I just finished Marjane Satrapi's Embroideries & I have to say it was fabulous! I thoroughly enjoyed this book - I laughed & learned. Satrapi'I just finished Marjane Satrapi's Embroideries & I have to say it was fabulous! I thoroughly enjoyed this book - I laughed & learned. Satrapi's sense of humor, depiction of Iranian men/women & Western life is great! I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys graphic novels & to anyone interested in the sex lives of woman, the book says that it's specific to Iranian women, but I'm American and I know plenty of women who think the same way. I love it! ...more
I read this book expecting the worse - many people said it simply wasn't as good as the first & I have to admit - they are wrong. This book is notI read this book expecting the worse - many people said it simply wasn't as good as the first & I have to admit - they are wrong. This book is not like the first at all, and for good reason, too. Satrapi documents her adolescent & into-adult years. I found the book just as spectacular as the first....more
James Weldon Johnson's The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man is a great coming of age story of a young man struggling with identity. Though not a reaJames Weldon Johnson's The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man is a great coming of age story of a young man struggling with identity. Though not a real autobiography, I feel like Johnson accurately captures the sentiment of Black America with the novel and I think he really captures the essence of Black writing with this story. ...more
One of my favorite slave narratives - though I really don't like to refer to this genre that way. One of the only slave narratives we have from a womaOne of my favorite slave narratives - though I really don't like to refer to this genre that way. One of the only slave narratives we have from a woman, it definitely gives a different perspective from other slave narratives such as the narratives of Frederick Douglass & O. Equiano. Give it a read if you have the time...there's much to be learned. What's even better is that the story is online, too!...more
I am compelled to review this autobiography so harshly that I am afraid I might make unfounded assertions about this memoir that may be completely falI am compelled to review this autobiography so harshly that I am afraid I might make unfounded assertions about this memoir that may be completely false, but these are all my opinions. I was thoroughly unimpressed with the autobiography and came to the conclusion that I do not know why it was written - seriously. I do not know what Shakur's contribution to the Black Panther Party (BPP) was nor do I fully understand her contribution to the Black Liberation Army. She was an absentee mother, I do not understand why she allowed Kamau to impregnate her while they both were in prison. Shakur stated that she feared their child, should she get pregnant, would not be well taken care of and she also feared that her child would endure great hardship in this world, therefore, she wanted to avoid a sexual relationship with him. BUT he was able to persuade her to have unprotected sex with him in a filthy jail? This brought onto her, the pregnancy that is, a heap of trouble that made her life in prison, in horrible conditions, even more difficult. I cannot understand how she could be so easily led to make a decision that affected her life greatly.
Shakur spends pages and pages and pages telling readers about her life as an adolescent, never really going in depth about how her mother's absenteeism affected her growth as a woman. Her marriage is summed up in one pitiful paragraph. Readers see Shakur chasing something, a home perhaps, throughout the memoir and by page 274 (the end of the book), I'm not certain she has even found it.
The autobiography was very slow to start, you have to read well over 100 pages before Shakur even begins to describe the influence of the BPP on her life. She glosses over the corruption and greed and pride that destroyed the organization, being very vague about details that led to her negative experience in the BPP, though she left the organization on, what I would call, bad terms. And her significance in the lives of the members of the BPP on both the west coast and in New York, is seemingly nonexistent because, according to Shakur, none of her projects were ever completed. It appears that she did not do much in the BPP. I read this book to see what her influence was and I turned up with nothing.
The details of her trials, thoroughly explicated for readers, are just downright boring. Do we really need to know that she had this many lawyers for this case and So-And-So thought So-And-So who was white and from Jersey would be the "best" lawyer for this situation. I mean...it bored me. There were 100 pages of this autobiography that told me nothing about Shakur's development as a woman, Black woman, or prisoner. If you know the history, then you know Assata Shakur escapes from jail and finds asylum in Cuba where she is a political refugee. How she gets to Cuba is information Shakur omits (of course, what has she told us in this autobiography? Really?). She makes sure to inform us that in Cuba there is no racism...what that does for me here, I do not know because Shakur is no longer involved in the struggle.
Shakur changes the "c's" in "court" and "America" to "k's" but this is done so sporadically that I do not know if spelling is significant to Shakur. Additionally, there are sometimes when Shakur makes the pronoun "I" lowercase and there are instances in which she leaves the pronoun capitalized. I am not certain that she knows why she alters the spelling of these words or decides to go against "standard" American English rules of American English spelling. If this is Shakur's way of rebelling against American society, then the publisher, Lawrence Hill Books, should have taken the time to ensure that this was made crystal clear to readers. Otherwise, it leaves readers puzzled.
