Monday, June 28, 2010

Queen Esther's Top 10 Summer Reading List

These books are what I'll be diving into as the weather gets warmer. I know a lot of this isn't light beach reading but frankly, there's no room for that in my life right now -- partly because I'm doing some serious research for my once-abandoned one person show about reparations called The Big Payback, and pushing towards finding a place where it can develop and grow. It's easy to find other ways to keep things light and fluffy when the heaviness and seriousness tends to dwell in the art I'm creating. Which is kind of where it belongs.

I must say, it's wonderful, to get lost in what I'm writing, day after day after day. There are moments that stretch into hours where ideas go rushing out of me in a rush of colors and intensity and wonder. It leaves me standing there, taking it all in as I write it all down dutifully. The whole process feels freeing and restorative -- and redemptive, somehow.

These are in no particular order. (Seriously.)

  1. Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne by James Gavin
  2. One Drop of Blood: The American Misadventure of Race by Scott L. Malcolmson
  3. The History of White People by Nell Irwin Painter
  4. The Viceroy's Daughters: The Lives of the Curzon Sisters by Anne Courcy
  5. Wrapped Up in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston by Valerie Boyd
  6. In Search of Nella Larsen: A Biography of the Color Line by George Hutchinson
  7. Passing by Nella Larsen
  8. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment by Patricia Hill Collins
  9. Seeing the Unspeakable: The Art of Kara Walker by Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw
  10. In the Shadow of Slavery: African-Americans in New York City, 1626 - 1863 by Leslie M. Harris

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