If you’re looking for a great way to expand your encounter with Black history beyond the month of February, check out Glory Days by Janus Adams*. This book – available in the Library – provides 365 brief, powerful essays highlighting African American contributions to the political, scientific, athletic, artistic, and economic life of the U.S., one for each day of the year.
Each essay carries the reader on a journey, propelled by Dr. Adams’ passionate, unsparing prose. For in celebrating achievement, she doesn’t hesitate to expose the viciousness of the obstacles overcome. Even if you don’t check out the book, I urge you to read the introduction. Written in 1995 it sounds notes of eerie familiarity, of an era of growing hostility toward people of color. It states as the book’s purpose: to remind those people – and those who would undermine them – of their majestic determination to rise, to love themselves and their children, and assert their right to happiness and success, again and again, often over the persecution and hatred of their countrymen.
If you marveled at the power of her oratory, or are curious what compelled a return performance of her brilliant lecture, Glory Days will prove that performance was no fluke.
*Last Fall’s Distinguished Speaker at SUNY New Paltz, the first ever invited to reprise her lecture. She delivered her talk “Know When to Leave the Plantation” again last week.