Sunday, March 8, 2009

Literature for Women's History Month

APOOO All-time Favorites for Women's History Month
March is Women’s History Month and a dialogue came up among APOOO members about what books we would choose among our all-times favorites list. -- Some of us needed clarification of what books qualifies to be on the list. Does is just have to be a book written by a woman? Or about a woman? Does it have to be historical? Just what? The conclusion was that everyone would define the criteria for themselves.
There were so many books on our All-times Favorites list and I reviewed each one that I had read and deemed why it made my Women’s History Month literature list. Below is my list and a brief explanation why each book qualifies to be on this list.

72 Hour Hold by Bebe Moore Campbell- ground breaking; brought mental illness to the African American community forefront

And on the Eighth Day She Rested by JD Mason- survivor, coming into her own

Angel of Harlem by Kuwana Hausley- historical fiction about a New York’s first black woman doctor

Cane River by Lalita Tademy- historical; women surviving slavery, racism, and slavery

Coldest Winter Ever by Sistah Souljah - ground breaking- girl child lost

Color Purple by Alice Walker - classic; women survivors, strong women of early century

Conception by Kalisha Buckhanon- young woman coming-of-age against odds

Crawfish Dreams by Nancy Rawles- matriarch of large Creole family keeps family together

Darkest Child by Delores Phillips- What poverty and racism and lack of education does to black women; survivor

Daughter by asha bandele- explores mothers and daughters relationship in the deepest way

Disappearing Acts by Terry McMillan - woman learning to survive despite heartbreak- women’s fiction

Douglass Women by Jewel Parker Rhodes- powerful; another I will survive

Freshwater Road by Denise Nicholas- historical; young woman coming into her own during civil rights

Fruit of the Lemon by Andrea Levy- young woman learns the meaning of her roots; awakening

Gal by Ruthie Bolton - Survivor story if there ever was one

Getting Mother’s Body by Suzan-Lori Parks- ground breaking; hecka funny

Hottentot Venus by Barbara Chase Riboud- historical; a testament to racism and survival

Hunger by Erica Turnipseed- learning to get beyond the pain and becoming a real woman

Jump at the Sun by Kim McLarin- finding oneself when the world is swallowing you up

Justus Girls by Slim Lambright- girlfriends, the 60s, and survival

A Love Noire by Erica Turnipseed- loving oneself and finding self

The New Moon’s Arm by Nalo Hopkinson- women and midlife, menopause

No Place Safe by Kim Reid- autobiographical; living through history of mass murder of black children

October Suite by Maxine Clair- 50s era woman and how society, class, and racism shaped educated black women

Orange Mint and Honey by Carleen Brice - another mother/daughter dynamics; getting through pain

Passport Diaries by Tamara Gregory- throwing cares to the wind and doing your thing

Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown- autobiographical; survival

Playing My Mother’s Blues by Valerie Wilson Wesley another mother daughter, secrets and lies and how the past shapes women's circumstances

The Prisoner’s Wife by asha bandele- ground breaking memoir- why an educated, intelligent woman would marry a prisoner

The Professor’s Daughter by Emily Raboteau- finding oneself in a color conscious world

Push by Sapphire- survivor classic

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry- how women hold families together

Rhythms by Donna Hill - historical coming-of-age

Shifting Through Neutral by Bridgett Davis- daughter/father story- how having a father shapes you

Song Yet Sung by James McBride- I am woman slave survivor

The Street by Ann Petry- a mother's love defies poverty and racism

Unburnable by Marie-Elena Jones- finding self; discovering roots

Upstate by Kalisha Buchanon- coming of age of young woman at crossroads of life

When Did You Stop Loving Me by Veronica Chambers- daughter searching for elusive father

When She Was White by Judith Stone- the politics of race on a young woman who didn't have a choice in Apartheid South Africa

Who Does She Think She Is by Benilde Little - I'm going to do it my way; loving self

A Woman’s Worth by Tracy Price-Thompson- the title says it all

March 8, 2009


Phyllis said...

What a wonderful list Dera! I concur wholeheartedly with your choices and I love your justifications for why they are included. You've inspired me to do the same for my blog -- I'll reference yours and try to make some additions...Great job -- I can tell you put thought into this exercise.

Yasmin said...

Great job...hopefully next week I will get my list done.

Beverly said...

Wonderful list -- saw a couple of books that I have not read and since they are on your list - I will put on my TBR list.
All on your list that I have read are great reads to cuddle up with and lose yourself.
You will laught, you will cry but one thing is for sure - all of those stories will become a part of you.

Thanks for sharing

Genesis said...

Great list! I wish I had time to participate.

Angelia... said...

Great list Dera,
I have read almost all of them, the two by Kalisha Buckhanon I have yet to I need to order them...thanks!


Dera Williams said...

Thanks Phyllis. This was fun.

Yas, looking forward to your list.

Beverly, I couldn't believe I read all these books except for a couple.

Darnetta, I hope things slow down for you.

Angelia, you will love both Buckhanon's books. Well written.