The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead tells the story of Cora, a young slave woman who makes plans to escape with a fellow slave, Caesar. I decided to read The Underground Railroad after seemingly seeing it everywhere. I thought the book was pretty good but not as amazing as I expected it to be. By all means, The Underground Railroad is a solid book but I still don’t get why it was being pushed as an amazing novel. I enjoyed the book but it wasn’t life changing.
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Watch Me Fly is more than the story of the widow of a civil rights hero. It’s also the story of a rather sheltered woman who struggles to find herself in her thirties after her world is ripped apart. I’d recommend Watch Me Fly if you’re interested in the Civil Rights Movement or the Black experience. But, the book also delves into Myrlie’s personal journey and her quest to improve herself. Watch Me Fly could also be very appealing if you’re into self-help books or are looking for motivation to become better versions of themselves.
Freeman by Leonard Pitts, Jr. follows three main characters at the end of the Civil War. Tilda, a former slave woman freed by the end of the war. Her estranged husband, Sam Freeman, who had been a slave but managed to escape to the North. And Prudence Kent, a White woman from Boston whose father was wealthy. It was an emotional roller coaster that had me in my feelings at quite a few points.
The 13th Amendment to The United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude. It created a protected right for citizens to be free from bondage. But, a loophole allows suppression of this right for criminals who are being punished following a conviction. This 14-word phrase charted a path for the American prison-industrial complex. 13th, a documentary by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, explores the history of institutional racism through the lens of the 13th Amendment.
Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell, is a book about “the greatest propaganda campaign of all time”: the concept of black inferiority. In this book, he details the use of racial stereotypes as propaganda to promote the idea of black inferiority and white superiority. The book also explores the lingering effects of slavery and its aftermath on the Black psyche and community.