Article first published as Book Review: ‘The Cost of Sugar’ by Angela Brown on Blogcritics.
“The Cost of Sugar” by Angela Brown presents the reader with the genuine and distinctive voice of the African American experience. The poetry in its pages takes readers of all backgrounds into a journey inside the heart of the author’s heart to experience her emotions within her own background. Brown shares in herself through her poetry. Her activism, history, admiration for other poets, and life experience are put out there for readers to discover and feel her heart. Having an Italian and South American background, I couldn’t be farther away from the African American culture, as where I grew up the historical background was somewhat different from the one in North America. Reading Brown’s poetry gave me the opportunity to feel her background through the emotion contained in her words. One good example was the poem “My People.” But in the same way I related to her feelings and reality through her words in works like “The Invisible Children” and “A Relationship with Time.”
Now, I know poetry is very subjective and thus reviewing poetry is almost an impossible feat as each reader will relate to a poem in their own way and through their own heart. However, I can say that Angela Brown was successful in portraying her own heart, her own voice. Her poems are not cookie cutter poetry. Their melody is not determined by rhyme but by a raw heart. This is why I loved “The Cost of Sugar.” This is why I related to it and was able to experience a cultural reality far from my own. As a reader, the poems contained in these pages made me look within myself as I learned from her experience. As a poet myself, I appreciated how genuine feeling and raw emotion came through the words she chose, generating the music that speaks to the heart.
“The Cost of Sugar” by Angela Brown is a must read. It is for sure a keeper which I will revisit and share with my loved ones again, and again.