If you’re looking for a new book to read, or just need something to help you get through the never ending winter that seems to be February we have some great suggestions for you. It’s Black History month and we’re not only focusing on books focuses on remarkable Black people throughout history, but also books written by Black authors.
Learn about some remarkable history makers we never learned about in school, and expand your world view. Check out these five great options to add to your library and reading list for this month and beyond.
Seven Sisters and a Brother: Friendship, Resistance, and Untold Truths Behind Black Student Activism in the 1960s
Seven Sisters and a Brother chronicles the historical eight-day sit-in at Swarthmore College that protested the decreased enrollment and hiring of African Americans at the school and demanded a Black Studies curriculum. This collective narrative provides a very necessary and overdue retelling of the revolution that took place at Swarthmore College in 1969, combatting past negative and inaccurate media coverage. The group of eight student protestors has only recently begun to receive credit for the school’s greater inclusiveness, as well as the positive influence their actions had on universities around the country. Written by the students themselves, this book includes the untold stories about the authors’ family backgrounds and their experiences as student activists. The authors share how friendships, out-of-the-box alliances, and a commitment to moral integrity strengthened them to push through and remain resilient in the face of adversity.
Black Man on the Titanic: The Story of Joseph Laroche
Joseph Laroche was an anomaly among the passengers of the Titanic. He was exceptionally well-educated in a time when few black men had access to an education―and when even fewer were able to travel on a luxurious ship in first or second class. Who was Joseph Laroche? Where was he going, and what was his story?
Black Man on the Titanic recounts the life of this man, his part in the history of Haiti, and how he, as a 24-year-old father of two (soon to be three) children, ended up on the last ship of that era of glamourous travel. Ivorian-French writer Serge Bilé is the author of this fresh perspective on the tragedy that still fascinates millions and has inspired dozens of history books. With thorough research in Haiti and France, Bilé unearths the story of the intriguing figure of Joseph Laroche. This is a story of multi-cultural black history and of the political and natural forces that converged on one man
The Book of Awesome Black Americans: Scientific Pioneers, Trailblazing Entrepreneurs, Barrier-Breaking Activists and Afro-Futurists
We’re all familiar with a handful of African Americans who are mentioned in American history books, but there are countless others who do not get recognized in mainstream media. Their actions may not have appeared to shake the world, but their contributions to shifting American culture were groundbreaking. The achievements of the Black Americans included in The Book of Awesome Black Americans range from athletic to artistic, literary to scientific. Their biographies vary greatly, but each one contributes to the course of Black history and its influence on the greater world. Their stories encourage readers, especially teenage boys and girls, to find their own path to change. Monique L. Jones’s The Book of Awesome Black Americans is more than a Black history book. It’s a celebration of Black people
Happy, Okay?: Poems about Anxiety, Depression, Hope, and Survival
Paloma is faking it. On the outside, she’s A-Okay. She’s electrified at work, there is a cadence in her step as she walks her dog, she posts memes on Facebook, and she keeps up with most relationships. Looks can be deceiving, however. Inside, Paloma is just going through the motions, and she feels like things are spiraling out of control. But when things are at their darkest, dawn arrives with clarity and focus, and with it, healing. Paloma learns to value small glimmering moments of joy rather than searching for constant happiness, thus building hope for her future.
Happy, Okay? is not simply a narrative spun in verse by a masterful poet. It is an invitation to readers to shake off the stigma and silence of mental illness and find strength in the only voice that matters: your own.
You must wear your crown at all times. If you were waiting on someone to give it to you, Dear Woman is here to inform you that you can give it to yourself. Every woman is a queen, especially you. Put your crown on and get ready to rule. Dear Woman has everything—quotes, letters, short stories, and poems to educate, motivate, encourage, and provide a little tough love. This open letter is just as multi-faceted and inspirational as you are. Michael E. Reid wrote this book because he wants nothing more than for you to be the best woman possible, regardless of circumstance. This is more than a self-help book, more than just relationship advice for women—though it does include both of those things. No, this inspirational open letter, full of poetry and wisdom, is life advice just for you. You are an amazing woman. Deep down, you know that. Dear Woman isn’t here to tell you that you need to improve. Rather, it’s here to tell you that you can be your true self—for yourself. This is the life advice you need, because you deserve to thrive for no other reason than the fact that you are a woman.