One Drop: A Colorful New Book About Blackness

1ne-Drop_KickstarterHello Meltingpot Readers,

Pardon my absence last week. I was in Washington, DC at a conference for work. Ms. Meltingpot wears many hats, and journalism professor is one of them and must be attended to in addition to my author, mommy, lover of the multi-culti universe roles.

Anywho, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to tell you all about this gorgeous and powerful new book by a fellow Philadelphian, called (1)ne Drop. The book is really about Black identity, but rather than me trying to summarize its greatness, here’s what it says on the author’s – Dr. Yaba Blay – website:

” 1)ne Drop seeks to challenge narrow perceptions of Blackness as both an identity and lived reality. Featuring the perspectives of 56 contributors representing 15 different countries and countries of origin, and combining candid memoirs with simple, yet striking, portraiture, this multi-platform project provides living testimony to the diversity of Blackness. Although contributors use varying terms to self-identify, they all see themselves as part of the larger racial, cultural, and social group generally referred to and known as “Black.” They all have experienced having their identity called into question simply because they don’t fit neatly into the stereotypical “Black box” — dark skin, “kinky” hair, broad nose, full lips, etc. – and most have been asked “What are you?” or the more politically correct, “Where are you from?” numerous times by various people throughout their lives. It is through contributors’ lived experiences with and lived imaginings of Black identity that we are able to visualize multiple possibilities for Blackness above and beyond appearances.”

Sadly, as with most creative projects about the Black experience that don’t fit into mainstream publishing’s concept of Black people – insert tired stereotype here– Dr. Blay was unable to find a publisher for her work – despite the fact that the book was the basis of CNN’s Who’s Black in America special – so she’s self-publishing (1)ne Drop.  Actually, she’s not only publishing her book, she’s starting a whole new publishing company to publish her book and others like it. She already has an impressive line-up of books coming out in the next several months. But don’t take my word for it. Check out the kickstarter campaign, be inspired and buy a book.


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4 Thoughts to “One Drop: A Colorful New Book About Blackness”

  1. Wendy

    And yet I read yesterday that Oprah apologized!

    I’ve been reading “The Walls of Cartagena”. I’ve owned the book for over a year, but I never had the time to read it. I seem silly saying that since its a young adult novel. Its beautifully written and well researched. Have a read! I would love a Ms. Meltingpot write up!
    From amazon:
    Calepino was blessed with good fortune. After his mother died giving birth to him on a slave ship, he was taken in by a wealthy woman who gave him every advantage. Then on his thirteenth birthday, Father Pedro, a devout priest, asks Calepino to assist him with the slaves coming into Cartagena. Soon he’s fighting seasickness, living in squalor, and cursing every minute. That all begins to change when he meets Mara and Tomi, a mother and son who remind him of his own past.

    When Tomi and Mara are sold to a cruel man, Calepino is more determined than ever to find a way to save them. Will this be his chance to change someone else’s fortune, or will he put them all in more peril?

    Richly detailed and researched, Julia Durango’s gripping first novel brings to life what it means to be truly free.

    1. Ms. Meltingpot

      Sounds like a perfect Ms. Meltingpot Read. I will definitely check it out.

  2. Cyretha

    I apologize in advance, but I have to vent here today, especially in light of this post. For two days my male Vietnamese colleague has been ranting about how Oprah over reacted in Zurich. Yes, he says that her reaction has traumatized him. That she has made the Swiss look bad and that the US needs to take more out of the Swiss book in dealing with their race relations and if they did, there would be fewer problems in the US. WTH!!! I will spare you the all details of his absurdness. According to him the salesclerk was offering Oprah advice. It was not an act of racism. Whenever I go in an establishment I don’t want the salesperson’s advice unless I ask for it.

    Economies grow when people spend money. If you don’t want your economy to grow, don’t sell products, but then don’t expect much. Who is to say whose dollar, franc or euro is better than someone else’s? I thought the primary aim of a boutique/store was to sell its products. I did not know they also had a say in who could and could not buy them. We are not talking about taking a puppy home to a family which has no compassion. We are talking about a freaking handbag.

    This guy believes that his view is so right that he is going to explain his point on Oprah’s blog. He says he would appreciate it if a saleperson tells him an item is too expensive for his budget. WOW!!!! What planet is he from?

    There is so much more work to be done!!!!! May we all have the courage and stregth to endure!!!

    1. Ms. Meltingpot

      You go right ahead and vent. You are most definitely justified. And I’m honored you felt the Meltingpot was a safe space to share. Keep those opinions coming.

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