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?
COMPLETED AFRICAN-AMERICAN RELATED NF TITLES (from last couple of years):
- Africa – DK EyeWitness Books
- Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” – Zora Neale Hurston
- Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History – Vashti Harrison. (Also where I heard mention of Rebecca Crumpler [see below for details].)
- Shade: Pete Souza on Obama – Pete Souza
- Black is the Body – Emily Barnard (essays)
- A Book on Medical Discourses in Two Parts – Rebecca Lee Crumpler. (Crumpler was one of the first female AfAm physicians in the country. Fascinating.)
- Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? – Beverly Daniel Tatum (post possibly to come)
- Becoming – Michelle Obama
- At Her Majesty’s Request: An African Princess in Victorian England – Walter Dean Myers
- Negroland: A Memoir – Margo Jefferson
- Strength in What Remains: A Journey of Remembrance and Forgiveness – Tracy Kidder
- Obama: The Historic Journey – NYT
- Born a Crime – Trevor Noah
- Mixed: Anthology – Chandra Prassad (ed.) – short stories about being mixed-race
- The Harlem Hellfighters – Max Brooks (graphic novel)
- Warriors Don’t Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock’s Central High – Melba Padillo Beals
- Roots – Alex Haley
- Great Speeches by African-Americans – James Daley (ed.)
- Dreams from my Father – Barack Obama
- Black Women of the Old West – William Loren Katz
- Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present – Harriet Washington
- We Should all Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Going Home to Nicodermus – Daniel Chu and Bill Shaw
- March Volumes 1-3 – John Lewis (graphic novel)
- Men of Niagara – W.E.B. Du Bois
- Malcom X: A Graphic Biography – Andrew Heifer and DuBurker
- 12 Years a Slave – Solomon Northrup
- The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass – Frederick Douglass
- Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves – Adam Hochschild
- The Negro Motorist Green Book – Victor Hugo Green
- Pandora’s Daughters: The Secret History of Independent Women – Jane Robinson (includes quite a few African-American women role models)
- Elvis Presley, Reluctant Rebel: His Life and Our Times – Glen Jeansomme, David Luhrssen and Dan Sololivic. (Elvis was very influenced by African-American music and culture.)
- Black Like Me – John Howard Griffin (1960)
- Celia, a Slave – Melton McLaurin
- The Education of a WASP – Lois Mark Stalvey (post to come)
- BlacKKKlansman – Ron Stallworth
- Kaffir Boy – Mark Mathabane (about one man who escapes South Africa’s apartheid)
- The Bite of the Mango – Mariato Karama/Susan McClelland
- The Boy who Harnessed the Wind – William Kambwanba
- Saturday is for Funerals – Unity Dow and Max Essex
- Monique and the Mango Rains – Kris Holloway
(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…)
COMPLETED AFRICAN-AMERICAN FICTION:
- Go Tell It on the Mountain – James Baldwin
- Kindred – Octavia E. Butler
- The Parable of the Sower – Octavia E. Butler
- What Looks like Crazy on an Ordinary Day – Pearl Cleage
- A Raisin in the Sun – Lorraine Hansberry (play)
- Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
- Lucy – Jamaica Kinkaid
- Annie Dunn – Jamaica Kinkaid
- See, Now, Then – Jamaica Kinkaid
- Passing – Nella Last
- Praisesong for the Widow – Paule Marshall
- Merle and Other Stories – Paule Marshall
- Brown Girl, Brownstones – Paule Marshall
- Daughters – Paule Marshall
- The Chosen Place, the Chosen People – Paule Marshall
- Drinking Coffee Elsewhere – Z.Z. Packer (short stories)
- Beloved – Toni Morrison
- Sula – Toni Morrison
- Jazz – Toni Morrison
- The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
- Bailey’s Café – Gloria Naylor
- Mama Day – Gloria Naylor
- The Women of Brewster Place – Gloria Naylor
- The Hate U Give – Angela Thomas (YA)
- The Color Purple – Alice Walker
- Brown Girl Dreaming – Jacqueline Woodson (YA)
- Native Son – Richard Wright
- Like One of the Family – Alice Childress
- The New Moon’s Arms – Nalo Hopkinson (spec fiction)
- Mojo: Conjure Stories – Nalo Hopkinson (ed.)
