#blackgirlsquibs

I was really excited about a lot of books this spring. You may recall that I wrote a whole post about it. There was a lot of #blackgirlmagic in the works, and nothing could be better or more necessary than that. The biggest readers in the country are college-educated black women, while in the UK (and I gather in the US), young black girls are the biggest demographic of readers under 18. We deserve to be recognized for that and thanked by the publishing industry, but of course we’re not.

So I was really excited to find a bunch of upcoming books that not only starred black girls, but they were smart, middle and upper class, and front and center on the covers, too. I mean, look:

Little White Lies by Brianna Baker and F. Bowman Hastie III Flawed by Cecelia Ahern Into White by Randi Pink

Two of those, Flawed and Into White, are from the same publisher, Feiwel & Friends, and I give them extra points for not bowing to the whole “we already have a black book this year; thanks” thing that so many do, though I imagine part of it has to do with the fact that Cecelia Ahern is a white author with two solid adult books on her resume to recommend her. The other, Little White Lies, is from Soho Teen.

The problem is that at a time in American history (Flawed is Irish, but it’s being published here, so) when we desperately need #blackgirlmagic (and strong black men) in our books, in a life-or-death way, what we don’t need is these books. Continue reading

sigh of collective relief

So much happened at ALA that I am so exhausted – not just from the amount of time I spent on my feet versus spent sleeping, which was skewed in the wrong way, but also exhausted from the amount of gratitude I feel after a weekend filled with really good people who treated me really well and who are really supportive at a time when I need that.

But I really hate being gross and saccharine, so suffice to say thank you, I am not worthy, you are all amazing, and moving on.

I met lots of people I have known only on the internet, and I’m glad to know that actually they are just as excellent offline, so we hung out a lot. I’m usually pretty good at going to sessions at conferences, but this time I pretty much only went to my own or ones I was helping with, and otherwise I made really, really valuable and rewarding connections with human beings on the exhibit floor, at the hotels, and roaming the halls. I don’t know how I made it through four days without having a hotel room to escape to when the social overload anxiety hit, but it was a whirlwind and I did it and it was worth it.

Possibly the most amazing thing was Continue reading

what your sad friend does not need to hear from you

I just had a really lovely, low-key, fun evening with a friend. We went for a hike and then for Burmese food. It was just what I needed.

Then I was driving home and thinking about whatever and kind of continuing the conversation we had had at dinner with myself, as I am wont to do, and then all of a sudden I was in tears. Not breaking down inconsolable, but a steady, obnoxious, salty stream–just me, mascara-y tears, and 101.

This is not the first time that some zen-ish driving (i.e. not rush hour) has…prompted? allowed? made? me start to cry about the state of my life. It has happened a lot since I moved here, and probably has happened in other non-driving iterations at other times in my life.

And one of the things that made the tears keep coming out, I mean aside from catharsis from being a generally bottled up, busy person, was my realization that I have no one to cry to except myself. Continue reading