A purchase after visiting Sanctuary Mountain at Maungatautari in the Waikato region in New Zealand. Lovely little book with brilliant photos of the pe...moreA purchase after visiting Sanctuary Mountain at Maungatautari in the Waikato region in New Zealand. Lovely little book with brilliant photos of the personality bird Sirocco, an endangered species Kakapo parrot, the only nocturnal parrot in the world. Well worth the purchase price, proceeds going to the parrot programme. Educational for all ages and entertaining to read(less)
I can not remember where I came across this title, but it arrived in my reserve selections at the library and I have loved reading it, taking in the b...moreI can not remember where I came across this title, but it arrived in my reserve selections at the library and I have loved reading it, taking in the beauty and texture of the illustrations, and immersing myself in the verse.
I think the best way for me to review this gem and remind myself of its contents is simply to include the introduction printed before the first poem......
Tom Feelings selected drawings of people he sketched while in Ghana and Senegal, West Africa; Guyana, South America; as well as the United States. He blueprinted his finished line drawings onto sepia-toned sheets, and worked colour into the figures with coloured pencils. He then cut out and cemented down various shapes in coloured papers - textured, flat, plain, marbleised, as well as wallpaper - to create the final overall collage effect. Some stencilled cut outs were spray painted; for instance the art for Haki R Madhubuti composed "Destiny" was spray painted on silver paper. This is the first book Tom Feelings has done in full colour.
And from Tom Feelings: Today - the present- is a dangerous place for children of African descent children of the sun. They are standing between childhood and adulthood, midway between the past and the future, pulled away from their center. They are removed from the benefits of ancient initiation rites - rites of passage designed to ease young people into manhood and womanhood, into the responsibilities and protection of full communal life. Too many teenagers are growing up in an environment where indifference and hostility are bullets aimed straight at the core of their spirits. For four hundred years African creativity has been struggling to counter the narrow constraints of oppression, to circle it, turn it around, to seek order and meaning in the midst of chaos. My soul looks back in wonder at how African creativity has sustained us and how it still flows - seeking, searching for new ways to connect the ancient with the new, the young with the old, the unborn with the ancestors. Our creativity, moving, circling, improvising within the restricted form of oppression, reminds us that we must remain responsible to each other - we are not only individuals, but part of a collective that shares a common history and future. This book is a part if that flow if creativity. The artists who came together to create Soul Looks Back In Wonder understand that one way to protect our positive hopes for the future is for young people to see their own beauty reflected in our eyes, through our work. And so this book is for our precious young African sisters and brother, who are out today and tomorrow...........
Published in 1993, nearly 20 years have gone by, so much has not changed, and so much can easily be translated here to the Australian experience.
Absolute favourite for me is the final poem by Mari Evans, Who Can Be Born Black
WHO CAN BE BORN BLACK Who can be born black and not sing the wonder of it the joy the challenge
And/to come together in a coming togetherness vibrating with the fires of pure knowing reeling with power ringing with the sound above sound above sound to explode/in the majesty of our oneness our comingtogether in a comingtogetherness
A lovely lovely book for a dyed in the wool cat lover. And the perfect read for a 3 hour plane journey. A very touching tale of a man who could not qu...moreA lovely lovely book for a dyed in the wool cat lover. And the perfect read for a 3 hour plane journey. A very touching tale of a man who could not quite get his life together, and a street cat finding each other, supporting each other and creating a beautiful connection. By all accounts Bob is one of those absolutely incredible animals that connects with the human animals in a way that makes them all feel their day is better for the interaction. On a personal note, Bob being a ginger tom exhibited so many characteristics familiar to the ginger tom I share my living space with which made it special. I really enjoyed the easy and uplifting read after weeks of delving into some pretty heavy current day issues
One of the books every person in Australia should read before daring to open their mouth about the current asylum seeker debate in this country. Not an...moreOne of the books every person in Australia should read before daring to open their mouth about the current asylum seeker debate in this country. Not an easy book to read. Pretty damming of all sides of politics, of service providers and of the manipulation the Australian public is willingly submitting to. I would have liked to have rated it a 4.5 but since that is not available I have settled for a 4. (less)
A lovely and moving read from a daughter recalling her mothers pretty exceptional life. I feel a bit mean giving it 3 stars, thought about crossing ov...moreA lovely and moving read from a daughter recalling her mothers pretty exceptional life. I feel a bit mean giving it 3 stars, thought about crossing over to 4, but no stayed at 3. It is a sweet read. It feels a bit like you are intruding on private recollections. Enjoyable.(less)
Another find in the depths of our wonderful library catalogue. A lovely collection of 19 Dreaming Stories and a couple of songs written for a young, a...moreAnother find in the depths of our wonderful library catalogue. A lovely collection of 19 Dreaming Stories and a couple of songs written for a young, and also I would add a beginning to learn, audience. After hunting all over the internet to see if I could obtain a copy I have discovered it is a part of a teaching resource package produced in the early 2000s. That explains the big book format for reading aloud to a group. I do hope it is still in regular use in a lot of our schools all around the country. Of course my favourite story is The Message of the Butterflies. Those of you who know me in person will understand my delight in butterflies. If you have young folk, or want to read some delightful stories to widen you understanding of this countries first peoples, see if you can track down a copy(less)
This book was incredibly difficult to track down and then get my hands on. I first saw the title and summary posted on the AIATSIS Facebook page, then...moreThis book was incredibly difficult to track down and then get my hands on. I first saw the title and summary posted on the AIATSIS Facebook page, then went hunting using Trove as a starting point. I felt a strong desire to read this lady's story. It appears to now be up available in print and is held in only a couple of libraries around the country. Once again I say thanks to our Sunshine Coast Library for their work, it came to me through the inter library loan service.
