Saturday, July 4, 2020

June Wrap Up: Reading While Black

June was probably one of the worst month's I've had emotionally in a long time. After witnessing the murder of George Floyd and then continuing to hear about the atrocities done to the black body, I was not in a good place mentally. As a Black woman living in America I have experienced by fair share of racism but in this moment in time it feels like our Blackness is at the forefront of conversation, as it should be, but at the same time I just want to be able to live my life without the fear of walking outside, being confronted by the police, or being harassed for the color of my skin. I am proud to be a Black woman and it took me a long time to feel this way, because how do you feel proud in a society that constantly tells you that you are a second class citizen. But I know I can finally say (and I've felt this way for a while now) I am proud to be Black.

On top of all this we are still in the middle of a GLOBAL PANDEMIC, so yes my mental health during these past few months, especially this last month, has taken a nose dive. But at the same time I'm trying to not be so hard on myself about the lack of places I may feel my life is going or the lack of reading I did in June, because the world is literal shit right now. I will not accept that the world will be shit forever because I'm determined to see change in politics, legislature, on the city and state level, in society, and definitely in book publishing. 

Over the last month I have gained A LOT of new followers and I feel like I've almost been thrust into this new level of Instagram responsibility. At the same time, I've also lost a lot of followers. I could physically feel the height of the movement in the book community through the engagement in my posts and then the "return to normal" that happened when following a Black bookstagrammer was no long a thing you felt you had to do in the moment or maybe when my content got too controversial, or maybe for no reason at all. But I need people to remember that being Black is not a fad because we live in this skin everyday so we can't just "turn it off" or "return to normal." Black Stories Matter. Black Voices Matter. AND BLACK LIVES MATTER. They always have and they always will. My life matters! So I do want to thank everyone who has stuck around, or shouted me out during this time and is actually invested in and engaging with my content. 

I started this bookstagram because I LOVE to read! I think I got lost for a second there in what it really means to be an advocate for your community. I got caught up in doing more scrolling instead of reading. It's important to make sure I'm staying up to date on all the news and how I can help my community and all the voices who are struggling to be heard. I thought people were just here for the black book lists and once things "returned to normal" no one would care. and yes, honestly at times it feels like that, but I have to remember why I started all of this. Because I love to read and share my love for books. I love getting books out there and talking about them with people. So, that is exactly what I'm going to do. You're going to see me doing more reading and book updates because I do have things to say and opinions to give, but I have to remember at the forefront of all of my work is doing the actual reading. 


Warcoss - ⭐️⭐️ ⭐️
I finished this book in the early hours of June 1st so even though I wanted to focus on Black Voices and stories for June, I still have to count this for June. I really wanted to love this book but unfortunately it just didn't do it for me. I was also coming off the high of SLAY (and we all know how much I loved Slay) so honestly this book probably never stood a chance. I liked the storyline and the diverse cast, but I just felt like it was just too slow. I didn't feel any action and that's why it probably took me almost a whole month to read this book. With that said I will be reading Wildcard because I already own it and I'm a completist in certain aspects of my life. 

Hunger - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This book was an open and honest account of Roxane Gay's body and how she inhabits that body. The trauma that has happened to that body and how it has effected her entire life. To me, this is what vulnerability looks like at its most raw. 

Black Girl Unlimited - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I don't even know how to put my thoughts in order to describe my love for this book. I actually started this book at the beginning of the month as a buddy read with Jess (@jessreadit). This book took a little longer than I would've wanted. I read half of the book at the beginning of the month and then fell into a horrible reading slump. And it definitely had nothing to do with this book. This book is beautiful, heartbreaking, triumphant, and magical. I'm not usually a book crier but I was basically in tears at the end of this book and after I read the last sentence I hugged the book and just laid there. This book is literal Black Girl Magic. Echo, who the story is about, has a rough upbringing and goes through insanely traumatic things when she is in High School, and yet she still wants to use her power for good. She is determined to help the the people around her create a better life for themselves. Echo is strength and she is triumph. To fight against all odds to create a better future for yourself and the people around you is beautiful. Even thought at times this story is hard to read because it's so raw, this is always a story about the relentless magic and strength of Black Women.

The Burning : Massacre, Destruction, and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 - ⭐️💫
This book triggered me a lot. I had a lot to say in my Instagram stories about it as well as the review I wrote. My biggest problems were with the language the author used and the way events were presented. Please read my full review here.

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