What the hell is this? Seriously, what the hell?
I went searching for an annotated copy of Harriet Jacob‘s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl to send to someone as part of my book fairy project and came across this travesty. Incidents…is in the public domain, which means it often gets repackaged in e-book form and sold with different covers. I’m all for creativity but Jacobs was a Black American escapee from slavery who went through great torment and shared her story at great personal expense and trauma to herself. Giving her a book cover straight out of white slavery mythology is a bit gross. For reference, this is how the cover of the book has looked in the past. The bottom right image is an actual photo of Jacobs herself.
Enough of that, though. There are plenty of other variants of the book available on Amazon and Bookshop if you want to read it, so please patronize those printers/publishers instead.
That said, last week Black women were representin’ all over the bookish world and I love to see it.
- The lovely Maryse Conde gave an interview about her latest novel, The Wondrous and Tragic Life of Ivan and Ivana. I adore, her, I truly do, and I need to get back to the business of reading more of her work. The money quote:
“I was educated by parents who believed in France and were convinced France was the best place in the world. My father used to tell us: “Oh, la France est un beau pays”. But now I understand something they didn’t want to confront – we never talked about slavery or colonialism. I decided I was going to learn about subjects that were hidden from me. It is very difficult to have your own opinion and free thought when you are very young. You have to be older, strong enough and more mature to believe that you can change the world.”Maryse Conde
- No less than seven people sent me the link to this article over on the Equal Opportunity Facebook. It’s about Baltimore writer Bilphena Yahwon, who curates a truly awesome initiative called The Womanist Reader (also available on Instagram). The money quote:
“Black women are looking for language to describe the unique experiences that come with Black womanhood,” she says. “The Womanist Reader is helping so many contextualize what they are seeing and experiencing.”Bilphena Yahwon
- Over at McSweeney’s, Duke student Omolola Sanusi is cracking us all up with Signs You’re a Black Character Written By a White Writer. The sweet green spendable quote:
Your skin is like a chocolate latte with swirls of caramel drops.Omolola Sanusi
- Comic book creator Jamila Rowser has done us one better and opened up her own publishing company Black Josei Press, specializing in manga by and for Black women. Money quote:
[Interviewer:]Do you have a message you’d like to share with our readers on here during these times?
Rowser: Fuck the police.
Peace, fellow readers!
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