This post will be updated with books that I believe are vital to learning more about the world in which we live. Each title will have a short description, an overview of its current relevance to our world, and a link to a local book shop that has said book in stock or has the ability to get it.
Not only must we educate ourselves but we must also get our recourses from locally owned locales if we are going to gain the widespread awareness needed to incite real change.
If you or someone you know in your community owns a small book shop, please reach out and I will direct anyone who reads this there the next book I review. Thanks all!
1. Black No More (1931) by George S. Schuyler – 11/1/2020, edited 3/3/2021 – A satirical look at 1930s America, in which a distinguished doctor has come up with a procedure to turn darker pigmentations of skin lighter. Fundamentally, this novel questions the meaning of Whiteness and Blackness and finds its inherent nonexistence in Nature; it even goes further to present us with evidence of the inception of these ideas on American soil. When much of marginalized society sees the relatively cheap cost of the procedure, they take advantage of the opportunity for a better and more respectable way of living, for certainly that would be the only factor in dealing with a history of hierarchical dominance…the skin tone. Of course, we quickly see through our narrator, a participant in the program to appear lighter and More White. We quickly discover that in essence it’s an issue of class awareness. The epilogue does a nice job of punctuating that reality when the next generation and onward of a generally lighter pigmented society is many begin to trend towards tanning and making their skin appear darker.
Schuyler also does a fantastic job building characters around real civil rights activists of the time. He was able to create a breathing dialogue of the time which added reverberations to this alternate piece of historical fiction.
Let me know if you end up reading this and what you think of Schuyler’s writing!