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WorldView Good Reads: Off the Press for July 2020

Published: July 28, 2020

Here are good reads from around the web that have caught our attention during the month of July. 

5 ways to help teens feel seen and heard in an uncertain time. The past few months have been exhausting. Young people may need help coping in the face of so much uncertainty.

Reclaiming Kumbaya. The African American spiritual Kumbaya is one of the most easily recognizable American folk songs, sung by people around the world. Many people equate it with community gathered around a campfire. But what does it mean? What is its history? Pamela Bailey traces its origins in the Gullah Geechee culture of enslaved people along the isolated seacoast islands of South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, and discusses what it has come to mean today.

Twenty Years of the Caine Prize for African Writing. The Caine Prize is the leading African literature award, also known as the African Booker Prize. Celebrated Nigerian poet and novelist Ben Okri writes that the Caine Prize is about "celebrating the genius of human diversity. The idea is to enrich the world through its greater contact with Africa, and to enrich Africa through its greater contact with the world." This fabulous collection, which celebrates the prize’s 20th anniversary, gathers the winning stories from the past two decades. The stories are splendidly diverse. Okri writes that the mostly young writers represented in the collection deliver “tales political, tales harrowing, tales humorous, tales told with vitality and passion and intelligence."

Dune Song. This is Moroccan writer Anissa Bouziane’s acclaimed debut novel, which won the Prix Littéraire Sofitel Tour Blanch. From New York during 9/11 and its fallen towers to Morocco’s high Atlas Mountains and its searing dunes, this novel is an exploration of the fraught soul of our time and it needs to be read slowly. In beautiful prose, it draws a compelling portrait of what happens to us when the world starts viewing us entirely differently.

The False Promise of Anti-racism Books. Texts that seek to raise the collective American consciousness are rendered futile without concrete systemic changes, writes Saida Grundy.

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