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It's All Love
Cover of It's All Love
It's All Love
Black Writers on Soul Mates, Family and Friends
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In It’s 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 Brooks’s classic “Black Wedding Song” to works by Nikki Giovanni, E. Ethelbert Miller, and Kwame Alexander. It’s All Love is a dazzling, delightfully diverse exploration of the wonderful gift of love.
In It’s 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 Brooks’s classic “Black Wedding Song” to works by Nikki Giovanni, E. Ethelbert Miller, and Kwame Alexander. It’s All Love is a dazzling, delightfully diverse exploration of the wonderful gift of love.
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    4
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Excerpts-
  • From the book Poems
    Wedding Night
    A. VAN JORDAN
    John
    let's strip off our words
    to speak without our tongues. let's
    try to tongue without
    saying a word. let's turn speech
    back into struggle tonight.
    MacNolia
    no, in the middle
    of the night, afternoon, or
    morning, let's pull up
    our voice, our moan, yes, our song.
    at 3:00 A.M. bring back words.
    John
    why bring words when we've
    waited so long for silence?
    why bring light when we've needed
    to knead heat from our shadows?
    when dark rooms call out our names?
    MacNolia
    in the shadow's heat,
    in the dark's light, in the night's
    promise of morning,
    there's always a language born
    out of the struggle to touch.
    John
    I don't know if I
    have the words to touch the back
    of your knees, the small
    of your back . . . brown lines in your
    palms . . . what language can frame you?
    MacNolia
    our language frames us
    as we resemble our words.
    the words we speak when
    an open window carries
    our new language to rooftops.


    John
    and here I thought I
    was teaching you! now, you show
    me a mirror in
    which I see a stranger, how
    good it is to meet me when—
    MacNolia
    when we are standing,
    nose to nose, as my wedding
    dress falls to our floor.
    A Black Wedding Song
    GWENDOLYN BROOKS
    First dedicated to
    Charles and La Tanya,
    Allen and Glenda,
    Hake and Safisha
    I
    This love is a rich cry over
    The deviltries and the death.
    A -weapon—song. Keep it strong.


    Keep it strong.
    Keep it logic and Magic and lightning and Muscle.


    Strong hand in strong hand, stride to
    the Assault that is promised you (knowing
    no armor assaults a pudding or a mush).


    Here is your Wedding Day.
    Here is your launch.
    Come to your Wedding Song.


    II
    For You
    I wish the kindness that romps or sorrows along.
    Or kneels.
    I wish you the daily forgiveness of each other.
    For war comes in from the World
    And puzzles a darling duet—
    tangles tongues,
    tears hearts, mashes minds;
    there will be the need to forgive.
    I wish you jewels of black love.
    Come to your Wedding Song.
    Autumn Poems
    NIKKI GIOVANNI


    the heat
    you left with me
    last night
    still smolders
    the wind catches
    your scent
    and refreshes
    my senses


    I am a leaf
    falling from your tree
    upon which I was
    impaled


    Haiku
    KWAME ALEXANDER
    If I am your heart
    Imagine me inside
    Beating, pumping, loving
    Kupenda
    KWAME ALEXANDER
    I have never been a slave
    Yet, I know I am whipped
    I have never escaped underground
    Yet, the night knows my journey


    I have never been to Canada
    Yet I've crossed your border


    If I were a poet in love
    I'd say that
    with you
    I have found that new place
    Where romance
    is just a beginning
    And freedom
    is our end.
    Untitled
    E. ETHELBERT MILLER
    On your left hand
    a paper cut near your thumb.


    I notice small things
    because I love you so much.
    After Midnight
    JALAL
    For Milton
    When opportunity knocks
    I open my door
    After midnight.
    You appear
    First in a line
    Of homeless men standing
    Outside a shelter.
    You enter my apartment
    Unannounced.


    The neighbors on my floor
    They come and go
    They stand between the elevator
    And my door,
    Waiting for a way out,
    They curse me,
    "That Black faggot bitch got crackheads coming up in here."
    Peering through their peepholes
    They don't love us
    Or even know how the pairing of two Black men
    Is so much greater than the rumors they've reduced us...
About the Author-
  • MARITA GOLDEN is the author of over a dozen works of fiction and nonfiction, including Migrations of the Heart, Don't Play in the Sun: One Woman's 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 nation's resource center for writers, readers, and supporters of Black literature. Founded in 1990 by Marita Golden and Clyde McElvene, the Foundation's mission is to discover, develop, and honor Black writers at every stage of their development.
Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    November 1, 2008
    Love comes in many formsromantic, familial, and sacredas evidenced by this impressive collection of stories, poems, and essays compiled by Golden ("After") and written by such notables as Gwendolyn Brooks, Nikki Giovanni, and Jill Nelson.

    Copyright 2008 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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It's All Love
It's All Love
Black Writers on Soul Mates, Family and Friends
Marita Golden
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