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Search tags: African-lit
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review 2018-01-05 14:12
Wants to tell too many stories.
The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through Afri... The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South - Michael W. Twitty

This was on my "must-read" list ever since I heard the promotional marketing well before it was released. Thought it would be a great read about the history of the American South through the lens of food. From slavery to Jim Crow as well as a look at the culture and how the food in this region is different from other places in the US. I had never heard of author Twitter but found his story very intriguing. Waited and waited for the library and finally, I had it. From tobacco (which is not a food but whatever) to sugar to and more it sounded like it could be in the vein of 'Soul Food' by Adrian Miller.

 

Alas, this book is not that. The marketing and synopsis also wasn't correct. It's really less about the food but Twitty's search for his family history and what he could find. From DNA to genealogy to family lore passed down from generation to generation. Yes, food is important and food plays a big role in his life. But it's really not a "journey through African American culinary history in the Old South" as the cover purports. It's really Twitty's story and family history with how food has played a role in it or what particular foods have a place in his life and why.

 

Overall, I think the book is a mess. It's interesting at first and sometimes Twitter has some really beautiful writing and or insightful things to say that I had not thought of (I'm not familiar or interested in tracing my family's genealogy or taking those DNA tests so this was interesting). But it gets lost by too many tracts, too many storylines, too many names of ancestors and/or family members. I do understand that there is a fascinating story to be told with a rich history behind it. But I was expecting a *culinary* history as the cover says and what the marketing said it would cover.

 

Still, I think there is tons of value for the book and Twitty sounds like an interesting guy. But as noted by other people, more resources would have been helpful: maps, maybe a family tree that highlights who he'd be talking about in a particular chapter (there's one at the beginning of the book but I didn't want to keep flipping back and forth), a glossary or index, etc. More recipes (there are some but they are scattered so you'll be disappointed if you think this resembles a cookbook in any way) would have been nice. 

 

I'm glad I waited for the library to purchase it for their collection and didn't buy it. It could be a good pick or gift for the right person but ultimately this fell short of my expectations/had misleading marketing. Would recommend perusing at the library/bookstore before deciding if this is a book you want to purchase or wait for it at the bargain bin.

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text 2017-12-26 08:22
Get The Best Out Of Your South Africa Holidays

Ever since the Miss World pageant took place in Sun City in the year 1992, there has been a growing interest in not only Sun City, but also South Africa in general. A growing number of people, especially from India are choosing South Africa holidays because they feel that there is a lot to explore there and that all members of the family will find something to enjoy.

 

The fact of the matter is that if you book your holiday to South Africa through any travel agent, you might not get the best experience possible. However, if you choose to book holiday through Airorganisers, you have little to worry about, because we are the leaders in South African holidays. Being one of the only travel agencies which has a tie-up with the South African tourism department, Airorganisers can ensure that you get to choose from the best south african tour and that you have the holiday of a lifetime.

 

Planning a holiday in a foreign country means a lot of work, because you need to think about visa, you would not know about the hotels or even which places to add to your itinerary. At such times, having the assistance of a good travel agent is of utmost importance because they can take away almost all the load off of your shoulders. From booking your tickets to arranging your visa, from booking you into the best hotels to ensuring that you enjoy the most enjoyable activities, you need to trust only Airorganisers, who are the finest travel agents for South Africa holidays.

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review 2017-11-27 22:10
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness - Michelle Alexander

This is an important read for social-justice-oriented folk. Michelle Alexander – a law professor and former ACLU attorney – lays out a cogent argument for mass incarceration and the drug war functioning as systems of racial control, comparable though not identical to prior systems such as Jim Crow. Although white and black Americans use drugs at similar rates, law enforcement treats it as a war only in poor communities of color, where it terrorizes people with military equipment and tactics, and seizes property as “forfeiture.” Harsh penalties, particularly for those drugs most associated with black people, mean more African-Americans are behind bars now than were imprisoned just before the Civil War. In some large cities, nearly half of African-American men are under penal control, whether in prison or on probation or parole. And once released, anyone with a criminal record is a legal target for discrimination in employment, housing, professional licensing, student loans, public benefits, etc. People with a felony record can be prevented from voting or sitting on a jury. And the effects extend beyond imprisonment and even discrimination, tarring the entire black community with the brush of criminality in many people’s minds, so that mass incarceration in many ways defines the relationship between African-American society and the rest of America.

