All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto by George M. Johnson
All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto by George M. Johnson
In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson’s All Boys Aren’t Blue explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia.
A New York Times Bestseller! Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Today Show, and MSNBC feature stories
From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.
Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color, All Boys Aren’t Blue covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy. Johnson’s emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.
Velshi Banned Book Club
Teen Vogue Recommended Read
Buzzfeed Recommended Read
People Magazine Best Book of the Summer
A New York Library Best Book of 2020
A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2020 and more!
Becoming Free Indeed: by Jinger Vuolo
Becoming Free Indeed: My Story of Disentangling Faith from Fear by Jinger Vuolo
Jinger Vuolo, the sixth child in the famous Duggar family of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting and Counting On, recounts how she began to question the unhealthy ideology of her youth and learned to embrace true freedom in Christ.
When Jinger Duggar Vuolo was growing up, she was convinced that obeying the rules was the key to success and God’s favor. She zealously promoted the Basic Life Principles of Bill Gothard.
Jinger, along with three of her sisters, wrote a New York Times bestseller about their religious convictions. She believed this level of commitment would guarantee God’s blessing, even though in private she felt constant fear that she wasn’t measuring up to the high standards demanded of her.
In Becoming Free Indeed, Jinger shares how in her early twenties, a new family member—a brother-in-law who didn’t grow up in the same tight-knit conservative circle as Jinger—caused her to examine her beliefs. He was committed to the Bible, but he didn’t believe many of the things Jinger had always assumed were true. His influence, along with the help of a pastor named Jeremy Vuolo, caused Jinger to see that her life was built on rules, not God’s Word.
Jinger committed to studying the Bible—truly understanding it—for the first time. What resulted was an earth-shaking realization: much of what she’d always believed about God, obedience to His Word, and personal holiness wasn’t in-line with what the Bible teaches.
Now with a renewed faith of personal conviction, Becoming Free Indeed shares what it was like living under the tenants of Bill Gothard, the Biblical truth that changed her perspective, and how she disentangled her faith with her belief in Jesus intact.
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.
From Staircase to Stage: The Story of Wu-Tang Clan by Raekwon
From Staircase to Stage: The Story of Raekwon and the Wu-Tang Clan by Raekwon
Legendary wordsmith Raekwon the Chef opens up about his journey from the staircases of Park Hill in Staten Island to sold-out stadiums around the world with Wu-Tang Clan in this revealing memoir—perfect for fans of The Autobiography of Gucci Mane and Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter.
There are rappers who everyone loves and there are rappers who every rapper loves, and Corey Woods, a.k.a. Raekwon the Chef, is one of the few who is both. His versatile flow, natural storytelling, and evocative imagery have inspired legions of fans and a new generation of rappers. Raekwon is one of the founding members of Wu-Tang Clan, and his voice and cadence are synonymous with the sound that has made the group iconic since 1991.
Now, for the first time, Raekwon tells his whole story, from struggling through poverty in order to make ends meet to turning a hobby into a legacy. The Wu-Tang tale is dense, complex, and full of drama, and here nothing is off-limits: the group’s origins, secrets behind songs like “C.R.E.A.M.” and “Protect Ya Neck,” and what it took to be one of the first hip-hop groups to go from the underground to the mainstream. Raekwon also delves deep into the making of his meticulous solo albums—particularly the classic Only Built 4 Cuban Linx—and talks about how spirituality and fatherhood continue to inspire his unstoppable creative process.
A celebration of perseverance and the power of music, From Staircase to Stage is a master storyteller’s lifelong journey to stay true to himself and his roots.
Girl Get Up! – 21 Day Devotional by Temeka Davis
Girl Get Up!: 21 Day Devotional and Journal by Temeka Davis
Girl Get Up is a 21-day devotional and journal that will encourage, inspire and motivate you to Get Up!
Get up and go get everything God has for you! Girl get up and get moving! Get up and pray!