This is a simply written story, it is this lady's story, and at the same time it is the story of many, many, in fact way too many, peoples lives here in Australia. There is a deviation from the majority of similar stories in that while Mrs Tur grew up in a mission situation she was able to maintain contact with her family, her history,her heritage. She was also beautifully blessed to find foster positions and work places that were kind, accepting and inclusive. It would appear this lady had the most amazing ability to find the positives in life situations. It would have been a privilege to meet her. I am told she is no longer with us, and I express my deep respect for her.
This is a story of hard hard work, of incredible achievement from very humble beginnings. Her skills in language, in interpreting within the court system and health system, teaching are extensive. She has lived a life straddling two cultures and her story and life should enrich us all. Included within the writing are selected poems that she has written as she moves through her life. Pg 89 ABORIGINAL WOMEN'S LAMENT My grandmother, my mother,my sister, my aunt. No-one wants to hear your story of pain and desolation. From Australia's foreign laws of assimilation forced upon you. The child that was torn and stolen from your sacred womb While your bleeding self still flowing. Nor,the shame of rape you were made to bear Due to laws beyond your knowledge and understanding. Your mournful wailing wafts across the land of your Dreaming, in agony for your child. Eyes grow dim with tears, and hollow longing for your seed. You beat your head and face with sharp rock in lamentation. My grandmother, my mother, my sister, my aunt: Compensation you should seek For your loss is the same as the children of the Lost Generation. Australia's shame of assimilation was not done with your notification. To segregate and diminish Aboriginal birthright was its intricate legislation. These laws were implemented for their own gratification.
Because this book is so hard to get your hands on I am going to quote several passages I marked as I went along. They will serve as reminders to me also. Pg 61. City Life: 1950-1955 "Even though Mum and Dad Bagshaw have died, their memories are precious to me. When people say to me: "You were only an Aboriginal house-girl in service to non-Aboriginal people", I look beyond the outer trappings of the relationship. Mum and Dad Bagshaw treated me as a human being, acknowledging my Aboriginal background and embracing me into their family. I guess in one sense they put me on a pedestal by saying that I was different from other Aboriginal people and offering me unique opportunities in life. Yet they praised my Ngunytju and when my mother came to stay with the family and me at McLaren Flat, Mum and Dad Bagshaw clearly showed their respect for my Ngunytju. The greatest gift of the Bagshaws to me was their injunction: "You know Mona, none of us can choose our birthright. Never be ashamed of your identity. Never be ashamed because none of us can help what we're born into. Always remember to be proud of your heritage as an Aboriginal and a non-Aboriginal person". These words and their wisdom have always resonated with me. As an Aboriginal my life history has been quite different from that of non-Aboriginals. Most of us have had to learn the social skills of two cultures, learn more than one language and apply survival skills k. The outskirts of small towns or in an urban setting. This may have involved being taught by senior people in our own group or being taken from our home by a government agency and placed in an institution, mission home or foster care. As I was not taken away from my Mother, I'm not a child of the Stolen Generation, bit I am a child of assimilation. I was forced by circumstances to leave my people in the camp to go to school at Oodnadatta, and later to leave my family in the station to work in Adelaide. There was no option but to adapt and change. One of the things we have to live with though, is the negative attitude both from our own community and from the non-Aboriginal mainstream. If we succeed I. Bridging the two cultures, we are called coconuts by our people black on the outside but white on the inside. It is not an easy choice. Anyway, as I grew older and later married, I became wiser and when some non-Aboriginal called us 'lazy Blacks' or made rude remarks, I learned not to be so thin skinned, I have always kept my dear Tjamu's (grandfather) words foremost in my mind: Ngitji Ngitji, nyuntu ngukuny kutjaratjara Anangu walypalaku, which translates as, You have been given two brains from your families: use them wisely. I think he made this remark to make me proud of both of my heritages".
