Being Somebody and Black Besides by George B. Nesbitt
An immersive multigenerational memoir that recounts the hopes, injustices, and triumphs of a Black family fighting for access to the American dream in the twentieth century.
The late Chicagoan George Nesbitt could perhaps best be described as an ordinary man with an extraordinary gift for storytelling. In his newly uncovered memoir—written fifty years ago, yet never published—he chronicles in vivid and captivating detail the story of how his upwardly mobile Midwestern Black family lived through the tumultuous twentieth century.
Spanning three generations, Nesbitt’s tale starts in 1906 with the Great Migration and ends with the Freedom Struggle in the 1960s. He describes his parents’ journey out of the South, his struggle against racist military authorities in World War II, the promise and peril of Cold War America, the educational and professional accomplishments he strove for and achieved, the lost faith in integration, and, despite every hardship, the unwavering commitment by three generations of Black Americans to fight for a better world.
Through all of it—with his sharp insights, nuance, and often humor—we see a family striving to lift themselves up in a country that is working to hold them down.
Nesbitt’s memoir includes two insightful forewords: one by John Gibbs St. Clair Drake (1911–90), a pioneer in the study of African American life, the other a contemporary rumination by noted Black studies scholar Imani Perry. A rare first-person, long-form narrative about Black life in the twentieth century, Being Somebody and Black Besides is a remarkable literary-historical time capsule that will delight modern readers.
Black Joy by Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts
Black Joy: Stories of Resistance, Resilience, and Restoration by Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts
With deeply personal and uplifting essays in the vein of Black Girls Rock, You Are Your Best Thing, and I Really Needed This Today, this is “a necessary testimony on the magic and beauty of our capacity to live and love fully and out loud” (Kerry Washington).
When Tracey M. Lewis-Giggetts wrote an essay on Black joy for The Washington Post, she had no idea just how deeply it would resonate. But the outpouring of positive responses affirmed her own lived experience: that Black joy is not just a weapon of resistance, it is a tool for resilience.
With this book, Tracey aims to gift her community with a collection of lyrical essays about the way joy has evolved, even in the midst of trauma, in her own life. Detailing these instances of joy in the context of Black culture allows us to recognize the power of Black joy as a resource to draw upon, and to challenge the one-note narratives of Black life as solely comprised of trauma and hardship.
“Lewis-Giggetts etches a stunning personal map that follows in her ancestors’ footsteps and highlights their ability to take control of situational heartbreak and tragedy and make something better out of it….A simultaneously gorgeous and heartbreaking read” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
Black Women Will Save the World: An Anthem by April Ryan
In this long-overdue celebration of Black women’s resilience and unheralded strength, the revered, trailblazing White House correspondent reflects on “The Year That Changed Everything”—2020—and African-American women’s unprecedented role in upholding democracy.
“I am keenly aware that everyone and everything has a story,” April D. Ryan acknowledges. “Also, I have always marveled at Black women and how we work to move mountains and are never really thanked or recognized.” In Black Women Will Save the World, she melds these two truths, creating an inspiring and heart-tugging portrait of one of the momentous years in America, 2020—when America elected its first Black woman Vice President—and celebrates the tenacity, power, and impact of Black women across America.
From the beginning of the nation to today, Black women have transformed their pain into progress and have been at the frontlines of the nation’s political, social, and economic struggles. These “Sheroes” as Ryan calls them, include current political leaders such as Maxine Waters, Valerie Jarrett, and Kamala Harris; LaTosha Brown, and other activists. Combining profiles and in-depth interviews with these influential movers and shakers and many more, Ryan explores the challenges Black women endure, and how the lessons they’ve learned can help us shape our own stories.
Ryan also chronicles her personal journey from working-class Baltimore to the elite echelons of journalism and speaks out about the hurdles she faced in becoming one of the most well-connected members of the Washington press corps—while raising two daughters as a single mother in the aftermath of a messy divorce.
It is time for everyone to acknowledge Black women’s unrivaled contributions to America. Yet our democracy remains in peril, and their work is far from done. Black Women Will Save the World presents a vital kaleidoscopic look at women of different ages and from diverse backgrounds who devote their lives to making the world a better place—even if that means stepping out of their “place.”
Call Me a Woman: On Our Way to Equality and Peace by Laurie Levin
It’s time to raise the bar. There are more months in the year than countries in the world where women and men have equal rights. This imbalance is the cause of the most pressing challenges we face today.
Angry about sexism and misogyny and what you personally have endured? Afraid the world won’t get its act together in time to save itself?
Call Me A Woman combines Laurie Levin’s personal story, including multiple sexual assaults, years of research, personal interviews, global studies, and activism to ramp up awareness and change perceptions of how we view what happens to girls and women world-wide.
