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  • Writer's pictureNia Forrester

'Take My Hand' by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

'Take My Hand' is important American history, much of which--when it relates to the legacy of slavery and the stain of racism-- seems to be most safely told in fiction these days. Still, I wonder how long it will be before someone decides that because of the truth in the fiction, this book deserves to be banned. But as tempting as it is to think of this book as being solely about race, it's also very much about gender and the intersection of those two with poverty and about the ways that public systems can and have done violence to those who are Black, those who are poor and to women.

Whatever very minor issues I may have had with this book as a novel seem far too trivial to mention when compared to what it stands for---the absolute necessity of Black creatives telling our history from our perspective, even if in fictionalized accounts. The way the author humanized one family who suffered from the atrocious human rights violation of involuntary sterilization is a reminder of the thousands of others who were dehumanized and whose names we will never know.


My rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑

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