I have been a bit ambitious with my book lists in the past, and had some trouble getting through them, so I was incredibly surprised when I completed my Winter Reading List with just under a month until the start of spring. Looking back on it, I shouldn't have been that surprised. Winter is the perfect breeding ground for hours of uninterrupted reading. Really, what could be more perfect than to be snuggled in a comfy chair with a quilt pulled over your lap, mug of tea at your side, while nose deep in an amazing book? And this winter's books were just that: amazing.
I started winter with Dr. Yaba Blay's (1)ne drop: Shifting the Lens on Race. I don't often have non fiction titles on my reading lists. Every once in a while I'll read a piece of non-fiction that blows me away, but I am a fiction girl at heart. However, I stumbled upon the amazing Dr. Yaba Blay in an article about the Pretty Period project, a visual tribute to brown skin, and visional testimony of Black beauty, and I knew I needed to read her book. I am so happy that I did.
Nuances of identity and colorism are handled masterfully in this book. Blay weaves a page turning synopsis of the history of color classification in America, followed by a personal account of her own identity story, and then she spends the bulk of the book with pages and pages of people sharing their experiences with race and ethnicity all over the world.
This book really made me think more deeply not only about the way I choose to identify my race and ethnicity, but also the assumptions I make about other people I see in passing, and how those assumptions inform who I think they are... the snap judgements they lead to. This is the kind of book that warrants a second and a third read, as it allows for continual discovery. I devoured this book like I would a fast-paced thriller, and found myself hoping there would be a second volume one day.