Swing Time by Zadie Smith

I’ve never seen Swing Time in full. I’ve only seen the parts where Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire dance. Their moves are so hypnotic and envious.

However, a frequent theme throughout Old Hollywood that no one really knows about is the awful hours, the struggles to support yourself, and the drug abuse to stay up through the days of filming. It must be even more difficult when you’re a dancer doing the same routine over and over again in order to get it just precise with your partner. On top of the dancing, you need to be acting. It’s all so much!

You don’t see those hours spent rehearsing and singing and dancing. All you see is the final product, which is the story of these two girls in Zadie Smith’s Swing Time. What do I need to do to be a part of this couple? How do I get to dance like that? Life’s a show until the final curtain falls. What happens next?

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com)

28390369Two brown girls dream of being dancers–but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, about what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either.

Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from northwest London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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Celebrate Black History Month with Some Amazing Fiction

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Welcome to February! What is with February and being all romantic and lovely and all those good things in the world? It’s like December is all about Christmas even though there’s so much more going on in December than just Christmas.

But February is also Black History Month and being an advocate for diverse reads, I’ve got to put in a plug for some of my very favorite reads. You can go hardcore and read Frederick Douglass or Malcolm X. You can listen to Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech on repeat. Do whatever it is you want to do, but do it in celebration of black culture.

Before I get into my quick list of recommended reading for the month, I want to mention (as I tend to do from time to time) that diverse reads are so important. Many people (including myself) believe that racism is an extension of fear and ignorance. Why not break that stigma and read about other cultures!

Books about cultures aside from our own (or even our own, let’s not forget we come from somewhere!) opens up our minds to how other people live and exist in the world. We are humans and each of us holds traditions and heritage and culture different from the person you’re sitting next to. Why not celebrate our differences, learn a little bit about being someone else, and spread the good love across this universe.

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Anyway, here’s a few of my favorite books to read during this month as well as a few I’ve got on my TBR for the rest of February. Let’s celebrate diversity and learn more about what it’s like to be on the other side of the pendulum OF LIFE!

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