Throw it out. That’s what always seems to happen to your best ideas, your finest interviews, the proud moments that fall flat as pavement. Ugh. When it comes to The Big Ask, what are you doing wrong? Read “You Get What You Pitch For” by Anthony Sullivan with Tim Vandehey; the answer is no throwaway.
What if your entire future was mapped out for you? All you’d have to do is show up, keep your nose clean and your mouth shut. But what if you couldn’t? What if the color of your skin had some bearing on it, and your outrage and need for understanding made you speak up? As in the new novel, “Dear Martin” by Nic Stone, WWMLKD?
Here’s to us. A toast to our years together, our friendships, things we’ve done and laughs we’ve had. Here’s to us – together forever. We need to do this more often. We need to stay in touch. As author Gabrielle Union says, “We’re Going to Need More Wine.” When she was still a small child, Gabrielle Union knew how life kept score.
Who is the person you most want to be like when you grow up? The one you go to when you need advice, a kind word, or new direction? Is it a parent who puts your head on straight? Or a teacher that always knows what to say? Do you look up to someone close to you now or, as in “Time for Kids: Heroes of Black History,” is it someone much bigger than that?
“Bound to the Fire: How Virginia’s Enslaved Cooks Helped Invent American Cuisine” by Kelley Fanto Deetz
You’ve been cooking up a storm for days. Soon, the whole family will be sitting at your table, which will be loaded down with everybody’s favorites. The turkey will be golden. The bread, warm and soft. Pies line your kitchen counter because you’ve cooked for days. At least, as you’ll see in “Bound to the Fire” by Kelley Fanto Deetz, you didn’t cook ‘round the clock, too.
“Encyclopedia of Black Comics” by Sheena C. Howard, foreword by Henry louis Gates, Jr., afterword by Christopher Priest
“Draw, Sheriff.” Oh, how you loved to do that. It started with spider-legged people and crooked houses. As you got better, you replicated and created worlds, invented characters, and expanded your tool use. Even today, with sharp pencil or fine pen, you can still make a respectable doodle; in the new book “Encyclopedia of Black Comics” by Sheena C. Howard, you’ll see how you’re right in ‘toon.
“Lookin’ great, man!” Those three words can make you feel ten feet tall. You want to strut when someone says you’re fly because it’s true. You are, and in “Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut” by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James, you’ll see it happen.
In things of great importance, you stand on the shoulders of giants. Those who came before you gave you a boost to get you where you are. They cleared your path and knocked aside obstacles. You stand on the shoulders of those giants even if, as in the new book “Keep Your Airspeed Up” by Harold H. Brown (with Marsha S. Bordner), the giant was once kinda scrawny.
You know how to use a hammer. It’s not that hard: just grab the end and swing. Easy enough; in fact, there are probably lots of tools you know how to use, although, as in the new novel “Unforgivable Love” by Sophfronia Scott, do you know how to use people?
You know your rights. You’re well aware of what you can and can’t do legally because you’ve armed yourself with knowledge. You have rights and, in the new book “Rossen to the Rescue” by Jeff Rossen, one of them is the right not to be scammed, schemed, or unsafe.