Equality can become our reality when each of us comes to terms with how we uphold inequality. The long-standing domination of men over women is reflected in our language, traditions, choices, votes, and what we do and don’t pay attention to.
Call Me A Woman is a call to action and roadmap that will speed our way to gender equality and a more peaceful world.
After all, women are half of every race, religion, ethnic group, economic class, and nation.
Become part of the solution and create a safer and more just world for girls and women. When women rise, we take the world with us.
Call Us What We Carry: Poems by Amanda Gorman
Call Us What We Carry: Poems by Amanda Gorman
#1 New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller
The breakout poetry collection by #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman
Formerly titled The Hill We Climb and Other Poems, the luminous poetry collection by #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman captures a shipwrecked moment in time and transforms it into a lyric of hope and healing. In Call Us What We Carry, Gorman explores history, language, identity, and erasure through an imaginative and intimate collage.
Harnessing the collective grief of a global pandemic, this beautifully designed volume features poems in many inventive styles and structures and shines a light on a moment of reckoning. Call Us What We Carry reveals that Gorman has become our messenger from the past, our voice for the future.
Self-Love in Action: Practical Ways to Bring Self-Compassion Into Work, Relationships & Everyday Life by Zo Crook
A practical approach to self-love with evidence-based therapy skills to trust your inner voice, make confident decisions, and live with greater personal empowerment in your relationships, career, and everyday life.
Many studies show that self-love is central to good mental health. Self-Love in Action helps you cultivate compassion, accountability, and self-respect in all areas of your life. In this practical, everyday guide, self-love becomes a verb–a moving declaration towards personal empowerment. This psychology-driven book offers proactive strategies to redirect you back to your authentic self by learning to listen to the voice within. Guided by a therapist, you’ll confront the past, examine the present, and prepare for the future by setting boundaries, taking accountability, and practicing the ultimate act of self-love.
Boost confidence with small rituals that shift the focus from “them” to “me”–reminding you that true love flows from the inside out.
Implement “Time to Practice” exercises to pause, set boundaries, say no, and invest in yourself.
Take self-love quizzes to reflect on the ways current habits might impede self-love action.
Explore real examples of clients who have overcome common hardships through their commitment to self-love.
Shift into a Higher Gear by Delatorro McNeal
Shift into a Higher Gear: Better Your Best and Live Life to the Fullest by Delatorro McNeal
Kick fear-based living to the curb and discover exactly how to manifest the life of your dreams!
Is there another level of life that you want to live? Are there goals you’ve been struggling to achieve? Are there areas of your life where you’ve settled for excuses instead of excellence?
With close to two decades of experience working with high achievers globally, peak performance expert Delatorro McNeal II is passionate about teaching people how to live life full throttle. A motorcycle enthusiast, McNeal uses biking metaphors to vividly illustrate how to reject the monotony of living on cruise control. Packed with exercises, journaling activities, compelling questions, and thought-provoking stories, analogies, and examples, this book teaches you the psychology and methodology of shifting into a higher gear. Each of the twelve chapters starts with the word Shift and invites you to make a simple but profound change that will accelerate your results and expand the horizons of your possibilities. You’ll discover how to
• Lean into the curves of life and business
• Sever your dependency on the “kickstands of life”
• Put your weight into the changes you desire most
• Steer the flow of your emotional states
• Shift your core relationships to invite the right posse to your biker club
• Drive defensively to avoid the potholes that stop most people from succeeding
From the introduction all the way through to the conclusion, this book is a transformational seminar on paper. Join Delatorro McNeal as he takes you on the personal development journey of a lifetime.
Somebody’s Daughter: A Memoir by Ashley C. Ford
“This is a book people will be talking about forever.” ―Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Untamed
“Ford’s wrenchingly brilliant memoir is truly a classic in the making. The writing is so richly observed and so suffused with love and yearning that I kept forgetting to breathe while reading it.” ―John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author
One of the most prominent voices of her generation debuts with an extraordinarily powerful memoir: the story of a childhood defined by the looming absence of her incarcerated father.
Through poverty, adolescence, and a fraught relationship with her mother, Ashley C. Ford wishes she could turn to her father for hope and encouragement. There are just a few problems: he’s in prison, and she doesn’t know what he did to end up there. She doesn’t know how to deal with the incessant worries that keep her up at night, or how to handle the changes in her body that draw unwanted attention from men. In her search for unconditional love, Ashley begins dating a boy her mother hates. When the relationship turns sour, he assaults her. Still reeling from the rape, which she keeps secret from her family, Ashley desperately searches for meaning in the chaos. Then, her grandmother reveals the truth about her father’s incarceration . . . and Ashley’s entire world is turned upside down.
Somebody’s Daughter steps into the world of growing up a poor Black girl in Indiana with a family fragmented by incarceration, exploring how isolating and complex such a childhood can be. As Ashley battles her body and her environment, she embarks on a powerful journey to find the threads between who she is and what she was born into, and the complicated familial love that often binds them.
