What's New in August
@Chez Alpha Books
Strength and Resistance-
Slavery's Exiles by Sylviane A. Diouf
Over more than two centuries men, women, and children escaped from slavery to make the Southern wilderness their home. They hid in the mountains of Virginia and the low swamps of South Carolina; they stayed in the neighborhood or paddled their way to secluded places; they buried themselves underground or built comfortable settlements. Known as maroons, they lived on their own or set up communities in swamps or other areas where they were not likely to be discovered.

In the article, Fleeing To Dismal Swamp, Slaves And Outcasts Found Freedom archaeologist Daniel Sayers says, "Make no mistake about it. These were resistance communities. They weren't going out there because they loved swamps," he says. "They were going out there because they were living in a very brutal and oppressive world of enslavement and colonialism."

Although well-known, feared, celebrated or demonized at the time, the maroons whose stories are the subject of this book have been forgotten, overlooked by academic research that has focused on the Caribbean and Latin America. Who the American maroons were, what led them to choose this way of life over alternatives, what forms of marronage they created, what their individual and collective lives were like, how they organized themselves to survive, and how their particular story fits into the larger narrative of slave resistance are questions that this book seeks to answer. To survive, the American maroons reinvented themselves, defied slave society, enforced their own definition of freedom and dared create their own alternative to what the country had delineated as being black men and women’s proper place. Audacious, self-confident, autonomous, sometimes self-sufficient, always self-governing; their very existence was a repudiation of the basic tenets of slavery. (NYU Press)

Sylviane A. Diouf is an award-winning historian of the African Diaspora. "Diouf persuasively captures the quiet heroism of North American maroons.
Less dramatic and long-lived than many of the maroon communities in Suriname, Jamaica, or Brazil, those in the southern United States were nonetheless ever present. Diouf demonstrates how much freedom mattered to the enslaved and how, within the limited possibilities open to them, those that set off into the inhospitable swamps and forests managed to forge a new life beyond the authority of whitefolks." -Richard Price, author of Maroon Societies. https://bit.ly/31wowyx
New Books for Young Readers
LAYLA'S HAPPINESS: Seven-year-old Layla loves life! So she keeps a happiness book. Spirited and observant, Layla’s a child who’s been given room to grow, making happiness both thoughtful and intimate. It’s her dad talking about growing-up in South Carolina; her mom reading poetry; her best friend Juan, the community garden, and so much more.
What is happiness for her? For you?
Written by poet Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie and joyfully illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin, Layla’s Happiness is a story of flourishing within family and community from a point of view colored by joy. Published by Enchanted Lion. Available at Chez Alpha Books
The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity: A Tale of the Genius Ramanujan:
In 1887 in India, a boy named Ramanujan is born with a passion for numbers. He sees numbers in the squares of light pricking his thatched roof and in the beasts dancing on the temple tower. He writes mathematics with his finger in the sand, across the pages of his notebooks, and with chalk on the temple floor. Ramanujan struggles in school — but his mother knows that her son and his ideas have a purpose. This is the real-life story of a boy who changed mathematics and science forever. Available at Chez Alpha Books
We Read to Know...
Author Renée Watson on How Children’s Books Can Help Parents Ignite Important Dialogue: Author, Renée Watson says, "Reading with our children creates teachable moments and opens portals to meaningful conversations...
When I was in third grade, my father had a terrible accident on his job. He was a railroad foreman, and one of the first Black hires on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O). A severe injury forced him into early disability retirement, and while I didn’t know all the details about what happened, I realized our family’s income had become compromised." Continue reading: https://bit.ly/33Fv9l0
These 3 Practices by Bill Gates Will Change How You Read:
Reading gives you access to the smartest brains on earth. Learning from the greatest people is the fastest way to become healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Charlie Munger, self-made billionaire, and Warren Buffett’s longtime business partner, once said that he hadn’t known any wise person who didn’t read all the time. None, zero.
Yet, reading per se doesn’t make you a better person. You can read 52 books a year without changing at all.
It’s about what and how you read that will improve your life’s quality and enhance your mind. Continue reading:
We Are Here!