- Mixed: An Anthology of Short Fiction on the Multiracial Experience – Chandra Prasad (ed.)
- Friday Black: Short Stories – Nana Kwame Adjej-Brenyah
- Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
- Girl, Woman, Other – Bernadine Evaristo
- Mr. Loverman – Bernadine Evaristo
COMPLETED AFRICA FICTION:
- Aya Volumes 1-3 – Marguerit Abouet and Clementin Oubrerie
- Blackass – A. Igoni Barrett
- Nervous Conditions – Tsitsi Dangarembga
- Homecoming – Yaa Gyazi
- Americanah– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- So Long a Letter – Mariama Ba
- Sozaboy – Ken Saro-Wiwa
- Cutting for Stone – Abraham Verghese
- Little Bee – Chris Cleave (concerns Africa)
- The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears – Dinaw Megestu (Ethiopian immigrants in US)
TBR AFRICAN-AMERICAN NON-FICTION:
- 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.)
TBR AFRICAN (AND OTHER COUNTRIES’) NON-FICTION:
- 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 FUTURE READING:
- From my blog: Summer Reading List: The African-American Experience.
- I also feature Black History Month on the blog each year in February (if you’re looking for more ideas). Here’s the 2020 kickoff post for Black History Month.
- LitHub has a great list of more African titles here.
- A really good article on reparations in The Atlantic by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- A thoughtful article on white privilege: White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh
- Ten Books to Read About Race instead of Asking a Person of Color to Explain Things to You – Sadia Trombetter (Bustle – 03/20/18).
For the other nonfiction November posts, check out these:
- NF November Week 1: The NF Reading so far…
- NF November Week 2: NF/F Pairing
- NF November Week 3: Expertise
- NF November Week 4: NF Favorites
Many thanks to the hosts:
- Katie at Doing Dewey
- Julz at JulzReads
- Rennie at What’s Nonfiction
- Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves
- Leann of Shelf Aware
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!
If you’d like to explore the Australian perspective, can I recommend Maxine Beneba Clark’s The Hate Race – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28428354-the-hate-race
and Stan Grant’s Talking to my Country – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27429427-talking-to-my-country?from_search=true&qid=cqnb7Z6huz&rank=1
And this one has had a lot of interest in Australia as well as the UK – https://www.bloomsbury.com/au/why-im-no-longer-talking-to-white-people-about-race-9781408870570/
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. 🙂
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!
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!
Wow, you have read so much on this topic! This is an incredible list.
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. 🙂
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?
I wish I could honestly! I do remember we read Beloved, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and The Bluest Eye. I hate to admit but that class was longer ago than it feels…
wow, impressive!! I’ll definitely refer to your list on that topic!
Mine is about birds: https://wordsandpeace.com/2019/11/12/nonfiction-november-2018-expert-on-bird-books/
How lovely. I’ll have to check your blog out. I’m really interested in the natural world as well… Thanks!
This is an exhaustive list. Fabulous.
I’d add a picture book, The Undefeated. And Citizen: An American Lyric, which is probably considered poetry.
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.
Wow! That’s an amazing list! Good job. 😀
Thank you! It just takes time… ;-}
I don’t get a lot of time on my computer because of my baby – he pulls the electrical cord. I usually type my posts on my phone, which then autocorrects to the weirdest things. lol
What a complete list! Nicely done.
An impressive & comprehensive list of books – thanks for sharing!
Such a comprehensive list of both non fiction and fiction recommendations, thank you for sharing them.
Please stop by to see my NonFicNov: Become The Expert
You’re welcome. Thanks for popping by! I’m off to explore your blog… 🙂
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