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African-American Lit Book Reviews

Find below the books we've reviewed in this genre.

Vanessa Riley’s ‘Island Queen’ Is the Powerful, Fictional Retelling of the Life of Dorothy Thomas
Reviewed By Maria Chance May 14th, 2022 2:27 am

There are queens born and there are queens made. In Island Queen, Vanessa Riley tells the story of a real-life, self-made queen of the highest order: Dorothy Kirwan Thomas. Born into slavery, the daughter of a slave and a plantation owner, Dorothy was barely five years old when she was first introduced to the darker side of life, as the British fought the French on the island of Monserrat for power, as friends died wounded right on the floor of her and her mother’s hut, as bombs exploded in the...

Andrea Davis Pinkney Delivers a Story of Generational Perseverance Against Racism in ‘Loretta Little Looks Back’
Reviewed By Maria Chance Jun 8th, 2022 2:17 pm

In Andrea Davis Pinkney’s Loretta Little Looks Back, illustrated by her husband, Brian Pinkney, we are invited to hear the story of three generations in the traditional monologue “go tell it” style, beginning in 1927, Mississipi, with Loretta, who’s lovingly called ‘Retta by her father and sisters. She paints us a picture of life on a cotton farm where she, her sisters and her father are sharecroppers, often working for wages that are barely enough to survive on and sometimes never seen at all....