Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

It's that time of the year that we've come to know as the "holiday season". Every time you turn around, there's some holiday or another to celebrate.

There's Christmas, Chanukah and Kwaanza, New Year... There's something for almost everyone. I don't really celebrate any holidays, but I don't really "not celebrate" them either, if that makes any sense. Case in point: For Christmas I went to my aunt's house for dinner, but I didn't do any Christmas shopping, send any personal (or mass) text messages wishing anyone a Merry Christmas, or really do much of anything that I've been trained to associate with the holiday.

I did, however, begin to reflect upon the holiday season as a whole and I did become curious about holidays in general. I started thinking about what I've been trained to think versus what I actually think and thought that I should probably do some reading. So I took to doing a google search for some type of literature that could help me put things into perspective.

So far I've come up with two titles:

The most interesting title of all is Santa's Kwaanza, by Garen Eileen Thomas. I ordered this at amazon.com. An African American Santa returns to the North Pole after Christmas and he and his family celebrate Kwaanza from the Twenty-sixth of December through the first week of January. A very creative holiday story with fun illustrations.

The other title that I ordered is Making Room In The Inn: Christmas Hospitality Through An African American Experience. I could only find this story on one site: http://www.c28.com/shopping/productdetails.asp?recordid=100229&adid=GBase. This is an Advent study celebrating Christmas traditions from an African American family's perspective.

I think the holiday season is great because in this country there are so many places that are closed and there are so many people who get time off from work in order to celebrate. Whether or not you observe any holidays, you can still see family and/or friends just because they'll likely have free time. That's something to celebrate.

Happy Reading!

Monday, December 13, 2010

For Colored Girls??

I finally had the opportunity to get to the movies and see For Colored Girls. I don't know how to begin to describe how the movie made me feel. I haven't actually been able to decide whether or not I liked it.

I felt like there were far too many intense issues crammed into a tiny movie. Before I had a chance to really live with and think about anything happening that I felt should have been significant, I couldn't because there was something equally heavy happening in another scene.

Don't get me wrong; the actresses were quite brilliant... Then again, that was to be expected. I confess that I have not yet read the play, but if it is anything like the movie, I'm not sure that I need to read it. I'm going to read it anyway, though.

The movie left me feeling uneasy and anxious. And I couldn't help wondering why this was supposed to be for colored girls. Yes, all of these situations are things that happen all of the time. But did they really need to be happening all at once? Probably not.

Not to mention I really was not crazy about the way that the men were portrayed in this movie. Everyone has issues, but again, it was too much.

As I said, I'm not sure whether or not I liked it. I'm leaning towards no, but I'm willing to watch it a second time just to be fair.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Long Way Gone

It was very difficult to choose a book to pass along, but I read an awesome memoir recently. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by by Ishmael Beah. From the very first line I am completely invested in the story.

Beah chronicles his life as a child in Sierra Leone and discusses what it was like being a soldier at the age of twelve. I must warn you: there were many instances while reading this book when I had to stop reading because I was overwhelmed. In other words, I cried. A lot. You can read an excerpt by following this link: http://www.alongwaygone.com/media/ALongWayGone_Excerpt.pdf .

I'm going to give this book to one of my co-workers who I've started a miniature book club with. I think she'll read it. And you should too.

Happy reading!