Pg 106. A New Beginning: 1963-1973 ....while recounting the marriage of her daughter and accepting him into the family...... "............the young man was accepted into the family and was allotted his proper place in our Anangu kinship system as indeed had been the case with his parents whe they had been working with Anangu people in Marla. However I feel that bin-indigenous people do not really understand the fullness of their commitment and obligations when they are accepted into our kinship system"
Pg134. Only A Bridge: 1990-2010 Today my life's pattern seems to knot people from other cultures into the fabric of my own kinship. I have an adopted son who is Norwegian and his Indian wife whom I call my so. And daughter. Peter speaks our Yankunitjatjara language and respects our Anangu kinship. I also have a dear sister (Kanguru) whisks of Russian/Belgian heritage. She is my family. There are other people who want to come into our family, but now I tell them to think very clearly before accepting the role of commitment that comes with belonging -an understanding of the double responsibility that comes from straddling two or more cultures.
Pg 141 At long last we reached the outskirts of Oodnadatta and as we passed the town's racetrack, I reminded my co-travellers that in the past there was segregation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal spectators at the annual race meeting. Each group had its own section, and people were not to transgress or socialise across boundaries. We took such segregation as a matter of fact in those days, including the knowledge that racial boundaries were surreptitiously violated under the cover of darkness. Min don't know how things are at Oodnadatta nowadays but it makes me sad to think that racism was so entrenched in our childhood and that we took it as the natural order of things.
Pg 147 It is amazing how the bridge that forms one's life is crossed over and over again by different people and how the circle of connection and belonging keeps expanding. For me this embraces my three worlds: Anangu, Irish and Polish/Australian. Sometimes the bridge sways and groans under the heavy load; sometimes even, it breaks; but in my fortunate experience, it has been mended time and again, ready to carry the next load.(less)
Brilliant children's book on every level. It has everything needed in a great kids book. Repetition of ideas and phrases. Number sequences. Colour ide...moreBrilliant children's book on every level. It has everything needed in a great kids book. Repetition of ideas and phrases. Number sequences. Colour identification. Observation and interaction pages. Fresh, clear illustrations. Great ending. Funny in the way kids enjoy. Loved it. Now I want a couple of small people snuggled up on the couch beside me so we can read it aloud night after night after night, in the vein of the amazing Are You My Mother. A book to inspire a lifelong love of reading.(less)
No hum. I meant to read it all, I tried, but it really is not my thing. I sampled and scanned my way through and found it to be pretty much common sen...moreNo hum. I meant to read it all, I tried, but it really is not my thing. I sampled and scanned my way through and found it to be pretty much common sense with an emphasis on being comfortable in your own skin and finding joy in life. Don't need to read a book for that. A few of the personal anecdote stories were mildly entertaining. Back to the library you go..(less)
Truly deserves the rating of absolutely amazing. I am I awe of this lady's ability to write, to tell her story and to go forward in life in what appear...moreTruly deserves the rating of absolutely amazing. I am I awe of this lady's ability to write, to tell her story and to go forward in life in what appears to be a very positive way. The blurb says it brilliantly about the way the book is written......"in bare blunt prose and piercingly lyrical verse" The author takes you the reader along on the ride that is her life experience, and the bluntness of the prose helps you to absorb the enormity of what has happened in her life without getting caught up in any wallowing in the pain. The accompanying verse is incredible and adds a whole new dimension to the way you view events. The issues are around experiences of the Stolen Generation of Australian Indigenous people, of modern attitudes to our first people, and also the amazing way this family and extended family group have been able to reconnect as they find each other. That reconnection and the depth of culture is inspiring. The verse Circles and Squares, which is toward the end of the book is beautiful; what a way to be able to reflect on your life. I have added to my list of hopes in life. I hope I get the chance to hear this lady talk, and perhaps to meet her.(less)
This is the second book by this amazing author that I have had the privilege of experiencing. As with the other verse novel, "His Father's Eyes" I hav...moreThis is the second book by this amazing author that I have had the privilege of experiencing. As with the other verse novel, "His Father's Eyes" I have read it a second time aloud to fully appreciate the flow of the words
And what incredible words used in such a powerful way. From the balance of the first few stories, Nature, Harmony, Morning, that are so gentle and beautiful. Then onto the tension the builds with Warning, to the full horror that is Ambush, and then into Silence, the story of this young woman builds.
Each poem story stands powerfully on its own, but read as a novel the immense power is breathtaking.
Yes I enjoyed this. Yes I will read anything I can get my hands on from this lady. Yes, I wish the whole of Australia would read her work and understand
To quote from the back-cover blurb by Samuel Wagan Watson " Ali Cobby Eckermann conjures a lyrical and unique imagining of the past. A powerful wordsmith and surgical factotum of the struggle to maintain Indigenous voices in Australian Writing, she carries a similar torch to the late Oodgeroo"(less)