Since last summer, I have been reading more and more books from authors that fall under this category of marginalized authors. This category includes women, people of color, LGBQT+, people with disabilities, as well as ethnic, cultural and religious minorities. Other authors may fit into this category as well for other reasons. Reading books from authors that fit this has been very enlightening for me as yes, I am female, but many of the trials people who fit this category go through, I have not experienced. While I have definitely experienced my own share of significant trauma, it is hard for me to fathom what others have gone through as it may be hard for them to fathom what I have experienced. Understanding is so important and knowledge is crucial.
I recently read One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia which is a book about three little girls, Delphine, Vonetta and Fern who are going to Oakland, California to meet their mother who Delphine hasn't seen since she was at five years old. Their mother is said to have just up and left after Fern was born so she never got to know her daughters. The girls grew up believing she had abandoned them and was a "good for nothing." Their father decides it is time for them to meet Cecile (what they call their mom). In Oakland, they spend their time learning at a Black Panther's summer camp where they learn about the cause and what it means to be a part of a revolution.
The Black Panthers received a lot of bad press due to the fact that they carried weapons and were a part of other things, but what they news rarely showed was how much good they brought to the poor black communities and the change they were trying to instill. This book gave me a greater insight to this time in American history and a different picture than what many people were led to believe just like it does for the girls.
I have always loved historical fiction, and the best historical fiction is from writers with a background different from my own. I highly recommend reading more of these works because not only are they beneficial to understanding more of the world around you and how it got to be the way it is, but they are also incredibly good reads.