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Let's Blog About It! > Why aren't there more books about .... ??

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message 1: by Londa (new)

Londa (londalocs) | 1526 comments What subjects in Historical Fiction (AA,African,Diaspora) do you feel are largely neglected?

I have noticed that there aren't many HF novels dedicated to the reconstruction period. Not nearly as many that are dedicated to the pre-civil war era. I would love a HF novel that highlighted one of the black reconstruction politicians. I found Capitol Men: The Epic Story of Reconstruction Through the Lives of the First Black Congressmen but it is more of a non-fic history book. There must be tons of material to work with.

I would also LOVE more HF to be written about Africa's Golden Age. There are TONS of Egyptian HF novels, but what about Mali, Ghana, & Ethiopia?

How about you guys? What periods/themes would you like to read more about?


message 2: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Hmmm...it's funny you say that because as many historical fiction novels that I have read, I don't think I've cleared that era. But you know what they say (or what Morrison says) if their is a good book that hasn't been written it is your duty to write it! hint hint!!! But yes I would to know if there are any books that focus on that era.

I mentioned mine in a previous thread. I'm wanting to read more Slavery books in the narration of the slaveholder. Which you, Londa have given me a link on that I have added to me tbr.


message 3: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (last edited Nov 25, 2013 09:30AM) (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
I have noticed that there aren't many HF novels dedicated to the reconstruction period.

A really good one that does is Queen by Alex Haley. I wasn't the biggest fan of the book Roots (though I loved the movie), but Queen is a really good one. It's starts off during slavery but then it focuses for the most part of the book on the reconstruction period.


message 4: by R.E. (new)

R.E.  Carter (papasmurf1911) | 46 comments Hmmmmm. I think a lot of authors don't touch it because its the era of the old west.


message 5: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
kisha wrote: "I have noticed that there aren't many HF novels dedicated to the reconstruction period.

A really good one that does is Queen by Alex Haley. I wasn't the biggest fan of the book ..."


Actually now that I think about it that's not the best example. It took place during the era but didn't really touch the issues.


message 6: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (last edited Nov 25, 2013 11:12AM) (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
R.E. wrote: "Hmmmmm. I think a lot of authors don't touch it because its the era of the old west."

That's the thing though, there are many books in the same time frame about the old west. If by the old west you are referring to American Frontier aka the wild wild west? I grew up on those movies because my grandmother loved the old western films so I refused to read the books! But my curiousity is definitely with the reconstructive era as far as how did freed slaves lives? What laws (if any) did they have to protect them? 12 Years a slave sort of touched on it extremely vaguely. But I want to see the lifestyle they actually lived. I've seen a few movies on it but of course I want the books!

I've actually going to be starting this book calledPrincess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia by Jean Sasson and it has me so interested in the womens issues in the middle east and honor killing. I wonder if that is a popular subject among authors? I will look through listopia I suppose.


message 7: by Londa (new)

Londa (londalocs) | 1526 comments Thanks kisha! I think I have Queen on my TBR. There is one other book that I can think of that deals with reconstruction and that is Red River.

If you are talking about black cowboys and black western settlers R.E., then I agree there aren't many AA HF about those subjects either. My son's favorite hero is Bass Reeves http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bass_Reeves, but there are only a few books about him.

That looks like a good book kisha.


message 8: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 1078 comments Here are a couple of historical fiction books dealing with the Reconstruction Era/American Frontier by AA authors:

Freeman by Leonard Pitts Jr - Periodically this book is free on kindle.

Gabriel's Story: A Novel by David Anthony Durham

Beverly Jenkins has written a number of historical romance books set in this period. The books are very nice in historical detail and all of the books include a bibliography of the books she used in her research.
Her latest series is set in California and both books are nominated for awards.

Destiny's Embrace
Destiny's Surrender
Night Song
Through the Storm


message 9: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 1078 comments Another book about blacks in the frontier:

"An eye-opening look at the little-explored area of a black frontier woman in the American West." --Chicago Sun-Times

The Personal History of Rachel DuPree


message 10: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 1078 comments kisha wrote: "Hmmm...it's funny you say that because as many historical fiction novels that I have read, I don't think I've cleared that era. But you know what they say (or what Morrison says) if their is a goo..."

