May was a very neutral month. But, so far, June has been another story. In the past week I kept reading news about anti-fascism and pro-democracy protests, and the black lives matters movements around the world. Both movements have been marked by police brutality. Reading the news and seeing the videos that pop up on my timeline has left me very sad, but also reminded me of how I found out about white privilege many years ago.
Reading the news also made me even more conscious of what I’ve been reading. This month I didn’t read any books by a black author, and, actually, I don’t own many books written by black authors. According to my bookshelf, I have a thing for novels written by British authors between the 1800s and 1920s. And dystopias.
Even though I do love classics and Margaret Atwood, I plan to make an effort to read more books by black authors (there are a lot in my ‘to be read’ list). Most of the ones that I read so far has taught me something that I, a Snow-White look alike, wouldn’t know otherwise. But that’s a feeling I don’t get only from books.
Just so this is not another post of me talking about my feelings, I would like to recommend three black creators: one influencer and two authors.
The influencer: Amanda Elimian (amandabb on YouTube)
Amanda usually posts beauty and commentary videos on YouTube. I love her beauty videos since I can actually also relate to them, turns out a lot of brands that don’t make good makeup for dark skin tones also don’t make good face products for very pale skin. Her commentary is also amazing, my personal favorite is the one on Hannah Montana.
Author 1: Machado de Assis
Machado de Assis is one of the biggest Brazilian authors, and the biggest black author in history. He was born 1839, and, throughout his life he wrote iconic pieces that are still relevant and interesting today. It is impossible to choose the best book by him, but one of my favorites is The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas (Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas). The most relevant right now though is The Alienist (O Alienista), which will make you reflect on the cancel culture.
Author 2: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
You probably already know who Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is. She is the author of bestselling books, has amazing TED Talks, and had her phrase printed in that iconic Dior t-shirt. If, for some reason, you never read or watched anything by her, you should start by her talks The Danger of a Single Story and We Should All be Feminists.