Recomanació 3: Brown Girl Dreaming de Jacqueline Woodson


Títol: Brown Girl Dreaming

Autora: Jacqueline Woodson

Editorial: Puffin Books, 2016

Preu: $8

Llengua: Anglès



Brown Girl Dreaming és una novel·la juvenil en vers, en la qual Jacqueline Woodson, l’autora, ens explica la seva infantesa. La història narra la vida d’una nena afro-americana nascuda l’any 1963 a South Carolina, en plena revindicació per la ingualtat dels drets dels afro-americans als Estats Units. És l’època de Rosa Parks, James Balwin, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X i Maya Angelou.

Està dividida en 5 parts, corresponents a diferents etapes de la seva vida:

  • Part I: i am born
  • Part II: the stories of south carolina run like rivers
  • Part III: followed the sky’s mirrored constellation to freedom
  • Part IV: deep in my heart, i do believe
  • Part V: ready to change the world

Cada capítol és un poema d’una força extraordinària amb un ritme i una musicalitat que t’atrapen des del primer moment. Són poemes que parlen d’una realitat molt llunyana a la nostra, d’unes vivències que potser mai hem viscut i d’un moment històric que coneixem poc des de l’altre costat de l’oceà, però que t’interpel·len humana i emocionalment.

the training

When my mother’s older cousin / and best friend, Dorothy, / comes with her children, they run off / saying they can’t understand / the way Hope, Dell and I speak, / Y’all go to fast, they say. / And the words get all pushed together. / They say they don’t feel like playing / with us little kids. So they leave us / to walk the streets of Nicholtown when we can’t / leave the porch. / We watch them go, hear / Cousin Dorothy say, Don’t you knuckleheads get into trouble out there. / Then we stay close to Cousin Doroghty, make believe / we’re not listening when she knows we are. / Laughing when she laughs, shaking our own heads / when she shakes / hers. You know how you have to get those trainings, / she says, and our mother nods. Theywon’t let you sit at the counterswithout them. Have to know what to dowhen those people come at you. / She has a small space between her teeth / like my mother’s space, and Hope’s and Dell’s, too. / She is tall and dark-skinned, / beautiful and broad shouldered. / She wears gloves and dark-colored dresses made for her / by a seamstress in Charleston.

The trainings take place in the basements of the churches / and the back rooms of stores, / on long car trips and anywhere else where people can / gather. They learn / how to change the South without violence, / how to not be moved / by the evil actions of others, how to walk slowly but / with deliberate steps. / How to sit at counters and be cursed at / without cursing back, have food and drinks poured / over them with out standing up and hurting someone. / Even the teenagers / get trained to sit tall, not cry, swallow back fear.

But Lord, Cousin Dorothy says. Everybody has a line. / When I’m walking up to that lunch counter and taking my seat,I pray to God, don’t let / anybody spit on me. I can be Sweet Dorothyseven days a week, twenty-four hours a dayas ling as nobody crosses that line. Because if they do, this nonviolent movement

is over!

La novel·la en vers és un gènere molt popular als Estats Units adreçat específicament als joves i és que, pel que sembla, el mercat editorial s’ha adonat de l’enorme potencial de la poesia com a porta d’accés a la lectura per als adolescents.

Malauradament, Brown Girl Dreaming encara no ha estat traduïda al català o al castellà però que ha obtingut els millors premis litertaris nord-americans:

  • National Book Award for Young People’s Literature
  • Coretta Scott King Award
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Young Adult Fiction
  • Newberry Honor Book

Si us interessa aquesta temàtica, també podeu explorar altres territoris literaris i llegir Sweet Sixteen d’Annelise Heurtier, editat per Pagès Editors (novel·la juvenil) o Yo sé por qué canta el pájaro enjaulado de Maya Angelou, editat per Libros del Asteroide (novel·la biogràfica), o audiovisuals i repassar tres documentals imprescindibles per entendre la història dels Estats Units: I Am not Your Negro13thMaya Angelou: and Still I Rise.

I Am not Your Negro (2016)


13th (2016)


Maya Angelou: and Still I Rise (2016)


south carolina at war

Because we have a right, my granfather tells us– / we are sitting at his feet and the story tonight is

why people are marching all over the South–

to walk and sit and dream wherever we want.

First they brought us here. / Then we worked for free. Then it was 1863, / and we were supposed to be free but we weren’t.

And that’s why people are so mad.

And it’s true, we can’t turn on the radio / without hearing about the marching.

We can’t go to downtown Greenville without / seeing the teenagers walking into stores, sitting / where brown people still aren’t allowed to sit / and getting carried out, their bodies limp, / their faces calm.

This is the way brown people have to fight, / my grandfather says. / We can’t just put your fist up. Yo have to insist on somethinggently. Walk toward a thingslowly.

But be ready to die, / my grandfather says, / for what is right.

And none of us can imagine death / but we try to imagine it anyway.

Even my mother joins the fight. / When she thinks our grandmother / isn’t watching she sneaks out / to meet the cousins downtown, but just as / she’s stepping through the door, / her good dress and gloves on, my grandmother says, / Now don’t go getting arrested.

And Mama sounds like a little girl when she says, / I won’t.

More than a hundred years, my grandfather says, / and we’re still fighting for the free lifewe’re supposed to be living.

So there’s a war going on in South Carolina / and even as we play / and plant and preach and sleep, we are a part of it.

Because you’re colored, my grandfather says. / And just as good and bright and beautiful and free / as anybody. / And nobody colored in the South is stopping, / my grandfather says, / until everybody knows what’s true.


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