Friday, September 18, 2015

How intergrated are our personal libraries?

Most folks I know have diverse music collections.  Their CD's and playlists include a wonderful mix of music by everyone from Wynton Marsalis and Stevie Wonder to Beethoven and Diana Krall.  But how many of us have personal libraries that share the same unique and diverse blend of American creative artistry?

I wonder if we take the ease of crossing cultural/stylistic musical lines for granted and think "yes; I like a variety of music styles, so I'm a modern, open-minded person ... so I'm not a racist, blah, blah, blah."  Is that true?  Is enjoying Marvin Gaye, Najee and Snoop Dog enough?  Not to belittle music at all, but that's just music.  There's so much more!

How many Caucasians have read Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, or Terry McMillan?  To enjoy, respect, and appreciate African American culture, we need to read and try to understand their experiences and literature offers us an incredible opportunity to immerse ourselves in this wonderful culture.  I've read Terry McMillan and Tina McElroy Ansa.  I've tried to read J. California Cooper, but gave up because it was hard for me to follow and it was painful.  I have not read Toni Morrison ... yet.  Like I said, there's so much more.  Take a look at your bookshelves and grow it into a multicultural collection.  In the meantime, a whole world awaits and it's all available at your local public library.