Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Our History is Personal: Lest We Forget.

September 14, 2019 by  
Filed under Book Club/Book Reviews, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( There are many adaptations of the history of American born blacks in this country. Most of those accounts are written by the white majority; very few are an attempt to tell history as it truly happened. There are too many times whereby the writers of these books seek to downplay some aspect of the institution of slavery and the struggles Black Americans have had to endure at the hands of the controlling majority, and now other people if color. It’s very hard to read accounts of such a painful, and resilient, history when its written in a nonchalant tone…or when it reads as if so much has changed. Its hard to acknowledge the reach of change when we can’t bring ourselves to truly discuss the suffering that took place, and still does take place. It is refreshing to come across an account of our history that reads in a personal way. “Lest We Forget – The Passage From Africa into the Twenty-First Century” by Velma Maia Thomas recounts many things in the history that we know, but how she tells our story is what matters.

This book is beautifully put together in a way that makes our history come to life and feel in some small way tangible. The book is broken down into three sections that cover passage from Africa to the twenty-first century. One thing the reader will notice is the book is about 114 pages meaning the author gave a brief history of the periods that would lead the reader to want to dig deeper into various texts about each section. The author rights a good deal of the book from a position of being a part of the legacy of this past. There are several places whereby the reader will encounter the words “My People”.

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This makes the history that is being told personal; the author makes us feel a connection with the ancestors given her choice of words. The pictures in the book of ancestors, images of artifacts, and replica of different items from that time throughout the book add to the reading experience. It is the part of the book that allows the history to feel tangible as if you could interact with it. The book also contains ten removable memorabilia items. All of this makes for a positive reading experience in a history book.

Velma Maia Thomas is noted as having an “engaging style that brings history to life”. Lest We Forget – The Passage from Africa into the Twenty-First Century is a testament to her style. This black woman is telling of our history in a way that can only done by a black person. There are enough items in the book to make the reader question histories that seek to diminish our treatment.  This is a book that one can share with their children and generations to come. This is definitely a book I’d recommend to black readers, and even those that are not black that want to understand our struggle in this country.

Lest We Forget – The Passage From Africa into the Twenty-First Century can be found on Amazon, and any place books are sold.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

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