You have dreams, goals and visions that you need to work on. There’s a journal included in the back of the book for you to write down things as God speaks to you.
Get up and start that business. Get up and go back to school. Get up and move!
How Y’all Doing? by Leslie Jordan
How Y’all Doing?: Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived by Leslie Jordan
Viral sensation and Emmy Award-winner Leslie Jordan regales fans with entertaining stories about the odd, funny, and unforgettable events in his life in this unmissable essay collection that echoes his droll, irreverent voice.
When actor Leslie Jordan learned he had “gone viral,” he had no idea what that meant or how much his life was about to change. On Instagram, his uproarious videos have entertained millions and have made him a global celebrity. Now, he brings his bon vivance to the page with this collection of intimate and sassy essays.
Bursting with color and life, dripping with his puckish Southern charm, How Y’all Doing? is Leslie doing what Leslie does best: telling stories that make us laugh and lift our spirits even in the darkest days. Whether he’s writing about his brush with a group of ruffians in a West Hollywood Starbucks, or an unexpected phone call from legendary Hollywood start Debbie Reynolds, Leslie infuses each story with his fresh and saucy humor and pure heart.
How Y’all Doing? is an authentic, warm, and joyful portrait of an American Sweetheart— a Southern Baptist celebutante, first-rate raconteur, and keen observer of the odd side of life whose quirky wit rivals the likes ofAmy Sedaris, Jenny Lawson, David Rakoff, and Sarah Vowell.
It Was All a Dream: Biggie and the World by Justin Tinsley
It Was All a Dream: Biggie and the World That Made Him by Justin Tinsley
From a talented young journalist on the rise, a deeply reported, timely new biography of the Notorious B.I.G., publishing for what would have been his 50th birthday.
The Notorious B.I.G. was one of the most charismatic and talented artists of the 1990s. Born Christopher Wallace and raised in Clinton Hill/Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, Biggie lived an almost archetypal rap life: young trouble, drug dealing, guns, prison, a giant hit record, the wealth and international superstardom that came with it, then an early violent death.
Biggie released his first record, Ready to Die, in 1994, when he was only 22. Less than three years later, he was killed just days before the planned release of his second record Life After Death.
Journalist Justin Tinsley’s It Was All a Dream is a fresh, insightful telling of the life beyond the legend.
It is based on extensive interviews with those who knew and loved Biggie, including neighbors, friends, DJs, party promoters, and journalists. And it places Biggie’s life in context, both within the history of rap but also the wider cultural and political forces that shaped him, including Caribbean immigration, the Reagan era disinvestment in public education, street life, the war on drugs, mass incarceration, and the booming, creative, and influential 1990s music industry. This is the story of where Biggie came from, the forces that shaped him, and the legacy he has left behind.
Jefa in Training: The Business Startup Toolkit for Entrepreneurial and Creative Women by Ashley K. Stoyanov Ojeda
Step-by-Step Toolkit to Turn Your Passion Project into a Successful Business
“…a much-needed guide for all of us who need a blueprint to becoming a successful entrepreneur.” —Eva Longoria, award-winning actress, producer, director, activist, philanthropist and CEO of UnbeliEVAble Entertainment
Women, now is the time to build your enterprise. Jefa in Training is the only Spanglish project-launching toolkit and female entrepreneur planner specially made for a new generation of boss women.
A solopreneur and small business guide. A business startup planner and toolkit for women in leadership, business, and beyond, Jefa in Training offers women entrepreneurs the female empowerment needed to take a side hustle to the next level. Whether it’s learning to define your brand, set up a beta test group, or draft an LLC operating agreement, this compendium of lessons, anecdotes, worksheets, templates, and quotes teaches the next generation of women in business how to work for yourself and turn your ideas into something much bigger.
