Black History Month Spotlight

Our final spotlight title for Black History Month this year is The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas.

Among many accolades, this debut novel was nominated for both the National Book Award and the Kirkus Prize, and a host of other awards.

  • The Hate You Give explores complicated community relationships in the aftermath of the police shooting of an unarmed black youth.
  • This is my ‘must read’ pick of all of the (American) Young Adult titles from last year.
  • If you have a Netflix account, then I highly recommend that you watch the Netflix documentary 13th after reading this.  They are brilliant companion pieces.

Read the reviews at:



Black History Month Spotlight

Other Tongues: Mixed Race Women Speak Out, edited by Adel DeRango Adem and Andrea Thompson.

  • Other Tongues: Mixed Race Women Speak Out is an anthology of poetry, spoken word, fiction, creative non-fiction, spoken word texts, as well as black and white artwork and photography, explores the question of how mixed-race women in North America identify in the twenty-first century.
  • Contributions engage, document, and/or explore the experiences of being mixed-race, by placing interraciality as the center, rather than periphery, of analysis. (from Inanna website)
  • the editors foster an unusual dialogue between their contributors that emphasizes the important links among ‘real life,’ art, politics, and the academy. A strength of the collection is that because it includes so many genres, it supplies various points of access to the complex subject of multiracialism within a single collection. (from Project Muse)

Learn more:


(And yes, this is the same Andrea Thompson who comes in to work with us here at ESA.  Andrea will be back again on April 12th, during Poetry Month.  Stay tuned for more details to follow.)

Black History Month Spotlight

Strange Fruit (Vol 1): Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History by Joel Christian Gil.

Each of the nine ‘chapters’ in this graphic anthology tells the story of an African American hero – or event – which is little known.  Each story ‘exemplifies success in the face of great adversity.’

Black History Month Spotlight

Blood: The Stuff of Life by Lawrence Hill

In this 2013 Massey Lecture…

  • Lawrence Hill offers a provocative examination of the scientific and social history of blood, and on the ways that it unites and divides us today. Blood: The Stuff of Life is a bold meditation on blood as an historical and contemporary marker of identity, belonging, gender, race, class, citizenship, athletic superiority, and nationhood. 

Listen, and watch, at the CBC Ideas website.



Black History Month Spotlight

Today’s spotlight feature shines a light on Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel ‘Beloved.’

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby.

Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. Her new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.

Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison. (GoodReads)



Black History Month Spotlight

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

From the publisher’s website:

  • New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and bodies, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she casts an insightful and critical eye on her childhood, teens, and twenties—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers into the present and the realities, pains, and joys of her daily life.
  • With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and authority that have made her one of the most admired voices of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to be overweight in a time when the bigger you are, the less you are seen. Hunger is a deeply personal memoir from one of our finest writers, and tells a story that hasn’t yet been told but needs to be.  

Read the reviews at:

Black History Month Spotlight

 Originally published in 1998, the dystopic novel Brown Girl in the Ring is eerily prophetic, presaging what would become of Detroit, Michigan as we moved into the new century.

The rich and privileged have fled the city, barricaded it behind roadblocks, and left it to crumble. The inner city has had to rediscover old ways–farming, barter, herb lore. But now the monied need a harvest of bodies, and so they prey upon the helpless of the streets. With nowhere to turn, a young woman must open herself to ancient truths, eternal powers, and the tragic mystery surrounding her mother and grandmother… She must bargain with gods, and give birth to new legends. (GoodReads)

Learn more about the author at Quill and Quire.