Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This Strange New Feeling

Written by: Julius Lester

First line: Jakes Brown didn’t know what to think that July morning when he saw the young black man waiting for him by the toolshed.

Why you should read this book: Based on actual historical accounts and fleshed out by the hand of the storyteller, this book describes the heartbreak, difficulty, and triumphs of young lovers who are also slaves in the antebellum American south. Of the three stories, two have happy endings, and the happiness of those endings seems dependent on the characters’ understanding that there can be no peace for a black person without a strong drive to renounce the entire institution of slavery and make ones way to the north. No mere romance novel, this book discusses the love of two people for one another against a backdrop of rape, violence, degradation, and socially acceptable abuse.

Why you shouldn’t read this book: You don’t get why your neighbors keep begging you to take down that Confederate flag.

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