The Girls in the Wild Fig Tree by Nice Leng’ete
An “elegant and inspiring memoir” by the human rights activist who changed the minds of her elders, reformed traditions from the inside, and is creating a better future for girls and women throughout Africa (Sonia Faleiro, New York Times).
Nice Leng`ete was raised in a Maasai village in Kenya. In 1998, when Nice was six, her parents fell sick and died, and Nice and her sister Soila were taken in by their father’s brother, who had little interest in the girls beyond what their dowries might fetch. Fearing “the cut” (female genital mutilation, a painful and sometimes deadly ritualistic surgery), which was the fate of all Maasai women, Nice and Soila climbed a tree to hide.
Nice hoped to find a way to avoid the cut forever, but Soila understood it would be impossible. But maybe if one of the sisters submitted, the other would be spared. After Soila chose to undergo the surgery, sacrificing herself to save Nice, their lives diverged. Soila married, dropped out of school, and had children–all in her teenage years–while Nice postponed receiving the cut, continued her education, and became the first in her family to attend college.
Supported by Amref, Nice used visits home to set an example for what an uncut Maasai woman can achieve. Other women listened, and the elders finally saw the value of intact, educated girls as the way of the future. The village has since ended FGM entirely, and Nice continues the fight to end FGM throughout Africa, and the world.
Nice’s journey from “heartbroken child and community outcast, to leader of the Maasai” is an inspiration and a reminder that one person can change the world–and every girl is worth saving.
The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama
The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times by Michelle Obama
In an inspiring follow-up to her critically acclaimed, #1 bestselling memoir Becoming, former First Lady Michelle Obama shares practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today’s highly uncertain world.
There may be no tidy solutions or pithy answers to life’s big challenges, but Michelle Obama believes that we can all locate and lean on a set of tools to help us better navigate change and remain steady within flux. In The Light We Carry, she opens a frank and honest dialogue with readers, considering the questions many of us wrestle with: How do we build enduring and honest relationships? How can we discover strength and community inside our differences? What tools do we use to address feelings of self-doubt or helplessness? What do we do when it all starts to feel like too much?
Michelle Obama offers readers a series of fresh stories and insightful reflections on change, challenge, and power, including her belief that when we light up for others, we can illuminate the richness and potential of the world around us, discovering deeper truths and new pathways for progress. Drawing from her experiences as a mother, daughter, spouse, friend, and First Lady, she shares the habits and principles she has developed to successfully adapt to change and overcome various obstacles—the earned wisdom that helps her continue to “become.” She details her most valuable practices, like “starting kind,” “going high,” and assembling a “kitchen table” of trusted friends and mentors. With trademark humor, candor, and compassion, she also explores issues connected to race, gender, and visibility, encouraging readers to work through fear, find strength in community, and live with boldness.
“When we are able to recognize our own light, we become empowered to use it,” writes Michelle Obama. A rewarding blend of powerful stories and profound advice that will ignite conversation, The Light We Carry inspires readers to examine their own lives, identify their sources of gladness, and connect meaningfully in a turbulent world.
Undefeated Woman by Desange Kuenihira
Undefeated Woman by Desange Kuenihira (Memoirs of Women)
Sometimes, it takes a journey to find your voice.
As a young girl, Desange Kuenihira was told repeatedly that she was meaningless. An arranged marriage and motherhood before twenty—guaranteeing a life in poverty—were all she was told to expect. But Desange knew she had more inside her, and that education was the key to unlocking her potential.
In Undefeated Woman, Desange Kuenihira takes us on the challenging journey of her childhood. She recalls fleeing with her siblings from the civil war raging in Congo and the daily struggle of life in a refugee camp in Uganda, where she suffered many forms of abuse. She relates her journey to America, the culture clash of living with American foster families, and her quest for her education and the ability to control her own life. Now a college graduate and determined to pay forward the kindness of those that helped her through, Desange has launched the nonprofit UnDEfeated to empower women and girls in Uganda.
Desange’s inspirational story shows us all how we can overcome any odds through education, determined perseverance, and the kindness of caring people.
Uphill: A Memoir by Jemele Hill
One of Oprah Daily’s Best Fall Nonfiction Books of 2022
An empowering, unabashedly bold memoir by the Atlantic journalist and former ESPN SportsCenter coanchor about overcoming a legacy of pain and forging a new path, no matter how uphill life’s battles might be.
Jemele Hill’s world came crashing down when she called President Trump a “white supremacist”; the White House wanted her fired from ESPN, and she was deluged with death threats. But Hill had faced tougher adversaries growing up in Detroit than a tweeting president. Beneath the exterior of one of the most recognizable journalists in America was a need―a calling―to break her family’s cycle of intergenerational trauma.
