Music and books are two of my favorite things, so when I had the idea to combine them I couldn’t wait. This series is where I create playlists of songs that remind me of or match with my favorite books. First up is This Side of Home by Renee Watson. If you want more general info about this book and author check out this post. Also, this post contains some mild spoilers since I’m discussing the plot along with the songs, so please be aware. Without further ado: the playlist!
17 | Mahalia
“But I’m tired of hiding for the benefit of my peers
What’s so wrong with shining?
Why’ve you got so much fear?”
The main characters of this narrative: Maya and Nikki are 17 in the story. Maya especially feels as if she’s hiding because she dates a white guy and doesn’t believe her friends will approve, especially because they see her and she sees herself as a very woke activist-minded type of person. As the narrative progresses she develops more security in who she is and realizes that who she dates doesn’t change who she is.
Ma City | BTS
“I don’t know what to say 나 죽어도 말 못해
내게 억만 금을 주고 딴 데 살라고?
ah no thanks”
“I don’t know what to say. Even if I die, I can’t say it
Even if you give me a hundred thousand dollars to live somewhere else
ah no thanks”
As Portland becomes more and more gentrified, Maya and Nikki come to grips with what it means to love and support their city. Although economically, it may be better to sell their house and move on, their hearts belong to Portland and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Put Your Records On | Corinne Bailey Rae
“Maybe sometimes we feel afraid, but it’s alright
The more you stay the same, the more they seem to change
Don’t you think it’s strange?”
When the twins were children, they made plans with their friend Essence to attend Spelman College all together. As they get older though, Essence moves away, the twins move farther apart, and their lives move forward in different directions. Maya thinks she’s stayed the same and all the things around her have changed.
Bubbles | Jamila Woods
“Black girl be in a bubble, bubble
Floating quietly out of trouble, trouble
They call you shy
Always ask why you listen before you speak”
This book deals a lot with Maya’s experience as a black girl, always having to hold back, answer others questions and deal with consequences for speaking up. She has the heart of an activist though and although she is in a sort of a “bubble” she manages to pop it over time.
Younger | Seinabo Sey
“There is a light to all this darkness if only we
Fight against them telling us how we should be
I refuse to have you break me
When you know you ain’t getting any”
I thought this song fit, first of all because the twins last name is Younger. But more than that, this story deals with gentrification and the effects of that on Maya, Nikki, and their neighborhood. As more white and Latina students move into their school zone, their principal starts to give special treatment to those students and doing things like cutting the Black history program in favor of a diversity fair. Maya and her friends fight back against this and refuse to simply accept the unfair treatment in their neighborhood and school.
Here’s the link to the Spotify playlist if you want to check it out, and feel free to follow me on Spotify!
Leave a comment below telling me what you thought about the playlist. If you’ve read the book, do you think my choices fit?