Solopreneurs and creatives, you are invited to let go of your fears and finally launch your blog, project, or platform. Jefa in Training isn’t your typical small business book. Part Latinx book, it is a conversation with a special tribe of Latina immigrants, Hispanic American generations, and women of color in financial, media, entrepreneurial, and creative spaces. Explore a more complex view of Latinidad, covering everything from imposter syndrome to micro-aggressions and bilingualism.
Ashley K. Stoyanov Ojeda is an author, community-builder, business development strategist, coach, and socialpreneur. Originally from Queens, NYC and born to a Mexican mom and French-American father, Ashley’s career started in the music industry in 2012, working at major record labels, publishers, and venues. After relocating to Portland, OR post-college, she created her own network for local womxn songwriters, now a national organization that has been featured in The Recording Academy, called #WomxnCrush Music.
Since the rapid growth of her organization, she has dedicated her career to creating opportunities and developing businesses and communities of underrepresented entrepreneurs through her coaching and consulting, and has become known as the Business Hada Madrina (Business Fairygodmother).
Just Pursuit: A Black Prosecutor’s Fight for Fairness by Laura Coates
This instant New York Times bestseller offers “a firsthand, eye-opening story of a prosecutor that exposes the devastating criminal punishment system” (Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award–winning author of How to Be an Antiracist) in this “compelling collection of engaging, well-written, keenly observed vignettes from [Laura Coates’s] years as a lawyer with the US Department of Justice” (The New York Times Book Review).
When Laura Coates joined the Department of Justice as a prosecutor, she wanted to advocate for the most vulnerable among us. But she quickly realized that even with the best intentions, “the pursuit of justice creates injustice.”
Coates’s experiences show that no matter how fair you try to fight, being Black, a woman, and a mother are identities often at odds in the justice system. She and her colleagues face seemingly impossible situations as they teeter between what is right and what is just.
On the front lines of our legal system, Coates saw how Black communities are policed differently; Black cases are prosecuted differently; Black defendants are judged differently. How the court system seems to be the one place where minorities are overrepresented, an unrelenting parade of Black and Brown defendants in numbers that belie their percentage in the population and overfill American prisons. She also witnessed how others in the system either abused power or were abused by it—for example, when an undocumented witness was arrested by ICE, when a white colleague taught Coates how to unfairly interrogate a young Black defendant, or when a judge victim-blamed a young sexual assault survivor based on her courtroom attire.
Through these “searing, eye-opening” (People) scenes from the courtroom, Laura Coates explores the tension between the idealism of the law and the reality of working within the parameters of our flawed legal system, exposing the chasm between what is right and what is lawful.
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.
Shine Bright: Black Women in Pop by Danyel Smith
Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in Pop by Danyel Smith
American pop music is arguably this country’s greatest cultural contribution to the world, and its singular voice and virtuosity were created by a shining thread of Black women geniuses stretching back to the country’s founding. This is their surprising, heartbreaking, soaring story—from “one of the generation’s greatest, most insightful, most nuanced writers in pop culture” (Shea Serrano)
“Sparkling . . . the overdue singing of a Black girl’s song, with perfect pitch . . . delicious to read.”—Oprah Daily
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Publishers Weekly
A weave of biography, criticism, and memoir, Shine Bright is Danyel Smith’s intimate history of Black women’s music as the foundational story of American pop.
Smith has been writing this history for more than five years. But as a music fan, and then as an essayist, editor (Vibe, Billboard), and podcast host (Black Girl Songbook), she has been living this history since she was a latchkey kid listening to “Midnight Train to Georgia” on the family stereo.
Smith’s detailed narrative begins with Phillis Wheatley, an enslaved woman who sang her poems, and continues through the stories of Mahalia Jackson, Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, and Mariah Carey, as well as the under-considered careers of Marilyn McCoo, Deniece Williams, and Jody Watley.
Shine Bright is an overdue paean to musical masters whose true stories and genius have been hidden in plain sight—and the book Danyel Smith was born to write.
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.
