The Balancing Act of Black Women’s Memoir: Critical Linking, August 13, 2020

Critical Linking, a daily roundup of the most interesting bookish links from around the web, is sponsored by Wednesday Books.


“Hine’s concept is about more than the simple desire for privacy. A ‘culture of dissemblance’ has developed because ‘the relationship between Black women and the larger society has always been, and continues to be, adversarial.’ That is, American culture maligns Black women in every possible way, arguably as a matter of course, beginning with the constant portrayal of them as natural whores who cannot be raped. Insisting that Black women so willingly gave themselves and indeed ensnared white men was the foundation on which the United States literally built its wealth in human property. Not surprisingly, then, Keckley’s life story was shaped by rape. Behind the Scenes recounts: a white man ‘had base designs upon me. … Suffice it to say, that he persecuted me for four years, and I—I—became a mother.'”

I remember thinking this when I read Michelle Obama’s memoir: how hard it must have been to be open, accessible, and authentic with her audience while still protecting her heart/space/mental health.


“According to the account’s first post, “For the past 100 years, Scholastic has provided stories that help kids make sense of the world and themselves. From stargazing to soul-searching, the Scholastic Bookshelf is here to help navigate life’s big questions through the power of storytelling.” The hundred-year-old publishing, education and media company interviewed teachers, parents and experts to uncover the biggest, toughest issues kids face today and addressing them head-on.”

I hope folks really do engage with the account and use what they learn to help the kiddos and aren’t just liking the posts and calling it a day.


“Pictures of the mermaid have since sparked hundreds of similar comments on social media, leading both Tesco and Usbourne to make statements.

One Twitter post read: ‘Words have impact. As a black child I would have squealed in delight to see a pic that looked like me. Then reading the words would have reinforced my hatred of my unruly hair.'”

No one thought this was a bad idea before it went to print? No one?! Usborne: do better.

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