Kisha - Have you read The Known World by Edward P Jones it is historical fiction about a black slaveholder.

The Known World by Edward P. Jones


message 11: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 1078 comments Londa wrote: "What subjects in Historical Fiction (AA,African,Diaspora) do you feel are largely neglected?

I have noticed that there aren't many HF novels dedicated to the reconstruction period. Not nearly as ..."


Londa - Here are a couple of books about the Golden Age of Africa:
Segu
Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali


message 12: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: Kisha - Have you read The Known World by Edward P Jones it is historical fiction about a black slaveholder.

[book:The Personal History of Ra..."


No I haven'tread it yet but we will actually be reading it for february's historical fiction discussion. And I didn't know it was about a black slaveholder so I'm really excited to start that one.


message 13: by Londa (new)

Londa (londalocs) | 1526 comments Thanks for the recommendations Beverly. I have some of them on my lists and have added the others.


message 14: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 1078 comments I could I forget one of my stories about the Reconstruction Era.

The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories by Charles W. Chestnutt

Another book by Mr. Chestnutt - this one was inspired by the 1898 race riot in Wilmington, NC.


The Marrow of Tradition


message 15: by Londa (new)

Londa (londalocs) | 1526 comments Beverly, thanks again. Marrow is on my list, but Wife was not. I just finished Jubilee and 1/3 of it dealt with reconstruction.


message 16: by Londa (new)

Londa (londalocs) | 1526 comments Beverly, thanks again. Marrow is on my list, but Wife was not. I just finished Jubilee and 1/3 of it dealt with reconstruction.


message 17: by V. (new)

V. Pain (Vpain) | 63 comments I took a History class in Community College that covered the Reconstruction Era... Let me tell you how disappointed I was to read in THE TEXTBOOK, that there are not many writings by authors from that Era because: Blacks couldn't read and write at that time, most of them being fresh out of slavery...etc. I was appalled and so turned off, angry, and even then, as an adult, unable to focus on the course. I felt my ancestors cry out LIARS! I just didn't understand where they thought W.E.B. DuBois or Frederick Douglass came in (Is my timing wrong?)(I mean they are proof that we had readers and writers right?). Some abolitionists were Blacks who had somehow gotten free, and told stories alongside White activists.

I would like to say my first two experiences with Historical literature which included slavery, Were
My Name Is Not Angelica
&
Roots: The Saga of an American Family

Both of these books made me identify with the strength it takes to develop as a down-trodden race in a society that just keeps walking. I loved hearing about the drums, and the way our people communicated and knew each other on sight. Beautiful, and I still look for similarities. I would love to see a book about arches of eye brows, shapes of lips, and which tribes our physiological attributes identify with. #Blackpower


message 18: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Beautifully said. I always wanted to teach African American History to bring forth knowledge to the unsaid of our history. There is so much that has been left unsaid. Though I will say this newer generation of historical writers are doing their part and I'm loving it. But we still need more.


message 19: by Lulu, The Book Reader who could. (new)

Lulu (lulureads365) | 2423 comments Mod
I would like to read more about African American roles in the defense of our great nation, from the beginning (Colonial Period) until now! lol


message 20: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 1078 comments Lulu wrote: "I would like to read more about African American roles in the defense of our great nation, from the beginning (Colonial Period) until now! lol"

Have you read Miracle at St. Annaby James McBride or Standing at the Scratch Line: A Novel by Guy Johnson?

I know a couple of more fiction books but will have to think for a minute.


message 21: by Lulu, The Book Reader who could. (new)

Lulu (lulureads365) | 2423 comments Mod
I haven't read either, but I've seen the movie for Miracle at St. Anna. Thanks Beverly !!


message 22: by Lulu, The Book Reader who could. (new)

Lulu (lulureads365) | 2423 comments Mod
Kinda off topic, but...