My biggest doubt about the comparison, before reading the book, was how a system that bases punishment on individual actions could compare to blanket laws disenfranchising people based on race. Alexander doesn’t deal with the personal choice issue quite as directly as I would like, instead making the point that everyone breaks some law sometime, but black communities are the ones heavily targeted by law enforcement. Even if the only thing you do is speed a little, if you’re white you’ll probably never be stopped, but if black you’re liable to be pulled over and have the police “ask” to search your car for drugs (to most people it doesn’t sound much like asking with a uniform and a gun). If we pursued every violation of the law so aggressively in white communities, and treated white kids as potential criminals from a young age, and handed out sentences counted in decades for non-violent crimes commonly associated with white people, huge numbers of them would also wind up locked up, on probation or parole, or with criminal records. That wouldn’t happen, though, which is good evidence that something is going on here that isn’t just about keeping the community safe.

Obviously I’ve only covered the tip of the iceberg here; Alexander is thorough, and her writing clear and convincing, well-sourced through extensive endnotes but still readable for non-academics. Once I got into the book, the pages went by quickly. She says at the beginning that this book is intended for people who care about racial justice but tend to view racial disparities in the criminal justice system as regrettable side effects of societal racism rather than a system of disenfranchisement. As a member of the intended audience, I found this book eye-opening, creating a real perspective shift. I wish I could distill that into a review, but Alexander has already done the work, so I will just recommend the book instead.

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review 2017-11-07 06:01
Jillian
Jillian (Women of the Fellowship) - Julia A. Royston,Claude R. Royston

 

Title: Jullian
Author: Julia A. Royston
Publisher: Royston Publishing
Series: Women of the Fellowship Book 1
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five
Review:

"Jillian" by Julia A. Royston

My Thoughts.....

I felt this was a beautifully written romance that will give you food for thought long after the read. I really enjoyed how this author was able to give the reader such a good read that answered the questions for Jullian Forrester and that was ...'Where was her love?... When will it be her turn?...Will all be happy for you when the right man comes?' Well, all I will say all of the questions and a lots more will be answered as you pick up "Jillian" to see what all will go on in Jillian's life. As one will clearing see that she only wants what a lots of us wants and that is be be truly happy with the one you love. All of the characters were simply well developed, portrayed and just plain interesting helping make this story quite interesting where one will find it hard to put down until the end.

I will say this story even though was somewhat predictable in some areas it was still a good read and I liked how this author brought a Christian aspect into this story. I will say the ending did caught me by surprise ...just when you think you know someone do you really? I will say I had wished for a epilogue because there were some areas that I though may have needed to be addressed and I definitely wanted to learn more about the upcoming wedding. However, I think the readers will enjoy "Jullian" because I certainly did. Wow, if only one call find a Byron! Would I recommend this series? YES! I am also looking forward to reading the second and third books in 'The Women of Fellowship.'


 

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text 2017-10-16 05:31
Encouraging & Spiritually Challenging
More Christian Than African American - Kimberly Cash Tate

"We need to be more Christian than Afro-American" - Pastor George Thomas

 

This book has hit so many points about the things & areas God is growing me in, that I have been truly encouraged to be a better disciple. Not a better human or American or Woman, but a better representative of Christ himself! Walking as we are called by God, doesn't mean we neglect the plight nor oppression of those around us. It means that regardless of the issue, we align ourselves with God 1st! We should always be standing with God, regardless of how counterintuitive it seems to the world. I thoroughly enjoyed all the lessons, transparency & open hearted honesty of the journey for Kim.

 

If God is calling you deeper or you just need to know how you can walk the straight & narrow from right where you are, then this book is for you! Kim Cash Tate doesn't  use shame, guilt or condemnation to encourage you to let go of the labels/conformity of this world that hinder you. Instead, she is honest & loving in her personal story showing you how to follow God to the life He purposed for you!

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