Foto Friday: Little Free Library

Have you heard about the “Little Free Library” Project? I first saw the libraries on Pinterest and thought, What a great idea! It’s a neighborhood book exchange that started in Wisconsin in 2009. Now there are more than 15,000 around the world, including the one that I recently found in my neighborhood.

Little Free Library, Coralville, Iowa

Little Free Library, Coralville, Iowa. Sharing books, encouraging literacy. I LOVE IT!

The books are free. The idea is to share your favorite books–“take a book, return a book.” I didn’t take a book, but I brought a contribution.

My Little Free Library contribution.

My Little Free Library contribution.


2 Dope Bookshelf: Women’s Studies

My writing partner and I have many things in common, including our teaching interests. Although we come from different disciplines in the humanities (literature and history), we have both taught courses in Women’s Studies. So, on this last Thursday in Women’s History Month, we are featuring texts we use for our Women’s Studies classes.

Readings in Women’s Studies


Patricia Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment, Routledge, 2nd Ed, 2008.


Josephine Donovan, Feminist Theory: The Intellectual Traditions, Bloomsbury Academic, 4th Ed., 2012.


Cynthia Ellen Harrison, On Account of Sex: The Politics of Women’s Issues, 1945-1968, University of California Press, 1987.


Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches, Crossing Press, 2007.


Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own, Penguin, 2004.


2 Dope Bookshelf: Women’s Autobiography

Here are more selections from the eclectic grab bag that is the 2 Dope Bookshelf. Continuing with our Women’s History Month focus, this week we have women’s autobiographies/memoirs.

Women’s Autobiography


Elaine Brown, A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story, Anchor Books, 1993


Angela Davis, Angela Davis: An Autobiography, International Publishers, 1988.


Mary Crow Dog with Richard Erdoes, Lakota Woman, HarperPerennial, 1991.


Elva Trevino, Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child, Bilingual Press, 1999.


Condoleezza Rice, Extraordinary, Ordinary People: a Memoir of Family, Three Rivers Press, 2011.

2 Dope Bookshelf: Women and Work

As you can tell by our header and our numerous posts about books, the 2 Dope Sistahs are pretty serious readers. I don’t know about you, but whenever I go into people’s homes or offices, I’m drawn to their bookshelves. I want to see what they read. We thought our readers might interested to find out what books are on our bookshelves (or in boxes when we run out of shelves) as well. Because of Women’s History Month, we’re featuring books on women’s history for the rest of March.

This week’s theme is: Women and Work.


Elizabeth Clark-Lewis, Living In, Living Out: African American Domestics and the Great Migration, 1994.


Penny Colman, Rosie the Riveter: Working Women on the Home Front in World War II, 1995.


Susanna Delfino and Michele Gillespie, eds., Neither Lady nor Slave: Working Women of the Old South, 2002.


Jacqueline Jones,  Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work and the Family, From Slavery to the Present, 1986.


Phyllis Palmer, Domesticity and Dirt: Housewives and Domestic Servants in the United States, 1920-1945, 1989.

(Some the books above have newer editions available)

Foto Friday: I Can’t Live Without . . .

Each “Foto Friday” 2dopesistahs pay homage to our love of Pinterest by remixing one of the posts we saw there, the “30 Day Photo Challenge,” originally posted on the Little Bennet blog. We are presenting our photographs so that we can explore the power of the camera and how we see the world.

Day 13: I Can’t Live Without

Da Hype 1

iPod and speakers

iPod and speakers

In 1985, L.L. Cool J released his debut album Radio, with the single, “I Can’t Live Without My Radio.” It was an ode to his radio and to a music genre that he helped to grow up. He says, “My radio, believe me, I like it loud. I’m the man with the box that can rock the crowd.” He then goes on to say, “I’m sorry if you can’t understand, but I need a radio inside my hand.”

I understood what L.L. Cool J was saying because I always had a nice radio and even a boombox like his at some point in my youth. When I was a kid, my father had a really nice stereo with really loud speakers. At any given moment, you could come to our house and hear Miles Davis blaring from our speakers. The music in my house was always LOUD. That’s how I am and so if there is anything I can’t live without, it’s my radio.

Da Realist 1

Sometimes I have to think deeply about my picture for Foto Friday, but not this time. My answer will not surprise anyone who knows me. I can’t live without my. . . BOOKS! I am a certified bookworm.

