By Aspasia Celia Tsampas
The following article appeared in the February 2020 edition of The Campus.
Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
Author of critically acclaimed Brown Girl Dreaming and Another Brooklyn, Jacqueline Woodson is back again with another poignant hit. Red at the Bone is a story for the ages. With powerful prose, Woodson uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of the protagonist’s life. This novel is contemporary fiction with a strong hint of literary criticism, exploring what it means to be young and black in America.
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
Girl, Woman, Other is a series of short stories following the lives and struggles of twelve different, yet similar characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends, and lovers, across the country and through the years. Evaristo is known for weaving her prose and poetry together in a beautiful melody, and this contemporary twist is no different. Evaristo presents a new kind of history, a celebratory and dynamic one, for women of color.
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Author of the 2016 smash hit, Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead returns with another historic novel. This time, Whitehead flashes forward to Jim Crow-era Florida. The Nickel Boys follows this period of American history through the lives of two boys sentenced to a reform school as the Civil Rights movements begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee. Based on a true story, the powerful narrative of this novel will surely impact any reader.
White Negroes: When Cornrows Were in Vogue…and Other Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation by Lauren Michele Jackson
In her first book, essayist Lauren Michele Jackson hits the cultural criticism scene with White Negroes. Weaving together narrative, scholarship, and critique, Jackson reveals why cultural appropriation — something that has become embedded in our daily lives — deserves serious attention. She exposes a new generation of whiteness thriving at the expense and borrowed ingenuity of black people and explores how these actions intensify racial inequality.