Synopses & Reviews
In Its All Love, Black writers celebrate the complexity, power, danger, and glory of love in all its many forms: romantic, familial, communal, and sacred. Editor Marita Golden recounts the morning she woke up certain that she would meet her soul mate in “My Own Happy Ending”; memoirist Reginald Dwayne Betts, in a piece he calls “Learning the Name Dad,” writes stirringly about serving time in prison and how that transformed his life for the better; New York Times bestselling author Pearl Cleage is at her best in the delicate, touching “Missing You”; award-winning author David Anthony Durham enraptures readers with his “An Act of Faith”; New York Times bestselling author L. A. Banks is both funny and wise in her beautiful essay on discovering love as a child, “Two Cents and a Question.” And the poetry of love is here, too—from Gwendolyn Brookss classic “Black Wedding Song” to works by Nikki Giovanni, E. Ethelbert Miller, and Kwame Alexander. Its All Love is a dazzling, delightfully diverse exploration of the wonderful gift of love.
In this anthology, black writers celebrate the complexity, power, danger, and glory of love in all its many forms: romantic, familial, communal, and sacred.
About the Author
MARITA GOLDEN is the author of over a dozen works of fiction and nonfiction, including Migrations of the Heart
, Dont Play in the Sun: One Womans Journey Through the Color Complex
, and the award-winning novel After
. She is cofounder and president emeritus of the Hurston/ Wright Foundation.
The Zora Neale Hurston/ Richard Wright Foundation is the nations resource center for writers, readers, and supporters of Black literature. Founded in 1990 by Marita Golden and Clyde McElvene, the Foundations mission is to discover, develop, and honor Black writers at every stage of their development.
Reading Group Guide
1. In the introduction, Marita Golden notes that Its All Love
sets out to answer the question: “Where is the love among Black folk”? How would you answer that question? How does the book portray Black love and how does this differ from the medias portrayal of Black love?
2. How does A Shared History by W. Ralph Eubanks challenge traditional notions of interracial relationships?
3. In Lamu Lover, Doreen Baingana reveals the tensions inherent in dating a younger man. What additional taboos is she battling with in this relationship because of her African traditions?
4. When There's Trouble At Home and Love is a Verb both take a wrenchingly honest look at the subjects of motherhood and marriage. Discuss some of the issues that the authors address that women often feel hesitant to discus openly.
5. Will Besters After She Left contains a critique of Black women's stated and actual attitudes and expectations about Black men and relationships with them. Discuss the contradictions the author exposes.
6. The poem After Midnight is a meditation on love in the era of AIDS. Do you know anyone with AIDS who has struggled with issues of acceptance from family or friends?
7. In Being a Grandmother Becomes Me-Finally, Robin Alva Marcus provides a subtext about the expectations parents have of their children and how reality can smash those expectations. Have you had similar experiences with your children?
8. Isaiah 9:6 and Learning the Name Dad examine the different ways that names determine one's hopes and dreams and the role individuals play in accepting or rejecting the meanings of their names. Discuss the ways the two pieces are similar and different.
9. The issue of class is an important part of the story in Veronica Chambers The History of the World. How does class impact the narrator and her employer?
10. How does the experience of reading the many works in Its All Love together differ from reading them separately? How do they relate to each other? How do the different forms of the pieces-written as poems, non-fiction pieces, and fiction pieces-affect your response to them?