Every historian I know has a massive library, books collected for research, for teaching, and for pleasure. I remember going to a professor’s house when I was in

I can't live without my books!

I can’t live without my books!

graduate school, and I saw that she had books everywhere, even in the kitchen. I thought to myself, “Awesome.” Now, in my home, there are probably books in all rooms except the bathrooms. I try to keep them on the bookshelves, but they often spill out onto tables, the floor, etc.

The books that I am currently reading or using for research are supposed to live on the bookshelf next to my desk.  But, as you can see, some of them have begun to migrate from the shelf to the floor.

Wacky Wednesday: What book made you fall in love with reading?

Da Realist 1

“I just thought you’d like to know I can read. You got anything that needs readin’, I can do it.”–Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird


I wish that I had an interesting story about a book that made me fall in love with reading. I remember liking “Harry the Dog” and “Encyclopedia Brown” books, but, according to my mother, my love of reading preceded even those childhood favorites.

Mom says I have been “reading” since I was two years old. Well, maybe not reading exactly, more like memorizing. My great aunt bought me a set of five Little Golden Books, and I loved them. I carried them wherever I went, pestering anyone and everyone to read them over and over. (Even then, I always had a book in my hand!) Apparently, my favorite read was the Three Little Pigs. After a while, I had memorized every page, and I began to amaze everyone with my ability to “read.” Then, instead of people reading to me, I began to read to them. I don’t know what it was about those pigs and their houses of straw, sticks, and bricks that thrilled me so, but I’ve been a bookworm ever since.

So, what about you, fellow bibliophiles? What book got you into reading?

Wacky Wednesday: “What Are You Reading?”

Welcome to our Wacky Wednesday posts! On Wednesdays, we will discuss random questions or ideas in our posts and will explore them from the perspectives of both Da Realist 1 and Da Hype 1. The topics will change each week, so we invite you to engage in our discussions.


The writers at 2 Dope Sistahs are avid readers. At any given moment, we could be reading a romance novel or a book of non-fiction. In fact, we are usually reading several books. From time to time, we would like to share with you the books that are on our night stands. Please feel free to tell us what you are reading or comment on the ones we are discussing.

Da Realist 1

HowToBeBlack_3D_w_LowRes-260x152I am currently reading Baratunde Thurston’s How to Be Black, just to make sure I’ve been doing it right all these years. He is a self-proclaimed expert who has “more than 30 years experience being black.” This comedian and best-selling author, formerly of The Onion, is also the co-founder of Jack & Jill Politics, a black political blog. I found out about Thurston’s book from his followers on Twitter, who often tweet pictures of themselves reading the book and chime in with their own stories.

Thurston combines sharp satire, autobiographical notes, and interviews with “The Black Panel” into a book that is thoughtful and humorous. I could relate to many of his experiences trying to navigate the divide between the black family/community and the larger culture. Using his wit, Thurston reminds both blacks and whites that black people (like all people) are complex and that individuals do not necessarily conform to preconceived, stereotypical notions about race. Blackness is not monolithic.

So, it seems I had nothing to worry about. Whew! I am in fact living “blackly.”

Da Hype1

Destinys Embrace by JenkinsI was on vacation for a couple of weeks, and while on vacation, I try to relax and avoid reading anything that could potentially feel like work. This year, I picked up a copy of Beverly Jenkins‘ newest romance novel, Destiny’s Embrace.

In Destiny’s Embrace, we are introduced to new characters. The female protagonist, Mariah Cooper, escapes her hateful mother’s home by working as a maid in the home of the very handsome Logan Yates. Her headstrong ways, combined with her beauty, were a perfect match for the handsome and single Logan. Although the two battled for many pages, no one could deny that they were destined to be together.

I have to admit, however, this may have been my least favorite book by Jenkins, mostly because I didn’t find the protagonist to be as dynamic a character as the women she wrote about in the past. What I did enjoy about Destiny’s Embrace, however, is that like all of her novels, I always I learn something new from reading them.

As a note, Jenkins’ works are set either in the pre- or post-bellum South or during Western Expansion. I especially like her works on Western Expansion because I am unfamiliar with the narratives of black folks who left the post-bellum South for places like Oklahoma.

If you are looking for a great romance novelist, I would definitely recommend a Beverly Jenkins book, just not this one as your first novel of hers to read.

So, what are you, our Dope Audience, reading? Let us know below.