Black History Month Day 1.
“I wish I’d a knowed more people. I would of loved ’em all. If I’d a knowed more, I would a loved more”. — Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison.
The is similar to the quote I live by… “You are the people you meet and the books you read.”
A stat that I constantly share: 40% of all white people do not have any black friends. 55% of white people have one black friend. The average black person has eight white friends.
Over the next 28 days I am going to provide you with 28 books that I think all Americans should read. These are books that I have read. I took their photo on the first luxury item I ever bought (or what I believed at the time was a luxury item!) after graduating law school: a leather chair with a matching ottoman from the Pottery Barn, 20 years ago.. It is the place where I have read, by now, hundreds of books.
With the Arizona Legislature making voting difficult, if I was to jump on their bandwagon: I would require every American to read at least one novel by Toni Morrison and pass a test regarding the book before they would be allowed to vote. Toni Morrision is the best American author: full stop (the only other person I will entertain who might be better than her is John Stienbeck.). Song of Solomon is a book that my mother read, my father read, my brother read, and I have read. When my daughter becomes of age, she will read it as well.
The plot point involving the “Seven Days” is the devil on the shoulder that black America continues to resist, but for how long? Toni had an ability to write in lyrical prose. The Biblical story of Solomon is about lament, and she captures that feeling in her novel. Her writing style is difficult. Reading one of her novels is hard. Yet, no author is able to tell stories that are so intimate about what it means to be an American than her. She is an American author. Her stories are deeply American.
If you have never read Toni, do yourself a favor and read this American treasure. She is a gift we gave the world and she proved that an education from a HBCU (Howard U.) is a first-rate education that prepares you for the world, contrary to what some might have you believe.
“If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.”
- Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison.
#BlackHistoryMonth 1 of 28.