Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just book love miscellany in general.
If Beale Street Could Talk [Amazon | Book Depository]
Written by James Baldwin Published by Vintage (2006, first published 1974) ISBN:9780307275936 (ISBN10: 0307275930) Bought a copy of the book. Book quote layouts via Canva.
This is the thirteenth book that I am reviewing / featuring as part of our #DecolonizeBookshelves2022 reading theme from my target list of 25 books (for this year) from This Is The Canon: Decolonize Your Bookshelf In 50 Books (Amazon | Book Depository).
My book log indicates that I started reading the book on September 03 and finished it on September 08.
This is an unforgettable love story that has been expertly woven into the sociopolitical climate of the 70s with the racial injustice, stark inequality, police violence – that felt staggeringly contemporary. Baldwin was a weaver of words, and I lost myself in the world that he created every night before falling asleep as I berated the problematic characters so vividly portrayed, and rooted for Tish in all her wide-eyed naiveté and her steadfast mother, Sharon, with a love that is even bigger than Puerto Rico and America combined.
Here are some of the quotes that stood out for me:
As I was reading the quote above, I wondered whether this is resignation as opposed to resilience; or some form of survival instinct that is almost defiant in its transitory, unpredictable nature. The insidious nature of this structural inequality is also perfectly captured in the quote below:
As a teacher educator reading the quote above, I feel complicit and responsible; mainly because this remains as true in 1974 as it is at the moment: the cycle of learned helplessness, the self-fulfilling prophecy among young children of color who are considered as outcasts or miscreants or too far gone for any kind of meaningful intervention. There is much work that needs to be done, clearly. Reading James Baldwin has reminded me of urgent pedagogies that need to be infused into today’s classrooms to make every child feel less invisible or unworthy in any way.
#DecolonizeBookshelves2022 Update: 94 out of target 100
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