#Black Hair + Books: “Dreads”

#Black Hair + Books: “Dreads”

Hello Meltingpot Readers, Did you think I’d run out of books for my “books about Black hair challenge?” Oh no, cornrow! I’m just getting started. Today’s entry is probably one of my favorite photo books, Dreads by Francesco Mastalia and Alfonse Pagano with an introduction by Alice Walker. Yes, this is a gorgeous coffee table book dedicated to the beauty and wonder of dredlocks, written and photographed by two Italian men. I remember when this book came out in 1999 there was some shade thrown on Mastalia and Pagano, seeing…

#Books+Black Hair: Madam CJ Walker Bios for Grown folks and Kids

#Books+Black Hair: Madam CJ Walker Bios for Grown folks and Kids

Hello Meltingpot Readers, You can’t talk about the Black hair business and not spend significant time on the influence and genius of Madam C.J. Walker. Born Sarah Breedlove, this single mother and daughter of slaves, built a multi-million dollar empire by selling hair care products to Black men and women (mostly women). But her impact on the world wasn’t restricted to beauty salons and barber shops. Madam C.J. Walker funneled her profits into the Black community, founding community centers, professional schools, and supporting the anti-lynching movement among other causes. She…

#Books+Black Hair: Miss Jessie’s

#Books+Black Hair: Miss Jessie’s

Hello Meltingpot Readers, For today’s entry in our list of Black History Month books about Black hair, I present, Miss Jessie’s: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch – Naturally by Miko Branch with Titi Branch. Now people, please note, so far I’ve not had to venture any farther than my own private bookshelves to come up with entries for this “books about Black hair” challenge and this book, Miss Jessie’s, is one of my new favorites. The book just came out last summer and I had the chance to read…

I Read #DiverseBooks: Ms. Meltingpot’s 2015 Year in Review of Books

I Read #DiverseBooks: Ms. Meltingpot’s 2015 Year in Review of Books

Hello Meltingpot Readers, On this last day of 2015, I thought it only appropriate to reflect. Reflect that is, on what I read this past year. If you recall, one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to read more in 2015 because I’d noticed that I’d been reading for work and not for pleasure and reading is one of my greatest joys. And when you realize that you’ve neglected a simple joy in your life, something has to be done. I wrote in this early 2015 post that I was…

“All Joy and No Fun:” Parenting in the 21st Century #MeltingpotBookReview

“All Joy and No Fun:” Parenting in the 21st Century #MeltingpotBookReview

Hello Meltingpot Readers, Earlier this year I promised myself I would read more. I’m a writer so reading should be a part of my regular practice, right? Because I like to write both fiction and nonfiction, exploring themes of race, culture, parenting and identity politics, I figured my reading selections should explore these topics and genres as well. So, I picked up Jennifer Senior’s (relatively) new book, All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenting. I assumed reading this book would feel like homework, but I promised myself…

Black History Month Lite: 5 Black Books That Aren’t About “Black Stuff”

Black History Month Lite: 5 Black Books That Aren’t About “Black Stuff”

Hello Meltingpot Readers, Here it is the last week of Black History Month and yours truly is just getting around to acknowledging it. Where are my manners? Hold on, let me get my tongue out of my cheek here. The thing is, I don’t know who Black History Month is really for and I don’t understand why Black American history isn’t the same thing as American history. I mean, historically speaking, Black people have pretty much been here since the beginning so, it’s not clear to me why our contributions…

Weekend Reads: What’s New and Next for 2015

Weekend Reads: What’s New and Next for 2015

Hi Meltingpot Readers, Last night around midnight I finished Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan. As an indication to show just how much I was drawn into this amazing story, I will admit that I almost missed my stop on the train yesterday because I was reading. Suffice it to say, I really enjoyed this book. This morning I found myself replaying the characters’ final dialogue in my mind, as if I’d been there watching it actually unfold. Later today, I have plans to investigate a few things the book exposed…

Meltingpot Book Review: Prison Baby by Deborah Jiang Stein

Meltingpot Book Review: Prison Baby by Deborah Jiang Stein

Hi Meltingpot Readers, A couple of weeks ago, I received a copy of Prison Baby (Beacon Press) in the mail from an editor who thought I’d like it. She was absolutely right, although “like it” wouldn’t exactly be the way I’d describe my reaction to the book. Prison Baby is a memoir by Deborah Jiang Stein. Adopted as a toddler by White parents, Stein has an ambiguous, multiracial background, was born in a prison to a drug-addicted mother, and suffers from a number of emotional and behavioral problems, all related…