**spoiler alert** I really enjoyed Rebecca Walker's perspective on motherhood. I felt it was empowering the way she was able to conjure up so much lov...more**spoiler alert** I really enjoyed Rebecca Walker's perspective on motherhood. I felt it was empowering the way she was able to conjure up so much love for her son from within while simultaneously dealing with mother-daughter conflicts, race, gender, creating ones own concept of parenthood, sexuality, birthing options and more. (less)
An enjoyable/disturbing/important collection of essays related to many aspects of black women's health and well being. A concerted effort to expand th...moreAn enjoyable/disturbing/important collection of essays related to many aspects of black women's health and well being. A concerted effort to expand the framework of many health practitioners beyond assumptions, cultural insensitivities and strictly allopathic approaches in order to respond more effectively to the needs of women of color. (less)
Excerpt: "Multiculturalism should be about confronting racism and power, not about plates of ethnic food...it seemed to me we spent so much time talki...moreExcerpt: "Multiculturalism should be about confronting racism and power, not about plates of ethnic food...it seemed to me we spent so much time talking about kimchee and grits, we forgot to talk about power. But the agent only whispered to me, 'Class analysis isn't quite as sexy as a grinning mulatto on a golf course.' He even admitted to me that multiracialism was a terrific marketing tool, the best way to sell to as many types of people as possible. 'It's ingenious!' he shouted, grinning, carried away by his own ideas. 'This will change the face of marketing forever!'" ~Danzy Senna(less)
essential womanist reading tracing the life of one remarkable woman and her involvement as (the longest running and first black) president of Planned...moreessential womanist reading tracing the life of one remarkable woman and her involvement as (the longest running and first black) president of Planned Parenthood. provides a vivid history of the women´s reproductive rights movement and disturbing accounts of political and right wing activity in the u.s. (less)
I never thought I would describe a book as orgasmic until I came across Dave Hill’s Prince: A Pop Life. Delightful revelations, myth-busters, and narr...moreI never thought I would describe a book as orgasmic until I came across Dave Hill’s Prince: A Pop Life. Delightful revelations, myth-busters, and narratives from those in Prince's inner-circle combined with Hill’s fluffy journalistic writing style and insistence on getting into the nitty gritty give weight and rollercoaster excitement to the text. The one thing lacking, but not at the fault of the author is the first hand perspective of Prince himself. But as the narrative reveals, this mysterious or “purple” curtained silent front to the world Prince maintains is one of the factors that drives his controversy, and which enables him to be such a legend and such and enigma, effectively not detracting from the book’s mission.
Dave Hill has a tremendous gift for language and unbelievable ability to construct precise descriptions of Prince songs in written text. To be able to transfer even some of the essence of a Prince song into journalistic English is indicative of more than generous writing talent, but a sixth sense for the ins and outs of music.
The greatest awareness I will take from reading this book is that of how big Prince really is, how grand and successfully anticolonial (if one looks at the U.S. music industry as a colonized space) Prince's project continues to be. I already knew him to be a revolutionary, but not this revolutionary. And to operate as a revolutionary while exhibiting marketing genius seems almost incompatible, strange but true. A lot of things I used to think were just luck or having the right connections with regards to Prince’s success are only attributable to the man himself. This text is the best written account of his self-construction and self-liberation processes (and the grey betwixt and between) I have ever come across spanning his beginnings through 1988/Lovesexy era. (less)
This work took me several weeks to complete. It is a dense compiling of Afrikan-centered perspectives on health and medicine and seeks, a bit overambi...moreThis work took me several weeks to complete. It is a dense compiling of Afrikan-centered perspectives on health and medicine and seeks, a bit overambitiously, to fill in a huge gap in health sciences of the present-day. The book is literally bursting with information ranging from herbal remedies and alternative perspectives on infectious diseases to astrological-sexual compatability charts and iridiology templates. Most valuable, I found, was the final written section called Herbs, Africa and History which explores the sequestering, distortion and misuse of Afrikan medicinal knowledge. I also respect and concur with Dr. Llaila Afrika's focus on malnutrition as the primary cause and proper (raw, vegetable and fruit-based) nutrition as the primary treatment for almost every disease throughout.
I could see some people getting offended by this book, but that's only because Eurocentrism is a taken for granted normalcy, so when an Afri-centric perspective is presented it receives misnomers and dismissals. But much of contemporary health science does not treat the health of black people as something with a range of specific nuances and physiological responses that is, at times, ethnocentric. In this respect, Dr. Llaila Afrika's work is essential. Examples include food processing differences in the black body and treatment of White Supremacy Psychosis as a disease with physical and psychological effects.
What is problematic about this text is that he maintains an outmoded biological concept of race, not fully exploring it's complexities and variances. Also, I think Afrika's knowledge would be better structured into a few different texts, perhaps one on herbal rememdies, another one outlining the history of the hijacking of health knowledge out of Afrika, and maybe another collection of his essays and health perspectives rather than jam packed chaotic-encyclopedic format. What I am left with is over 500 pages of health information that is at times, profoundly interesting, at others, disorganized, repetetive and in need of an editor. Still, my knowledge is enhanced by having read this book and I am indebted to Dr. Afrika for ensuring that alternative perspectives which include Afrikan health and wellness concepts are carried into the present day.
I read this during a multiracial literature frenzy I went on, most of which consisted of narratives and fictional perspectives from various points of...moreI read this during a multiracial literature frenzy I went on, most of which consisted of narratives and fictional perspectives from various points of black-white biraciality. This book stood out to me because it has more layers, and deals with more shades of gray more wholeheartedly than other books I came across. It's a story of biraciality in the context of transracial/cultural adoption, and therefore also a coming to terms with family concepts/finding roots story, and all of this occurs on many unexpected levels. There is also a degree of sophistication in McKinley's autoethnography which has wider, dare I say "sociological" applications. Overall an amazing "couldn't put it down" text. Really McKinley's project is personal and revolutionary and I feel privileged that she has archived her oddyssey and made it accescible.
I learned that everyone has to grapple with polymorphous family concepts, and that a better approach than trying to fit into pre-existing stencils of android families, is a self-defining one. I also got the gust of fresh wind in discussions of multiraciality I was looking (and looking, and looking...) for.(less)