Happy Kwanzaa to all those who celebrate!
Kwanzaa was originated by activist Maulana Karenga, based on African harvest festival traditions from various parts of West and Southeast Africa. Kwanzaa was first celebrated in 1966.
It's a time for African American families to come together, honor their ancestors, affirm bonds, and reconnect with African and African American culture. Each evening, families light one of seven candles that represent a principal of Kwanzaa and African/African-American culture:
- Umoja (Unity): To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
- Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
- Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our community’s problems our problems and to solve them together.
- Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
- Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
- Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
- Imani (Faith): To believe with all our hearts in our people and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Source: National Museum of African American History and Culture
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In addition to sharing a bit about Kwanzaa, I also wanted to share some some #BlackBookRecs from the diverse recommendations lists inside of Reading Journal created by @lauren_o_reads and myself.
About the Reading Journal:
This lovely spiral-bound, reading journal is for you, if you're a reader who values diversifying your reading and are looking for a journal with plenty of space for your favorite quotes, reactions, and reviews.
You can order a single journal for $20 or a three-journal bundle for $50.
#BookRecommendations by #BlackAuthors
There is LITERALLY something for everyone. I love the diversity of the Black Experience reflected in this list:
Children of Blood and Bone - Amazing fantasy adventure series by Nigerian writer Tomi Adeyemi. Includes magic.
Raybearer - Another fantasy series by Nigerian writer Jordan Ifueko, with amazing characters and an evil mother-figure.
Me (Moth) - Novel-in-Verse by Amber McBride that will make you feel all the feels. About the power of friendship when you need it most.
Brown Girl Dreaming - Memoir written in verse by award winning author, Jacqueline Woodson, sharing her experience growing up at the cusp of civil rights movement.
You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty - This book, omg, is a must-read for everyone. It will change everything you thought you knew about what a "romance" novel could be.
Punching the Air - Novel-in-verse co-written by Haitian YA writer, Ibi Zoboi, and Yusef Salaam, one of the Central Park Five wrongfully accused of raping a woman in Central Park in the early 90s. This novel follows Amal who has been wrongfully incarcerated.
** All six of these titles are available for purchase at www.tumasbooks.com
The Stars and the Blackness Between Them - A beautiful YA romance between two girls, one struggling with identity and being forced to leave home, and another dealing with chronic illness. The ending will stay with you forever.
Let’s Talk about Love - A New Adult romance, staring an 19-year-old Ace girl trying to figure out how to share her sexuality with others. Super cute and heart-warming.
Sweethand - An Adult, Caribbean romance set in a bakery between rivals!
On Rotation - For fans of Grey Anatomy, here's a medical romance starring a Ghanian-American woman trying to live her life on her own terms and not her family's.
Everything Inside - A collection of short stories from well-known Haitian writer Edwidge Danticat.
Call Us What We Carry - Poetry collection by Amanda Gordan, a youngest poet to give an inauguration speech.
**The first five of these titles are available for purchase at www.tumasbooks.com. You can get Call Us What We Carry from our bookshop at www.bookshop.org/shop/tumasbooks.
Between the World and Me - a mix of lyrical personal narrative, reimagined history, essayistic argument, and reportage -- Coates provides readers a thrillingly illuminating new framework for understanding race: its history, our contemporary dilemma, and where we go from here.
Speak No Evil explores what it means to be different in a fundamentally conformist society and how that difference plays out in our inner and outer struggles.
Locking Up Our Own - An original and consequential argument about race, crime, and the law
Born a Crime - The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man's coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed
The Secret Lives of Church Ladies - The nine stories in this collection feature four generations of characters grappling with who they want to be in the world, caught as they are between the church's double standards and their own needs and passions
The Sum of Us - One of today's most insightful and influential thinkers offers a powerful exploration of inequality and the lesson that generations of Americans have failed to learn: Racism has a cost for everyone--not just for people of color.
**These titles are not yet on my bookstore. In the meantime, you can shop from our bookshop at www.bookshop.org/shop/tumasbooks!
You can find even more amazing recommendations in the journal when you order today!
❓What are your favorite reads from 2022 by #BlackAuthors?