Today was a day where people in the music industry decided they would be quiet in support of Black Lives Matter and many other individuals followed suit. Although opinions about this trend were mixed – some pointed out that silence tends to enable oppression – it felt like a touching show of solidarity, support, and mourning for so many lives lost unfairly. Since I deeply felt the mourning, I decided to create a painting. It’s abstract and it’s black to symbolize grief, but also has some gold woven in to stand for hope. Because I do believe that enough people care and that we can all work together to create a society where nobody is discriminated against for the color of their skin.
I was very proud of Houston today for organizing and carrying out a peace march in which 60,000 people walked from Discovery Green to City Hall and back together with George Floyd’s family. I stayed home and listened live to the inspiring speeches, and shared in the sadness but also in the beautiful spirit of our diverse city – the most diverse city in the US! The way this city embraces and celebrates its diversity has always been my absolute favorite thing about it. I’m not saying we’re perfect, but it is a great city with nice people, and people who get along and who socialize with one another across racial lines. I’ve lived in many places where this doesn’t happen, big cities and small communities alike.
So I am very sad, but I’m hopeful. There is a lot of love and compassion in the world and people who want meaningful change.
And while it seems irrelevant to talk about my own pursuits at times like this, I’m thankful that I do have so many outlets to express myself and so many wonderful people who one way or another partake of what I put out there. Today I met a wonderful new collector who has been reading my blog for years – and even read some of my books. That made me incredibly happy, because I felt like in my own way I can spread a little bit of love in this crazy world. Also, Storms of Malhado was featured a few days ago on this blog about Mystery books run by another reader who enjoyed it. Again, this all is reason for hope, because a world full of readers is an empathetic world. And in that vein, here are some of my favorite books of fiction by Black authors:
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (but, really, read all her books)
Mama by Terry McMillan (but, really, read all her books)
Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
Loving Day by Mat Johnson
God Don’t Like Ugly (series) by Mary Monroe
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray