One of my goals for 2015 is to get back to my roots and read more books. As the great Frederick Douglass said, ‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.’ Books are a passion – nay, an obsession of mine and always have been. I grew up in the library and my parents fostered my love of reading and learning. With books I have lived a thousand lives, found myself absorbed in different worlds, and learned immensely more than I could have otherwise. So put up your feet, grab a good paperback and let’s get reading!
Written in free verse, Jacqueline Woodson’s ‘Brown Girl Dreaming’ is a memoir of her childhood, a collection of passages about growing up between her father’s Ohio and her mother’s South Carolina in the sixties and then eventually moving part of the family to New York. I don’t normally read books written in free verse, but I’m glad the book synopsis encouraged me to pick it up from the library:
“Jacqueline Woodson, one of today’s finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.”
This book is powerful and moving. A must-read for everyone of every race, religion and gender. Everyone who reads it will get something different out of it. Everyone who reads it will remember a part that spoke to them personally. It is deeply personal- Woodson’s recounting of the journey towards her eventual vocation and voice. It is, to put it plainly, a work of art. It is incredible.
Click here to see my goals for 2015