The beginning of the year is an exciting time. Although we are in the second month of the new year, we are also at the height of Black History Month. I made a strong commitment to study the cultural significance and contributions of Black folks have made to this country and our culture. One way I intended to do that was in my approach to reading. I have a deep desire and calling to uncover the power and beauty of classic African American Literature through a more slow and thoughtful approach to reading.
My slow reading approach would be to seek intellectual, cultural, and historical bodies of work that would lend more insight to my own creative reclamation and redemption work. I don't seek to read self help or any marketing books for business. It isn't my goal to keep up with the literary trends of reading a book a month. Honestly, I'd rather disregard that.
Instead, I would rather read one wholesome great read over some time. Frolicking with the words and imagination of fictional black characters of the South while sitting on the river reading is what my heart looks forward to. I'd like to parallel the stories of great migration to my genealogy practice searching for and studying the historical context of how my ancestors went from the Carolinas to Oklahoma and then Utica, MS. I want to pay reverence to the writers who defied literary standards, and who wrote for black people, and our culture. Also, give myself the privilege of taking my time so that I can study, reflect, and revere.
Although I've read classics like Their Eyes Were Watching God, I didn't read the book initially with this aspiration. My prayer is that at the end of this year after reading some of the African American classics and informative pieces like The 1619 Project, The Warmth of Other Suns, and King's Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos or Community, I have an even greater appreciation for helping my work expand.