Last week in one sitting I read Sapphire's novel Push, that has become the movie, Precious. It was very hard to read, but I'm glad I read it. I kept holding out hope that something would click and the narrator's life would improve. How could it possibly have been any worse? I felt particularly grateful to Blue Rain, Precious' teacher, who helps her take control of her life and move forward.
Maybe it's because I also just finished Stones into Schools (Greg Mortenson), but there seems to be a pattern here for education as a means of propulsion, among other things. It has brought to mind other books and movies with similar themes that make me feel inspired.
Here's a list I've come up with:
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson with David Oliver Relin
Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Greg Mortenson
Black Boy by Richard Wright
Teacher Man by Frank McCourt
Stand and Deliver (1988)
Dead Poets Society (1989)
There must be more. What have I left out?