Celebrating Black History Month with the Milwaukee Public Library for February's 'Book of the Month'
At WUWM, we are celebrating Black History Month throughout February. Every month here on Lake Effect, we partner with the Milwaukee Public Library for our Book of the Month Series to bring you new reading recommendations.
For February, we’ll hear from librarian Brittany Lee, an adult services librarian at the Washington Park branch about her picks.
Lee's first book recommendation is called "Black Girls Must Die Exhausted" by Jayne Allen.
The story follows a 33-year-old African American woman named Tabitha Walker, a reporter in Los Angeles, Lee summarizes. Lee says the book stood out to her because she felt like she was experiencing burnout and going through the same trials as the protagonist Walker, who just receives life-altering news about her health when readers meet her.
"I'm trying to branch out and read more African American authors. There's a lot of new works that are coming out," Lee says. "The storyline seems really close to how I'm living my life right now. It's nice to read about somebody who's kind of similar but is still fiction at the same time."
Lee also recommends some extra reads to check out. She suggests "The Vanishing Half" by Brit Bennett, a book part of Milwaukee Public Library's Novel Ideas Book Club.
Another book is "Yellow House" by Sarah M. Broom. This book is part of Milwaukee's public Climate Action Book Club.
The Milwaukee Public Library is getting started with their Black history reading challenge for Black History Month, Lee adds. The challenge is for all ages, and contesters have to read three books about Black culture or written by Black authors.
"It can be graphic novels, nonfiction — pretty much anything around those two criteria. You can record everything that you're reading. Once you're finished, you can turn in your ballots at any of your Milwaukee Public Libraries," Lee says.
Winners of the challenge have a chance to win a gift or gift card. It's important to note that the Milwaukee Public Library is adding a lot of other programs for children, teens and adults throughout the month. For example, a librarian from the east branch is hosting a Black Love Panel, and Lee adds she has a program of her own that addresses Black Americans in Milwaukee on Feb. 23.