Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The best book this summer so far

Haki Madhubuti is a living literary legend. He is a poet, professor, activist, and owner of Third World Press, where he has published culturally relevant literature for over 40 years. He also called the late Pulitzerer Prize winning poet, Gwendolyn Brooks, his cultural mother. I discovered him from African American anthologies' historical accounts of the Black Arts Movement. I was very excited to find his memoir at Expansion Books located in Huntsville, Alabama. His story is testament of the power of literature.The memoir's most compelling character is Haki's mother. He mother was very beautiful;her beauty would be more of a curse than a blessing.After the abandonment of Haki's father, she was faced with the challenge of rearing children as a single mother before the moniker "baby momma" became  mainstream slang. In the memoir, Yellow Black he wrote, "My mother was caught in this trap of few opportunities, lack of preparation, a perpetual feeling of failure and knowing that all the men in her life only wanted sex and to own her." His mother would eventually succumb to drugs, alcohol and the streets. In spite of her struggles, she introduced her fourteen- year- old manchild to the library. The library and African American literature would become Haki's balm . There are also important discussions on the impact of other influential African Americans on his person hood. The memoir is not blandiloquent. He provides insight into his life with a mixture of poetry and prose. I read this book in one day and was left famished for more of his story. This MUST become a mainstay in secondary classrooms. A must read. You can follow the interview at this link. i hope it works:

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