The Pros and Cons of Reading African American Books

27 Apr

Frederick Douglass

I have been indulging in books by African American intellects these past few months, and I must say that these books make me feel really smart yet really dumb.  Allow me to explain.

Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells

I am overly enlightened by learning about my African American history including the survival methods and challenges of being black in America and all of the contradictions surrounding our existence here.  This is great. I think I found my purpose in writing especially for young people.

But, have you ever read anything by Ida B. Wells or Frederick Douglass?  Their English was impeccable.  I thought I was going to die from stupidity after reading The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson.

Carter G. Woodson

Carter G. Woodson

I said all of this to say, reading African American intellectuals is both good and bad for me.  Even though I walk away feeling stupid, I do walk away much smarter on so many levels.


2 Responses to “The Pros and Cons of Reading African American Books”

  1. Jennifer Brown Banks April 27, 2010 at 4:57 am #


    I can certainly relate. Their literary contributions and their intellect is indeed awesome. More people should become more exposed to their collective works.

    Remember, “Readers are leaders!”

    • marciewrites April 27, 2010 at 8:21 am #

      More people should definitely be exposed. I’m trying to figure out how to get into the minds of young people who may think differently about their present if they knew more about their past. Actually, I have to find the opportunity to get to these people. Once that’s done, I’ll figure out crafty ways to throw in history.

      Also, it’s amazing to me the number of African Americans I’ve encountered that have not read The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson. What a tragedy!

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