There’s nothing peculiar about DeMisty D. Bellinger’s Peculiar Heritage as the author profoundly foretells different traumatic experiences that have happened throughout our history. Through the use of paying homage to significant African American women that came before, the author juxtaposes the triumphs these figures made in our society versus the challenges that we still need to overcome today.
Throughout her debut collection, Bellinger invites the readers into her mind as she imagines herself in the time of slavery wanting to escape North to freedom. Along the way, she dedicates pieces to Harriet Tubman, Tituba and others to further depict the themes of hardship and adversity. The use of time is an important theme throughout the book as she uses the phases of the moon to not only advance the story but to show the physical and mental effects from being in that period leading up to the appropriately titled “June 19, 1865” celebrating the emancipation of the last enslaved African Americans in Texas.
DeMisty D. Bellinger’s writing is captivating and challenges the readers to think about the issues we have in our society. In her piece “Life Death”, she sums up that in order to move toward pleasure, we must move away from the pain. By the end of the collection, she brings readers to the present day to ponder her views on protest, the shootings that took place in Sandy Hook & Las Vegas and to imagining the consequences the world would be in if well-known figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and more if they would have acted differently.
Bellinger’s Peculiar Heritage is a thought-provoking, powerful collection of writings that gives insights to different themes and ideologies that have continued over time. By revisiting historical moments and paying respects to figures that came before her, the author shines light on the issues we still are dealing with today. She invites us to keep using our voices to spark change and bit by bit, it will happen.