Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

Arlington County Virginia had a series called Black Lives Matter, and Jesmyn was one of the speakers....

Jesmyn started speaking with a sweet southern twang, and she completely captivated me and the rest of the audience. She told her heartfelt experience with racism in the South in a manner that was not abrasive nor in a manner that would put people off but in a manner that was very forthright yet inviting. 

I did not have great experiences with Jesmyn first two novels, so I was only going to this forum to hear her speak; I was not planning to buy the book. But, after hearing her speak, I bought the book and looked forward to learning more about Jesmyn’s story.

I started reading this incredible story, and I was captivated from the first page until the last. There were parts of this book that I had to read and reread and think and think. Being a Southern girl myself, I identified with this memoir, and my heart was saddened to the core. 

She tells her story of growing up in DeLisle, Mississippi in an impoverished situation where there seem to be little to no hope. In the telling of her story, we learn about the complexity of her family and the complexity of living in Mississippi. With this novel, she very boldly, yet subtly, posed the question of Do Black Lives Matter, and I also was left asking myself if our lives matter to us...... 

Jesmyn merges the telling of her story with the story of five young men, including her brother, who died premature deaths. Reading about the death of each of these young Black men who all died in different manners, and only one of them, her brother, died by the direct hands of someone else, I am still pondering did society, by not seeing and acknowledging these young men, contribute to their deaths indirectly??

I identified and connected with this novel more than I thought that I would, and when I finished I could not keep myself from crying and wondering Where Do We Go From Here?

This is a story that will make people uncomfortable and maybe sad, but I also hope that it makes us have open, honest conversations about race and place in this country which may lead to some sort of plan of action. 

This is a very important book, and it needs to be included in the important conversations that we are having today in this country on race...

This book is short, well-written, and it should be read and discussed over and over again.

All praises to Jesmyn Ward for having the courage to tell this courageous story.....

This book is more confirmation that We Must Tell Our Stories!

Me and Jesmyn Ward

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...