This week is the last week of Black History Month in 2021. And I want to acknowledge and observe Black History Month this year by writing a journal entry about a recently published book I’ll closely read on Black History. The book I’ll be reading: Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America 1619-2019 , edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain. 

I chose Four Hundred Souls to read this week for this writing prompt for the following reasons: 

  1. It’s a compilation of ninety Black voices and perspectives, a community of voices.
  2. It offers a variety of writing types and styles such as essays, short stories, personal vignettes, poems, and other types of writing.
  3. It includes and touches on four hundred years of Black History in America and goes beyond a single decade or movement.
  4. It has received very high ratings and praise so far. 
  5. It was just released earlier this month.

If you’re completing this writing prompt too, but want other options for books to read, here are a few lists with other books by Black authors (many on Black History) to consider reading this week: 

Why write a journal entry on the book, and not a book review, article, or nonfiction essay? Because a journal entry is more personal and doesn’t require a specific structure. When you write a journal entry you’re able to write with authenticity, creativity, and an uninhibited stream of consciousness— all of which can prove extremely valuable when navigating thoughts and feelings about history and your own space and time within it. 

Stay tuned for the draft of my journal entry on Four Hundred Souls. It’ll be posted on the blog on Friday. 

What book are you going to read to complete this writing prompt? Feel free to leave book recommendations in the comments below. And if you do write your own journal entry about a book you read on Black History, be sure to share a link to it in the comments of a Daily Drafts & Dialogues post this week. Or tag me @kecreighton on social: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Medium.

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