How are y’all holding up during this quarantine? I hope you’re taking this moment in time to do all of the things you say you never have time for during your regular week flow. I’ve been gardening, making videos, exercising and, you guessed it right, READING! I’ve been making my way through my new book purchases and some oldies I’ve had in my storage bins full of books. Just so you know, I will keep making these after every read this year because people are still recommending books to be and asking me, “What are you reading?” when I’m in public. I hope that you’ve been reading more, even if it’s about ‘ole corona in news articles. Practice safe distancing!
So today, I’m talking about a book I just finished two days ago called, “Coffee Will Make You Black” by April Sinclair. I picked this one up in February, didn’t start reading it until March. Being in-between jobs at the time that I checked it out, I had to postpone reading this one an entire month. Honestly, there’s a reason you age out of some books! This is one of those adult books. How did I end up with this one?
I stumbled upon “Coffee Will Make You Black” in Inglewood Library while returning a checkout item. I didn’t plan on checking anything out that day but I ended up walking over to their wall of “Black History” picks. The title was catchy enough for me to pick it up BUT it was a huge disappointment. I would not recommend this book unless you are in middle school.
Set in the late 50s to late 60s, I would say it is a great way for middle school aged students to learn about Black History moments back then. It will give those students a sense of what it was like for black entrepreneurs during the riots and everyday blacks attending school given the strained race relations with whites whom sometimes served as nurses and teachers at predominately black schools. Also, it offers great contrast about how the North offered a different, yet still limited, experience for blacks in American then. Even with all of those factors, I still did not like the book. I felt like I was reading something I would have appreciated a bit more ten years ago, maybe. I was reading Tolstoy and Walter Dean Myers back then so…
Never one to lead with criticism only, there were some simple quotes I pulled from “Coffee Will Make You Black” that you may find some use in, as well.
“Growing up reminded me a little bit of Hide and Go Seek. When it was your time to grow up, Nature said, ‘Here I come, ready or not.’ And Nature could always find you” (Sinclair 51).
“We have an old Jamaican saying, ‘Every tub must sit upon its own bottom,’ Jean. You can’t go through life following behind other people; you have to have a mind of your own” (Sinclair 57).
“‘I sho hope that Dr. King was right, chile.’ ‘What do you mean, Grandma?’ ‘He said he might not get there with us. But we as a people will get to the Promised Land.’” (Sinclair 145).
“My yoga teacher says praying is talking to God but meditation is listening to God” (Sinclair 242).
“She said some dude asked Michelangelo how he knew how to sculpt David…He just chipped away at everything that wasn’t David” (Sinclair 242).
Until next time, go read!
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Remember “What Am I Reading?” is devoted to literacy awareness. Encourage others to read. The world depends on it! Share what you’re reading with me in the comments below or tag me in your current reads on my socials @UrbanThreads615 everywhere.
*If you need help learning to read, visit Nashville Adult Literacy Council (NALC) (http://nashvilleliteracy.org). They love teaching literacy. For more information, visit their homepage or office at Nashville Adult Literacy Council (http://nashvilleliteracy.org).*