BOOK REVIEW: Filling in the Black
by Joan Kantor
ABOUT THE BOOKS (from Amazon):
The George Floyd trial was a tipping point for me. After four years of unleashed racism, I instantly knew what my first trip, outside the isolated bubble of Covid, would have to be. I’d had plenty of time to process what I’d been witnessing from afar. The experiences weren’t mine, but had touched me deeply. I knew I needed to dive into history, to explore and better understand how we had gotten to this place. I needed to come face to face with truth, to stare into others’ pain without looking away. I needed to fill in the missing pages of the textbooks from my childhood. Over the years, I’d learned some of what I hadn’t been taught, but there was still so much I didn’t know. I needed to immerse myself in the details, to experience the hammering repetition of a story I’d never been fully or truthfully told. As best as I could, I travelled back in time in our little RV and the physical journey began in Selma.
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The author of Filling in the Black reached out to me and asked me to review her book. She sent me a free copy in exchange for my honest review, so here it is…
I did criticize the cover in one of my TikTok videos before I accepted the book. It’s not very compelling. When I received the free copy, I saw that it’s not much of a book (just 64 pages) and the author had not mentioned that it’s poetry, so that was a surprise to me. If I would have known it was poetry, I would not have accepted the book for review as I know that is not a genre I tend to enjoy.
The author sent me a note inside the book mentioning my criticism of the cover and said “guess I got lucky with TikTok.” That was kind of cute.
Given the disclaimer that I am probably not a good judge of poetry, the poems seemed interesting to me. That’s about all I can say. I don’t know if they are “good” poetry or not. I did post this TikTok video giving my brief review and reading one of the poems in the book so you can be the judge: