When I saw this on the shelf I had my doubts about it. I thought it
would be another celebrity using their status to dip into the literary pool to
push their career. I read the first few pages and it promised to prove me
Kevin’s story begins when his mother tells his dad she didn’t want
another child, but he does come along – the unwanted child. After his father moves
out it’s him, his brother and their mother in their cramped apartment. His
older brother soon follows his father’s footsteps in the streets but eventually
joins the Army. Kevin’s childhood is under the control and strict rule of his
mother, who does all these things to avoid the same mistakes his father and
first born made. These are things he will later be grateful for.
Kevin Hart takes us through all the twists and bends of his life path.
His journey to being top comedian and hilarious actor that we see on screen was
not the easiest at all. He shares the hard times; doing small gigs with little
pay, being around other comedians who were doing well but not yet considered
ready for their world, a messed up relationship with the mother of his first
two kids which eventually ended in divorce, being broke and many more. He demonstrates
the ups and downs in true Kevin Hart style, hilarious without losing the
authenticity of his story. There’s inspiration to draw from this book, a lot
about perseverance and the choices we make in how we respond to what life
throws at us.
It’s a clear and simple read. From it you can learn how effective
looking at the world in a different way and seeing and writing your own life as
different chapters to learn and grow from. The book is certainly not another
Kevin Hart standup show, it’s his life, bare and raw. There’s a lot to learn
about survival, pushing through the struggle and success.
A documentary film directed by Raoul Peck, from texts by James Baldwin.
Remember the House is an incomplete manuscript left behind by James
Baldwin, where he wanted to tell a story about the lives of his friends; Martin
Luther King, Malcom X and Medgar Evers. In I
Am Not Your Negro Raoul Peck takes on the challenging task of creating a
film from Baldwin’s preexisting texts (notes, letters and manuscript) in a way
that does justice to the author’s well known dynamic style and the significance
of his ideas and messages.
I Am Not Your Negro tells the hideous story of America through the lives of these three well-known and celebrated heroes, who were all murdered before the age of forty.
I found this read a sober reminder of how far black Americans have come
and how far they still need to go. Baldwin observes how these three leaders were
different yet found themselves on the same journey, facing the same problems
and ultimately dying for the same cause.
He wrote about the movie culture in America and how it shaped their
ideologies, the way children would idolize the white actors but go home to find
in the mirror that they looked nothing like them. There’s a sadness in the
truth of stories about piling dead bodies being a reality that many people grew
up around and still saw all around, bodies of families and friends.
There’s an interesting point I read where Baldwin said, “If Americans
were not so terrified of their private selves, they would never have become so
dependent on what they call ‘the Negro problem’”. This is still true for white America today. A
lot of what Baldwin wrote about the black community’s struggles and challenges
back then can still be found today, even with the progress that some black
people are making.
If, like me, you read this as your first Baldwin then you might just be
inspired to start on his other works.
I’m so excited to start this new journey with you and I look forward to reading more, sharing more, and gaining and using as much knowledge from books as I can. If you followed my previous blog, I brought the luggage with me and have posted the work in the Archives. If you’re new to my work, thank you for joining the neighbourhood and I can’t wait to share my reviews and stories with you.
On this blog I introduce a few new things; book
recommendations, discussions on books, reading and all things literary. We’re
going to explore the art of writing and reading, move the reading train
together in order to promote a reading culture. There is so much gold to find
in books and I invite you to come dig with me and benefit from this wealth of
Last year I did a reading challenge and aimed for 100 books.
Unfortunately, I only got to 45 but this year, it’s on. It is on. I’ll be
posting the reviews and for some books I’ll have summaries and worksheets based
on the information from the books. There will be lots of giveaways and
benefits, so I hope you’re as excited as I am.