The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
A Call to Consciousness
December 23, 2006
By The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers - (RAWSISTAZ.com)
LET A NEW WOMAN RISE is the first published collection of contemporary poetry by Barbara Haskins. Although the title suggests the poems address women's issues, the book contains two sections. It covers themes of racism, history, media portrayal, relationships, and more. Writing in mostly free verse, she uses techniques such as alliteration, repetition, and rhyme to deliver her message.
The first section of the book, Fire Arise, contains poems that can be classified as a call to consciousness of African and African American culture, history, and community issues. Through these pieces, the reader learns Haskins' thoughts on music, blacks in the media, education, violence, and white society's adoption of black culture. Love Arise, the second section, focuses on love and relationships with poems about the strength of one's love, the downside of relationships, having a spiritual connection and friendship. Some of the stand-outs include "Divine by Design," "They Stole it but...," "Take me to My Leader," "How Long," and "Claim Check."
While Haskins has created a thought-provoking collection, the book would be better with a wider variety of topics and themes. Most of the poems from the first section are negative which overshadow the positive ones. Also, the second section is much shorter than the first giving the reader only a glimpse of her view on the topic of love. Still Haskins' collection proves to be a good first step into the publishing world.
Reviewed by Criss Coles
for The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
LIBERATION LESSONS Review
Thanks for Sharing
By LIBERATION LESSONS -
Barbara Haskins' first published poetry collection is surely painted with a Power-slicing brush.
From the very first stinging stanza, her words grab/stab you into saying, "Hey! This is me! This is just how I feel!" And from then on, -- it's a promise -- you will not put this strong package of Blackness down!
Imagine what's in store from "Plantation Revisited", "Lynched Up South", "Burnt Offering", "They Stole It -- But...", "Suffer Little Children", "Howard Bitch" or "How Long?"
Such an articulate author deserves a fervent "Thanks for Sharing" her innermost gutsy perspectives so effectively. Not a word is wasted and the vitality of each selection practically bounds off the pages in sprightly invitation to join in vicarious celebration of Black Life.
How did she choose her vignettes?
How did she craft them so superbly into actual advice easily absorbed?
These pieces of fine literary hors d'oeuvres are to be studied, savored and shared with Our Folk; not only for exultation but to teach our Black 'put-upon' progeny how to exist in a savage, color-sick society which, hisory illustrates, is out to consume the unwarned and unwary by any means available.
So, on the one hand, Haskins celebrates Black Life; but be prepared for, on the other hand, to be introduced to heavy servings of psychologically scraping imagery.
Yes, let a new woman rise -- but understand that from the book's get go -- as she rises -- so rise alla' we Black Folk.
This book is certainly a well-honed honey of a gift to and for us!
Reviewed by CAROL TAYLOR of LIBERATION LESSONS
BLACK ISSUES Book Review
By Quraysh Ali Lansana
In the March-April 2006 Issue of:
BLACK ISSUES Book Review
Haskins's inspirational book of poetry suggests the historical and emotional evolution of the African American woman. In "Fire Arise", the first section, many of the poems aim to ignite a fire in the reader. With allusions to universally accepted pillars of strength, such as Sojourner Truth and Rosa Parks, each poem calls the black community to action so that the black woman can be restored to glory.
In the second half, "Love Arise", Haskins identifies many contemporary social ills attacking these as intra-racism or crime because such obstacles stand in the way of self-love.
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