My Book Reviews List

Character BuildingCharacter Building by Booker T. Washington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A must-read for those looking for practical solutions to racial upliftment or for those wanting to know what the black community could do to help themselves. Although many of the industrial and agricultural solutions he offers are outdated, it’s still fruitful to see his perspective and how concerned leaders of today could make adjustments to his suggestions for this period in time. In addition to the emphasis on industrial education, Washington offers a practical guide for building character and acquiring happiness. This book is not for the faint of heart. It is brutally blunt, and at times stereotypical about the shortcomings of the black community during his day and it outlines what Washington felt was necessary to help the race develop in all facets of life. I see why W.E.B. Du Bois, an agitator, was upset with Washington’s accommodationist stance on race relations. Washington was more focused on development rather than protest. It’s a politically incorrect guide in a few sections, folks. After all, this book was published in 1902. But all in all, it helped me learn some of the things I could do to develop in my own life and in whatever I set out to do. So I say, CHARACTER BUILDING will make you think for sure. What more can you ask?

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The Autobiography of Miss Jane PittmanThe Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A moving and courageous work that explores the realities of slavery, segregation, and the Civil Rights movement from the perspective of a woman who lived through it all. Miss Jane Pittman lived a long triumphant life but didn’t fail to teach the art of resilience and inspiration in the midst of tragedy.

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My Folks Don't Want Me to Talk about Slavery: Twenty-One Oral Histories of Former North Carolina SlavesMy Folks Don’t Want Me to Talk about Slavery: Twenty-One Oral Histories of Former North Carolina Slaves by Belinda Hurmence
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great primary source for readers who are interested in knowing what slavery was like from real people who experienced it. No two stories were entirely alike. It surely opened my awareness and understanding. When I read the accounts of former slaves who thought slavery was horrendous, that was no surprise. But when I read a small handful that had a positive perspective on slavery, I was flabbergasted.

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Katelyne Parker

Katelyne Parker, the B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree for Literary Fiction, Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Finalist, and 2017 Illumination Book Award Winner, was born in 1972 in Brooklyn, New York, but came of age in south Florida. After she graduated from Barry University, she worked as an educator for over fifteen years. Her award-winning debut novel, HOSANNA, is a captivating story that will confront the mind and inspire the soul. Today, she lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and son. Learn more about Katelyne on her website and follow her on Goodreads, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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