Tuesday, May 15, 2018

CAN'T NOTHING BRING ME DOWN by Ida Keeling with Anita Diggs

I don’t recall the last time I was so excited about reading a book and became puzzled mid-way and then felt let down. CAN’T NOTHING BRING ME DOWN-Chasing Myself In The Race Against Time by Ida Keeling with Anita Diggs was supposed to be the biography of the first woman in history to complete a 100 meter race.
Shortly after the midway point of this 198 page book it seemed to me the tone change. It seemed that the book transitioned from being a biography with historical tid-bits inserted to a History book with biographical information added. (I am wondering what was edited out.) Though I read this book in a half a day I struggled with the last 50 pages.
Despite my disappointment in the book I do think it is well worth the purchase and something many women, of all races, should read. From a historical perspective there is a lot to learn from Mrs. Keelings life and what it was like being a single mother. From a biographical perspective her life reminds me of the Langston Hughes poem: “Mother to Son”  (see below)in the poem the mother says: “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.”
I suspect there are wounds that have yet to be healed in the heart of Ms. Ida Keeling and this is when history replaced words from the heart.                                  Written by Marsha L F Randolph

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

MOTHER TO SONBY LANGSTON HUGHESWell, son, I’ll tell you:Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.It’s had tacks in it,And splinters,And boards torn up,And places with no carpet on the floor—Bare.But all the timeI’se been a-climbin’ on,And reachin’ landin’s,And turnin’ corners,And sometimes goin’ in the darkWhere there ain’t been no light.So boy, don’t you turn back.Don’t you set down on the steps’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.Don’t you fall now—For I’se still goin’, honey,I’se still climbin’,And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
Langston Hughes, “Mother to Son” from Collected Poems. Copyright © 1994 by The Estate of Langston Hughes. 

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