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The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois

In 2022, I read the most beautifully written novels ever. I would if I could experience this 800+ page book again for the first time. Reading through the story of this family and seeing how generational traumas affect different generations throughout their history speaks to what many Black Americans face in the United States.

Our ancestors' struggles have shaped many past, present, and future generations to come. This book was written so poetically and beautifully that I could not help but fall in love within the first few chapters. Honoree Jeffers took me on a Journey that I will be forever grateful for, and this book will be one of my top books for the rest of my life. The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois is worth all five stars and then some. If you have the time, I recommend, please, please get this book.

Honoree Fanonne Jeffers takes us on the journey of one American family from the colonial slave trade through the civil war to our current times. The scholar W.E.B. Du Bois once wrote about how every African American possesses a "Double Consciousness" to survive. Since childhood, Ailey Pearl Garfield has understood Du Bois's words all too well. Ailey is raised in the north in Chicago but spends her summers in the small Georgia town of Chicasetta, where her mother's family has lived since their ancestors arrived from Africa in bondage. From an early age, Ailey fights a battle for belonging that's made all the more difficult by a hovering trauma, as well as the whispers of women—her mother, Belle, her sister, Lydia, and a maternal line reaching back two centuries—that urge Ailey to succeed in their stead. To come to terms with her identity, Ailey embarks on a journey through her family's past, uncovering the shocking tales of generations of ancestors—Indigenous, Black, and white—in the deep South. In doing so, Ailey must learn to embrace her rich heritage, a legacy of oppression and resistance, bondage and independence, cruelty and resilience that is the story—and the song—of America itself.

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