I often go into the library with an agenda – a specific book or books that I intend to pick up. Usually, my stops at the library happen on my way home from work, so there’s extra incentive to get in and out.
Sometimes, though, I stop to have a conversation with our youth services librarian, and they point me in a direction that leads me to books I wouldn’t have encountered otherwise. Such is the case with Strange Fruit. They sent me to the YA graphic nonfiction section – I intended to pick up March Book 2 – and the title caught my attention. You know, growing up with jazz music and all.
Strange Fruit Vol. 1: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History by Joel Christian Gill is exactly what the title says. Stories about people from Black History that you’ve (if you received the same kind of education I did) never heard of. While I will often tell you that I’m not one to study history, I found myself repeatedly going back to these stories (and I’ll admit that I got an ebook copy and was reading during a meeting this week. Don’t tell). Here are my thoughts.