February Reading Review

Welp, we’ve made it through another month y’all! February is one of my most favorite months for a few reasons, the first being that it’s my birth month, the second being that it’s Black History Month. But, all of that is for a different day and a different post, you are here today to read about the books I read this month.

This month I decided that I would only read books that had to do with Black History because as all of  you should be aware, the education system seems to think that all Black History consists of is Rosa Parks sitting on a bus, Dr. King leading some nonviolent protests and gave a few speeches, and then boom segregation and racial tensions in America were fixed. But we all know there’s much more to that story.

“To know how much there is to know is the beginning of learning to live.”

Dorothy West

I started off the month with a book that I’ve tried to read many many times before, but I push it aside, or get bored and stop reading it. So I told myself, that I was going to read this book cover to cover, no matter how long it took me. What book caused me this much trouble you may ask? Why 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup of course. I’d heard nothing but good things about the book and the movie, so I knew I just had to see what the hype was about. The beginning of the book was exciting and interesting, the way he was captured and sold into slavery was heartbreaking, especially when you realize it happened A LOT back then. Reading about his life in slavery was cool, but it also got a little boring honestly, the description he used to describe his day to day life was beautifully written, but I’m not going to lie, I skipped over large portions because I just didn’t have the time. My most favorite part of the book, however, was the ending, and how he finally gained his freedom back. I don’t want to go into too much detail though, in case you haven’t seen the movie or read the book.

“And what difference is there in the color of the soul?” Solomon Northup

My next book was one I had been waiting to read since the moment I preordered it. On the Come Up, by Angie Davis. I’ve already done a deep dive on this book so you can check that out here. But seriously, Angie Davis is my favorite author right now. I love how real and relevant her books are, and I seriously can not wait to hear her speak at the UofA in a few weeks. My fangirl will be at an all-time high.

I decided to expand upon the “education” I received regarding Dr. King’s life. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: A Life by Marshal Frady Gave an in-depth look at MLK’s life beyond what we learn in history textbooks. Instead of summarizing the book, I want to list the main takeaways I gained from the life he lived.

  1. Martin Luther King Jr. was not born into that name, his birth name was Michael King Jr. His dad changed both of their names when he was five years old.
  2. MLK almost didn’t partake in the Montgomery bus boycott, which ended up jump-starting his career as a civil rights activists
  3. He knew from the moment he joined the movement that it would be the cause of his death.
  4. He lived with a constant doubt about his ability as a leader, especially for this movement.
  5. Had he not been killed in Memphis, and went on to live a full life, we would not remember and honor him the way we do. (yes I know that’s a controversial statement if you want to know why I feel that way please reach out and I will gladly elaborate and explain my reasoning.)

I did not reach my goal this month, I read three books instead of four, but I feel like the books I read fed my mind with more knowledge and information about not only Black history but American history than I received from any textbook.

The African-American experience is one of the most important threads in the American tapestry. 

Bill First

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