SundayMorningReads

Posted on 23 May 2010 Sunday


IBLN met at the Indiana State Library

I think my slump is ending. School is coming to a close. Today the sun is out and the weather is warm. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the spring meeting of the Indiana Black Librarian’s Network (IBLN). I have to admit to starting my day not quite looking forward to being in meeting all day, but I can’t remember the last day I was so inspired! Being in a room with people in various stages of their career who bring so much energy to this vocation can only uplift and inspire! There are things I know I need to do when I’m feeling down, but I don’t always have the energy to do them. Being around positive people can usually push me through. As an introvert, I don’t always want to make those connections.

I do always stay connected to my children. My youngest son is in Iraq. He shared with me that his replacements have arrived. They’re soldiers from Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone is a country recovering from a civil war that lasted 10 years. Current per capita GDP is about $900. Soldiers are enticed into service with a salary that far exceeds what they would make in one year at home, if they could find a job. This reminds me so much of the men from Zimbabwe who are hired to remove mines in Taiwan. Men caught up in someone else’s war. I suppose one could argue they’re given the opportunity to earn a living. But at what cost? The Sierra Leoneans aren’t even provided medical coverage: if they seek treatment, it costs them a month’s pay! If you haven’t read Beah’s Long Way Gone yet, you should. It will give you an idea of what those 10 years were like in Sierre Leone. And now, they’re fighting our war.

One of my current reads is (still) The Most Southern Place on Earth: The Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity. Right now, I’m reading about the early twentieth center when the demand for cotton is increasing, but Black labor is neither increasing nor quite cooperating with the employment conditions prescribed by White landowners. So, they decide to recruit Italians. So, at this point, I want to put down The most southern place and read Mississippi Bayou (reviewed here by Knight Reader), a book which I’ve wanted to read for quite sometime. I think of Mississippi as such a narrow minded place with an even narrower history, but clearly it was my mind that was narrow! Learning about this most southern corner of the world makes me wonder about other histories I’m missing. His-stories. Stories. The diverse and complex stories that make America who we are.

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Posted in: Sunday Reads