RaveThe Seattle TimesIn Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick, a new collection of Hurston’s stories (including eight Harlem-set stories found in the archives of periodicals from the 1920s and 30s that were since long forgotten), some of the best of [Hurston\'s] defiant work is on display. With the careful, and respectful, examination of a scholar, she celebrates the diversity and dynamism of the Black vernacular of her time, how its rhythms and phrases differ between the northeastern U.S. and the South, between social classes and over generations ... Reading Hurston’s writings that captured the culture, folklore and mythologies of Black folk, I saw Blackness without the admonishing white gaze and understood for the first time that I had a culture, not just behaviors and \'bad English\' that needed to be corrected.
R O Kwon
RaveThe Seattle TimesThroughout the novel, Kwon’s writing stuns. It shines in the little details and in-between sentences where you’re least expecting to find yourself lingering over a beautiful phrase ... Kwon, having personally experienced the pull of faith and the devastation of its loss, is gentler with these characters than I could ever be ... She does not let her characters off the hook for their detestable behaviors, but she does not villainize them beyond human recognition either. They blow up buildings, manipulate and hurt people, sometimes navel-gaze to an eye-rolling degree. They are troubled and troubling characters and they are precisely as comprehensible and infuriating as they should be. Despite, or likely because of, these difficult characters, The Incendiaries is a haunting portrayal of faith—its draw, its loss, its dangers.
Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele
PositiveBustleThe first memoir to come from one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movements, When They Call You A Terrorist is not only an inside look at the development of BLM but also a look at the more personal side of its foundations. Offering up a look at how her own upbringing as a Black woman, the memoir promises a more nuanced and personal take on the many issues that drive the movement.