John Hope Franklin Loren Schweninger: Imagine My Surprise

I just finished reading, In Search of the Promised Land: A Slave Family in The Old South by John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger. While searching the Internet for books written by Dr. Franklin, a 1935 Fisk University graduate, the title of this novel caught my attention, so I checked it out at the library.

When I finally receive the book, I begin to read the prologue. Imagine my surprise when I read words, such as Deaderick Street; Nashville; Davidson County Courthouse; and Tennessee. I am astonished because I attended college in Nashville, and I was going to read about this city and its early beginnings from the viewpoint of a slave. Then, I read the words, Charlottesville, Virginia. I immediately think, “This is the place where Heather Heyer lost her life during the protest on August 12, 2017.” The next thing I know, I put down the other book that I was reading, and I begin to read this one with intensity.

A mother’s love. A mother’s sacrifice. A mother’s determination. Dr. Franklin chronicles the life of Sally Thomas, a slave mother who desires only one thing for her children: freedom. Her story begins in Charlottesville, Virginia and then shifts to Nashville, Tennessee. As I read this novel, I kept wondering when Thomas’ sons or grandchildren would find their “promised land”. Throughout this novel, Sally, her sons, and her grandchildren must navigate their lives during and after the institution of slavery. Do they find their promised land? Reading the novel will answer this question.

My challenge to you: Franklin and Schweninger provide much imagery that is difficult to ignore. Therefore, as you read this novel, allow your mind to experience the Thomas family’s journey. Lastly, remember to chime in on what you are reading. Happy reading!

#johnhopefranklin #lorenschweninger #africanamerican #authors #blackpeople #biography #book #bookblogger #bookreview #charlottesville #freedom #nashville #newblogpost #read #slavery #alwaysforeverreading #foreverreading


Forever Reading’s Rating = 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

A Hidden Author for Hidden Figures: Margot Lee Shetterly

It is Tuesday, February 19, 2019, and the Lipscomb University campus in Nashville, Tennessee is buzzing with people on a cold, rainy evening. The English Department is hosting its Annual Landiss Lecture in the Collins Auditorium, and the featured speaker for this event is Mrs. Margot Lee Shetterly. Lipscomb University’s president, President L. Randolph Lowry and other persons responsible for coordinating this event extend a warm welcome to the audience. Mayor David Briley also delivers a heartfelt welcome. In this welcome, he passionately asks the attendees to do the following:

  • “read Hidden Figures and read overall
  • go to Parnassus Books, buy Hidden Figures, and spend more than you can afford (this comment generated much laughter from the audience)
  • move the city (Nashville), the state (Tennessee), and the country (United States) forward
  • obtain a Nashville Public Library card if you do not have one” (Welcome, Feb. 19). 

After these words of encouragement, the speaker is introduced. Humble. Gracful. Poise. These are the words that come to mind as Margot Lee Shetterly walks to the podium. Shetterly excitedly tells the audience that Hidden Figures is a hit!” (Lecture, Feb. 19) Being black. Virginia. Women mathematicians. Work. American story. “These words represent Hidden Figures,” explains Shetterly. (Lecture, Feb. 19) Furthermore, Shetterly affirms that she has seen the movie numerous times and each time, she likes it more and more. She says that she has viewed Hidden Figures with family, friends, NASA employees, ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and other individuals and groups.

As she ends her lecture, Shetterly informs the audience that Dr. Christine Darden may come to Nashville, Tennessee to share her story as a “hidden figure”. Moreover, she states that she will be writing more books. Lastly, she leaves the audience to ponder the following questions: Who lives? Who dies? Who tells the story?

#africanamericanwomen #biography #dorothyvaughan #hiddenfigures #katherinejohnson #margotleeshetterly #maryjackson #nasa #womenmathematicians #alwaysforeverreading #foreverreading

Forever Reading

Langston Hughes Anyone?

Although this collection of poems is written for children, it is appropriate for individuals of all ages. Included in this non-intimidating volume are Hughes’ well-known poems. Accompanying the poems are illustrations that depict each poem and will catch the reader’s attention. It allows readers to visualize the theme/subject of each poem. Moreover, footnotes are included at the bottom of the page, so the younger audience will know the meaning of dialectical words and vocabulary words. Before each poem, a brief synopsis is provided so that the children will understand the subject of each poem.

Before reading this poetry, an introduction with a picture of Hughes is included. This introduction helps readers to understand Hughes’ life, his impact on the Harlem Renaissance, and his fight against racial and social justice. These poems not only help young readers but also all readers understand the struggles of African Americans during this time in history.

I loved this book; in fact, there was not one poem that I did not like. As I read “Aunt Sue’s Stories,” I was reminded of stories that my maternal and paternal grandparents shared with me. Also, “Mother to Son” is still relevant because African American mothers are still encouraging their sons to continue to stand strong and reach for the prize even though life may throw many curve balls their way.

As you read these selected poems, go on a journey with Langston Hughes. Travel down Hughes’ avenue of poetry. See the images, and hear his sounds. Feel the beat, and feel his moods. Read this book of poems!

#langstonhughes #corettascottkingbooka #harlemrenaissance #juvenilepoetry #poems #poetry #poetrybook #poetrycommunity #poetryisnotdead #poetrylovers #poetrysociety #teennonfiction #alwaysforeverreading #foreverreading

Forever Reading’s Rating = 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