Greetings bookish friends!
Although MLK Day was yesterday, I nonetheless decided to post this because I think this is a super important topic to discuss. And, there are two of my favorite books on this list, one that I haven’t mentioned on this blog yet! Today I will be sharing with you my top three favorite books with a black protagonist in celebration of Martin Luther King Junior Day. I hope you enjoy!
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
-Martin Luther King Junior
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
There are not many books out there as daring, bold, and unapologetic as The Hate U Give. Following the life of a black teenager named Starr Carter whose childhood best friend died this book has a humorous but brutally honest writing style. Although the book gets criticized by some for being too hypothetical to be realistic, I think it is shedding light upon an issue that needs to be discussed nonetheless.
Starr Carter herself is someone to look up to because even though she was hesitant at first to expose herself as the victim of a hotly debated crime, she eventually found the courage to stand up for what she knew was right. Furthermore, she stands up for racial equality in general even in her home life. When her father ridicules her for having a white boyfriend (Chris) and says “Why don’t you just bring a black boy home?” she stays grounded in her beliefs and continues to date him.
I think it deserves all the hype. I could continue to rant about how much I love this book, but I want to keep this post short. I think I got my message across. 😉
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
The Hate U Give conquers racism through a more audacious manner, but Brown Girl Dreaming is more about being inspiring and discussing racial topics and issues rather than fighting it.
This work of poetry is told in a dactylic fashion with smooth, flowing language. It is a story about the author Jacqueline Woodson’s childhood, split between two polar opposite places. Growing up in both Brooklyn and South Carolina, Jacqueline always felt half at home in each place. In the South, children teased her and her siblings about their Northern way of talking, and in Brooklyn, being a Jehovah’s witness meant that they had to follow rules they didn’t understand.
The revolution is when Shirley Chisholm ran for president
and the rest of the world tried to imagine
a Black Woman in the White House.
-Jacqueline Woodson, page 308.
As you can see, in Brown Girl Dreaming, racism is overthrown using a different approach. Quietly, with a hint of a brave whisper, Brown Girl Dreaming conquers racism. Not just for being a lovely work of poetry, but through empowerment.
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What are your favorite books featuring black protagonists? Have you read The Hate U Give or Brown Girl Dreaming? How was your Martin Luther King Junior Day? Let me know in the comments.
Keep On Booking,
⭐︎ Katie K ⭐︎