It’s Caribbean Heritage Month

Too late to do the Sunday post? It’s still almost two hours of Sunday here (or was when I started writing this) and I’ve just had coffee (time for another cup?), so I think it’s still safe to link up with the Caffeinated Reviewer’s Sunday Post.

I mostly want to share my latest youtube upload which I did rather spontaneously tonight and since it’s book related thought it was a good fit for the blog as well. It’s my response to the #MyCaribbeanLibrary hashtag which is part of the 10th anniversary of the Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad and Tobago, and opportunity to remind tout monde sam and bagai (as we say in Antigua and Barbuda) to read more widely – read books outside of your comfort zone as I grew up having to do. #ReadCaribbean #ReadBlackBooks #ReadSoulLit #ReadDiverseBooks all the hashtags. So here’s the post.

My discussed books are The Illustrated Anansi by Philip Sherlock, Miguel Street by V. S Naipaul, Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid, The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Dandicat, and Nobody Go Run Me by Dorbrene O’Marde; another book on my mind that I neglected to mention in the video but discussed in the video summary was The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon. What #ownvoices Caribbean books are in your library? African American Books? No, The Help doesn’t count. I saw a lot of this last Black History Month in book social media networks I am a part of, where The Help, To Kill a Mockingbird, and other books not by Black voices were among the stacks of books posted by people who presented them as part of their commitment to read more Black books and/or where books of this type were suggested to those asking for African American/Black book recs. No. While these books may be perfectly fine (The Help, both film and book, have received their share of criticism, but To Kill a Mockingbird remains a personal favourite of mine though I haven’t re-read it since secondary school), this is a form of erasure. I’m not strictly speaking about appropriation here or who has the right to tell which story (truth is, the way the publishing industry is set up it’s more like who gets to tell which story, whose voice gets boosted or centered, and too often it’s not own voices – i.e. the people from the community being written about – an issue raised by Latina writers fairly recently about American Dirt). So, as part of the self-reflection inspired by this #BlackLivesMatter moment (hopefully more of a paradigm shifting movement than just a moment) we’re in, it’s important if you’re interested in reading more Black books to look at who’s telling the story (i.e. #BlackBooksMatter #BlackVoicesMatter). Consider too books from Africa and the Diaspora? Let me remind you of New Daughters of Africa which includes 200 plus voices of women from Africa and the Diaspora (including my Black Caribbean voice). You can read about that last one and my other books here.

Speaking of my books, one of my most delightful finds this week was a mention of my book Musical Youth on the comfycozyup youtube channel as part of the Book Tube community’s Caribbean Heritage Month #CaribATHon

She speaks about a lot of books here and I was shocked when Musical Youth showed up. She said: “Musical Youth. I read this this year. Loved it. It’s just, aw, this is juicy. I love when you have young adult books that have a bit of romance, enough for the age group but has like a message of following your dream and doing things that might not be in your favour as far as your parents and everybody else around you, but you follow your guts and do what you want to do, and it’s musical. This was really good. Loved it.”

I actually spent a huge part of today trying to get one good long take of me reading from Musical Youth for the CaribCation Author series which, I believe, goes live on their social media on June 17th 2020. Nuff respect for audio book readers because it is exhausting – and I used to work in media broadcasting!

Speaking of Instagram, my first book, The Boy from Willow Bend, also got a shout out over there – unexpected as it’s rarely mentioned around these internets. So I am especially appreciative to Lady LM for reading it and sharing it as “a great …relatable read about childhood experiences in Antigua.” Plus look at these pretty images she posted.

On the blog

Updated

Blogger on Books – while I didn’t finish any new books, I added a note re the entry and a video link to the Creole Clay listing (scroll to the bottom of this page to see it)

My Media Page

Uploaded

My new Creative Space featuring singer Arianne Whyte – check out her ‘Music in Me’ CD which you can still buy online

So you didn’t finish anything but did you do any reading?

Glad you asked. I read some more of Marlon James’ fantasy epic, and it is epic, Black Leopard, Red Wolf and the New Daughters of Africa anthology, and listened to about five chapters of Bernadine Evaristo’s Booker award winning, multi-voice Girl, Woman, Other, which is streaming on the BBC. All are really good; I still just don’t have enough time…anyone want to send me on a reading vacation?

2 thoughts on “It’s Caribbean Heritage Month

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