Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Every BlackAfrikan History Course should include this savvy book in their 'Compulsory-Reading BookList'


by Carol Taylor

GLORY DAYS:365 Inspired Moments in African-American History

by Janus Adams

HarperCollins Publishers

ISBN# 06-17262-2

What's in Glory Days for you, for me or for us?

Janus Adams has produced a miracle of inspiration and empowerment in print. She tells me that her book took twenty years to write. Discovering history with Adams should be labeled "uncovering an experience in encyclopedic Blackness."

Do you want to know what consciousness-raising milestone-making events occurred on your birthday, on your children's or other relatives' birthdays? Family fun can be had riffling through the pages, which, by the way, are not numbered, but are chronologically marked by day and by month. December 26 - you guessed it - starts with Dr. Maulana Karenga's Nguzo Saba, Seven Days of Kwanzaa. Indeed, Ms Adams' inventiveness and keen imagination are remarkable in presenting what otherwise might be termed 'dry' historical information. There is no way one can put this book down, once having started searching for personal connections to "our" days and months.

I have never read another author's index and been so moved to action, reflection and pride. Where in the world did Adams get the idea that something as ordinary as an index could be such a tool of empowerment?

Time and space do not allow me to cite the entire list, but if one could read it over once a day to their children, there is no way they wouldn't become extremely self-motivated individuals. the Index begins with, "Alternatives," goes through "Ambition, Authenticity (we WERE the first people on earth!), Brotherhood, Commitment, Endurance, Greatness, Legacies, Potential, Reclamation, Self-Affirmation, Truth, Unity, Vision and Zest." (for life and learning!) These are only a few of the vital qualities covered. The melding of West Indian and African-American and Indigenous (Native American) statistics makes for very satisfying reading. What really happened at Attica, that infamous upstate N.Y. prison? It'll shock you. The accounts of "Ourstory" are juicy and leap off the pages with humor and telling accuracy. No Black African child should be raised without this book. My birthday, December 27, Kujichagulia - self-determination;Ohio, 1834, students (at the first free school in Cincinnati in the winter time) ages 11, 12, 16, wrote what they thought about slavery in essays presented at the Ohio Antislavery Convention of 1835 - one would have thought that they were fully-grown adults!

Glory Days uncannily evokes personal memories and somehow provides us with connections to our present-day lives. Adams almost outdoes herself with her picaresque choices of paintings, drawings and photographs which introduce every month-chapter.

I experienced a deep feeling of angst because of the tremendous wealth of material so few had ever bothered to teach me as a child about my own people. On the other hand, I certainly rejoiced in boundless energy from learning just how great we were - and are - because Janus Adams, who earned the first-ever graduate degree in Pan African Studies, has so delightfully described OUR truth in her perenially memorable GLORY DAYS.

I thank Ms Adams, and my family thanks her, for such a magnificent contribution to our wellbeing, and your family will too!

It's NOT "cudent" - It's "couldn't!" AWK!
It's NOT "swum" - It's "swam!" AWK!
It's NOT "pacific" Alton - It's "specific!" AWK!

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