Dear Universe is reviewed by Alexis Pauline Gumbs on The Feminist Wire! Check it out below!
From the Feminist Wire–– Did you know that my mom is a therapist? She is! And at it’s very best psychology is the science of learning how to love ourselves and each other better and better and better. (And like most fields…at its worst it is basically the opposite of that.) I have grown up hearing my mom use a scientific term called “operational practice” which, as I see it, means things that you actually do on a regular basis. As a black feminist love evangelist I see these operational practices as rituals, those things we do on a daily, weekly, monthly or seasonal basis that shape our days.
In other words, my mother is a ritualistic person. Every day she reads The Daily Word. She usually has an inspirational quote-a-day calendar on her dresser. She believes in breakfast in the literal and literary sense. Just like eating first thing gives your body and brain something to work with as you face the day, reading something inspirational offers an inquiry and a clarity that can transform our everyday experiences into opportunities for insight and inspiration.
For this reason, and several others Yolo Akili’s new book of affirmations, Dear Universe passes the mama test. I can count on my hands the books that I have read and then immediately gotten for my mother. Only one of Toni Morrison’s books passed the test (A Mercy), my favorite Dionne Brand novel made it (At the Full and Change of the Moon) and all of Asha Bandele’s prose has made it so far (The Prisoner’s Wife, Daughter, Something Like Beautiful). But Dear Universe has a special place on that list now because it is the only book on the list that is neither by a black woman writer nor about black mother/daughter relationships. I intend to send my mother a copy of Dear Universe as an offering towards her daily practice of reading affirmations. And I suggest that you not only let Dear Universe collaborate with you in the possibility of knowing something today that you might not notice any other day, but also let this small blue book collaborate in your most meaningful relationships as well, and this is why.