Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sapphires Grave


I don’t normally do this. I recently re-read a book and I wanted to share my review with you…

I’m a reader. I suppose the daughter of a librarian is destined to become a lover of books. I have read a lot of books in my life and I continue to do so. I enjoy time spent alone with books. When I read a book, I and only I get to envision the scenes that said book will paint for me. I will usually draw an individual up as Original unless the book specifically says they aren’t. I envision the places and I put myself in the story as well. It is a real vacation for me. When I pick up a book, I will see it to the end unless it somehow offends me. And it is rare that I am offended. And when I am finished with the book, I really need a cigarette and a snifter of brandy because I have TRUE afterglow. All the scenes just rolling through my head.

This book… Sapphire’s Grave was awesome and it would have to be in order for me to re-read it. I don’t do ‘re’. there are too many books to read to waste my time reading one I already know the ending. I was in the library and this book caught my eye. Maybe it was the cover. I read the synopsis and something seemed familiar, but not enough for me to put it back on the shelf. I was there for a meeting and I held on to the book, sneaking glimpses of passages the entire time. I decided to check it out.

I’m not giving you a synopsis of the plot. Should you decide to read it, I won’t spoil it for you. But what I do want to impart it is a book for Black women.

As a Black woman, I have had the experience of being indoctrinated to be ashamed of certain aspects of womanhood and aspects of Black womanhood. I have been taught to guard against ordinary things that other people get to do and be freely. I have been taught that there are 2 kinds of sexuality for women. You are either a slut or a paragon of virtue. I have been taught that I am not allowed to proud…. Of anything. I have been taught that Black people don’t have mental issues. I have come to realize that we aren’t allowed to have them. There is a difference. I have been taught that anything other than Christianity is debase and I should be ashamed if I’m not a proper Christian. As a Black woman I am not allowed to have any hobbies other than that which can bring money into the home. I am not allowed to be artsy unless it’s profitable. I have been taught to expect to work several jobs until I expire form a debilitating disease. That to do anything less is lazy. And I have been taught that it is my duty to birth children and not expect a Black man… because it would be shameful to birth children from any other kind…. To aid me. If he did, I was lucky. If he did not, oh well. This isn’t just me, other Black women have been taught these lessons too… if you are honest with yourself.

This book touches all that. This family with its subsequent generations of Black women of various shades and sizes have all been taught these same lessons, yet have decided that they would through off the shackles of this miseducation and be the women they wanted to be. Yes they had to deal with people in their Ciphers trying to keep them on the expected paths, but these women boldly choose to live their lives on their own terms. Yes! Some would call that generational curse. But I call it a generational blessing and feel re-empowered to live more authentically Serenity.


And…. If you don’t have a library card… get one. They are free and remain free as long as you keep your word and return books when they are due. Libraries are supported from your tax dollars whether you own a home or not. Libraries are public facilities and are more often than not transit accessible. You can get one even if you are an ex-con. There is just no reason to not have on. It’s just stupid to not have a library card and I consider you as such. You didn’t like what I just said? Get a card!