Nonfiction November Week 3: Expertise

Three ways to join in this week! You can either share three or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).

This prompt took me down a few rabbit holes (in a good way) and forced me to take a good objective look at what I’ve been reading in terms of POC-related authors, topics and titles. To that end, I’ve collected many of the POC titles that I’ve read and reviewed on my blog over the past few years, certainly not as a method of boasting or as positioning me as any sort of expert, but more as a reference for others who may also be interested in digging a little deeper into this subject. 

I’m also rather hoping that others may also have lists of related titles that they might want to share… There’s always room for more books on the TBR, don’t you agree? 




(Now, I know this is NF November, but sometimes I think that fiction reads can really complement some NF reading so here are some recommendations that you might try…) 




  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness – Michelle Alexander
  • Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women Write to the new First Lady – Barbara A. Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram (eds)
  • The Color Complex: The Politics of Skin Color in a New Millennium – Kathy Russell-Cole
  • Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America  – Charisse Jones
  • The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How it Changed America – Nicholas Lemann
  • Human Cargo – Matthew Crampton
  • Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press – James McGrath Morris
  • We Gon Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation – Jeff Chang
  • In the Land of Jim Crow – Ray Sprigle (1949 – earlier version of “Black Like Me”)
  • Writing from the Underground Railway – William Still (ed.) 


  • They Poured Fire on Us: The Story of Three Lost Boys from the Sudan – Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng, Benjamin Ajak (with Judy A. Bernstein)
  • Mother Country: Britain’s Black Community on the Home Front 1939-1945 – Stephen Bourne
  • My Traitor’s Heart: A South African Exile Returns to Face his Country, his Tribe and his Conscience – Rian Malan
  • A Walk around the West Indies – Hunter Davies 
  • Mr. Loverman – Bernardine Evaristo
  • White Fragility: Why it’s so Hard for White People to Talk about Racism – Robin DiAngelo


For the other nonfiction November posts, check out these:

Many thanks to the hosts:

27 thoughts on “Nonfiction November Week 3: Expertise

  1. You might want to read Life on the Color Line by Gregory Howard Williams, The Other Wes Moore, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Other African literature look for Buchi Emecheta’s books not set in the U.L. Also Cry, The Beloved Country. We Need New Names. I could add more.

    • Thank you for your suggestions. I’ve read a few of these, but there are also some other new titles that I haven’t done yet. Please feel free to add more titles if you would recommend them. I’m always open for more. Thanks again!

  2. If you’d like to explore the Australian perspective, can I recommend Maxine Beneba Clark’s The Hate Race –
    and Stan Grant’s Talking to my Country –

    And this one has had a lot of interest in Australia as well as the UK –

    Good luck with your reading.

    • Definitely interested in reading about POV from different countries about similar issues. Thanks for the heads up about the Australian titles – I would not have come across them otherwise, so I appreciate it. 🙂

  3. This is an amazingly extensive list you’ve plowed through! What’s great is that it looks like you’ve read old stuff and newer stuff. I’d love to read a post by you on what you’ve discovered has changed or hasn’t changed throughout all these books. I would hope the conversation and concerns would have changed over the years, but maybe we’re just stuck arguing over the same blindness that never gets fixed. I thought the Negro Motorist book was such an interesting pick for last week as well.

    • Thank you. That’s an interesting suggestion for a post: about whether I have discovered if things have changed or not changed throughout all these books printed back then and nowadays. I’ll have to think about it for a bit, but I’d love to draft a post when I have figured out a little more. Great idea – thank you!

  4. Oh, this is great! I have Mr Loverman on my TBR, too, and I am adding the Bourne to my wishlist right now … there, done. This was a topic (well, a little wider for me, as I wanted to include other ethnic groups and also different sexualities and people living with disabilities) that I was going to Ask The Expert on in my post, although I’ve got a good balance of such books in my TBR right now.

    I can recommend The Good Immigrant (out in pb now) and The Good Immigrant USA as telling fascinating and pertinent immigrant stories in the UK and US. I haven’t read either yet but have read good things and have the former.

    • Thanks for the recs about The Good Immigrant books. I’ll have to keep an eye out for them…

      You mention that you’re also interested in looking more deeply at other disenfranchised groups: me too. The trouble is that I have only so much time that I can devote to reading, so I made the decision to read deeply into one group…

      Like you, I’m very interested in becoming an educated ally for those who need one, and I’m hoping to repeat the same experience for others.

      Again, thanks for the reccies!

    • Thanks. This list is a compilation of the last few years, so it took some time. But I’m determined to become a better ally for the groups who need one, and it’s up to me to educate me. 🙂

  5. This is a great list! I took an African-American Literature class in college many years ago, and I feel like there is so much more available now. I would love to see what the reading lists are like compared to when I was in school – such a good thing to happen! I’m going to bookmark this page!

    • What an excellent idea! I’d love to see that school title list as well. I wonder if there seems to be so much more POC lit now because more is being published or do you think it’s because readers are becoming more aware of these titles and promoting them? Not sure. Either way – I’m glad that we have lots to choose from.
      Do you happen to remember any titles from that class you took in college?

    • Thanks for the titles, Deb Nance. The Woodson title sounds like it may be similar in format to Citizen: An American Lyric, and I’m perfectly open to different styles of writing. Thanks again.

  6. Pingback: Nonfiction Nov – Week 5 – New to TBR – Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs..

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