ICYMI: The Last Month in Black Writing and Culture

Editor’s note: HBW’s ICYMI segment resumes after the holiday break. We hope that the holidays treated everyone well, and we look forward to a fruitful 2016! 

What did you miss? 

Martin Luther King Jr.,’s birthday was on January 15th, and the nation celebrated MLK Day on January 18th.

In light of Martin Luther King Day, the Huffington Post created a list of 13 significant books on civil rights. 

Historically, patriarchal society has cast women into the shadow of men when it comes to civil rights. Names such as Rosa Parks come to mind, but there were countless others. Read about the invisible women of the civil rights movement. 

Cultural memory is important. It makes sure we understand the past and learn from it. Slavery is one topic that contemporary rhetoric so often urges to just “forget” and “move on.” The Huffington Post has compiled a list of 13 honest books on slavery that young people should read.

Lack of diversity has been a problem that has persisted in various institutions, and this doesn’t exclude Hollywood. Upon the release of the nominations for this year’s Oscars, many actors have announced their boycotting of the ceremony this year. This controversy echoes Man Booker Prize winner Marlon James’s criticism of the lack of diversity in publishing.

The great Natalie Cole, daughter of Nat King Cole, died at the age of 65 earlier this month.

National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates spoke with NPR on current issues including police brutality and the confederate flag.

Author J. Everitt Prewitt released his second novel, A Long Way Back. The novel tells the story from the perspective of black soldiers in the Vietnam war.

A Birthday Cake for George Washington, a children’s book about an enslaved chef and his child, was recalled for softening the brutality of slavery. The controversy calls into light the tension of educating children on difficult topics such as slavery.

Lisa Page reviewed Grant Park by Leonard Pitts, Jr. for the Washington Post. The novel addresses America’s “continuing racial divide.”