The Resource Breathe : a letter to my sons, Imani Perry

Breathe : a letter to my sons, Imani Perry

Label
Breathe : a letter to my sons
Title
Breathe
Title remainder
a letter to my sons
Statement of responsibility
Imani Perry
Title variation
Letter to my sons
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"Explores the terror, grace, and beauty of coming of age as a Black person in contemporary America and what it means to parent our children in a persistently unjust world. Emotionally raw and deeply reflective, Imani Perry issues an unflinching challenge to society to see Black children as deserving of humanity. She admits fear and frustration for her African American sons in a society that is increasingly racist and at times seems irredeemable. However, as a mother, feminist, writer, and intellectual, Perry offers an unfettered expression of love--finding beauty and possibility in life--and she exhorts her children and their peers to find the courage to chart their own paths and find steady footing and inspiration in Black tradition. Perry draws upon the ideas of figures such as James Baldwin, W. E. B. DuBois, Emily Dickinson, Toni Morrison, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Ida B. Wells. She shares vulnerabilities and insight from her own life and from encounters in places as varied as the West Side of Chicago; Birmingham, Alabama; and New England prep schools. Breathe offers a broader meditation on race, gender, and the meaning of a life well lived and is also an unforgettable lesson in Black resistance and resilience"--
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Sharing her thoughts on motherhood, particularly being the mother of black boys in America, Perry (African American studies, Princeton Univ.; May We Forever Stand) presents her adolescent sons Issa and Freeman with reflections on striving to live a good life. She writes of pleasures, pains, and possibilities; successes and challenges; and the injustices of the culture they must navigate as young black men and, later, adults. She describes her hopes and fears, and the sorrowing strength of black mothers who lose their sons to murder. Perry longs for history not to be forgotten; for a different future, not simply a fantasy. She writes of the parental paradox of wanting to hold children tight while also wishing for them to soar. Her recollections focus on time together with her son, offering lessons they have taught her, and lessons she is trying to teach them. The author reminisces about her own childhood in order to illustrate the importance of family, the bindings of responsibility and wisdom, and the rewards of unceasing love and passion. VERDICT Perry's uplifting and often lyrical meditation on living invites readers to delve into their self and particularly into the complicated categories of mother, parent, African American, and human. Highly recommended. [See "Fall Fireworks," LJ 8/19, p. 25.] --Thomas J. Davis (Reviewed 09/01/2019) (Library Journal, vol 144, issue 8, p88)
  • /* Starred Review */ A distinguished scholar writes to her sons about the joy, possibility, and grace of black life amid ongoing American struggles with race, gender, and class. Carrying on an iconic legacy of public letters from black writers—think James Baldwin, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Kiese Laymon, among many others—Perry (African American Studies/Princeton Univ.; Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry, 2018, etc.) reflects on her family history, tying it together with cultural allegories to impress upon her sons the precious inheritance found within black social life and the pursuit of a livelihood full of "passion, profound human intimacy and connection, beauty and excellence." A multidisciplinary and acclaimed researcher, Perry uses references throughout the slim volume that range across centuries and the global black diaspora, across folklore, music, and visual arts as well as the influence of numerous faith traditions. "The people with whom you can share the interior illumination," she writes, "that is the sacramental bond." She breaks down the structures of violence and marginalization that black children face while uplifting the imaginative and improvisatory space for them to focus on their becoming, to not be trapped in misnarrated stories or "forced into two dimensions when you are in four." Echoing Baldwin's distinctive "Letter to My Nephew," Perry emphasizes the critical life discipline of making choices—not in the shallow sense of choosing success or achievement but rather within the depths of the long, historic freedom struggle to answer important questions—e.g., "How will you treat your word? How will you hold your heart? How will you hold others?" Deeply intergenerational, the book blurs intended audiences to call all of us to face up to legacies of injustice while insisting on the grace and conviviality necessary to imagine just futures. A masterfully poetic and intimate work that anchors mothering within the long-standing tradition of black resistance and resourcefulness. (Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2019)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
Biography type
contains biographical information
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10814939
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1972-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Perry, Imani
Dewey number
306.85/08996073
Index
no index present
LC call number
E185.86
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Perry, Imani
  • African American mothers
  • African American educators
  • African American families
  • African American boys
  • African Americans
  • Racism
  • United States
Target audience
adult
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
a letter to my sons
Label
Breathe : a letter to my sons, Imani Perry
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
19 cm
Extent
163 pages
Isbn
9780807076552
Lccn
2019003863
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Label
Breathe : a letter to my sons, Imani Perry
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
19 cm
Extent
163 pages
Isbn
9780807076552
Lccn
2019003863
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n

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