Ibi Zoboi (EEE-bee zoe-Boy) is a Haitian-American, young adult writer most famous for her books American Street, Pride, and Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America. Her newest title, My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich, centers on Ebony-Grace Norfleet, a Star Trek loving southerner visiting her father in Harlem for the summer.
I heard this story a few years ago during a Kwanzaa celebration. It stayed with me as a memorable way to introduce my own children to the holiday and I went searching for it. I grew up celebrating Kwanzaa in Florida, not knowing that it originated here in Los Angeles. See if Seven Spools of Thread is one you should add to your holiday book list.
One of the best ways to change a person’s mind is by giving them a great story. Take a subject that seems also impossible and place that impossibility within reach with thoughtful steps and descriptions. Author Daines Reed put in the work to create a moving story of what happens when women in a small community take care of their own in more ways that one.
Have you ever had a book hangover? You can't focus and you feel a little sick. I get them sometimes if the content is partially intense for the writing is so good that I have invested heavily into it. That was the kind of experience I had once I finished Kindred.
It took me a little over ten days to read Between the World and Me in the summer of 2016. When you find something so real and moving and painful, you can't help but want the other people in your life to feel those very real feelings too. Here is a long review of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ 2015 memoir.
Underground has a simple narrative that follows a group of enslaved people as they travel the Underground Railroad. Written for children in early elementary and younger, Evans moves us one page at a time through the struggle of escaping a plantation.
In 2017, Hannah Ali published The Story of Us with Market Fifty Four, which launched in October of that year. She will be the first contemporary writer to be translated and published in Somali, her native language. The Story of Us is a collection of 4 short stories about womanhood from a Somali perspective.
Written by C.C. Lyons, Alpha Females Unleashed: From the Boardroom to the Bedroom takes a look at how strong women, known as Alphas, tend to take charge and what that might mean for life and future happiness. She presented a wide range of ideas, but all coming back to the notion that knowing the ins and outs of an Alpha Female can help both men and women be their best selves for their partners, coworkers, and families.
So You Want To Talk About Race is a hybrid memoir and guidebook for discussing some of the toughest topics here in the U.S. Oluo uses her history and background to insert common racial topics onto her life, showing how the missteps of the majority population create a challenging world for people with Brown skin. Written to and for non-People of Color, So You Want To Talk About Race cuts to the heart of why this subject is so difficult.
In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston traveled to Africatown, a small settlement in Georgia, to document the first-hand account of a man named Cudjo Lewis. Barracoon is the culmination of interviews Hurston collected over multiple trips about Lewis' life, including his capture, enslavement, and eventual release.
An American Marriage is a hard book to ignore. That shiny "Oprah's Book Club" sticker pulls you in, just long enough to read the dust jacket. It must be good, right? Knowing very little about Tayari Jones before her book blew up, I'm grateful that her beautiful writing is being celebrated.
I was excited about this book the moment I heard about it. I don't gravitate to poetry but I like to branch out and plus- this book has Beyonce in the title. It HAS to be good. With all the accolades, I expected this collection to be show stopping. But that wasn't the case for me.
I got to know her work through her 2015 publication, Bad Feminist. From there I have followed her book tours, writing engagements, and social media. While her writing has always been a reflection of her life, Hunger gets even more personal.
Words With Wings is a collection of poems as told in a first-person story. It's a pretty cool concept where every page is a poem but progresses the story of Gabby the daydreamer. When she thinks of a word, it has the power to fill her mind with images of her past. According to all the adults in her life, she has trouble focusing. Her daydreaming doesn't get any better once her parents split and she has to adjust to life at a new school. All she has is her daydreaming but has that finally gotten in the way of navigating her reality?
Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin a joint memoir by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. It recounts the night of Trayvon's murder by a local neighborhood watch captain and into the murder trial that follows. The book is separated in sections devoted to each parent's perspective. One at a time, they remember their son and the events that took him away.
When I think of Hughes, I think of his short form works like "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," standing alone in it's water theme. But, did you know that he has an entire collection of poems dedicated to the love of the water?
He calls himself "your personal astrophysics" and he is one fly guy. Neil deGrasse Tyson has been in the public eye for a number of years but most recently he was the guy who demoted Pluto. His latest book is Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, and I chose to experience it on audiobook.
Courage is Contagious: And Other Reasons to be Grateful for Michelle Obama is a collection of essays praising the life and style of the first lady. The contributors are a diverse group of individuals: chefs, actors, activists, designers, writers, comedians, and even school children.
Divided into five sections, Life Comes From Concrete takes the reader through the recurring themes of Kevin Anglade's life from his childhood to manhood. With raw honesty and passion, he lets the reader in and asks nothing more than an ear to listen.
I didn’t expect to finish Binti so quickly, especially since my responsibilities are a little more pressing than they use to be. But I just couldn't stop. I wandered around the house with this book in my hand the entire day, moving from room to room when interrupted. Obsession would be an accurate way to put it. I read all 85 pages before the sun had gone down.
My love of the mundane prompted me to purchase and read Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America by Ayana D. Byrd and Lori L. Tharps written in 2001. In 2014, an updated and revised version was published to include the changing styles of the later 2000s, which is the version I read.
If I had to guess where the character Nandi gets her confidence, I wouldn't have to look any further than her creator, Ama Kuma. Here is how a chance encounter introduced me to Kuma and added Nandi to my reading list.