Reading Roundup for July 2019


This month’s Reading Roundup offers a collection of some of the best articles I read, covering topics including Black farmers, Geri Jewell, and slave testimonies. Plus a list of my own written work. Get those tabs ready!


My Writing

Listicle: New Young Adult Speculative Fiction July 2019

Review: On the Road Again: Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

Review: The Toll by Cherie Priest Is the Southern Gothic Horror Novel of the Summer

Review: Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey

Reading Recs: War, Betrayal, and Dark Secrets in This Summer’s Upcoming Young Adult Speculative Fiction

Review: The Ascent to Godhood by JY Yang

Reading Recs: Prepare Yourself For Marvel’s Phase Four with These Must-Read Comics

Review: Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

Reading Recs: Must-Read Speculative Short Fiction: July 2019


Other Works

Their Family Bought Land One Generation After Slavery. The Reels Brothers Spent Eight Years in Jail for Refusing to Leave It.” by Lizzie Presser for ProPublica: “Between 1910 and 1997, African Americans lost about 90% of their farmland. This problem is a major contributor to America’s racial wealth gap; the median wealth among black families is about a tenth that of white families. Now, as reparations have become a subject of national debate, the issue of black land loss is receiving renewed attention. A group of economists and statisticians recently calculated that, since 1910, black families have been stripped of hundreds of billions of dollars because of lost land. Nathan Rosenberg, a lawyer and a researcher in the group, told me, “If you want to understand wealth and inequality in this country, you have to understand black land loss.””

How a Criminal Justice Reform Became an Enrichment Scheme” by Jessica Pishko for Politico: “And there were signs that the DA’s office, despite its big ask, wasn’t short on cash: It had a fleet of new cars with leather seats. Kelly went through old state audits and other public information, and came to the conclusion that Terrell’s office was bringing in plenty of money but keeping it for itself.”

In honor of breaking the 2/3 mark, here’s an interview with Geri Jewell” by Matt Zoller Seitz: “My cerebral palsy is obvious. I can’t hide it. I can’t just put CP in my back pocket and pretend it’s not there. When I first started doing standup comedy in 1978, I was in the LA Times, in the Calendar section. And it said that I was doing brave and brand-new kind of humor, and it’s amazing how much confidence this young kid has “because she acts like her hecklers don’t even exist.” “She’s just got so much self-confidence.””

The Optics of Opportunity” by Hafizah Geter for Gay Mag: ““Hey, nigger, nigger, nigger,” Jackson Taylor, the writing instructor, called out, pointing his finger at me from across the Chelsea loft that had been renovated into our classroom. I and 13 writers had been invited to participate in a mysterious writing fellowship funded by the Barnes & Noble founder, Len Riggio. For our writing assignment, we had been tasked to complete the thought, “I remember…” A young black poet in his 20s had written and shared a syncopated poem whose rhythms bounced around the room. Buried in his poem, he’d quoted a title from a 1935 poem by Wallace Stevens, “Like Decorations in a Nigger Cemetery.” Taylor demanded to know why he, a white person, couldn’t use the n-word if this black writer could.”

‘Where was the Lord?’: On Jefferson Davis’ birthday, 9 slave testimonies” by Brian Lyman for Montgomery Advertiser: “The overseer, Mr. Woodson Tucker, was mean as anybody. He’d whup you nigh about to death, and had a whupping log where he’d strip em buck naked and lay them on the log. He’d whup them with a wide strap, wider than my hand, then he pop the blisters what he raised and nint them with red pepper, salt and vinegar. Then he put them in the house they call the pest house and have a woman stay there to keep the flies off them till they get able to move. Then they had regular men in the fields with spades, and if you didn’t do what you got told, the overseer would wrap that strap round his hand and hit you in the head with the wooden handle til he killed you. Then the mens would dig a hole with the spades and throw them in it right there in the field, just like they was cows – didn’t have no funeral nor nothing.”

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