Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Black History Month

It's just a coincidence that I am reading Beloved by Toni Morrison now. I just saw that it is Black History Month. One of the things I've learned in my little read more widely exercise is that I like African-American literature. This really shouldn't have come as much of a surprise as in my genre of choice (crime) Chester Himes and Walter Mosley are two of my favorite authors. At any rate, since I'm already reading the Morrison AND it's February, I think I'm going to make this a month where I focus on books either written by African-Americans or written about the African-American experience. So, Uncle Tom's Cabin, which I'm considering reading, while not written by an African-American, would still work.

Anyone else interested in joining me? If not reading all African-American centric books, possibly at least one?


  1. I'm awful at committing to challenges but I think I can manage at least one. I have a collection of Toni Morrison so I will pluck one out of that pile.

  2. Hey good call on this one. I actually just finished I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and I think I'll try to read at least one more book written back an African American by the end of the month - if not two.

  3. I'm in. I'll read Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye" and Mary Cable's "Black Odyssey: The Case of the Slave Ship Amistad."

  4. Thanks for signing on everyone! I've been thinking of some of the books I might try, so far this is what I've come up with:

    Native Son by Richard Wright
    Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
    Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
    Another Country by James Baldwin
    The Real Cool Killers by Chester Himes
    (and thanks to Brenna's excellent review)
    I Know Why the Cage Bird Sing by Maya Angelou

    No, I won't get to all of these, and I'm not even going to set a goal of how many, because then it turns too much into work...but those are some that came to mind.

  5. I think Invisible Man and one of Baldwin's "Tell Me How Long the Train has Been Gone", "Just A Little Bit Over My Head" or Another County are of priority. I think Uncle Tom's Cabin and Native Son are dated historically although still worth reading. Chester Himes is more "crime" focused. I'd also go with Bluest Eye over Caged Bird. No one can compete with Morrison.

  6. I'm currently reading Uncle Tom's's slow going. I'm aware of Himes' genre, I'm a fan of his and the genre. I've already read The Bluest Eye and loved it. I've also already read a Morrison this month (Beloved), my next Morrison will likely be Song of Solomon, but I don't think I'll get to it this month...I have a copy of Another Country and Caged Bird which makes them more likely choices. I also own the Himes' book, but I'll probably hold off and read it on one of my traverses into genre fiction.