13 Women Writers on Self-Reliance

Self-reliance is an understanding of one’s ability to define and determine the self. That understanding is a difficult one to reach as a black woman. Often times our paths are obstructed by the looming presence of a society whose existence seems rooted in keeping us down. But, as Maya Angelou reminded us, we still shall rise. See what these 13 writers have to say about the matter of self-love and self-reliance.

Read more of my latest offering for Blavity 

5 Books You May or May Not Have Known Are “Banned”

Though America may be the land known for it’s freedom of speech, there are many books that are censored and banned from library shelves to school reading lists. Book censorship can often be a disadvantage to students and readers in general as it leaves us without a dynamic world of literature. In honor of #BannedBooksWeek, a week where bibliophiles celebrate the importance of books, I wanted to share a list of famous books that are infamous for their controversial subject matters, which have led them to be banned from many educational, correctional, and community-service institutions around the country.

1. Paradise – Toni Morrison 

2. Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison

3. Go Tell it on the Mountain – James Baldwin

4. Their Eyes Were Watching God –  Zora Neale Hurston

5. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou

All of these authors have contributed works that have had such influential impact on culture and society. Without their audacious courage to write such eye-opening texts, life and literature wouldn’t be the same.

Have you read any of the aforementioned books? What books have you been shocked to hear are banned?