ReadSoulLit Photo Challenge – Day 5 & 6

Day 5 – It’s a family affair!  

I have quite a few possibilities on my shelves with this theme but the book that came to my mind first was The Darkest Child by Delores Phillips.  Now to be honest, this book3ebb6c26-a471-4606-b63b-0b93d6b555e1 has been sitting on my shelves for over 2 years. Why? Because I’m not sure I can bear reading the abuse that I imagine it contains and that my followers on Instagram have subsequently confirmed.  However, every single person has said they loved the book and that I should read it, even though it’s emotionally challenging.  So that gives you an idea on whether you should pick it up if you haven’t already.

The author of this book Delores Phillips passed away suddenly in 2014.  This special edition pictured contains an introduction by Tayari Jones and an excerpt from the author’s unfinished sequel called Stumbling Blocks.  So I recommend Deloresyou pick up this edition (ISBN: 9781616958725).  The Darkest Child also won the Black Caucus of the ALA Award and was a nominee for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award.  An interesting tidbit about The Darkest Child is its beginnings, a long form poem written over a four-year period.  In the end, Phillips decided to make it into a novel seeing that it counted several hundred pages.

Day 6 – Author on the Come Up

C.P. Patrick is definitely the author on the come up!  I was introduced to her writing when I picked up her debut novel called The Truth About Awiti.  What a creative, CPoriginal fashion to recount a slave narrative.  I highly recommend this one to people who have given up on reading about slavery.  This story has just the right amount of spirituality to keep the reader engrossed until the end.  With its mysterious cover, The Truth About Awiti definitely follows in the footsteps of the great Octavia E. Butler.

Patrick has also written Dear Ancestors: poems and reflections on the Arican Diaspora which is a piece written in verse about the Middle Passage.  It too recounts the img_2059history of slavery in all its emotion and accuracy.  Each word has been chosen carefully to convey particular images and meaning.  It’s brilliant and surprisingly celebratory!  It weighs in only at 75 pages so you can read it in one sitting or even twice in a row like I did.

Patrick is also working on series of children’s books the first telling the important stories of our history(Each book features an important person from history like Harriet Tubman and Joan of Arc) and the second series is called Ana & Andrew.  She’s been touring elementary schools talking about history.  If you’re interested in learning more about her writing for children, go to her Instagram page, @afrominimalist to follow more of her writing journey. 


If you’d like to pick up a copy of any of my recommendations or just shop for yourself please consider clicking my affiliate link for The Book Depository.  It would be much appreciated. It will help fund my incessant book buying, reading, and reviewing. Thank you!



Dear Ancestors Poems & Reflections on the African Diaspora

Poetry is not something I pick up very much but in the past 4 years I’ve had the pleasure of reading some fantastic poetry collections.  This year has started with Dear Ancestors Poems & Reflections on the African Diaspora by CP Patrick, author of the compelling novel The Truth About Awiti.  There are poems in this collection that come from The Truth About Awiti.  I strongly recommend you check it out because it is quite the story with a dash of fantasy and deals with the African diaspora and the transAtlantic slave trade.

It’s a slim collection containing only 58 pages, a short poem on each page.  To the eye that would appear to be slither to discuss such a complex subject, but believe me it’s more than enough.  From the first poem I was thrown into the African diaspora, my emotions rising within.  I could put it down and when I did I had finished and reread it a second time.

The collection is structured in 4 parts – Home, Middle Passage/Second Home, Bondage, Freedom or Something Like It.  The poems in each section are perfectly understandable.  These poems are not obscure or difficult to understand.  They are written with nuance and a perspective that will touch you before you realize it.  These poems made me reflect but also made me remember how proud I am to be black.  I come from strong people.  People that have a history that doesn’t just start with slavery.

The fact that CP Patrick begins the collection with poems from the section Home that cherishes the beginnings of black people in Africa – free with their own lives and customs, good and bad, exhibits her desire to tell our entire story.

“if but for a moment

you were


descending from the heavens

leaving the safety of my warm womb

you saw this sad world

and changed your mind”

clairvoyant stillborn

  • CP Patrick, Dear Ancestors Poems & Reflections on the African Diaspora, p. 28

If you’d like to pick up a copy of Dear Ancestors or any of my other recommendations please consider clicking my affiliate link for The Book Depository.  It would be much appreciated. It will help fund my incessant book buying, reading, and reviewing. Thank you!