Hmmmm …. so a little bit about me. I’m a Black woman and a recent transplant to Durham, NC. I spent most of my teen and adult life in the suburbs of DC (Northern Virginia and Maryland). Currently, I work at the Research Triangle Park campus of a large Silicon Vally technology firm as a web developer and technical writer — nicknamed Inspector Gadget for my love of tech toys.
Since you have found this blog, then naturally, you’ve guessed that one of my favorite activities is reading. With my daughter now off to college in Atlanta, I have much more time to indulge in this past-time. What’s amazing about me starting a blog, is I absolutely hated English other than the time spent reading. I always hated the structure imposed by English teachers — thesis sentence with 3 supporting arguments, each supported by their own paragraph, and then the dreaded conclusion. Ugh! So, my passion and expertise was geared more to mathematics and science in school.
My first vivid memory of books and reading was the day my grandmother took me to the public library as a small child. While I “felt” there was something special about that day, it was only years later that I learned the significance of this event. My mother, also an avid reader, and her sister were only able to visit the “Colored” library growing up. Once the public library was de-segregated and I was old enough, my grandmother walked me up those marble stairs to a whole new world.
As a pre-teen, I made a private haven in my closet where I would sit for hours, propped up on pillows reading. The one book that made the most impression on me was Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I was taken by her non-sense, bookish persona and wanted to build my own “castles in the air.” During these private moments, my readings consisted of adventure and fantasy stories, like Treasure Island and the Oz series, an encyclopedia of fairy tales, detective stories (Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys).
During high school and college, I devoured the classics of Western literature and discovered African-American literature. Reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X made a huge impression on me.
I have often reflected upon the new vistas that reading opened to me. I knew right there in prison that reading had changed forever the course of my life. As I see it today, the ability to read awoke in me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive — Malcolm X
It was during this time, that I started filling my personal library with non-fiction books about and by Blacks in the African Diaspora; as well as, books about Egypt and African classical civilizations. In my adult years, I started reading and collecting science fiction books, biographies/memoirs, and literature.
So, I hope you join me in this little adventure. Enjoy!