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Black [Her]story – Marley Dias & 1000BlackGirlBooks

Simply Shakirah

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(photo credit: Dr. Janice Johnson Dias)

As children, our sense of identity and self confidence is influenced by our role models, or lack thereof. 11 year old Marley Dias was aware of this, and took steps to rectify that in her school. A student at St. Cloud elementary school in West Orange, NJ, Marley was tired of reading books about what she described as “white boys and their dogs”. With the help of her mother, community organizer Dr. Janice Johnson Dias, the cofounder of , Marley created 1000 Black Girl Books, an initiative searching for 1,000 books featuring Black girls. The initiative was wildly successful, and Marley donated them to St. Cloud and Retreat Primary and Junior School and Library in the parish of St. Mary, Jamaica where her mother grew up.

11 years old, and already being the change that wanted to see in her world. There is nothing…

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Book Review | Pieces of My Mother by Melissa Cistaro

This is the book club selection for August, in the first of a series of #motherdaughtermemoirs. Let me know what you think in the comments. Recommendations for other mother-daughter memoirs are welcome.

Stories Unfolded

BOOK REVIEW | PIECES OF MY MOTHER

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ABOUT THE BOOK

“This provocative, poignant memoir of a daughter whose mother left her behind by choice begs the question: Are we destined to make the same mistakes as our parents?

One summer, Melissa Cistaro’s mother drove off without explanation Devastated, Melissa and her brothers were left to pick up the pieces, always tormented by the thought: Why did their mother abandon them?

Thirty-five years later, with children of her own, Melissa finds herself in Olympia, Washington, as her mother is dying. After decades of hiding her painful memories, she has just days to find out what happened that summer and confront the fear she could do the same to her kids. But Melissa never expects to stumble across a cache of letters her mother wrote to her but never sent, which could hold the answers she seeks.

Haunting yet ultimately uplifting, Pieces…

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Review of Fire Shut Up in My Bones

This is the July book club selection. There’s still time to read it! Have you read it already? What did you think?

A Bibliophile's Reverie

Amazon/Barnes & Nobles/ Books-A-Million/ Goodreads


Fire Shut Up in My Bones
 by Charles M. Blow

Publisher : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Available : September 23, 2014

Review written by : Kristie Hendricks

Fire Shut Up in My Bones explores the complexities of sexuality, race, and poverty in our society from the unique mosaic of the individual. With the same concise and powerful writing of his columns, Charles M. Blow paints his childhood, raw and real, from a voice aware and analytical in good measure. He makes Gibsland, Louisiana and his personal pain utterly accessible.

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Mostly, the memoir focuses on the long lasting affects of sexual abuse. Just as in Jeremiah 20:9 from which the title is derived, the feelings inside of Blow concerning his sexuality were like a fire and we can look to the end of the passage for more insight, “I am weary of holding it in; indeed I…

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Book Review: God Help the Child by Toni Morrison

POVone: The First Person Perspective

Author: Toni Morrison
Title: God Help the Child
Genre: Literary
Publication Date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Random House
Number of Pages: 192
Narrator: Sweetness, Bride, Etc.
Quality Rating: 80.52

God Help the Child by Toni Morrison

What’s It About?

Sweetness is a light-skinned black woman married to a light-skinned black man. They’re so light-skinned that they can pass as whites, and they live in such a time that it is beneficial to do so. Everything is going perfectly in their relationship until Sweetness gives birth to a baby girl who has extremely dark skin. Embarrassed, her husband leaves her to raise the girl on her own.

As the little girl grows, she feels the constant contempt of her mother. When she is six years old, she falsely accuses a woman of child molestation and sends her to prison for fifteen years–simply because she wants to gain her mother’s approval. The…

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