So I stopped by the Borders and the Barnes & Noble in search of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Flirt. Didn’t find it. Not in stock. My mom did me a favor and ordered it for me, even offered to buy it. I decided I would wait until it came out in paperback. I’m not sure I want to give Hamilton anymore of my money.
Its nothing against her as a person. Its just that I’m tired of people hailing [presumably] white female writers like they are the first people in history on the face of the planet to ever have written something that is considered feminist or revolutionary. I’m tired of supporting a market that promotes that kind legacy. As far as I’m concerned Black women are the original badass heroines have and always will top out Anita Blake and all her copycats and predecessors. And that’s real in real life for ya.
What really ticked me off about the situation is that I changed my mind about wanting Hamilton’s Flirt and tried to gift exchange it in my request for Fierce Angels: The Strong Black Women in American Culture and Life by Sheri Parks.
My mama wouldn’t get me this book instead; she went ahead and ordered the Hamilton–saying the Parks was more expensive. I couldn’t help but see the situation as metaphor for something deeper and more complicated. Can’t read about real Black women written about by a Black woman but she would pay for me to read about fake mixed race women invented by a [presumably] white woman.
DISCLAIMER: Quite frankly I don’t think most of them are worth it. What are Black writers and entertainers telling their communities? I’m embarrassed and pissed off as hell because it doesn’t seem to be anything helpful and conducive to lasting change and growth. Still I have not read any of these books cover to cover. I still trust my own judgment even if its only at a glance.
+Book Jacket Reflections+
Fierce Angels: The Strong Black Women in American Culture and Life by Sheri Parks
A book about Black women and the “Strong Black Woman” stereotype. I have no problem with being “strong” but I do have a problem with being labeled as being able to endure anything so I was interested in what she had to say. I hope its not preachy or Third Wave feminist deconstructionist.
Disturbing the Peace: Black Culture and Police Power After Slavery by Bryan Wagner
Looks interesting and worth it….
Stop Being Niggardly: And Nine Things Black People Need to Stop Doing
Initial reaction: And I want you to call me “niggardly” on the cover of a book for what reason, Mrs. Karen Hunter? That’s too close to the N-word for me. Take it to someone who cares!
I generally tend not to act like most of the Black people that I know so most of the advice that I tend to get from Black folks giving the garden variety Black folk advice does not apply. I am a complicated person and cannot be covered in right or nine steps.
Black people need “tough love” and firmness sometimes–I admit that. But after being subjected to a public that humiliates, devalues, and tortures them psychologically at every turn, they need to be reconditioned to a certain degree of humane care and acknowledgment. The damage that has been done to the Black community can never completely be undone but telling them to stop being “niggardly” and to not take brush aside highly publicized racism like Don Imus and his “nappy headed hos” comment and (Hunter would probably say this is “words will never hurt me” to) the Dr. Laura situation. The harmful ways in which whites treat and address Black peoples is not less important than anything else.
Reading snippets from Hunter’s book gave me the message that she blames Black people for their troubles and I’m totally not interested in that narrow explanation. (Although I do agree that Black people tend to mostly purchase things that make other people rich outside of their communities.)
Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love Relationships Intimacy & Commitment by Steve Harvey
Second time I’ve seen this book. Pisses me off every time I see it. Only 92 so far people on Amazon.com gave this book the review it deserves. Why do I want a Black man to tell me how to think like a man when I don’t like how men think anyway for the most part? Steve Harvey–like so many men, you need to stop trying to play Black women by giving them your version of advice. STOP TRYING TO CONTROL BLACK WOMEN!!! BLACK WOMEN–STOP LETTING THEM!!! And that’s for real.
Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny by Hill Harper
I don’t know. I’m skeptical. I tend to think that men are NOT female. They are socialized differently and anything that is not typically masculine does not survive that socialization. A book that is geared towards young women and offering advice to them should be very political and almost militantly written and edited and contributed to women and knowledgeable politically feminist males and the like.