So I'm reading this Dick Gregory autobiography, Nigga, and it got me to thinking....how many hate crimes do you think were actually committed by black people against other black people in the name of white people?


message 23: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
What do you mean by in the name of white people? I do know that b on b crime is ridiculously high. But it's also at a higher media coverage rate than any other kind of crime. So it gives the illusion that we are the only ones killing each other. The fact is that yes there are more black homicides but other races really aren't far behind. It gives shoved under the rug. I'd love to answer your question properly though. I Just don't completely understand the question.


message 24: by R.E. (new)

R.E.  Carter (papasmurf1911) | 46 comments As a former journalist black crime is reported because of black leaders. Its a total catch 22. When you report about the constant black violence black people get mad because they say thats all we are focused on. When you don't report it black city leaders get mad because we not telling the world about "what's really going on in the hood" so you cant win for losing. The problem is that trailer park doesn't represent all white people just poor ones...but the ghetto for some reason represents all black people whether you live their or not.


message 25: by Lulu, The Book Reader who could. (new)

Lulu (lulureads365) | 2423 comments Mod
I mean black people being coerced by white people to commit crimes against other black people. Sort of like white people being the mastermind of the plan, but never getting their hands dirty. Example: There was a black church bombed, the idea and bomb was supplied by a white man, but the actual bomb was thrown by a black man.


message 26: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Good points both of you. Though I'm not very knowledgeable on the history behind the facts of both of your statements so it would be an injustice for me to elaborate. Though I love sociology so this may be something I will research further.


message 27: by V. (new)

V. Pain (Vpain) | 63 comments R.E. wrote: "As a former journalist black crime is reported because of black leaders. Its a total catch 22. When you report about the constant black violence black people get mad because they say thats all we..."

OK! Well said... R.E. I have actually had the privilege of working with Black Media as well, over the years we took away and then re-included our "Crime page" It did get us a lot of mixed reviews.


message 28: by V. (new)

V. Pain (Vpain) | 63 comments Lulu wrote: "I mean black people being coerced by white people to commit crimes against other black people. Sort of like white people being the mastermind of the plan, but never getting their hands dirty. Examp..."

Lulu, what about overseers (or Obahseers)? What about learning about our ancestors who pushed some of their fellow tribe-members into the arms of "enemies"? That Black traitor is real, and it isn't always just "White-driven" sometimes it's power unseen (and I don't mean Jesus) driving a person to betray. I feel a sense of Community has left us since we survived the Civil Rights period. We have become lax, and unwilling to believe we are trapped (and still must fight) in the same circituous society. So "Hitting a lick" seems a promise, moreso than being loyal to your friends or good to your family. (Community feeling declines even more.) It sounds like you have fertile ground for excellent historical fiction with that question Lulu. Which is more intriguing, the object or event used to manipulate, or what makes the person give in to disloyalty and serpentine influence in the first place? (BTW this conversation has my mind cooking up all kinds of things! Excellent discussion!)


message 29: by Lulu, The Book Reader who could. (new)

Lulu (lulureads365) | 2423 comments Mod
V. wrote: "Lulu wrote: "I mean black people being coerced by white people to commit crimes against other black people. Sort of like white people being the mastermind of the plan, but never getting their hands..."

Wow V!! This really has me thinking now! I've always thought that Black Americans were a totally new (for lack of a better word) breed of people. We are descents of Africans, so we have the physical make-up, but truly know nothing about the culture or the heart of the people...so we are not of the land. I would easily argue that because of that lack of knowledge, that lack of roots that we feel no sense of connection or loyalty to each other. We've (since being Americans) only known about power and greed, not the things this country was founded on, but quickly adapted.....but that wouldn't be a successful argument.

Why were our ancestors pushing some of their fellow tribe-members into the arms of "enemies"? What was offered for them to say "Ok, take our men, women, and children to a new country...never to see home again." Do you think that perhaps the Africans doing the selling were mislead? I know about POWs and Indentured servants...but how did this form of slavery come about?

To answer your question, "Which is more intriguing, the object or event used to manipulate, or what makes the person give in to disloyalty and serpentine influence in the first place?" .... they are both equally intriguing to me.