If it weren't for the poetry, this autobiography would have been, in my honest opinion, a complete waste of a read. Well, I take that back, there are some books Shakur mentions in her autobiography that I want to read...books I would not know about until later, had I not picked up her autobiography. The book took too long to read, was not well-written, and left me unsatisfied. ...more
Jimi Izrael is, unfortunately, a scorned man who found a publisher with St. Martin's Press. Unfortunately, Izrael puts out a bunch of problems he findJimi Izrael is, unfortunately, a scorned man who found a publisher with St. Martin's Press. Unfortunately, Izrael puts out a bunch of problems he finds with Black women, who he says bash Black men with inaccurate sweeping generalizations. Here are some of his:
"Black women don't do our women the way they do us."
"People talk shit, but numbers don't lie. According to smart white folks who know, two-thirds of all black marriages end in divorce, creating whole neighborhoods of single-parent families, usually headed by single mothers. This statistic really reflects less on black men and more on black women and their inability to make good choices."
"women will make a good brother go bad."
"Many of them [black women] have money of their own, but would rather use their pussy like a credit-card swiper to pay the bills. Not that they're gold diggers, but they are motivated by money. This may sound a lot like just choosing a mate with superior qualifications, but in practical terms, it's as if some women's affection and time can be bought. Most brothers can read that game from the curb, and they know how to play it on the cheap."
"There are a lot of brothers out there fucking up, but not nearly as many as you think. Normally, those brothers wear their crazy on their sleeves. You can see - and oftentimes smell them - from the curb. Women tend to mask their crazy with lipstick, perfume, Apple Bottoms jeans, and such. Men aren't as smart as women about these kinds of things, and often don't know what they're getting into."
But I must admit, that out of all the inane generalizations and the crap Izrael spewed in his "self-help" relationship book, the most upsetting and disturbing quote in the entire 306 pages of this book is as follows:
"Slave women probably turned to their men in disgust, wondering why they were not brave enough or holy enough to protect them from slave masters."
I'm most certain that Jimi Izrael, with his locs and connection to the Black community, will never know or understand how much he hurt me, a young Black student of Black culture with that statement. I am most certain that no enslaved Black woman, in her denigrated state, would ever blame another enslaved Black man for not being able to protect her. Jimi Izrael ignores a slew of researched and autobiographical texts that explain how enslaved Black women loved and felt about their lives with Black men during the enslavement period - never, in all my years of the study of Black history, have I ever come across a text, written by a Black woman enslaved, free, or fugitive, that demeans Black men for not being "brave enough or holy enough to protect them" from slave holders.
If anything, with the publication and success of books like Act LIke a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey, Love & Intimacy: Five Ways to Get Together and Stay Together by Rev. Joseph W. Walker III, and The Conversation: How Black Men and Women Can Build Loving, Trusting Relationships by Hill Harper, one would find that the sole interest of much of Black female readers is the attainment of healthy, loving relationships with Black men despite the erroneous statistics much of America believes to be true...those statistics sited by Jimi Izrael.
This is probably one of the longest reviews I've ever written and that's simply because I am very upset that I did not read the reviews about this book - all the reviews state that Izrael is very bitter, is bashing black women because HE failed to choose the perfect woman in his quest for marriage, and is very upset that he's been divorced twice because he's such a "good" man...apparently not. He's not a good writer either nor is he in tune with the sentiment of much of Black America. Don't spend $22.95 on this book like I did. Instead, email me, and I'll send you my copy. If you want to read this rubbish. I've read many many books this year from a variety of genres and I must congratulate Jimi Izrael because he has written the worst book I've read all year. ...more
This book was decent in my opinion. Tavis Smiley isn't my favorite person or my favorite writer, but his solutions to the issues Black America faces aThis book was decent in my opinion. Tavis Smiley isn't my favorite person or my favorite writer, but his solutions to the issues Black America faces are doable - even if they are unlikely. I appreciate that there are still individuals who think about the problems in Black America and work to find solutions to them. The problem with works by writers like Smiley is that they never seem tor each the audiences to which they are directed. The book is a little repetitive - if you get to the end of each chapter you'll see what I'm talking about. This is definitely a great sociology book, especially if you're looking to do some research on Black America....more
Okay okay okay! I know I should have enjoyed this novel way more than I did, but after 150 pages and 2 months of reading it...I just kinda give up. IOkay okay okay! I know I should have enjoyed this novel way more than I did, but after 150 pages and 2 months of reading it...I just kinda give up. I completely finished the section on Italy (finally) and began Gilbert's exploration in India, but this is just boring me to no end! I probably should have started with the section in India because that is what I was most interested in, but after struggling to get through Italy, I just don't have the mental wherewithal to keep trying to enjoy Gilbert's good book. Please, don't let my review discourage you from getting this from the library...maybe it's just me. I had such high hopes for this book and really wanted to like it. There were parts that I enjoyed, things I highlighted and quotes I found essential for human enlightenment, but...yeah, just but...but I couldn't get through this book! I may come back to it later. But, if it's any consolation, my mother stole borrowed this book from me before I had the chance to read it and she loved every minute of it. She finished Eat, Pray, Love in a week and kept telling me the book was so entertaining and enlightening and satisfying. From what I can see, you're either going to really love this book the moment you pick it up or you're going to really hate it and never want to read it again....more