Born in the middle of a lively routine Friday night Monopoly game to a teen mother and a heroin-addicted father, Hill constantly adjusted to the harsh realities of not only her own childhood but the inherited generational pain of her mother and grandmother. Her escape was writing.
Hill’s mother was less than impressed with the brassy and bold free expression of her diary, but Hill never stopped discovering and amplifying her voice. Through hard work and a constant willingness to learn, Hill rose from newspaper reporter to columnist to new heights as the coanchor for ESPN’s revered SportsCenter. Soon, she earned respect and support for her fearless opinions and unshakable confidence, as well as a reputation as a trusted journalist who speaks her mind with truth and conviction.
In Jemele Hill’s journey Uphill, she shares the whole story of her work, the women of her family, and her complicated relationship with God in an unapologetic, character-rich, and eloquent memoir.
Where You Are Is Not Who You Are: A Memoir by Ursula Burns
The first Black female CEO of a Fortune 500 company looks back at her life and her career at Xerox, sharing unique insights on American business and corporate life, the workers she has always valued, racial and economic justice, how greed is threatening democracy, and the obstacles she’s conquered being Black and a woman.
“I am a black woman, I do not play golf, I do not belong to or go to country clubs, I do not like NASCAR, I do not listen to country music, and I have a masters degree in engineering. I, like a typical New Yorker, speak very fast, with an accent and vernacular that is definitely New York City, definitely Black. So when someone says I’m going to introduce you to the next CEO of Xerox, and the options are lined up against a wall, I would be the first one voted off the island.”
In 2009, when she was appointed the Chief Executive Officer of the Xerox Corporation, Ursula Burns shattered the glass ceiling and made headlines. But the media missed the real story, she insists. “It should have been ‘how did this happen? How did Xerox Corporation produce the first African American woman CEO?’ Not this spectacular story titled, “Oh, my God, a Black woman making it.”
In this smart, no-nonsense book, part memoir and part cultural critique, Burns writes movingly about her journey from tenement housing on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to the highest echelons of the corporate world. She credits her success to her poor single Panamanian mother, Olga Racquel Burns—a licensed child-care provider whose highest annual income was $4,400—who set no limits on what her children could achieve.
Ursula recounts her own dedication to education and hard work, and how she took advantage of the opportunities and social programs created by the Civil Rights and Women’s movements to pursue engineering at Polytechnic Institute of New York.
Burns writes about overcoming the barriers she faced, as well as the challenges and realities of the corporate world. Her classmates and colleagues—almost all white males—“couldn’t comprehend how a Black girl could be as smart, and in some cases, smarter than they were. They made a developed category for me. Unique. Amazing. Spectacular. That way they could accept me.” Her thirty-five-year career at Xerox was all about fixing things, from cutting millions to save the company from bankruptcy to a daring $6 billion acquisition to secure its future. Ursula also worked closely with President Barack Obama as a lead on his STEM initiative and Chair of his Export council, where she traveled with him on an official trade mission to Cuba, and became one of his greatest admirers.
Candid and outspoken, Ursula offers a remarkable look inside the c-suites of corporate America through the eyes of a Black woman—someone who puts humanity over greed and justice over power. She compares the impact of the pandemic to the financial crisis of 2007, condemns how corporate culture is destroying the spirit of democracy, and worries about the workers whose lives are being upended by technology. Empathetic and dedicated, idealistic and pragmatic, Ursula demonstrates that, no matter your circumstances, hard work, grit and a bit of help along the way can change your life—and the world.
Why Am I Like This by Kobe Campbell
Why Am I Like This?: How to Break Cycles, Heal from Trauma, and Restore Your Faith by Kobe Campbell
Why does our past pain have a way of terrorizing us and keeping us in fear, while baiting us with the lie that we will never experience healing, freedom, or love?
Though many of us can point to patterns of brokenness in our lives, we don’t know why they’re there. No matter how hard we work, we can’t seem to outrun the very things that break our hearts. That’s because our everyday setbacks are rooted in our unaddressed wounds.
Guided by seminary-trained licensed trauma therapist Kobe Campbell, Why Am I Like This? will help you develop courage as you dare to turn your heart toward your brokenness, uncover uncomfortable truths, and learn how to invite God into your past and present pain as you move from the terror of trauma into the tender embrace of the Father.
In the book Why Am I Like This?, you will:
gain an understanding of what trauma and healing really are,
explore the roots of your dysfunctional patterns,
learn how your trauma shows up in your everyday life, and
find trauma-informed, faith-based coping mechanisms to heal your mind and deepen your intimacy with God.
You already know that God is good. Here, you’ll discover that He’s good to you. You already know that God responds to the cry of His children. Here, you’ll see just how he responds to your cries of desperation, hopelessness, and despair. Healing won’t look like what you thought it will be, but it will come, and it will be beautiful.