❮PDF / Epub❯ ✅ The Black Notebooks: An Interior Journey ❤ Author Toi Derricotte – Heartforum.co

The Black Notebooks: An Interior Journey The Black Notebooks Is One Of The Most Extraordinary And Courageous Accounts Of Race In This Country, Seen Through The Eyes Of A Light Skinned Black Woman And A Respected American Poet It Challenges All Our Preconceived Notions Of What It Means To Be Black Or White, And What It Means To Be Human


10 thoughts on “The Black Notebooks: An Interior Journey

  1. says:

    Toi Derricotte is a voice The Black Notebooks is an interior examination of race in first person narrative that captures a part of America and humanity where most don t go.


  2. says:

    Brutally honest, which is what I love about it Excellent treatment of black shame I ve taught it a couple of times and people tend to love it or hate it.


  3. says:

    The Black Notebooks is a study in contrasts It is a study written by Toi Derricotte, an award winning poet and university professor, who wrote this book over a period of approximately twenty years It could be described as a memoir because it is based on Derricotte s reflections on her own life but it is perhaps aptly categorized as a study and examination of internalized racism based primarily on the author s own life and her examination of the events and feelings she experienced.The writing is primarily meditative and reflective, often in an impersonal, seemingly detached watcher or observational manner At times it is very emotional, the language strong, demanding and out there Derricotte s words and stories are filled with love and joy as well as anger, well founded exasperation and self loathing All of the reflections are based on Derricotte s experiences and interpretations Most are based on what she experienced in the outer world and how it made her feel in her internal world but she also shares the stories of many people in her life family, neighbours, friends, colleagues, students and acquaintances All of these stories help me understand the aggregrate black experience from Derricotte s personal interpretation and perception.It s very eye opening While some may think that racism is improving because of laws and societal change, what Derricotte describes is a deep racism inside every single being living in a racist society particularly black people Whites internalize racism also, even if they don t realize it, by thinking and acting differently towards blacks at a gut or instinctual level Often they re not even conscious of their feelings, thoughts or actions because it s been ingrained since birth in every experience that they ve had The real damage however is the internalized racism that black people feel From the time they are born they are bombarded with messages of not being good enough, sub par, dirty, unworthy Small babies and children absorb this negativity into their own self worth or rather self unworthiness and begin to loathe themselves and to want to be different from what and who they are, to turn traitor to themselves in the aspiration of being worthy, loved, better, white It is very sad.As a black woman who could and has passed as a white woman for most of her life, as did her parents and relatives before her, Derricotte is in a unique position to write this study in internalized racism Despite being able to pass as white she too writes about having absorbed all the negativity and done much self blaming and self loathing about her conundrum wanting to love herself as a black woman but hating herself for being black and wanting all the privileges that whites enjoy thereby deep down wanting to be white to have and be worthy of these privileges It s a complex issue and Derricotte has done a masterful job of helping us understand the significant damage that a racist culture does to its citizens.Many have lauded this book as one of the best books on racism in America It was twenty years in the making write, review, rewrite and then start the process over again and again The book is powerful and accomplished in its writing and word choices, as well as in its honesty and rawness Despite the difficult subject matter, Derricotte does a superb job with her writing skills and makes the reading palatable but not pablum She doesn t mince words but makes her points directly and kept me continuing to read along and join her in her reflective journey on racism and its terrible aftermath The poet in Derricotte is very evident Her descriptions and word choices are excellent and The Black Notebooks is very evocative as a result.In 1998 The Black Notebooks won The Anisfield Wolf Non Fiction Award the only American book award designated specifically to recognize works addressing issues of racism and diversity This award recognizes books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures They are books that open and challenge our minds quote from the Goodreads Anisfield Wolf Award description It was also a New York Times Notable Book of the Year I think this book should be required reading in schools, the workplace and elsewhere Derricotte is fearless in sharing her story I was moved, learned a lot and am grateful to her for her major contribution towards understanding and resolving this very divisive and unfair but fixable human issue.


