You’re Black and in the Polar Vortex Today, You Have God’s Permission to Be Ashy (For a Day)

There’s a bit in The Broke Diaries—Angela Nissel’s iconic and hilarious memoir about her time at the University of Pennsylvania—where the perpetually hungry Angie is probing her kitchen for something to eat, cheers when she finds a box of grits but discovers (sadly) that the box contains just one solitary grit. I have…

You Don't Have to Ask About My New Baby When You See Me (You Can If You Want To! But It's Fine If You Don't!)

It’s too early to make a definitive determination, but I think my 3-year-old daughter has transitioned out of her Boss Baby stage. She no longer asks to watch Boss Baby when she returns home from preschool, she no longer hurls non sequitur quotes from it at me while she’s in her car seat, and she no longer corrects…

Dear Writers, What Do You Have Saved in Your Drafts?

If you’re somebody who writes for a living or as a hobby or because it’s not that you won’t stop, it’s that you can’t stop, then there’s a really good chance you use some sort of publishing platform to share your thoughts with the world. Many of us started out on Blogspot or whatever came before that (paper? cave…

I Don't Know How We're Going to Make It Through This Campaign Season Y'all

I’m typically a pretty optimistic person. For instance, I believe the children are our future. I believe in miracles. I even believe in magic. Despite my penchant for seeing a glass half-full, I’m not sure we gon’ make it through this campaign season y’all. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said “I may not get there…

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