August Reading Review

Reading

As some of you may know, I love to read, and I don’t just say that lightly. I am one of those people who would rather read than watch TV unless the Kardashians are on then TV trumps reading, but that’s not the point. My New Year resolution was to read at least one book a month and so far I have read 12 books this year ultimately fulfilling the minimum of my resolution, and sparking a new challenge, read 3-4 books a month.

I have decided that I can’t let these wonderful books be known to only my mind and imagination so at the end of each month I will offer a quick review of the books I read that month and also give a glimpse into the books I plan to read in the following month. So, let’s get this thing started.

I started off this month reading one of the many books I was gifted for graduating college (oh yea I did that btw), anyways, I found out about this book from looking over President Obama’s summer reading list so I figured it had to be good since he recommended it. The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes gives a front row seat to the 8 years Obama was in office. Rhodes served as the President’s speechwriter and one of his top advisors on foreign policy. As someone who grew up during the 8 years Obama was in office mostly ignorant and oblivious to all that went on in the world politically, it gave me a great view of everything that Obama did while in office. I will say though, this was one of the more challenging books I’ve read in a while due to some of the mundane political topics that I just wasn’t fully interested in and slightly went over my head. I still highly recommend the book though, no matter your political views, it was interesting nonetheless and allowed me to see behind the scenes of some of the most important moments that shaped President Obama’s legacy.

After reading such a heavy book I decided to give myself a mental break and read a shorter and less complex book. Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore is an amazing true story about two people who are worlds apart but become friends through unlikely situations. It’s a story of faith, friendship, and acceptance. I read this book in TWO DAYS, it was that good. I could not put it down. It made me laugh and cry. If you are looking for a quick read that will fill your heart with all types of good feelings I strongly recommend that you give this book a try.

I capped off my August reading by diving into yet another nonfiction book, Long Walk to Freedom, the Autobiography of Nelson Mandela. When I say that this book intimidated me, I mean it. Not only is this book a solid 625 pages, it encompasses the life of one of the most inspiring African leaders. Throughout my life, I have heard bits and pieces about Nelson Mandela, but I never really knew who he was or what exactly he did that made him so important. I can assure you that after reading this book all of my questions were answered. Mandela lived an incredible life that was mostly spent in prison or traveling South Africa “underground” in order to not be thrown back into prison. In his autobiography Mandela allows us to see first hand the struggles he went through and the challenges he faced in order to win the freedom of not only himself but for all others who looked like him. It is an incredible story and the last chapter or two of the book truly inspired me to always fight for what is right for the collective whole, not just myself.

I was only able to read three books this month, but two of the three challenged my reading stamina due to their impressive descriptiveness and fact-based sentences. In total, I read 1,291 pages this month and loved each and every second of it.

As I go into my September reading, I would love to hear suggestions of books I need to add to my reading list, I am not picky about genre or topic and would love to hear all of your suggestions! Be sure to drop a title or two in the comment section below and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to receive updates on my reading endeavors and any other journey’s along the way.

Dear White and Black People

Mixed Girl Monday, Race

First things first, if you haven’t watched Netflix’s new series Dear White People please find the time to do so. If you have watched it, then you are aware of how the context of this post is going to go. So let’s get this thing started.

Dear White People, I am biracial, I am American, I am human. Please stop acting like I’m an exotic species.

Dear Black People, I am biracial, I am American, I am human. Please stop making me feel as though I’m less than any of those things.

Dear White People, for the love of all things holy please stop telling me how bad you want to have a baby with a black guy just so you can have a “cute mixed baby.” Mixed people aren’t some special breed you can just pick. If you want to adopt, adopt because you want to give a child a loving, safe, happy home. Do no adopt because you just want to have a mixed baby, we are not dogs.

Dear Black People, I am very much aware of my light-skin privilege. I know how colorism works in society and the black community. Do not assume that I think I’m better than others, get to know me first before you make rash judgments.

Dear White People, I wake up and wash my hair. That’s how I get these curls. That’s all.

Dear White and Black People, stop trying to put me in a box. I am biracial. Being biracial is a thing, do not make me discredit half of who I am just so you feel comfortable.

Dear White People, stop telling me I can’t get offended when you make a racist comment “because I’m not really black.” And to piggy-back off that, I have the right to take offense to any prejudice or racism I see, half of who I am is black and if you feel that way about black people, you feel that way about me. There is no “oh no I don’t think of you that way because you aren’t really black.” Yes, I am. So just think of that next time.

Dear Black People, I know I will never understand the full extent of your struggle, but just remember that there are people in the world who think I am you and treat me the same. Just because I’m half white doesn’t mean I’m protected from the racism and ignorance of some people.

Dear Black People, you can be racist too. Racism is not just limited to white people. By assuming that all white people are racist and out to steal from the black community, you are conforming to the same mindset of those white people who assume all black people are illiterate thugs.

Dear Entire World, until we can all realize that no one is their stereotype, there will continue to be racism and hatred in the world. Until we can all accept each other for our differences there will be no peace. I understand that there is deep rooted institutionalized racism in our world and that may never go away. But we can not continue to turn a blind eye when we see someone become another victim of an unjust society.

Dr. King, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman, they did not sit quietly and wait for someone else to do something, They got up and fought for what they believed in. They didn’t just sit around and complain about how unfair the world was, they got up and fought to make it a little more fair. We have come a long way from then, but there is still much more to be done.

Dear White and Black People, will you stand with me? Can we put aside our differences and accept that God made us all different for a reason. Can we work on respecting each other’s culture and not appropriating it for fame? Can we learn from each other?

Sincerely,
A biracial millennial trying to find her voice