FCLS Library Staff shares what they've been reading lately!
The African Americans: Many Rivers To Cross, by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
By Odell Horne, Library Assistant
Henry Louis Gates is the director of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Studies Research at Harvard University. He is also a professor at Harvard.
In the first episode, "The Black Atlantic," Professor Gates goes to Sierra Leone and addresses the topic of Africans selling their slaves to the Europeans for guns and other merchandise. Through conversations with historians and community members in Sierra Leone, he sheds some light on what African chiefs thought about enslaving other Africans. Thus, dispelling the widely held notion that Europeans kidnapped Africans and sold them into slavery.
Gates also introduces us to Juan Garrido, a free man, who came to Florida in 1513 as an explorer. Garrido was the first African in America! Gates also introduces us to “Esteban the Moor,” also known as Estevanico, a more popular historical figure, who also came to America in 1534 as an explorer. Thus, dispelling the myth that the first Africans came to America as slaves in 1619. From here, Gates chronicles the history of Africans in America up through the election of Barack Obama, the first black president in the United States.
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, by Olga Tokarcsuk
By Ellen Baxter, Adult Services Librarian
A beautiful translation called Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead. That title isn't exactly welcoming, but the book is truly exquisite. Set in Poland in a remote area that's very cold. The narrator is a older woman and she is a caretaker for the homes of those who live there only when the weather is nice, which is a very short time of the year. Residents begin to turn up dead and the story only gets better from there. Not everyone's cup of tea, but it certainly is mine!
A Long Petal of the Sea, by Isabel Allende
By Marilyn Schuster, Library Associate
I read A Long Petal of the Sea. by Isabel Allende. Historical Fiction. On the whole, it was very good. Great chronicle of the Spanish Civil War and a family’s migration to Chile. Fast-moving with strong characters, true to Allende’s other works. Enjoyable.