Vanessa Borne’s unpiloted airliner crash in 1912 is immortalised in this gigantic bay of letters. It was a red letter day for our book club, who each read a chapter and debated the ethics of the novella. How Art Became a Weapon was built on the lives of two very different black American women, shaped by the turbulent 20th century.
Monica Moorehead’s book is a close and funny novel about racism as seen through the eyes of two ordinary friends and a little girl named Mango. Ironically, Mango’s parents are a descendant of slaves, and her brother (the black baseball pitcher Hanging Mad) still lives on the plantation she is married to. Moorehead also depicts how the weather can make the difference between people and their prejudices.
Both Moorehead and Vanessa Borne explore the history and effects of racism through their own perspectives, where they take ideas and their messages and apply them to each other. Moorehead’s book is not the fantasy read that Borne’s might have been, and both have produced a thoughtful and entertaining book. Both characters were taken from real life, but they still have real impact on other people who read their stories.
Read about the relationship between two black sisters in Diana Taurasi’s 1967 story “Little Brown Skin”