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Black Child to Black Woman- A Journey of Tremendous Proportions by Cheryl Denise Bannerman

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Teresa's Reading Corner: Black Child to Black Woman- A Journey of Tremendous Proportions by Cheryl Denise Bannerman

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Black Child to Black Woman- A Journey of Tremendous Proportions by Cheryl Denise Bannerman


Synopsis:  
Black Child to Black Woman is a 'live diary' experience that will grab your attention right from the start. Tara Walker speaks directly to the reader as she adds entry after entry into her Journal. She documents her experiences, her family life, her triumphs, as well as her interpretation of life and the world as she saw it. As she grows, so does the language and tone of the diary, which matches her maturity and speech patterns as the time passes.

Experiences are mere images engraved in our minds that we recall when future events occur such as a tragedy or even when a song is playing on the radio. Tara has captured those moments in time in her diary, even the painful ones. Although she came from a loving home with both parents, she struggled to come to grips with siblings addicted to drugs, molestation, attempted rape, broken hearts, and so much more.

Her diary experiences will make you laugh, cry, scream, sigh, and gasp aloud. As Tara struggles to keep her head above water and fight through the tribulations of her life, she continues to smile, continues to grow as a person, continues to be successful in her career, and continues to survive. Through it all and through her daughter, she eventually discovers the true meaning of unconditional love.

Come discover life through the eyes of Tara as she grows from a black child to a black woman.

My thoughts:  One of the things that I enjoy about blogging is being introduced to books that I wouldn't have picked up on my own as was the case with this book. 

This was a very quick read that follows Tara from her preteen years into her early thirties.  It is comprised of a series of journal entries that read much like excerpts from something you or I might have written.  I would have liked to have seen a little less of the standard "I'm sorry I haven't written in so long." and more story development.  I felt like there were a lot of unanswered questions.

I've thought a lot about what the author was trying to convey through this story.  The main message that I took away was about maintaining perspective.   I had a tough time relating to Tara as her life experiences were so different from my own.  Reading this was a reminder to me that things look differently when you look at them through your own lens of experience.  If you strip that lens away and look at things from a different perspective they look vastly different.

A Preview of the Book 


Excerpt:
From a small town down South...
Hi. My name is Tara. Tara Walker. I'm just a child (nine years old to be exact), though sometimes I don't feel like one. I'm one of those kids that is tall for my age. But that's not all. I see and hear things I am not supposed to. Grown-ups are always tryin' to hide stuff from me, like I don't know already.

Trying to be a good little girl is not hard for me. I don't say much so it makes it easy to be the perfect little girl I am supposed to and expected to be. Good in school, no trouble at home, and I eat just about anything, so you can't even say I'm a picky eater. Sometimes I wonder why everyone always calls me "heavy-handed". I guess it's because I break things by accident, and also I'm kind of klutzy, I guess you could say. I’m much taller than most of my friends which makes me somewhat stronger than most my age. This is not something I do on purpose, but I think my mom and dad think that I do. Speaking of mom and dad, I guess you want to know about them, huh? Well, my mom works for this bank in Philadelphia called "1st Pennsy" I think. Anyway, she works all the time and mostly the late shift, so I'm stuck with my brother watching me until my dad comes home. My mom is nice. She's very pretty, and very classy, from what I hear. I try to be like her and also listen to everything she tells me because she's smart.

Sometimes my mom is upset because of my dad. You see, my dad drinks acka-hall (that's a bad drink), and my mom doesn't like it too much. Sometimes their fighting wakes me up and I can't get back to sleep for a long time. My dad's really cool! He's funny and he takes me everywhere. He works at this lumber company where they sell wood and when he has to take me with him to work I get to pretend I'm building all these neat things with hammers and nails. I get lost in my own little world and even forget to have lunch!  My dad takes me everywhere! Oh, wait, I said that already. Sorry. Well, this may seem weird to you but I even go with him to the bar. It's a place where all these people meet every day or weekend, I think. They drink that stuff my mom doesn't like and play pool (some boring game with sticks and balls), and video games. Whenever I go there I would drink soda from these tiny little glasses and eat snacks from a bowl and play video games. My favorite game was Space Invaders. Pinball was cool too. Everyone treats me great. It's like I am a movie star! Whenever I run out of quarters I just get more from my dad. That is my typical Friday or Saturday night. I guess my mom is at work. I don't really know.


Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author in order to participate in her tour through Pump Up Your Book.  

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