the next good book

How To Fight For Our Lives

By Saeed Jones

What’s it about? This memoir tackles some tough subject matter.  Saeed Jones is a gay, African-American man who was raised in Texas by a single mother.  Mr. Jones memoir is an honest, frank look back at his life.  He does not sugar coat his story- so be ready when you pick up his book.
What did it make me think about? I have often thought that this may be the best time in history to come out as a gay man.  However, after reading this book, I am not saying that anymore.  Saeed Jones makes you understand how truly difficult it is to be black and gay in America- even today.​”You never forget your first “faggot’.  Because the memory, in its way, makes you.  It becomes the spine for the body of anxieties and insecurities that will follow, something to hang all that meat on.  Before you were scrawny; now you’re scrawny because you’re a faggot.  Before you were just bookish; now you’re bookish because you’re a faggot. Soon, bullies won’t even have to say the word.  Nor will friends, as they start to sit at different lunch tables without explanation.  There will already be a voice in your head whispering ‘faggot’ for them.”
Should I read it? Saeed Jones is an award winning poet and the way he uses language is just beautiful.​ “Just as some cultures have a hundred words for ‘snow’, there should be a hundred words in our language for all the ways a black boy can lie awake at night.” I found this one of the most compelling memoirs I have ever read.  It is raw, honest, and sometimes more graphic than readers might be comfortable with.  I urge you to read this book anyway.  Maybe it will change the way you look at someone that is different from yourself.Quote- ​”However many masks we invent and deploy, in the end, we cannot control what other people see when they look at us.”

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