Speak: Find Your Voice, Trust Your Gut and Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Tunde Oyeneyin
From Tunde Oyeneyin, the massively popular Peloton instructor, fitness star, and founder of SPEAK, comes an empowering, inspiring book that shows how she transformed grief, setbacks, and flaws into growth, self-confidence, and triumph—for fans of Shonda Rhimes, Brene Brown, and Glennon Doyle.
On any given day, thousands of devoted people clip into their bikes and have their lives changed by Tunde Oyeneyin. From her platform in a Peloton studio, she encourages riders with her trademark blend of positivity, empathy, and motivational “Tunde-isms,” to push themselves to their limits both on and off the bike.
Now, fans and readers everywhere can learn about her personal journey, and discover how they too can “live a life of purpose, on purpose” with Speak, a memoir-manifesto-guide to life inspired by her immensely popular Instagram Live series of the same name.
Taking us through each step of the SPEAK acronym—Surrender, Power, Empathy, Authenticity, and Knowledge—Oyeneyin shares the lessons she has learned about loss, love, body image, and how she has successfully created an intentional, joyful life for herself, offering an accessible blueprint for anyone looking to make a positive change in their lives.
Survival Math by Mitchell S. Jackson
Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family by Mitchell S. Jackson
An electrifying, dazzlingly written reckoning and an essential addition to the national conversation about race and class, Survival Math takes its name from the calculations award-winning author Mitchell S. Jackson made to survive the Portland, Oregon of his youth.
This dynamic book explores gangs and guns, near-death experiences, sex work, masculinity, composite fathers, the concept of “hustle,” and the destructive power of addiction—all framed within the story of Jackson, his family, and his community. Lauded for its breathtaking pace, its tender portrayals, its stark candor, and its luminous style, Survival Math reveals on every page the searching intellect and originality of its author.
The primary narrative, focused on understanding the antecedents of Jackson’s family’s experience, is complemented by poems composed from historical American documents as well as survivor files, which feature photographs and riveting short narratives of several of Jackson’s male relatives.
The sum of Survival Math’s parts is a highly original whole, one that reflects on the exigencies—over generations—that have shaped the lives of so many disenfranchised Americans. As essential as it is beautiful, as real as it is artful, Mitchell S. Jackson’s nonfiction debut is a singular achievement, not to be missed.
The Black Girl’s Guide to Financial Freedom: Build Wealth, Retire Early, and Live the Life of Your Dreams by Paris Woods
Are you tired of spinning your wheels following financial advice that leaves you feeling broker than before? Are you pulling your hair out trying to follow the complicated instructions offered by the gurus? In The Black Girl’s Guide to Financial Freedom, Paris Woods takes the guesswork out of wealth-building and presents a plan that anyone can follow.
Paris spent years working in education and wanted to find a way to build wealth without changing careers or taking the traditional real estate or business routes. This book is the result of years of research and practice that helped her find a simpler path. Through real-life stories coupled with clear and actionable advice, you will learn to:
Build generational wealth
Avoid common financial traps
Earn your next degree debt-free
Achieve financial independence and retire early
Design a dream life you can start living today
This book is perfect for Black women of any age, including young professionals just starting to set financial goals and mid-career women who are tired of following the same old rules and are ready to live life on their own terms. If freedom is your goal, then this is the book for you.
The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
This “powerful and disturbing history” exposes how American governments deliberately imposed racial segregation on metropolitan areas nationwide (New York Times Book Review).
Widely heralded as a “masterful” (Washington Post) and “essential” (Slate) history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law offers “the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation” (William Julius Wilson).
Exploding the myth of de facto segregation arising from private prejudice or the unintended consequences of economic forces, Rothstein describes how the American government systematically imposed residential segregation: with undisguised racial zoning; public housing that purposefully segregated previously mixed communities; subsidies for builders to create whites-only suburbs; tax exemptions for institutions that enforced segregation; and support for violent resistance to African Americans in white neighborhoods.
