Daaaaamn, it’s already that time of year where I start thinking about what my goals are going to be for 2019 (I started writing this post on Dec. 23rd). The only goals that I set by the New Year are my reading, and adventure goals (which is going to potentially get their own blog post). All of my other goals I set by my birthday (Feb. 27th) because that’s my “new year”.
My 2019 reading goals are far less extreme than the ones that I’ve set for myself in the past. I’m focusing more on the goals that I actually want to accomplish instead of the goals that seem easy/popular (read “x” number of books, finish series, read “x” number of classics, reread series etc). I’m not knocking anybody who does have those reading goals though! It’s just taken me a while to realize that those aren’t my goals or even goals that I’ve ever wanted to accomplish. Occasionally I feel like the bookish community causes one to get caught up in setting particular goals because it feels like damn near everyone is setting those goals.
This year my goals are definitely my own and they are as follows;
I. Read, and review, at least one urban fiction book a month.
Y’all, when I was a teenager I absolutely loved Urban Fiction. It was my jaaaaaaam. I learned more about sex, inner strength, drug addiction, and how to not deal with bullshit from those books than I ever did from anything else. I don’t know at which point in life I started to feel ashamed for reading Urban Fiction, but I do remember leaving it behind and pretending that I had never even set foot in the genre. I want to attack the stigma surrounding Urban Fiction so my goal is to read at least one Urban Fiction book a month and review it on this blog, my channel, and BiblioCommons (a library catalog service). I’m actually really excited about jumping back into this genre and I’m looking forward to seeing if it’s changed since my abrupt departure.
II. Read my way through my AncestryDNA results.
I did the AncestryDNA test around this time last year and now I actually feel like doing something with that information. Since I first took the test my results have changed; apparently, AncestryDNA has been adding more regions and improving the precision of their results. I want to read one fiction and one non-fiction book about each of the areas where I’m potentially from. I’m probably going to skip the England, Wales & Northwestern Europe portion along with the France portion; just because I’ve read so much about those areas already. No disrespect, I just spent my entire undergraduate history career focusing on those regions.
III. Read Black history and Black stories as told by Black authors.
Not even gonna lie, I’m insanely tired of reading stories about Black men and woman told through the eyes of white people. It’s been leaving a sour taste in my mouth and I’m just not going to do it anymore. I’ve always felt as if there’s something missing from those stories; almost like the soul of the story isn’t even there. The closest I can come to describing the feeling is if you were to imagine a robot playing a beautiful piece of music, it sounds great, but in its perfection its utterly lacking the humanistic value. There’s just something off about reading a white author attempt to understand and rely the inner struggles of being Black; especially during slavery and in America.
As for the history, it always starts and ends with how white people saved the day and I’m just not interested in that. There tends to be a level of blame as to how African cultures lost their history and how thankful Afrcian cultures should be that white people are coming along and regifting their traditions and stories to them, but never a mention of how those cultures truly got “lost” in the first place *cough colonialism/slave trade/genocide*. There’s something deeply upsetting about that to me. I want to support the reclaiming of Black history and stories by supporting more of the Black authors who’ve dedicated themselves to reclaiming those parts of our collective past and heritage.