Book Review

Be The Bridge: Book Review

Be the bridge book cover with blue and white background and a hand holding the book
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Be The Bridge was on my to-read list for years and I kept seeing it as a resource in 2020 when the racial tension was at an all-time high after George Floyd’s death. And I’m glad I took it on a trip a few weeks ago because it was my airplane read. Usually reading makes me sleepy, which is why I read at night, but on the flight, I read almost 100 pages in 2 hours! (This may not be a lot for you but, for me, it’s a lot). 

Be The Bridge Review

I like to think of myself as an individual who is fully aware of the social and racial issues present in our country. I also am aware of the history of the United States and don’t shy away from the truth. I’m a firm believer that the more we know the better and I enjoy listening and reading from different perspectives, even if I don’t agree with the point of view. Even, though I’ve educated myself (by reading books, watching documentaries, listening to podcasts, etc.) about U.S. History, there were a few things that I learned from this book.

The lynching of Mary Turner

Reading about this brutal lynching made my stomach uneasy and I had to re-read it twice to really process what I had read. If you don’t know about Mary Turner, you can read about her here.

Tulsa Massacre

I believe I first heard of the Tulsa Massacre in 2020 – again at the height of racial tension new information (or information not told in school) was being published on social media and in different publications. So, reading about Olivia Hooker in Be The Bridge was new information to me. She passed in 2018 so when the book was being written she was the only survivor of the massacre. Olivia was six years old when everything happened and she remembered.

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After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the FBI arrested 1,291 leaders from the Japanese community in the US. They were moved to government-holding facilities throughout three states. There was no evidence that they had any links to the attack. And in 1942 Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which resulted in 117,000 Japanese Americans being placed into internment camps. This was all new to me, I had no idea about the camps. And then I learned that in 1988 the Civil Liberties Act was passed which authorized $20,000 per person to survivors who had been held in these internment camps. 

I’ve heard of talks of reparations for African Americans because of slavery but there is always pushback, I had no idea that there had been reparations for wrongdoing against an ethical group before. Look at what happens when you read books, you learn things, LOL.

Becoming a Bridge Builder

Tasha started the Be The Bridge organization in 2016 and now there are over 1,000 Be The Bridge groups throughout the United States. The ending of the book gives information on how to get involved or become a bridge builder if that is what your heart is urging you to do. It also includes the story of Jenne Allen, who founded IF:Gathering, and details her involvement in this work.

I highly recommend this book or listening to Be The Bridge Podcast (which would be a DREAM to be a guest on) for more resources on racial reconciliation.

With Love, Heidy

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts?

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Blog Book Review

Book Review: Sister Citizen by Melissa V. Harris-Perry

My first ever book review, and I felt that it should be this book because of all the racial injustice issues and debates this year. This was my second time reading the book and really paying attention to what was being taught throughout the book. I think anyone who wants to gain more understanding of the racial injustice that has happened and continues to occur in this country should read. Also, it’s especially important for women to read, women of all backgrounds, because not every woman experiences the same issues in this country.

The beginning talks about the US government’s lack of response towards Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath back in 2005. Representative John Lewis, RIP, mentioned during a live CNN broadcast that race was a critical factor influencing both media representation of the disaster and government officials’ response.

Reading about this reminded me of the lack of response towards Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. It’s heartbreaking to see the aftermath and know that Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, and yet the response was as if it were another country going through this. But I agree with John Lewis that race was a critical factor in both hurricanes’ response.

She talked about the stereotypes of Black Women in the United States but first started by explaining a study she conducted. She had focus groups with 43 African-Americans women in Chicago, New York, and Oakland. She had the women write down the stereotypes or myths that other people may hold about African-American Women and then write down the facts about black women as they saw them. They all arrived at the same three stereotypes that many researchers of African-Americans women’s experience also identify: Mammy, Jezebel, and Sapphire. Melissa goes into great details about each of them.

From reading this book, I learned about these stereotypes, and I’ve become more aware of seeing these stereotypes play out in movies, television shows, and stories with African-American roles. Melissa provides examples in the book, and some of the examples mentioned I didn’t notice while I was watching the show until I look back in retrospect.

After reading the book, I understand more, I am more aware, and I can educate others moving forward. The more we know, the more we grow, which is why I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand more about the racial injustice that occurs in our country.

One book isn’t going to cover all information, but it will help understand what African-American women have to encounter daily.

She ends the book by using Michelle Obama as an example in all the stereotypes and struggles mentioned throughout the book. And even though Michelle Obama grew up with both her parents, she got two degrees from Ivy League schools, is married, has two daughters within her marriage, people still labeled her and criticized her within the stereotypes.

If you read this book or have read this book, I definitely would like your insight and thoughts on it. This book should be added to your list of books for educating more about racial issues in this country.

What books are on your list? Which ones would you recommend to me?

With Love,


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