  4. says:

    Wow.It doesn t get better than this.Sometimes I have so much to say and so much I m carrying from a text, that I find myself unable to actually say anything I m swimming it So I ll share some quotes.Toi Derricotte, here s to you Hats off You are among the best Arriving for a stay of a few weeks, I was happy to find another black artist who, unfortunately, was leaving on the day after I arrived Coincidence Or were we tokens That question colored the rest of my time there And another black artist arrived on the day I was leaving Toi Derricotte, the black notebooks what a hard book to have written, and what an important book to have read Grace Paley a book of trauma and recovery, namely the staging and repression of light skinned racial passing in the United StatesDerricotte transforms its haunting complexity into redemptive song Houston A Baker, Jr this book s achievement lies in the telling light it casts on how white skin functions in a multiracial world a sternly disciplined, unsentimental work NYT book review many readers will want to find positive, hopeful image but poet Derricotte a black woman who is sometimes mistaken for white prefers to record the language of self hate , the internalized racism she sees in herself and others Her candor is brave publishers weekly An edited collection of personal journals accumulated over twenty years guides readersthrough the mind of a woman who has been engaged in incessant warfare with the color of her skina candid, well crafted expose on racism Emerge


  5. says:

    Can whites begin to understand and take in the pain of this racist society So often white people, when a deep pain with regard to racism is uncovered, want it to be immediately addressed, healed, released Black people have had to live with the wounds of racism for generations Even goodwill an hard work won t make the personal hurts cease If this book has any purpose, its to show the persistence of internal conflicts, of longing shame, and terror It represents a twenty year obsession to observe myself when these feelings arise, rather than to deny repress them I have found that there is no cure Perhaps awareness can give us a second to contain, so that we do not pass these damages on to others Heartbreaking and redemptive read.


  6. says:

    Toi Derricotte s book about her life and how she dealt with being light skinned so that people she met often didn t realize her African American heritage If you bring forth what is within you, what is within you will save you If you do not bring forth what is within you, what is within you will destroy you Jesus in the Gnostic Gospels Language is the only homeland Czeslaw MiloszShe speaks of memory not being linear It s a continuous and liquid process Once people know she is black, it changes how people read her poems and treat her She doesn t like being referred to as a woman of color She wants even her poems about color to be universal.


  7. says:

    Poet Toi Derricotte says, in The Black Notebooks An Interior Journey, that one of my biggest strengths as a wrier, perhaps the only really unique thing I can give, is that I am determined to tell the truth 184 Upon finishing this oddly written but deeply personal memoir journal, I would say she certainly understands herself as a writer.What s so brave about Derricotte s book is not that it is so interior or her astute observations of race in America, but that it is so honest Derricotte is unflinchingly vulnerable in exploring how racism touches her as a light skinned black woman so light skinned that most people assume she is white , and she doesn t hesitate to probe those areas of her psyche where she is saddled with shame by her own failures.While The Black Notebooks is one of the most intriguing looks at race consciousness and racism at the end of the 20th century I ve read, it is much so an examination of how an individual comes to understand the complexity of identity and the depths of a wounded soul Racism is clearly a problem that touches us all, both the oppressed, the oppressors and the bystanders just floating by, but I m starting to believe that so many of us are facing our own demons It s not my place to judge whose journey is rougher, or whose pain is legitimate But opening ourselves to our own journeys and learning from the journeys of others, especially with the help of brave souls who are different than us, is infinitely rewarding NOTE I did struggle with the structure of this book It s a series of essays, and it moves at an odd pace I thought I could consider it as a multigenre text, but it didn t have the variety I expect from multigenre The point of view is also strange Derricotte will talk about reading or sharing a chapter in the middle of the chapter, and that threw me a bit This lack of narrative pace may be a result of the fact that Derricotte is primarily a poet Her best chapters were the short ones almost essay poems nestled in the middle of the book, but none of them were pointless If you sense the same unevenness, stick with it.


  8. says:

    These diaries are harrowing They cover a period of years in the 70 s when Toi Derricote, a light skinned African American who could pass for white but chooses not to, describes her racially charged encounters as well as her meditations on race daily life Particularly astonishingly awful are the encounters in Montclair, NJ she describes where Derricote and her darker skinner husband movedthe racism, exclusion and cruelty they experience are mind numbing Ultimately their marriage does not last and it is no wonder.


  9. says:

    one of the finest books on race that i ve had the pleasure of reading Plus, i met the author and she rocks This book, and the lessons i learned from the brutally honest thoughts of someone who looks like me caucasian , but is, in fact, black, navigating the world of social assumptions, race, and class still stay with me.


  10. says:

    Fabulous read for anyone who s ever felt like an outsider Toi writes like she s talking to you And she s a pleasure to listen to.


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