Breathe: A Letter to My Sons

In this tiny tome that addresses the fears and hopes of being Black – and raising sons – in America, Imani Perry speaks her truth boldly and bravely and beautifully.

Synopsis:

Breathe: A Letter to My Sons is a powerful meditation on racial disparity, community and culture, history, and hope. Imani Perry breathes life into her musings about parenting children in an unjust world, and worries surrounding her two sons in what it means to be a Black person in America.

I want to hold you safe. I also want you to fly.

— Enter Author Here

Review:

This tiny book has huge heart and grit. I assumed it would be a quick read, but Breathe was so thickly layered that it took me twice the time to read it. Perry’s letter to her sons is complex in feeling – equal parts fear and hope for them in the current state of this world. Her prose is rich in imagery and dotted with literary and poetry references. The maturity and wisdom Perry brings to the pages cannot be disputed. You can’t just skim this one – you have to work hard to understand and process her complex thoughts.

Breathe is laid out as a handwritten letter would be – more of a stream of consciousness. Perry’s thoughts jump around a bit with no distinct formula or order, which – at times – was confusing. But it felt symbolic of her plea, and her relationship with her sons. It felt personal and purposeful, even if it felt difficult from a reader’s standpoint.

Not everything resonated with me, a white middle class woman, but I have deep respect for the points Perry is making, and the struggle her sons face every day. I yearn to understand more fully. But, not sharing the same cultural background, I know I never will. Overall, I enjoyed this little ode to Black motherhood. I had to work for it, but it was so worth it.

But I do not believe the acts of oppressors are my people’s shame. For me, that my people became, created, and imagined from a position of unfreedom is a source of deep pride, not shame. I hope you learn that too. What better evidence of human beauty and resilience could there be?

— Enter Author Here

 

Breathe: A Letter to My Sons
by Imani Perry
Hardcover, 184 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Beacon Press

Summary

In this tiny tome that addresses the fears and hopes of being Black - and raising sons - in America, Imani Perry speaks her truth boldly and bravely and beautifully. Complex and rich in detail and metaphor, I enjoyed this little ode to Black motherhood. I had to work for it, but it was so worth it.

— Cassie
0 comments
0 likes
Prev post: House of Salt and Sorrows

Related posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe

* indicates required
GoodReads
NetGalley