Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: Black and White: The Confrontation between Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene "Bull" Conner by Larry Dane Brimner

Larry Dane Brimner. Honesdale: Calkins Creek, 2011. 114 pp.
Rating: Striking + 5 Scoops

The March on Birmingham evokes images of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. leading thousands of people through the streets of a 1960's Birmingham, Alabama. Huge dogs barely contained by the law enforcement officials to whom they are entrusted. Fire hoses drawn, aimed, and shotfiring torrents of throbbing, rushing water into the crowd hurtling protesters several feet through the air, and chaos run amuck. Seldom, if ever, does Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth spring to mind. Though I grew up in the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, Montgomery, Alabama, before reading Black & White, I had never heard of Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth. Like many of you, I depended on the public school system to teach me all I needed to know of the the Civil Rights Movement and its leaders. However, had it not been for Fred Shuttlesworth, desegregation in Birmingham may have been months or even years away.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Review: Firstborn by Lorrie Ann Glover

Lorie Ann Glover. Grand Rapids: Blink, 2014. 292 pp.
Rating: Worthy

During the time of invaded lands where the fierce desert cat prowled and the rapion dwelled, a society of people as their ancestors before them. Forced under Madronian rule, the R'tans quash their faith in the Creator Spirit to survive. According to Madronian belief, the firstborn child, no matter the number of offspring birthed, possesses the greatest strength; which can only come by way of a man child. Those firstborn not of the male gender are left to die outside the village walls, but there is an alternative to lifeassume a male identity and forever forsake a womanly existence.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

My Goodbye—A Call to Action

Today, we laid to rest Nizzear Rodriguez, a young life gone too soon. A life taken by individuals not much older than his own. Upon watching the funeral procession drive away from the church to the burial site, I shift from consciously knowing that Nizzear is no longer here to acceptance and then belief. Today, 6 September 2014, Nizzear's death is real to me. Though his death didn't garner national headlines as Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Jonathan Ferrell, or Trayvon Martin, it did wake up our sleeping little town and for that I am forever grateful. An act of senseless violence took him from his family, friends, teachers, coaches, those whose lives he touched, those lives he had yet to touch, and all those that loved him.