Sunday, May 31, 2020

Ya Basic





Say you’re basic.  It’s okay. I’m not really basic, but I’ve got issues. Right now, with the nation a big huge mess, I’ve seen this lovely anti-racist book bingo list going around:




I love this list, but say Ya Basic. Say this list looks a tad too intimidating. I hear you. I mean, I’m a reader—and that list looks, um, hard.

I’d like to humbly suggest that reading great novels (and listening to awesome music) by African-Americans and People of Color can seriously work to help defeat racism! I believe this. I believe in my not-really-basic-but-problematic-heart that reading diversely humanizes “the other.” So here’s my own literary bingo attempt if ya basic or just pretty white. (Some writers wrote two books on my list, and I just like them so much. This is very—like completely—subjective. Some are nonfiction. Some are very much about racism; others are just about people doing people-things. I’ve got movies and music for basic people too. Later.)


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Americanah
James Baldwin: Another Country
Maya Angelou: I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

Ta-Nehisi Coates: We Were in Power Eight Years

Esi Edugyan: Washington Black

Martin Luther King, Jr. Strength to Love


Yaa Gyasi: Homegoing
James Baldwin:  Go Tell it On the Mountain

Zora Neale Hurston:  Their Eyes Were Watching God

Spike Lee:  Do the Right Thing

Jamaica Kincaid: “Girl” (it’s a short story.)

John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell: March, Books 1-3

Toni Morrison:  Beloved

Malcolm X:  The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Bryan Stevenson: Just Mercy

Nelson Mandela:  Long Walk to Freedom

Toni Morrison:  The Bluest Eye

James McBride:  The Color of Water

Alice Walker: The Color Purple

Trevor Noah: Born a Crime

Colson Whitehead: The Underground Railroad

Solomon Northup: Twelve Years A Slave

Jaqueline Woodson: Brown Girl Dreaming

James McBride:  The Good Lord Bird

Colson Whitehead: Zone One



Just read good books!

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