Monday, November 1, 2021

Read Until You Understand: The Profound Wisdom of Black Life and Literature by Farah Jasmine Griffin

Happy Monday y'all! The start of a new month always feels like a reading reset. It's the start of non-fiction November and Read Until You Understand by Farah Jasmine Griffin is the one non-fiction book that I am committed to reading this month. I tend to work through non-fiction at a slower pace and at only 218 pages I know that I can get this one read and have a fighting chance of easily reading more books as well this month. I intend to share some of the other non-fiction titles that I have on my shelves this month so if you're looking for more to add to your TBR keep an eye out over the next few weeks.

The beautiful print that I am showing off is from the talented Denise Cooper whitmorereads on Instagram. Denise has a Fine Art America shop where you can buy prints and even original art. I'll definitely be adding more from her collection to my walls.

Read Until You Understand buy link 

Synopsis: Farah Jasmine Griffin has taken to her heart the phrase "read until you understand," a line her father, who died when she was nine, wrote in a note to her. She has made it central to this book about love of the majestic power of words and love of the magnificence of Black life.

Griffin has spent years rooted in the culture of Black genius and the legacy of books that her father left her. A beloved professor, she has devoted herself to passing these works and their wisdom on to generations of students.

Here, she shares a lifetime of discoveries: the ideas that inspired the stunning oratory of Frederick Douglass and Malcolm X, the soulful music of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, the daring literature of Phillis Wheatley and Toni Morrison, the inventive artistry of Romare Bearden, and many more. Exploring these works through such themes as justice, rage, self-determination, beauty, joy, and mercy allows her to move from her aunt’s love of yellow roses to Gil Scott-Heron’s "Winter in America."

Griffin entwines memoir, history, and art while she keeps her finger on the pulse of the present, asking us to grapple with the continuing struggle for Black freedom and the ongoing project that is American democracy. She challenges us to reckon with our commitment to all the nation’s inhabitants and our responsibilities to all humanity.


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