Eldridge Cleaver’s Soul on Ice—Still Relevant 50 years later

Eldridge Cleaver, Soul on Ice

Soul on Ice is comprised of different writings—essays, letters, and musings by Eldridge Cleaver, a former Black Panther Ministry of Information party leader. He writes about who he was, what he did, and why. He does not hide anything: his past actions, his past anger, his past crimes. He also writes about who he becomes, and from Folsom Prison he writes about being 18 years old in 1954, the “crucial turning point in the history of the Afro-American—for the U.S.A. as a whole—the year segregation was outlawed by the U.S. Supreme Court” (Cleaver, 3), which was when he started serving a sentence for possession of pot. This decision shaped what it was like “to be black in white America.” (Cleaver, 3)

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Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood Quietly Induces Nightmares 50 years later

In Cold Blood, Truman Capote

“At the time not a soul in sleeping Holcomb heard them—four shotgun blasts that, all told, ended six human lives. But afterward the townspeople, theretofore sufficiently unfearful of each other to seldom trouble to lock their doors, found fantasy re-creating them over and again—those somber explosions that stimulated fires of mistrust in the glare of which many old neighbors viewed each other strangely, and as strangers.” (Capote, 5)

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Too Much to Love and Not Enough Time to Write about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun

Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I’ve only read two books by Chimamada Ngozi Adichie: Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun. I read Americanah because that was the choice my book club had made. I read Half of a Yellow Sun because Adichie is now one of my favorite writers. The two books I’ve read are hard to describe: in Americanah the Nigerian protagonist goes to school in America and returns to Nigeria. She has a number of relationships. In Half of a Yellow Sun, the book is mostly about two sisters and their relationships with men and other surrounding people in Nigeria during the 1960s. Continue reading →