I am not good at talking about politics or current events. Just because I have been silent on social media about what is going on, does not mean that I am not aware that I do not care about what is going on. My heart broke when I saw that video. My soul was in despair when another minority was lost to police brutality.
Social media is flooded with booklists of reads featuring authors of color and “antiracist” reads and there is no doubt that is the right thing to do. But as we look over our bookshelves and review our reading lists, let us remember the heart of the matter. This isn’t just about reading black authors or books about race relations. There is an important thing that we must not forget to read beyond our sphere, reading beyond our horizon, all leading to just one important statement: just read. Read not only black authors but Asian authors, indigenous authors, Hispanic authors, LGBT authors of all races, Muslim authors and yes, dare I say, white authors. TO understand more about the world around us, we need to read the world around us.
You may not agree with what I have to say and that’s okay. I dealt with it criticism when I was bullied for my reading choices when I was young. I dealt with it when I was on a book committee last year. If I read what I was supposed to, I wouldn’t be a voracious reader you see before you today. Yes, diversify your reading, but there is no fun in reading if you feel obligated in your reading choices. That takes away the learning and the pleasure from it all. Read black authors but let us not forget about the other minorities as well. Reading a variety of books gives us a glimpse of the past, the present and weirdly enough, the future. We can’t have an understanding of our present if we don’t learn more about our past, so we change for a better future.