Add Books to Your Holiday Gifting and Beyond
Add Books to Your Holiday Gifting and Beyond The post Add Books to Your Holiday Gifting and Beyond appeared first on The Network Journal.
I’ve heard it sneered, “If you want to hide something from Black people, put it in a book.”
Nothing can be further from the truth. That’s a statement of utter ignorance, and, as the saying goes, “where ignorance is bliss, it’s folly to be wise.”
Much has been said about the personal and social importance, value, and impact of books.
Writer and civil rights activist James Baldwin said this: “It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.”
Novelist Walter Mosley declared, “A peasant that reads is a prince in waiting.”
And Oprah Winfrey, talk show host, producer, actress, philanthropist—and author—affirmed, “Books were my pass to personal freedom.”
Black folks—men, women, children; young, old and in-between—do read. That’s why adding books to your gift list, not only for end-of-year holiday gifting but also for festive and celebratory occasions throughout the year, is a really good idea.
The African American Literature Book Club, the largest website showcasing books by Black writers, carries some 20,000 titles covering a century of Black writing in multiple genres from around the world. The titles—available for purchase on the site—include such lists as 150 all-time favorite African American children’s books, and even the top 100 African American children’s books published this year.
You’ll find my own 5 books there as well: Novels “Middle Ground” and “The Guyana Contract;” and non-fiction titles “Africa Strictly Business: The Steady March to Prosperity,” the Walter E. Massey memoir, “In the Eye of the Storm: My Time as Chairman of Bank of America During the Country’s Worst Financial Crisis,” and the inspirational “Lifted! 150 Quotes that Motivate Highly Successful Black Women,” published this year.
Pen America reports that nationwide, Black books have been disproportionately targeted for banning. AALBC links to the report, shows off the covers of banned Black books and makes them available for purchase at The Black Books They Don’t Want You To Read.
A dear friend of mine, whom I have known since elementary school, established a tradition of gifting books by Dr. Seuss to her children and grandchildren. I’m proud to say she has added my book, “Lifted!” to her gifting.
Gift books and gift them often. As science fiction and fantasy author Diane Duane says, “Reading one book is like eating one potato chip.”