The blog, Color Online, earned a special place in my heart when I discovered, posted in the sidebar, the words of black poet Gwendolyn Brooks from her 1967 work, “The Chicago Picasso”:
Art hurts. Art urges voyages –
and it is easier to stay at home.
The mission of Color Online is “the promotion, empowerment, and political awakening of young women” primarily through literature and creative writing, as well as other educational programs, cultural events, and community service in the Detriot area. The online community posts author biographies and reviews for new juvenile and young adults books alongside literary classics such as Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God and Toni Morrison’s Beloved. There are also regular contests for free books and forums to encourage discussion.
I can’t help but wonder how my life would have been different if I had discovered Color Online as a youth. I used to be bitter about the fact that I wasn’t introduced to writers like Hurston until I reached college. All those years wasted! But now, I’m just grateful that someone has found inventive new ways to do what my high school teachers did not.
So, with Gwendolyn Brooks’ words in mind, here’s my plea for you to take a moment to browse Color Online and, if you are able, contribute to their library for young readers by donating a book from their Powell’s Books Wish List.