Check out these recommended reads from our staff.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men — bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son — and readers — the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder.
Black Food: Stories, Art and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora by Bryant Terry
A beautiful, rich, and groundbreaking book exploring Black foodways within America and around the world, curated by food activist and author of Vegetable Kingdom Bryant Terry.
Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It by Charlamagne the God
Beginning with his journey from the small town of Moncks Corner, South Carolina to his headline-grabbing interviews with celebrities like Justin Bieber, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, and Hillary Clinton, radio host Charlamagne Tha God (The Breakfast Club) shares how he turned his troubled early life around by owning his (many) mistakes and refusing to give up on his dreams, even after his controversial opinions got him fired from several on-air jobs. Combining his own story with bold advice and his signature commitment to honesty at all costs, Charlamagne hopes this book will give others the confidence to live their own truths.
Dear Black Girl: Letters From Your Sisters on Stepping Into Your Power by Tamara Winfrey Harris
In Dear Black Girl, Winfrey Harris organizes a selection of these letters, providing “a balm for the wounds of anti-black-girlness” and modeling how black women can nurture future generations. Each chapter ends with a prompt encouraging girls to write a letter to themselves, teaching the art of self-love and self-nurturing. Winfrey Harris’s The Sisters Are Alright explores how black women must often fight and stumble their way into alrightness after adulthood. Dear Black Girl continues this work by delivering pro-black, feminist, LGBTQ+ positive, and body positive messages for black women-to-be–and for the girl who still lives inside every black woman who still needs reminding sometimes that she is alright.
Hair Story: untangling the roots of Black hair in America by Ayana D. Byrd and Lori Tharps
A chronicle of black hair in America looks back at the styles, myths, and grooming techniques adopted by African Americans throughout their history.
The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America by Tamara Winfrey Harris
The Sisters Are Alright exposes anti–black-woman propaganda and shows how real black women are pushing back against distorted cartoon versions of themselves.