Friday, March 18, 2011

Weekly Links: Color Me Brown

A weekly compilation of interesting links we (the staff at Color Online) discover. Leave a link in the comments to your own review/interview/discussion post/guest post/anything having to do with literature/literature & race/literature & gender or to another post you found that you want to spotlight.

The Best Damn Creative Writing Blog ranked the Top 25 Most Influential Black Fiction Writers on Twitter

Below you will find a gallery of 25 published black fiction writers who are not only influential, but who are redefining what it means to be a successful black writer in the 21st century. We scoured hundreds of Twitter lists, websites and blogs to find black writers who are using their online presence to enhance the literary conversation as a whole. These aren’t writers who are simply concerned with promoting their own brand. They are artists, speakers and teachers–hailing from every genre in the literary world. Most of them have composed thousands of tweets, and interact with their readers everyday (and sometimes well into the night). Some offer advice. Some talk about their families. Some share funny pictures and make jokes.

Author Carleen Brice has an interview with debut author Karen Simpson, whose book Act of Grace was recently published

Act of Grace is loosely based on an incident that happened several years ago in my hometown during a Klan rally. When what was supposed to be a nonviolent protest became violent, a young black woman saved a white man, (whose was simply wearing a confederate flag T-shirt), from being beaten by throwing her body over him. She got involved because she believed he had the right to his beliefs even if she and others felt he was wrong. For weeks after the event people argued about whether she was a guardian angel or just crazy. My opinion was that she was a compassionate and brave person, worthy of admiration and respect for living up to her values. Five years after this rally I had a very vivid dream about a young woman named Grace and during the dream she yelled out what is more or less the first line of the novel.

Do you know who Effa Manley is? If not read on, this is a guest post by Audrey Vernick at KidLit Celebrates Women's History Month

context—is always my greatest concern when writing nonfiction for children. It requires a precise touch; you can’t condescend, but you have to be mindful of the fact that young readers often lack the historical understanding required to fully appreciate a given narrative.

When I discovered Effa Manley’s story in 2006 and shared it, with great excitement, with the baseball- and book-loving people I know, adults, they understood its appeal immediately. A woman in baseball? In the 1930s and ‘40s? An African-American woman?

Blogger Edi Campbell talks about how librarians are constantly informing and transforming over at Women Doing Literary Things

I am always nagged by the question “Do I do what I do in ways to attract others to want to do it?” Do the students who see me in the library simply see me as the lady who checks out books or do they realize how involved the work of a school librarian really is?

There is no doubt that I love being a librarian. I love the possibilities, the challenges, the ability to use my creativity and intelligence. I love growing through what I do. It is sad that so many teachers don’t realize how much they can enhance their teaching by pairing with a librarian who is willing to co-teach with them, and it is frustrating that administrators often see us as no more than glorified clerical workers. Perhaps this is our own fault–often we find the need to prove our own worth by having every imaginable school supply for staff and students so that we can be seen as indispensable.

Helen from Helen's Book Blog reviews Not Easily Washed Away by Anon Beauty and Bryan Arthur Levene

What this book does well is show the psychological affect of abuse on the victim and even those around her. Laila cannot get herself out of the cycle of abuse that goes on and on and on. She is somehow drawn to her father despite the abuse, doesn't tell anyone about it for years (so common), and it affects her every move, mood, successes and failures. It broke my heart that she didn't have anyone that she felt she could turn to; every adult in her life didn't notice, chose not to notice, or wasn't really available. Laila has no one to save her until she is in her twenties! For this aspect, I think books like this one are important: they raise the issue of abuse and it's ramifications across an entire family.

Comment, share links and have a great week!

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