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Book Blog - Likely Stories, by Keir Graff - Booklist Online

Likely Stories

A Booklist Blog
Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

Archive for the 'Black History' Category

Mon, June 28th, 2010
Minority Report: Writers Grow, So Do Readers
Posted by: Vanessa Bush

I’m not exactly sure when I read Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. It might have been in college as part of a black literature course or after college as “required reading” for any young black person with any level of race consciousness. But I have certainly come to know Ellison more through reading about him, particularly […]

Mon, May 17th, 2010
Minority Report: Remembering the Legendary Lena Horne
Posted by: Vanessa Bush

When a person has lived as long as Lena Horne (92 years) and been as famous as she was, it’s hard to imagine there’s much more to add to the volumes of words that have already been written about her. Iconic — absolutely. Stormy Weather, the unauthorized biography by James Gavin, filled in a lot […]

Mon, April 26th, 2010
Minority Report: Remembering Dorothy Height
Posted by: Vanessa Bush

The news last week of the death of 98-year-old Dorothy Height, president of the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years, recalled for me the March 22 blog “Black Church Women and Other Ordinary People.” I meant the title to be ironic, still, Height was anything but ordinary. The NCNW, with more than 4 […]

Mon, March 22nd, 2010
Minority Report: Black Church Women and Other Ordinary People
Posted by: Vanessa Bush

In my twenties, not long out of college, I was approached by a middle-aged black woman about joining the National Council of Negro Women. Proud of myself as a young black woman, I wasn’t interested in joining a group of middle-aged Negro women. I’d forgotten that particular bit of callowness until I read Jesus, Jobs, […]

Wed, March 17th, 2010
A Bestseller with Heart: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Posted by: Donna Seaman

Back in December, in Booklist‘s Spotlight on Sci-Tech, we featured Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life  of Henrietta Lacks, a powerful chronicle of the life of the woman who, unbeknownst to her, gave the world  HeLa cells, the first “immortal” human cells grown in a lab, cells that have made countless medical advances possible for the last five […]

Wed, March 3rd, 2010
Minority Report: The Post Race Debate
Posted by: Vanessa Bush

In celebration of Black History Month, last week the University of Illinois at Chicago sponsored a seminar on the topic: “Post Racial Society.” The question: in the wake of the election of President Barack Obama, have we in the United States entered a post-racial society? Absolutely not, came the resounding answer from the panel, nearly […]

Tue, February 16th, 2010
Lucille Clifton, R.I.P.: A Poet Sails On
Posted by: Donna Seaman

Messages began to accumulate like snow online over the weekend as the chilling news of poet Lucille Clifton’s death began to travel from one poetry lover to another. I feel bereft as so many others do because Clifton was the sort of poet who spoke to everyone about everything that matters with unfailing clarity, conviction, and […]

Mon, February 8th, 2010
Minority Report: A Legacy of Contributions and Abuses
Posted by: Vanessa Bush

In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot chronicles the amazing story of the medical breakthroughs gained from a black woman’s cell line. I heard Skloot last week on NPR’s Fresh Air where she told host Terry Gross that in 1951 Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer. A doctor at Johns Hopkins […]

Thu, January 21st, 2010
Minority Report: Library is the New Cool
Posted by: Vanessa Bush

I was thrilled to read the review of This Book is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson and see how the image of librarians may be shifting into cool. Anybody who loves books and libraries doesn’t need to be convinced that librarians are cool. I particularly hope the news […]

Thu, January 14th, 2010
Minority Report: Reid and Race – A Teachable Moment?
Posted by: Vanessa Bush

I wouldn’t even attempt to parse the political motives behind the flap over whether Senator Harry Reid (D, NV) should resign his seat because of his alleged comment that Barack Obama was a strong candidate to be the nation’s first black president because he is fair-skinned and speaks well, all reported in Game Change, by […]

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