Review: Black History In Its Own Words

In a world which identity and assimilation are often cornerstones of intersectionality, somehow it feels as though they are threatened every day. Every day the world looks to discredit a person of color or someone of a different sexual orientation, just because they don’t understand their struggles. This becomes even more problematic, on the national stage.  As the recent mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida, has sparked nationwide outrage.

This has lead to marches not only nationwide but worldwide, as the arguments over the availability of assault rifles and lack of action by the sitting legislators has created an incendiary conversation, which leads many places but the one place, it rarely leads often to is intersectionality. The mere fact that how many inner city schools faces gun violence on a daily basis, is what is lost or rarely heard in these conversations  but it is not lost on people of color who have seen this happen over and over again, in fact, in LL Cool J’s song back in 2000 called “Homicide”, where he references instances of  gun violence in inner city schools. This is the history that usually gets ignored and one Ronald Wimberly champions in his work, Black History In its Own Words.

Each page highlights someone who embodies the black experience in all its glory, through sheer brazenness, bravery, and individuality. One of my favorites is James Baldwin’s quote on being Black In America, as to being conscious and be mad at the current state of race relations. Then there is Ice Cube’s quote on president Obama’s apparent isolation from his counterpart and subordinates. One of the most important highlights in this book, is Octavia Butler’s purpose for writing science fiction and the importance of seeing one’s self in their work, one that she pushed towards until the end of her days.

Overall, an excellent resource of Black History. One that each of its subjects eloquently expresses in the discussion of being Black in the world. The quotes and research that Wimberly pulls from are each brilliant and carefully selected for this work. The art by Wimberly is striking, vivacious, and visceral. Altogether, an essential book that deserves to be on everyone’s bookshelf, regardless of the month.

Art: Ronald Wimberly
Art:10 Overall:10 Recommendation: Buy