There is nothing more satisfying then indulging ones self in a good book, and sharing what you’ve gained from that experience. I live for goodreads.com , libraries, and book club, a love that has gone on since my scholastic readers club days in Elementary School.
My Love affair with Black Fiction and Sci Fi came from Octavia Butler in my college years. I replaced time spent in the gym and computer lab, with short walks from my apartment to my local library, over time possessing library cards from four different counties! Before Octavia I experienced Zora, Wright, Sista Souljah, Hopkinson, Morrison, Dickey, and currently McFadden! Those were just a few of the Black Fiction authors I explored. If only you knew the fantastic world that exists inside my head.
With all of these enlightening, soul inspiring works of literature, coursing through my blood, I feel obligated to share with you. My goodreads group, “Literary fiction by People of Color” will complete reading and discuss the book entitled Praise Song for the Butterflies By Bernice L. McFadden on Feb 1st! The reason this is so exciting is because I haven’t participated in this group for at least four years, sadly I haven’t been able to complete and entire fiction book since then, my goodreads bookshelf is evidence of this. Well, I’M BAACK!!! I have a stack of unfinished books sitting around that I could actually help me reach my reading goal of 100 books in 2019! With all of that said I will do my best to share this adventure with those that care to follow. Maybe we can share more amazing reads and inspire one another to write!
I will waste no more of your time, lets delve into the beautiful work of McFadden’s Praise Song… (I promise there will be “NO SPOILERS HERE”, so read on)
We are introduced to Abeo Kata and her loving family, in an upper-class neighborhood in the fictional West African country of Ukembe. We are reminded that although Ukembe has a history of colonization very similar to recently liberated African Countries, they as well have shared African traditions, that existed long before. Some consider certain rituals oppressive, and are working to outlaw them. The practice of focus in this book is Trokosi also known as Ritual servitude
McFadden does an excellent job of addressing a religious practice and the politics behind with a compassionate heart void her personal views. The reader can make a choice and become an advocate. I would love for you to make this your next read, I am anxious to hear your perspectives.
Although Abeo shows us her deepest darkest most intimate feelings throughout, it is amazing how you can relate to her growth as a person, and still have no idea what she will do next. The feeling of hopelessness can become another strong emotion, and than as quickly leave you feeling empowered. McFadden helped me to feel connected to Abeo in away I have never connected to a character, she has become my friend, my Sister, my daughter, and a part of my consciousness.
Just as connected I have become with Abeo, I can also feel a connection to all of the other characters in this book from the other children at the Shrine, her Mother and Aunts, her New York family, even her father. This may be a hard read for Brotha’s, actually men in general. It does have a scent of feminism and male emasculation. I can see where someone could mistake this read as a gender power struggle. If that is what one focuses on in this book then they will miss the metamorphosis from slavery to liberation! The title of this book says it all.