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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Lilac Bush: A Poetic Journey and Cultural Awakening for Future Generations, by Pamela C. Nwokeji, is a powerful and beautiful work that is socially relevant and culturally impactful. Using lilacs as the theme to guide the poetic nature of the book, you will experience hard times, confusion, and pain, but also hope and inner power--right along with the poet. Enlightenment and change can't happen without growth and challenge, but the resulting transformation is worth it. These poems can help light the way toward healing and meaningful changes.
Nwokeji brings an intimate feel to the poetry from deep emotion and firsthand experience. She knows all too well what it means to live in the world of Black America. Writers like this bring insight and clarification to social injustices that are happening now but can also serve as clarion calls to future generations. I like how the poems actually offer concrete solutions, like education, family, and faith in God. Sometimes the language is strong and the material is uncomfortable, but the points do get across. The honesty in this work is appreciated, and so is the beauty. This writer seems to have a gift for poetry, phrasing, and conveying thoughts we have but can't always express. Readers who have dealt with abuse, self-harm, mental health diagnoses, and racism will connect with this volume.
I love the themes of community, improvement, advocacy, and healing that this book conveys, and think the messages come from a place of true yearning on the author's part. One of my favorite poems is "Grandma's Art Dresser", with which I connected strongly. Some poems are more personal; some more social--but all make an impression. Colorful images also help convey the book's ideas, and the resource links at the end are nice. If you like poetry that could possibly change the world, you will love Lilac Bush: A Poetic Journey and Cultural Awakening for Future Generations, by Pamela C. Nwokeji.