My brother gifted me We Are the One’s We Have Been Waiting For by Alice Walker a few years ago for Christmas and I’ve reread it 3 times already. It’s a book that continues to teach you lessons and gives you many “ah ha” moments no matter the amount of times you read it. Different lessons. Different words, thoughts, phrases that stand out depending on what I’m personally going through at the time. The book is set up in essays or talks that Walker has given.
One essay in particular chapter 4 titled “All Praises to the Pause; The Universal Moment of Reflection” stood out to me when I read it this time probably because right now my life is in a giant pause and I’ve been reflecting a lot on things. While also just being in the weird space of the middle. Walker says ” This is a time when a major transition from confusion to order has been completed.” “As a culture we are not in the habit of respecting, honoring, or even acknowledged the pause.” She goes on to talk about meno-pause which literally is a natural pause and shift for women which is quite often feared and talked about in a negative way.
“To me, truth, that is to say reality, is the only infallible guide. I would define Truth as God.” This quote has a whole backstory to it about censorship (but I want ya’ll to go buy the book and read it yourself). It is taken from chapter 10 How It Feels to Know Someone Died for You: Living with the Voice of the Beloved. There are gems like this one all throughout this book and she speaks on a wide variety of topics from 9/11, war, birth, blackness, her dog Marley, nature, the Earth like I said its a book that keeps on teaching and if you’re interested in growth at all. Read this book and other Alice Walker books.
I also read My Hero Academia Vol 1 , its a manga (which I’m gonna assume ya’ll all know what that is). I was into manga heavily in school as early as elementary. I remember reading all the manga that the little library had in Manassas, VA. I remember Ranma 1/2, Marmalade Boy, Fruits Basket, Inuyasha. I grew up watching Full Metal Alchemist and Sailor Moon. I had a full collection of manga and a full collection of Shojo Comic that my mom paid a subscription for me for years. I bought my first manga in years a month ago and I honestly don’t know why I ever stopped buying or reading them. My Hero Academia, is a really good anime that I recently started watching but I just wanted to buy a manga so I can start collecting them again – my daughter might find the same comfort in them as I did.
The Breakbeat Poets Vol 1 : New American Poetry in the Age of Hiphop, I’m currently in the process of reading this 350 page volume of poetry from writers born in the Hip-hop Age. All the poets in this book were born from 1961-1999. I recently found out about this newer version of the breakbeat poets and was interested. I decided to get Vol. 1 and not Vol. 2 (the black girl magic one even though I plan on purchasing it next month after I’ve digested this Vol.) because hip-hop and music has always been special to me. An avid Tupcac lover. And a writer that is sonically driven and always listening to how words flow and push against each other in my own writing I thought this volume would have a lot to teach me and I haven’t been wrong.
Here are a couple of my favorite lines so far from poems:
"she fast food she buy one get one free"
from Quraysh Ali Lansana “crack house” There is a line from Joel Dias-Porter aka Dj Renegade “Turning the Tables (for Eardrum) that I really fell in love with.
"Lower it slowly
let it tongue
the record's ear"
There are also poems by some of my favorites like Jamila Woods, Danez Smith, and Safia Elhillo that I haven’t gotten to since I want to read the poems in the order they’re presented first.
These 3 books I am in awe of. I am in awe of writers and illustrators and artists. I am excited to start reading more and taking the time and space to sit and read. I know with things like social media its easy to forget that an art and learning tool as old as reading can and should still be relevant and I’m making it a priority to be still and pick up a book everyday.