Musings on Reading Four Hundred Souls for Black History Month

Musings on Four Hundred Souls

Below is my journal entry about Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America 1619-2019 edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, for this week’s writing prompt

If I’m being honest about my experience reading this book, I should say that I’m still processing and reflecting on a lot of what I’ve read from it. 

I’ll try to keep the journal entry below brief because I don’t want to spoil the reading and learning experience for those who haven’t had the chance to read the book yet, as this book should be required reading for everyone. 

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Black History Book Quote

Notable Passage About Black History in Four Hundred Souls

I still have about half of Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America 1619-2019 left to read this week. But I’m still thinking about one particular passage from one particular piece included within its choir of voices, “Whipped for Lying with a Black Woman” by Ijeoma Oluo. This piece holds a passage that illustrates a part of Black History we so often willfully forget or purposefully neglect to remember: how racism was codified into the very laws of our nation since its very inception, as far back as 1630 when the colonies were still taking shape. 

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Writing a Journal Entry on Black History

What Makes a Written Black History Come Alive?

As I read Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America 1619-2019 to complete my journal entry for this week’s writing prompt, I really do feel as if I’m reading a “cohesive and connected narrative with strikingly different—yet unified—voices. A choir.”(p. xv) And as I read Four Hundred Souls, I sense how this is an attribute of written Black History that can make it truly come alive in the present— this profound quality of an extremely diverse yet connected community with distinct yet unified voices, the attribute of a choir of voices. A choir filled with “sopranos”, “altos”, “tenors”, and others, who come together to make history soulful, and a soulful history.

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Write a Journal Entry for a Book on Black History

Write A Journal Entry About A Book You Read On Black History

This week is the last week of Black History Month in 2021. And I want to acknowledge and observe Black History Month this year by writing a journal entry about a recently published book I’ll closely read on Black History. The book I’ll be reading: Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America 1619-2019 , edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain. 

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