Recommended Reading: (H)afrocentric by Juliana “Jewels” Smith

My local library is small and a bit sad, with lots of empty shelves. But I looked around anyway, and while I couldn’t find many novels of interest to me, I did pick up this Volume 1-4 collection of (H)afrocentric comics by Juliana “Jewels” Smith, illustrated by Ronald Nelson, out from PM Press. I sure am glad I did!

I actually read forewords these days, and this first sentence from Kiese Laymon spoke to my soul “(H)afrocentric came into my life as I was becoming a contentious, old, crusty-lipped black man who hated all things literary.” You’ll want to read the rest.

And then the comic itself, of course! I love the characters and Smith’s ability to show the ways people diverge in their thoughts and beliefs, yet work together anyway for their common good. Set in Oakland, you want to check this out. I really don’t want to say too much to avoid spoilers, but if you’re a radical, this comic is balm for your soul. If you’re not a radical, this comic gives you a chance to see what we’re about.

Buy it! OR check it out from your library. Read it. Love it. Share it. Check out the other amazing titles from PM Press (I was looking at the related options in the back of the book, and was screaming TAKE MY MONEY!) Buy Smith a latte so she can keep doing her vital and awesome work!


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