Tag Archives: racism

Truth Plus Memoir Equals Revolution

Diane Taylor

When you write a memoir, you share your truths, good and bad, with those whose eyes follow your words. It’s mind to mind. It’s enlightenment, and quite possibly medicine.

Franz Kafka famously said, “A book should be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”

Such a book is The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir published earlier this year by the University of Regina Press.

A memoir that is a sentinel to truth A memoir that is a sentinel to truth

Just seventy-three pages, this book represents one Cree man’s experience with abuses he endured as a child at the St. Therese Residential School in Saskatchewan, from 1935 to 1944. It’s an era that has been invisible to most of us, due mostly to a conspiracy of silence. His book is visible, real, a testament here to stay. Joseph Auguste Merasty, like the taxi driver, woodsman and warrior he was, persisted with his memoir for several…

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Freedom Riders: It wasn’t about race, it was about rights

The trailer is powerful!!! but not for the faint at heart.

A Melange of Musings

The 1961 Freedom Rides, organized by CORE, were modeled after the organization’s 1947 Journey of Reconciliation. During the 1947 action, African-American and white bus riders tested the 1946 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Morgan v. Virginia that segregated bus seating was unconstitutional. The 1961 Freedom Rides sought to test a 1960 decision by the Supreme Court in Boynton v. Virginia that segregation of interstate transportation facilities, including bus terminals, was unconstitutional as well. A big difference between the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation and the 1961 Freedom Rides was the inclusion of women in the later initiative. In both actions, black riders traveled to the American South–where segregation continued to occur–and attempted to use whites-only restrooms, lunch counters and waiting rooms.



Before we go any further I want y’all to think about that. Black and White, men and women, got on a bus to drive deep into the South…

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Little Known Black History Fact: Albert Einstein And Civil Rights

Black America Web

When Albert Einstein announced his “Theory of Relativity” 100 years ago, it solidified the German-born scientist’s legend. But what some may not know is that Einstein was also a staunch supporter of civil rights causes and once called racism a “disease of white people” in a speech.

In 1946, Einstein was invited to Lincoln University to offer a commencement speech to its students and to also accept an honorary degree. The speech was a significant moment as Einstein, who was in poor health, famously refused speaking engagements and honorary degrees. Einstein used the platform of a predominantly Black college to speak to students about racism, something he faced as a Jew living in war-torn Germany.

Einstein arrived in the United States in 1933 and  began teaching at Princeton University, a position he held until his death 22 years later. Einstein fled Nazi Germany ahead of the genocide of what various…

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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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Roger Ebert’s Widow Chaz To Direct Emmett Till Biopic

Black America Web

Chaz Ebert Source: Timothy Hiatt / Stringer / Getty
Roger Ebert?s widow Chaz Ebert will bring Emmett Till?s story to the big screen in the film-adaptation of Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America, a book penned by his mother Mamie Till-Mobley and journalist Christopher Benson.

Till was lynched in 1955 after allegedly whistling at a White woman. His death galvanized the Civil Rights movement.

“The full Emmett Till story needs to be told now and told well as a narrative for our times, given all that is happening on American streets today and Shatterglass Films are the people to tell it,” Ebert said.

Filming is slated to begin next year in Illinois and Mississippi.


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Mommie Dearest Darkly: Toni Morrison’s God Help the Child

Morrison’s latest book, God Help the Child, captivates me (even though I haven’t read it yet) because it deals with the subject of a not so great relationship between a mother and daughter, not to mention the fact that this was the title (except mine was God Bless the Child) that I had chosen for my upcoming memoir. Billy Holiday is saying a lot in her song.) The reviews, so far, are mixed, solidifying my belief that not everyone can relate to mothers who are not conventional–in a Hallmark kind of way, emotional abuse or the children, who eventually become adults, who bear the scars of unconventional parenting. Still, there are many who can. I chose this book as the selection for the month of June because this book, written by an well-known author, I believe can help people to understand the effect of emotional abuse on children, especially when it comes from a mother. The review below will give you a good feel for the book.

Patricia Lundy

Mommie Dearest tells the story of perhaps the most iconic inversion of what an ideal mother should be like: beautiful and successful on the surface, rotten on the inside. Yet perhaps other mothers damage more subtly, more terribly, even. At its essence, God Help the Child is about a woman’s reckoning with her childhood scars, and these scars ultimately stem from her mother’s rejection of her due to her dark black skin. Bride, the novel’s protagonist, is the beautiful, successful, materialistic executive of YOU, GIRL cosmetics. She only wears shades of white- creams, milks, and snows- to compliment her unforgettable blue-black skin. For someone who was never supposed to be gorgeous by her mother’s standards, Bride is stunning. And though her looks are admired by many, perhaps they’re most admired by herself. Like Joan Crawford, Bride’s mother, whom she is never allowed to call mother (instead she calls her Sweetness…

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RUBY by Cynthia Bond – OPRAH’s Book Club 2.0 selection

I was supposed to launch the Reflections Book Club with a memoir, but I felt compelled to begin it with Cynthia Bond’s RUBY, not because it was selected for Oprah’s Book Club–although impressive, but because Oprah said that it was the kind of book that she and Maya (Angelou) would have read together (if she were still alive), the fact that Bond has been compared to Toni Morrison and Zora Neal Hurston, and the fact that I ran across RUBY today at Targets (20%), while I was out shopping. So there you have it–the May selection for the book club, RUBY by Cynthia Bond. Comment on RUBY on TWITTER @Reflectionsbks (hashtag: #ReflectionsBooks) or on FACEBOOK at http://www.facebook.com/reflectionsbooks. (Click on the Reflections Books page.)

Cindy Reads & Writes


Cynthia Bond’s debut novel, RUBY was first published early 2014 and received praise mostly in literary circles. But this is quickly changing now that Oprah has selected RUBY for her new Book Club 2.0 pick. To say we’re excited is an understatement. We along with “Miami Herald” Book Editor, Connie Ogle, met Cynthia in November at the Miami Book Fair and couldn’t get enough of both Cynthia the author and her brilliant book.


RUBY is one of those novels that when people ask me to explain what it’s about, I find myself tongue-tied. That happens for two reasons; one, I’m afraid of doing an injustice to the story and two, of not being able to explain the wonder captured in Bond’s lush lyricism, as she explores the extremes of human kindness and cruelty.

RUBY is not for the faint of heart. It’s a challenging read, includes graphic sexual violence and will stay with you long, after you’ve finished…

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