“Passing,” or your wknd and Nov. 10 sorted

I was so excited at the first impression I got for this book's film adaptation on its way. I'm an English major/major book nerd, so yes, the great Nella Larsen's Passing is a novel to define my college days. If you were a woman with melanin and not going into medicine or science as a career, you loved Passing. It was your Dynasty and Real Housewives franchise, yet so aged and psychologically impressive it was totally okay to call this soap opera a favorite novel. Oh, the drama..

Zora Would Want You To

On days like this, meaning a notable artist like Zora Neale Hurston's birthday, the custom is to suggest enjoying his or her work and to "support" others like them in their names. However, something tells me this is not what Zora would want. I think most writers take their birthdays off for things like cake, people, wine and gluttony over discipline. So today Zora wants us to party in her name. And for you to write your own novel, put elbow grease on your big dream and take her as example somebody somewhere will love your work someday.

“Black Woman Gossip” Update: More Essential Black Women’s Story Collections

"Black Woman Gossip" listed my favorite black women story collections, including Alice's IN LOVE AND TROUBLE: STORIES OF BLACK WOMEN. In particular I noted the transfer of African oral tradition to the printed word, with the necessity to shortcut African-American speech for varieties of oppressive reasons leading to virtues of expression and cadence, and, of course, secrets. Since then, today's publication of Deesha Philyaw's THE SECRET LIVES OF CHURCH LADIES (West Virginia University Press, 2020) pinched me like a church lady would, to tell me it's time for an update.

Tiffany Gholar Tells the Truth

Gholar's display of glorious art and life-giving paintings, completed across five years, come with grown woman commentary about what it took to see each piece through. In wisdom, she snakes the darkest corners of life- grief, breakups, economic peril- in a chronology of change and chaos where blank canvas was the steadiest hold.