It’s a new year and I’m sure folks have set various resolutions. You may have decided to work out more, eat more healthy foods, spend more time reaching out to loved ones, or read more. Others may have decided to drink and smoke less, remove toxic people from their lives, or spend more time working on their spiritual and emotional wellbeing.
This year I am hoping to put Netflix on pause and read more fiction. I realize during these past 22 months of lockdown and quarantine, I have read very few fiction books and have spent lots of time watching new shows and rewatching shows from years past. Like millions of others, I became obsessed watching “Succession” and discussing the horrible Roy family portrayed in the HBO show. The acting is brilliant and the cinematography is breathtaking.
When I wasn’t watching this drama, I watched “SouthSide,” also on HBO. This hilarious show is finally getting the recognition it deserves. It is an homage to working class African American Chicagoans, and the comedic talent has had me literally in tears laughing during each episode. The creators, Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin, also star in the show alongside Salahuddin’s siblings and an all-star talented cast. I truly hope the show gets renewed for a third season.
I am trying to move away from watching television just a bit in the new year and have a few books I’d like to read. First on my list is “Monster in the Middle” by Tiphanie Yanique. I read her first novel “Land of Love and Drowning” years ago and could not put the book down. The way Yanique weaves in characters over time and space is almost poetic. Her books are so well researched and her use of language makes you feel like you are a character in the book—I absolutely cannot wait to explore this new book.
I also just ordered “From Staircase to Stage: The Story of Raekwon and the Wu-Tang Clan” by the famed Wu-Tang member Raekwon. I find the genre of hip hop biographies so fascinating. With each memoir the detailed understanding of race and class and the music industry sheds new light on the trials and triumphs of these young men who have become cultural icons.
Whether you choose to read more or double down and watch more television during this pandemic, enjoy! There is a quote attributed to the author E.B. White, “We read to know we are not alone.” I hope that whatever book (or television show) you find this year brings you a level of joy and a greater understanding of yourself and the world around you.
Are there any books or television shows that you want to recommend to Amsterdam News readers? If so, please tweet us at @NYAmNews and let us know your recommendations.
Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream,” and the co-host of the podcast FAQ-NYC.