I "discovered" my favorite work of black (I find "African-American" too limiting and it does not cover even a fraction of the wealth of experience from the Diaspora) literature while browsing the local library shelves. This is my favorite and most efficient way to find something engaging, profound or just entertaining to read. Sometimes I see an author's name and this catches my interest, other times it can be the subject matter. So when I saw the title "Coffee Will Make You Black", I hoped I was in for a treat, no matter the author or subject matter!
Once I opened the book and read the author's bio, I knew that I had found a story that would resonate within me: the author, April Sinclair, is from my hometown, from my neighborhood and from my generation...how could I lose? Her narrative came alive for me, because I felt that I knew all her characters, that these were the same people that I had grown up with. It didn't matter that she was a female and I wasn't...I could feel what she described because I had felt it before. I tried to read slowly and take the time to savor the experience, but, like a starving man, I gobbled my way through the story and at the end was very satisfied but I wanted more. I wanted to be transported back to Chicago, back to the 60's, back to a time when the world held some illusions and I was just beginning to see through some of them, but not all.
I joined this website because it was the only way that I could contact Ms. Sinclair. I wrote her a fan letter, which I had never done for any celebrity. It is still the only fan letter I have written to anyone. The real topper was that she wrote me back! Of course I have read all her work, and, of course, I still wanted more. She told me that she would be writing more and that's all I need to know!
I have now read "Coffee Will Make You Black" 5 times and the subsequent books as well, while waiting for more, more, more.