Sorry...this has my mind all over the place.


message 30: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Lulu I really recommend you read The Book Of Night Women. It will answer so many of your questions about disloyalty and what we now call crab in a barrel mentality. After years of research I have learned that slavery was the seed that sowed hatred amongst blacks. Think about it. Slave outnumbered slavers by many numbers. The only way to successfully run a slave plantation without a rebellion is to create hatred among the slaves so that they couldn't successfully work together and over take their masters. Ten to 40 slaves on a plantation could have easily came together in the middle of the night, went into the big house collected all weapons, killed their masters and fled. But they couldn't trust each other because they were not united. That hatred was planted by the slavers. There's a reason most plantations had slaves as overseers giving them power over there peers and slavers would okay favoritism over lighter skinned slave (house slaves typically) giving them arrogance and believing they were less of a slave than their peers. The Maroons were other black men capturing and abusing slaves and returning them to their plantations. It was all organized manipulation and that manipulation STILL is rooted in our community today. And that's because the slave mentality still exist.


message 31: by Lulu, The Book Reader who could. (new)

Lulu (lulureads365) | 2423 comments Mod
You know Kisha, I often wondered about that too. Like during a riot, be it during the 60s or today...if we are mad at the enemy, why are we destroying our own stuff?


message 32: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Good point. Education is power. It is typically thr uneducated.


message 33: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (oyastorm77) A good source for info about slavery is the many slave narratives that were published. These were interviews conducted by real former slaves. I found one that my great grand uncle did and it was very eye-opening.


message 34: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
I've read one. I would love to hear audio


message 35: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (oyastorm77) Kisha, if you find an audio version please let me know. Every situation on plantations was different, but cinema wants you to think otherwise. Willie Lynch did a number on the psyche of our people. It's up to us to learn about our African ancestry and culture. My husband and I embrace Yoruba culture. What's crazy to me is you have White people who are intimidated when they see us in cultural dress and your own people who look down on you because you are Afrocentric and it shows on the outside AND inside.


message 36: by R.E. (new)

R.E.  Carter (papasmurf1911) | 46 comments The problem with Black America is that we have this overwhelming desire to hold on to a community that is not there anymore. Desegregation was awesome for educated Blacks because we got to compete for jobs and make more money, but we left the neighborhood and left the uneducated behind. The government or white people didn't kill the black neighborhood ...we did. We created the ghetto when all the black lawyers, doctors, and college professors took their high paying jobs across town. Its the educated ones that marched on Washington and got attacked by dogs while they were being hosed down, but they didn't do it for all blacks just the educated ones. If you don't agree..why did they leave. Why did they leave a community they loved so much? Black people were not just tired of lack of opportunities they were tired of the lack of space. They were tired of living next door to niggas just like white people didn't want live next door to poor white trash. There are just as many dark skinned snobs as light skinned snobs, so its not about skin color its about social class.


message 37: by V. (new)

V. Pain (Vpain) | 63 comments OK I am at work reading this... if it takes me two days, we need to talk all this out...


message 38: by V. (last edited Feb 05, 2014 01:18PM) (new)

V. Pain (Vpain) | 63 comments Lulu wrote: "V. wrote: "Lulu wrote: "I mean black people being coerced by white people to commit crimes against other black people. Sort of like white people being the mastermind of the plan, but never getting ..."
Well part of the story of slavery we always learned that sometimes African's gave "slaves" as spoils. Spanish weren't the only Conquistadors. When one tribe wanted to invade the land of the other the taken prisoners were slaves by some war rules (we also learned that they were not tortured or abused as spoils). As "explorers" finally got up the nerve (look up the term: The Dark Continent) to travel deeper into Africa than Egypt, they tried all sorts of things to get next to the jewels, (and I am sure they needed food and companionship by then too.) When trading and bartering began, it was a chance to take more than what they were given. So even if as spoils of war, the same hatred was not doled down to them, and it was certainly (not portrayed as anyway) not boat loads of people.
So then there were multiple scenarios: Being followed back to the tribe, being caught/ kidnapped and not let go unless leading to the tribe, or thinking a trade was to be made for one or two people out of spite or necessity (that's what spoils are they are used for bartering later!), then the entire clan gets swooped up...(Does that sound one-dimensional y'all?)

