By far, one of the best reading choices I made in 2016 was to only read books by black authors during the month of February. Alongside some of you, we honored black history month by entering into the stories, experiences and perspectives of blacks, both in American and beyond.
Because here’s the thing: it’s really, really easy for me to only read books written by people who look like me, act like me, believe like me and think like me.
But when and as I do that, I don’t grow. I stay the same. I engage in perspectives that don’t challenge me to see the world in new ways – and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to learn. I want to grow. don’t want to stay the same but I want to be transformed by the voices of my brothers and sisters, so I can seek not to be understood but to understand.
In that way, I can’t wait to make this reading choice again this year, and I’d love for you to join me.
I’ve chosen four books to read in February, so snag these titles at your local library or on Amazon, and get to reading! Then, check back every Tuesday for my thoughts, and add your own in the comment section or (for bloggers) using the Link Up tool that will be posted that day.
Care to join me?
Let’s do this!
Week 1, by Tuesday, February 7th: Locomotion (Jacqueline Woodson) – A National Book Award finalist, this children’s book reads like poetry …because it’s written in poetry form. Brown Girl Dreaming, also by Woodson, was one of my favorite books last year, and I can’t wait to read this one by her as well.
Week 2, by Tuesday, February 14th: The Death of Race (Brian Bantum) – Bantum asks the question, “What does it mean to build a new Christianity in a racial world?” If you’re a Christian living in the U.S. right now, I can’t think of a better book you should be reading right now.
Week 3, by Tuesday, February 21st: Beloved (Toni Morrison) – the English teacher formerly known as myself can’t believe she’s never actually read this (adult fiction) novel. Knowing most of you have likely heard of it, if not read it, hold me to reading it and being changed by it, will you?
Week 4, by Tuesday, February 28th: The Warmth of Other Suns (Isabel Wilkerson) – No other book, besides The New Jim Crow, has been recommended to me more than this one. I’ve had it in my Audible queue for awhile, and it’s time to give this particular non-fiction read a try.
While I’m sure I’ll read additional books by black authors in February, these are my top four – and again, I’d love for you to read along with me.
So, reading for change: are you in? Want to read any of the above books with me? Otherwise, what books do you consciously choose to read next month?