Thursday, September 8, 2016
Coffee Will Make You Black (Stevie Stevenson #1) by April Sinclair
I remember when I read this way back in the day thinking that it was a book that I could close and start reading it again. There's humor and poignancy in this story. Fore some reason I never got around to reading book two and three. Book two is Ain't Gonna Be the Same Fool Twice and book three is I Left My Back Door Open. I guess that I need to fix that at some point and grab them. These throwback Thursday features sure make it tempting to go back and read all of these wonderful old school reads!
Set on Chicago's Southside in the mid-to-late 60s, Coffee Will Make You Black is the moving and entertaining tale of Jean "Stevie" Stevenson, a young black woman growing up through the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. The novel opens at a time when, for black families, seeing a black person on television was an event; when expressions like "I don't want nothing black but a Cadillac" and "Coffee will make you black" were handed down from one generation to the next without comment. Stevie is a bookworm, yet she longs to fit in with the cool crowd. Fighting her mother every step of the way, she begins to experiment with talkin' trash, "kicking butt," and boys. With the assassination of Dr. King she gains a new political awareness, which makes her decide to wear her hair in a 'fro instead of straightened, to refuse to use skin bleach, and to confront the prejudice she observes in blacks as well as whites. April Sinclair writes frankly about a young black woman's sexuality, and about the confusion Stevie faces when she realizes she's more attracted to the school nurse -- who is white -- than her teenage boyfriend. As readers follow Stevie's at times harrowing, at times hilarious story, they will learn what it was like to be black before black was beautiful.