A Millennial Book List for Black Liberation

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 Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash.com

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash.com

This post was originally written and appeared on the site Book Riot under the same title. I have permission to repost it here. 

 
Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.
— James Baldwin

This post contains affiliate links. 

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Millennials Ruin Everything

In true millennial form, I'm proud to kill off one of America's beloved past-times: racism. Of course, there have always been writers working to dismantle racism (the prolific books of James Baldwin and Angela Davis come to mind). But millennial writers are speaking up and demanding attention. To help you join the revolution, here is a list of new (or newish) books written to rise up and fight for black liberation everywhere. 

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So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

This is a how-to guide helps explain the issues of race and discrimination to a white American audience. From Black Lives Matter to the N word, Oluo uses her own experiences to give a white people a way to understand race. She also includes steps to move forward with ways to take action and make positive change.

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Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

What started as a blog post in 2014 culminated in a well-researched book about the political issues around race in Britain. Since then, she has traveled the world talking and engaging with people on the topic of race and racial policies. It's will surprise you how different (or not so different) European racism can be.

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Invisible Man, Got The Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man's Education by Mychal Denzel Smith

Smith is watching the world unfold as a twenty-something black man. He uses his own coming of age story to talk about manhood and what it means to be a black millennial. He also rips into the effects of toxic masculinity and the lack of support for mental health in the black community.

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When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele

As Black Lives Matter co-founder, Cullours speaks to her childhood and life growing up in Los Angeles. She traces her activist history to events in her past, as well as the fear of living day-to-day as a black woman. What she never expected was her outrage for one court case to start an entire movement. 

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Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper

Placing her focus on black women, Cooper wants to erase the negative images of black women as angry women. She uses her personal history as the foundation of her feminist theories. From why she includes white women, Beyonce is a feminist icon, and everything inbetween.

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This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America by Morgan Jerkins

Jerkins uses her personal story as the model of how racism touches everything you experience as a black woman. From hair politics to grade school bullies, dating and sex, she gives an honest look at the costs of female American Blackness. 

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Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist by Franchesca Ramsey

When her youtube video went viral, Ramsey saw that chance to use her voice for change. Her book is a collection of essays that chronicle her work in tv and social media. She also gives some advice on how to manage an online/offline life when those lines can become blurred.

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Now it's your turn. What books are one your must-read activist list? 

About the Author

Black & Bookish is the brainchild of Antoinette Scully, educator and lover of all things bookish. She is on a quest to fill your bookshelves with beloved authors of the African Diaspora. When she's not hanging out on line, she's living it up as the mother of two rambunctious girls and wife of a local filmmaker.