Community – She Persisted and Prevailed – BWHM

She Persisted and Prevailed

Since the dawn of creation, black women have stood strong for their families and their people. During Black Women’s History Month, Bounce honors the valuable contributions and achievements of black women who positively impact communities across the globe.

Through unsurmountable challenges they have faced throughout time, one thing stands true: black women have never given up or backed down. They have always “Persisted and Prevailed”.

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Here is a selected list of black authors who have helped to tell the larger story of the black female experience. We encourage you to read and share these stories with your family and friends.

It is a remarkable novel — a book that stands in conversation with all these iconic strands of American literature and yet is in no way defined by them. The book is wiser, more attuned to the ways race and class, violence and poverty have shaped and continue to shape this country than just about anything else I’ve encountered. There is also this fierce, irrepressible dignity and all these complicated, fraught gestures of love and attempts at love that make it hard to let this book go. — Dinaw Mengestu, author of the novels “The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears” (2007), “How to Read the Air” (2010) and “All Our Names” (2014).

Morrison’s prose in “Beloved” (1987) is astounding, and the subject matter intense. She managed to elevate the experiences of enslaved Africans and their descendants into a different kind of consideration; one in which these characters were given flesh, love and spirit, operating as actual human beings rather than creations of the white imagination. And what a dilemma the book poses: Should you murder your own children to spare them the degradation, dehumanization, humiliation and violence of that which is antebellum slavery? Are you ready to bear the ghostly weight of that decision? And what happens if you think you are but you aren’t really? The book is pure brilliance and a razor-sharp indictment of the country. — Robert Jones Jr., author of the forthcoming novel “The Prophets” (2019 or 2020)

I’m really in awe of Nottage’s play “Intimate Apparel” (2004) and of the poetry embedded in it. Nottage’s hand is as subtle as her heart is passionate; she illuminates a forgotten corner of history, as if by its own light. It is crafted in such a way that the simplest of actions become revelations of love, loss, aspiration and heartbreak. — Nathan Alan Davis, author of the plays “Nat Turner in Jerusalem” (2017) and “Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea” (2017).

One of my favorite volumes of poetry is “Recyclopedia” (2006), which collects the first three books by Mullen (“Trimmings,” “S*PeRM**K*T” and “Muse and Drudge”), whose radiant playfulness with language (riffs and puns on received phrases) modeled for me a freedom to propel into sound, the primary foundation (function?) of all poetry, as a nonlinear means of signifying existence in multiple directions. — Major Jackson, author of the poetry collections “Roll Deep” (2015) and the forthcoming “The Absurd Man” (2020).

When I first read “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie” (2012) and saw how deeply Mathis had submerged herself into the study of complex relationships between mothers and their children, I knew I wanted to work with her. Having grown up as an only child, the novel speaks to so many questions I’ve had, for years, about large, northern, African-American families with Southern roots. — De’Shawn Charles Winslow, author of the forthcoming novel “In West Mills” (2019).

Book List Courtesy of The New York Times Style Magazine

Resources

Black Women’s History Month Movies

In honor of Black Women’s History Month, Bounce will air iconic films starring powerful and talented Black women. Click each movie to find out when they will air.

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