Book Review: Dub Finding Ceremony by Alexis Pauline Gumbs

I know that people normally begin reviews by giving you a blurb about the book but I think that this blurb on Alexis Pauline Gumbs is too good not to share with the world.

“Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a Queer Black Troublemaker and Black Feminist Love Evangelist and an aspirational cousin to all sentient beings.  Her work in this lifetime is to facilitate infinite, unstoppable ancestral love in practice.  Her poetic work in response to the needs of her cherished communities have held space for multitudes in mourning and movement

When THE Alexis Pauline Gumbs is looking for advanced readers for her newest work, Dub on twitter first you jump at the chance. Then you start to fret at least a little bit on whether you are even qualified to write a review on anything written by someone who is essentially a national treasure. But, she trusted you with it so you decide to at the very least give it your best shot. 

Dub is the final volume of a poetic trilogy which began with Spill scenes of black feminist fugitivity. Spill is described as heartbreaking work that pushes the boundaries of art making and scholarship. The second volume M Archive After the end of the world asks the question of how black conciousness and bodies will be archived at the end of the world.

Since receiving Dub I’ve read it three times. The first time it took me over a month because I kept having to put it down as I became overwhelmed from the beauty of her words which she uses to call out the hipocrisy of the world and the way we treat each other and it. I gasped, took numerous sharp intake of breaths, cried and laughed out loud.

The second time I read it I was astounded by how swiftly Alexis pulls you into each piece with the beauty of nature then gut punches you with her observations on climate change, racism, sexism, colonialism, genocide and slavery. 

The third time I read it I fell in love with the first piece from the chapter titled “saving the planet”.

remember, you come from a people who not so long ago didn’t use water that way, that gave back to this land that sweats god’s tears of joy.

 People throw around terms like Genius and Magic frequently but if you open this book, flip to any passage, and don’t feel moved from your soul then I will assume that you don’t have one. 

5 stars aren’t enough for this sacred text but it’s all we got so… 

Dub Finding Ceremony will be released on February 14th 2020 and you can purchase your copy at most major retailers or at your favorite feminist bookstore. 

My sincere thanks to Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Duke Press for the ARC of Dub and the gifts of Spill and M Archive

Book Review: The Home For Unwanted Girls

Book Review: The Home for Unwanted Girls

“In 1950s Quebec, French and English tolerate each other with precarious civility–much like Maggie Hughes’ parents. Maggie’s English-speaking father has ambitions for his daughter that don’t include marriage to the poor French boy the next farm over. But Maggie’s heart is captured by Gabriel Phénix. When she becomes pregnant at fifteen, her parents send the baby Elodie to an orphanage where she receives horrible treatment. Seventeen years later, Maggie, married to a businessman eager to start a family, cannot forget the daughter she was forced to abandon, and a chance reconnection with Gabriel spurs a wrenching choice. As time passes, the stories of Maggie and Elodie intertwine but never touch, until Maggie realizes she must take what she wants from life and go in search of her long-lost daughter, finally reclaiming the truth that has been denied them both.”

Throughout history in every country if you dig deep enough you will uncover some horrible atrocities. The Home for Unwanted Girls tells the story of what happened to the daughters of unwed mothers in Quebec. Some were sold to Jewish families who were unable to adopt in the US. Many more were given to orphanages run by nuns where they lived humble lives that revolved around school and church. Until a law was passed that offered more reimbursement for mentally ill patients than the orphanages were paid to take care of children. So almost over night the children were evaluated by physicians and diagnosed mentally ill. 

This story is told in alternating chapters from the perspective of Maggie, who spends her life searching for her daughter who was taken from her at birth and sent to an orphanage, and her daughter Elodie, who thinks that her mother is dead.

As Elodie and Maggie’s stories unfold we’re treated to a history listen on the the abuse and atrocitites of the orphaned children which continues for many years until a new law is passed denouncing the previous law. After the new law frees the older girls back into a society that they are not prepared to live in many of the younger girls remain in the orphanages. Confined back to a life of education, church, cleaning, and being reminded that they are there because of the sins of their mothers.

This is a vibrant story about family, a mother’s love, and a young girls unending fight for her life. I love fictional stories that educate me on true historical events and rated this book 5 Stars. 

Sold on a Monday: Book Review

4 Stars

Sold on A Monday was a great read although at times it was a little slow. I love a story that keeps you entertained while teaching you things. During the pages of this story I was reintroduced to the way that women were treated in our history. How no matter how smart or talented they were they had to fight twice as hard just to be a secretary and how unwed women with children could be treated so badly that they would lie to protect themselves.

I’m always curious about where the idea for a story came from so I loved where the author told us all about that at the end.

I Have Something To Say

I have something to say. This isn’t something new. If you’ve known me long enough you know that I rarely if ever am at a lack of words.

I haven’t really been talking though. Of course I’ve been commenting on certain subjects occasionally. I’ve been watching what’s happening in the world and talking to myself about how I feel about them. I’ve been talking AB’s ears off and venting to my friends. I’ve even been filling up journals…Yet, I have this amazing open platform, all of the technology one could ever need to access it and I haven’t really been saying anything on here.

I felt like I didn’t have anything to add to the conversations.

Like I wasn’t intelligent enough to string my sentences in a way that would make people feel things. In a way that would foster some sort of change. Even if the change were small.

Most embarrassingly; I have been holding my tongue so as to not offend my friends and family members with my view points on certain issues.

The greatest gift that I received from Roxane Gay’s talks during the Decatur Book Festival was the confirmation that “I have something to say.”  and that people need to hear it.

So on Authentically Adrien’s first birthday I’m revamping the blog. It’s going to be more organized, more direct, and I am going to be saying some things. If you’ve stuck with me this long I am so thankful for you.

I appreciate every single person who has ever even glanced at this blog. I hope that you stick around to listen to what I have to say.