The Girl with Seven Names

I’ve noticed a pattern amongst the stories of oppressed people I have read (and the ones I’ve lived/seen firsthand): family is everything. When you have nothing else, you have your family. When your family is stripped or severed, you have the memory and the drive to reconnect with them or build anew. Reading a work…

September Bookend

As fast as the other months in this year have gone by, I shouldn’t be shocked by this at all, but somehow, someway, I’m still shooketh that Halloween has come and gone—and I still hadn’t written this bookend! How, Sway?! What happened to September?! OCTOBER?!?! Not that I need the time to come back, because…

The Hate They Gave Us in the Box Office

I know. I have been TERRIBLE with my blog over the last few weeks. There are only so many excuses that I can give y’all. But I’m back—for real this time. Mostly, I couldn’t contain myself after seeing the film, The Hate U Give, based on the novel of the same name by Angie Thomas…

August Bookend

Yes, I am back to being derelict with my monthly Bookends. But this time, I have a good excuse! … Not really. Wow, I’m so trash. It’s embarrassing that it took me this long to get this monthly bookend up, but here it goes. Plus, August was a month of trials (lawyer joke!) and tribulations,…

A Place for Us

I have a friend who doesn’t like sad movies. Once, he and I had a debate about the acting-driven film Fences, which I thought was a masterpiece that surely should have won the Oscar for Best Picture that year…but he didn’t like, because it was sad. Well, it sure as fuck wasn’t a happy movie. But…

Binti & Binti Home

Earlier this year, I started on my journey into the mind of Nnedi Okorafor with Book of Phoenix. That journey continued last month with Binti and Binti Home. Binti, the main character, is a Himba person from Earth who journeys, against the wishes of her family, off Earth to attend the ultra-prestigious Oomza university. Oomza…

Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy

Now that summer is over (lies!), I’m finally ready to reflect on my “summer reading.” By far the most fun part of my summer reading was the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy by Kevin Kwan. And it was capped off with the release of the Crazy Rich Asians film, which dropped last month! Can you say: So,…

Drown

I’ve been around the block long enough to know that everything I read is colored by the way I see the author. And I can’t look at Junot Díaz the same after the stream of stories regarding his behavior toward women erupted this year. He had long been one of my favorite authors, and while…

July Bookend

After having a slower June, July was a busier month for me readingwise. I finished the mammoth classic, The Fountainhead, which I undertook to read at the end of last month (and that is long overdue back to the library) out of sheer curiosity. What a doozy! I also finished the Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy…

The J to Halsey Street

I grew up being bounced up to my grandparents’ house in Bedstuy almost every summer from my southern homes spread between Savannah, GA and Montgomery, AL. Every trip was a shock of people, heat, cars, towers, bodegas, stoops, and family. My grandparents bought their brownstone thirty years ago, and since then have watched the world…