The Sisters are Alright by Tamara Winfrey Harris

The Sisters are Alrigth, Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America by Tamara Winfrey Harris; 2015; $15.95; 147 pages; Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., Oakland, CA; 978-1-62656-351-3; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 6/5/16-6/8/16

Why did I read this?  I found a list of ten books that a African-American wished their white teachers and other white folk had read, so I am reading through that list.

The author examines four or five stereotypes of African American women and shows where they came from and how they are perpetuated.  She also shows how they have been shattered, but at the same time people continue to believe the sterotypes.



Ozone Journal by Peter Balakian

Ozone Journal by Peter Balakian; 2015; $18.00; 82 pages; The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL; 978-0226-20703-2; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 6/3/16-6/5/16

Why did I read this?  Back in 2012 I read a book about the Armenian Genocide from 1890 to 1922 called The Burning Tigris and the author of that is also the author of this, also it won the Pultizer Prize for poetry in 2016, and I am trying to read all the Pulitzer winners for this year.

Some of this poetry is extremely vivid and evokes some very powerful emotions, however there are portions that I read multiple times and still could not make sense them.  The author uses his emotions when he was helping to uncover bodies from the Armenian genocide as a starting point for a journey through time and his life.

Grade-A, how could a Pultizer winner anything less and some one it really moved me.


Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, Stories by ZZ Packer; 2003; $16.00; 265 pages; Riverhead Books, New York, NY; 978-1-57322-378-2; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hillsdale; 6/1/16-6/3/16

Why did I read this? I saw this list on Facebook, with this book I have read 5 out of 10 books on the list.

ZZ Packer writes great stories of people trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in the world.  Many of the stories combined humor and pathos throughout the stories.  They are some of the best short stories I have ever read.  The stories are of men and women of color but almost anyone can relate to the stories and the feelings that evoked through them.


Pushout, The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique W. Morris

Pushout, The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique W. Morris; 2016; $26.95; 277 pages; The New Press, New York, NY; 978-1-62097-094-2; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Gresham; 5/26/16-6/1/16

Why did I read this?  I saw this list on Facebook and thought that I should read through it.  So far I have read half of the list.  I have previously read one of the books before I saw the list.

The author shows how the dominant paradigm of how a woman should act and policies of zero tolerance and racism have combined to criminalize the behavior of many young African American woman.  She speaks with several young women who have been confined for behavior that many white girls would be counseled about.  It is not just anecdotal evidence as she offers statistical evidence that shows that young women of color are unproportionally  sent to jail.  Zero tolerance is part of the problem as many behaviors that in the past were the subject of counseling inside of being incarcerated.  Some of these young women are set on a path of more criminal enterprise when they would rather finish their education, many of them are aware of the importance of education to their futures.


The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson

The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson; 1933; $17.95; 207 pages; The Book Tree, San Diego, CA; 978-1-58509-320-5; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 5/24/16-5/26/16

Why did I read this?  This is another book from the list that a student in the hood wished their white teachers and other white people would read.

This was originally written in 1933 but many of the arguments that Carter G.  Woodson makes are still valid today.  He speaks against segregation of all types and how the Negro is held down by not being taught their own history and not being adequately taught skills that will prepare them for future employment.  He is against the pastors that ignore the situations that placed them where they are now.  He is upset that the Negro is not taught what the common man does but only what the exceptional one does, he also rails against those he calls “highly educated” and their acceptance of the status quo that the white man has imposed.  An interesting read of what one member of a group thought of how that group is mis-educated.


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