Tag: “Dreams From My Father”

BOOKS: 13 Must-Reads by Black Authors to Add To Your Library

In light of the recent events surrounding racial and social injustice around the country, knowing our history, as part of our eternal quest to “stay woke,” is more important than ever. While many of us are experiencing a new movement unfolding right before our eyes, scholars, experts and even regular folks with stories to tell, have been putting their experiences to the page to enlighten generations.

The publishing industry suffers from the same lack of diversity and racial biases that plague society at large. While many books don’t make school reading lists or even the New York Times Bestsellers List, there are countless classics that break down the Black experience in America.

It’s hardly a complete list, which could go on for volumes, but it’s a great starting point:

1. The Mis-Education of the Negro, Carter G. Woodson

Portrait of Carter Woodson
Carter Woodson (Source: Hulton Archive / Getty)

This book is of primary importance in understanding the legacy of slavery and how it affects Black Americans’ perspectives in society. The book essentially argues that Black Americans are not educated, but rather conditioned in American society. It challenges Black Americans to “do for themselves” outside of the constructs that are set up for them.

2. And Still I RiseMaya Angelou

Maya Angelou Signs Copies Of 'Maya Angelou: Letter to My Daughter' - October 30, 2008
Maya Angelou (Source: Jemal Countess / Getty)

This is one of the most affirming books you will ever read. Technically, it is a collection of poems which focus on hope, determination and overcoming struggle. It contains one of Angelou’s most famous poems, Phenomenal Woman.

3. The Souls of Black FolkW. E. B. Du Bois

Portrait of W.E.B. DuBois
W.E.B. DuBois (Source: Underwood Archives / Getty)

One of the most important books on race in sociology and African-American studies, it is a collection of essays that Du Bois wrote by drawing from his personal experiences. Two of the most profound social concepts – The Veil And Double Consciousness were written about in this book which have come to be widely known as part of the experience of being Black in America.

4. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
'The Color Purple' TimesTalks: Jennifer Hudson, Cynthia Erivo, Alice Walker, John Doyle
Alice Walker (Source: D Dipasupil / Getty)

You may have seen the movie from Steven Spielberg or the recent Broadway musical, but I highly encourage you read this powerful novel, too. The book explores in depth the low position Black women are given in society through the lens of a particular group of women. The story explores both interpersonal turmoil and socially-inflicted violence toward Black women, as well as the bonds they share.

5. Things Fall ApartChinua Achebe

NIGERIA-LITERATURE-BOOK-CULTURE-ACHEBE-FUNERAL
Chinua Achebe (Source: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / Getty)

This book is among the most critically acclaimed ever written by an African author. Through the character Okonkwo, his family and the experiences of his village, Achebe tells the tale of colonization and its effects on African communities, particularly in Nigerian traditional social life.  Continue reading “BOOKS: 13 Must-Reads by Black Authors to Add To Your Library”

President Barack Obama To Publish Children’s Book

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama, a publishing phenomenon even before he won the White House, has a new book about to hit the shelves — profiling inspirational historic Americans for children.

“Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to my Daughters” is a 40-page picture book and will have an initial print run of half a million copies when it is released on November 16 — not coincidentally two weeks after congressional elections.
Obama penned the book before he was elected and proceeds from its sale will go to a scholarship fund for the children of US soldiers killed or disabled in wars abroad. The president’s publisher, Random House, praised the work as an “inspiring marriage of words and images, history and story.” “‘Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters’ celebrates the characteristics that unite all Americans — the potential to pursue our dreams and forge our own paths,” the company said in a press release.

The book celebrates figures including the first president George Washington, and Jackie Robinson, who broke down barriers by becoming the first African American baseball player in the major leagues. The title is taken from the lyrics of “My Country, ‘Tis of thee” an early American patriotic song. Obama’s previous books, the autobiographical “Dreams from My Father” published in 1995, and the political manifesto “The Audacity of Hope” which came out in 2006, have been huge international bestsellers. They have also secured Obama’s financial future. The president and his wife Michelle declared a joint gross income of 5.5 million dollars for 2009 alone — almost all of it based on royalties from his books.

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