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Showing posts from March, 2010

Black Girl in Paris

I think my favorite books are those written in the first person. It makes me feel as if I am having a conversation with the protagonist, I get to hear her voice and get inside her feelings. She invites me to experience what she is feeling and thinking. Such is the journey I recently ended with Shay Youngblood's Black Girl in Paris. I felt just as adventurous and daring as Eden. Her hunger to write is my hunger to write. The promise of creative and artistic freedom in inspiration that Paris has afforded James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, even my brother, Thomas Pollard was the yearning that I felt as I turned pages after page. I looked at the maps and the pictures and imagined myself twenty-five years ago and if I had been brave enough to skip college in Jefferson City and purchase a ticket to France. Eden recounts her adventures in several vignettes of her life there. She was everything from an artist's model to a poet's help to an au pair to a tour

The Help

I read Kathryn Stockett's first novel, The Help , as part of my CFUH Book Club. It was an page-turning read, set in the first person through an ensemble of characters. I felt as if I was sitting down with coffee with each of the women in the novel and hearing their personal stories. Stories that matter, that define us, that change histories. This is another novel that evoked emotions in me that sometimes shocked me, sometimes made me cry, sometimes made me shake my head, and sometimes make me smile. And that is a good thing, a book that makes me feel that I have not wasted my money. The book is set in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962. What a time. The nation was embroiled in the middle of the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement, the now aging Baby Boomers were coming of age and being the generation that was so formidable in their impact on the nation, and the regions of the country were as different as oil and water, New York and Mississippi. It was only 48 years ago, a lifet