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.
Founded in 2007 by a group of writers, editors and booksellers,
ringShout: A Place for Black Literature
is dedicated to recognizing, reclaiming and celebrating
excellence in contemporary literary fiction and nonfiction
by black writers in the United States.
Why the name ringShout?
One of the first dances created by
Africans brought to America as slaves
in the 1700s, the ring shout was a
sacred circle dance of salvation that enabled
a community to find perserverance,
provided solace and rejuvenation,
and sheltered many early nuances of
Africanist culture and practice. (Adapted from Thea Nerissa Barnes,
The Association of Dance of the African Diaspora Dictionary 2005-2006)
We hope that our ringShout can be the same for serious, skilled black writers creating ambitious fiction. We also want to assert our centrality to all facets of the American experience, literary and otherwise.