Then once enslaved- think of the small comforts you didn't have... new clothes, privacy with your mate, time with your natural family, the ability to use your name, speak your language, etc.... In a moment of desperation, in captivity, are you going to try to befriend the (a)fellow slaves in the same lowly position as you or (b) the one in power, Lulu? That is- why not do the white man's bidding for this one moment then... "I's gon be free" or "I'll finally see my children" or "I'm gon get to work in the house now"... ?
(see I can't talk about this without getting involved, that's why I do not equate marriage equality with civil rights. The gay population will not decline if they don't get what they are asking, but we are still where we are because of the History and continual struggle. Materialism, colorism and ignorance are killing us off. I love talking about this, but it is bittersweet.The Willie Lynch papers are easily accessed, and explain how division makes you so darn conquerable.)

Anyway, sometimes the object was irresistible...still they were human, there was betrayal, jealousy and self-hatred just as there are today! Whew.... keep this conversation going as a torch to the changes which can be made in our communities ask someone to join in we need to learn who we are by talking to each other... New tribes #blackpower


message 39: by V. (new)

V. Pain (Vpain) | 63 comments http://www.gutenberg.org/

I just did a search for slaves, just to see what came up, not gong to download anything on work computers, but this site has given me some pretty old books in the past like Paradise Lost still spelled as 'Paradifs Loft' (Exaggeration lol) Maybe we can begin our journey looking for slave accounts there.


message 40: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
I just posted a new thread with slavery narrative from real slaves being read by great actors. Here's the link to the video. It's REALLY REALLY good. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XnQqSlWHHgQ


message 41: by Lulu, The Book Reader who could. (new)

Lulu (lulureads365) | 2423 comments Mod
Soo...V...are you a teacher?? lol


message 42: by V. (new)

V. Pain (Vpain) | 63 comments LMAO by blood yes lol


message 43: by Carl (new)

Carl Waters (carl_waters) | 81 comments Interesting conversation you guys are having.

But, the African aspect of the original question wasn't addressed.

Londa, consider checking out some Sword and Soul books for some sorta African historical fiction. Examples include:
Woman of the Woods by Milton J. Davis Woman of the Woods or
Imaro by Charles R. Saunders Imaro


message 44: by Londa (new)

Londa (londalocs) | 1526 comments Thanks for the recommendations Carl!


message 45: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 1078 comments For those who were looking for books on the Post Civil War West - this book is currently free on Amazon

Bound for the Promise-Land by Troy D. Smith


message 46: by Carl (new)

Carl Waters (carl_waters) | 81 comments Beverly wrote: "For those who were looking for books on the Post Civil War West - this book is currently free on Amazon

Bound for the Promise-Land by Troy D. Smith"


Just downloaded it. Thanks!


message 47: by Lulu, The Book Reader who could. (new)

Lulu (lulureads365) | 2423 comments Mod
I'd like to read a book (fiction or non-fiction) from the perspective of one of the U.S. Marshals who was assigned to protect her.


message 48: by Kendric (new)

Kendric Boykin (new_writer24) | 47 comments There are not many HF books about the slave owners wife stands up to her husband for cheating with a slave.


message 49: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 1078 comments Kendric wrote: "There are not many HF books about the slave owners wife stands up to her husband for cheating with a slave."

Not sure what you mean by "cheating" with a slave.

There have been stories where the wife "stands up" to her husband but it was not always necessarily as blatant as what we see in modern time.

But this is not necessarily an easy way to answer the question.

It was customarily that marriages were for business purposes - love would be a side benefit.

Women had no rights at this time - even if it was her father's property that the husband now has control over. So the woman would be the one to have the most to lose if she pushed her husband to far.

Women were often just as cruel or crueler as slave owners.

Women could/did stand up to their husband by selling away the children from the slave, selling away the slave woman or members of her family, could whip/torture the slave woman or her children/family members, etc.

It was the custom at this time for women to turn a blind eye to these issues - most of the women grew up in households where this was accepted so they learned from mothers/others how to tell with this situation.

Also since many did consider "slaves" to be human or in the same class as themselves - it made it easier to "accept" that their husbands were satisfying their "base" needs.


message 50: by Kendric (new)

Kendric Boykin (new_writer24) | 47 comments About slaves who used clever tricks to escape slavery.


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