A groundbreaking, “virtually indispensable” study that has already transformed our understanding of twentieth-century urban history (Chicago Daily Observer), The Color of Law forces us to face the obligation to remedy our unconstitutional past.
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.
The PhD Game: Confessions of a Black Academic
The PhD Game: Confessions of a Black Academic, is a collection of essays detailing the doctoral journeys of 15 African American doctoral degree holders. Although the National Center for Education Statistics named African American women the most educated group in the United States, the quest for doctoral and other advanced degrees is not easy, and is often not completed.
Antoinette Franklin, the book’s managing editor, explained that she started this project to serve as a source of inspiration to future doctoral holders to complete their advanced education.
“The book is a collection of stories of glory, racism, sexism, and happiness,” she said. “It shares their experiences and how they overcame those misfortunes and achieved the pinnacle of education attainment. The book also discusses the issues facing America’s colleges and universities concerning diversity in with the faculty and administration.”
Each contributor to The PhD Game is a current business professional with a background in military, public relations, education, medicine, or law with affiliations with the San Antonio Talented Tenth of San Antonio, Gamma Delta Phi National Honor Society, Catholic Charities, and various fraternities and sororities.
In addition, they have as nationally and internationally, appearing in such publications as the San Antonio Observer, Entrepreneur Magazine, Black Enterprise, and Women of Distinction Magazine.
The authors are as follows:
• Antoinette Franklin, managing Editor of the Ph.D Game, instructor, doctoral student.
• Dr. Loren Alves, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics at East Carolina University School Of Dental Medicine
• Dr. Willie J. Black, Educator and Administrator, Judson Independent School District
• Dr. Sharon Michael Chadwell, Higher Education Professional, Expert in Black Males in Gifted and Talented Programs
• Dr. Nicolas Cormier, Administrator and Educator (Retired)
• Dr. Jacqueline Dansby, Executive Director and Professor, St. Mary’s University
• Dr. Michael J. Laney, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Savannah State University
• Dr. Rhonda M. Lawson, Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Founder, Meet the World Image Solutions, LLC
• Dr. LaJoyce Lawton, Principal Consultant, Lawton International
• Dr. D. Anthony Miles, Marketing Expert and Statistician, Miles Development Industries Corporation®
• Dr. Doshie Piper, Professor and Researcher, University of the Incarnate Word
• Dr. Lawrence Scott, Professor and Researcher, Texas A&M University-San Antonio
• Dr. Caroline Sinkfield, Professor and Researcher
• Dr. Sharon Small, CEO/Early Head Start Director, Parent Child Incorporated (PCI)
• Dr. Linn R. Waiters, Principal and Founder, Waiters Educational Vision, LLC
• Dr. Chanel Young, Clinical Psychologist, Fort Hood Army Base & Private Practice
“Each author has a unique story to share about the struggles we face in academia as African Americans,” Franklin said. “It is our goal to inspire our young people to greatness!”
The PhD Game: Confessions of a Black Academic will be published by San Antonio publishing house Prosperity Publications, http://www.prosperitypublications.com and will be available in paperback and e-Book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books A Million.
The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton
A powerful, revealing story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit.
In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.
But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence—full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row.
For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015.
With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.
Then They Came for Mine by Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts
Then They Came for Mine: Healing from the Trauma of Racial Violence by Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts
Black Americans’ resilience during centuries of racially-motivated violence is beyond remarkable. But continuing to endure this harm allows for generations of trauma to fester and grow. Healing has to be the priority going forward.
For decades, Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts clung to her upbringing in the church, believing that racial reconciliation would come through faith and discipline, being respectable, and doing what’s right. But when her cousin became the victim of a white supremacist’s hateful rampage, her body and soul said, “no more.”
The trauma of America’s racial history, wreaking havoc on not only Black and Brown folk but white people too, in its own way, will not be alleviated without the will to face it head-on. We must name the dehumanization that plagues us, practice truth-telling and self-care, and make space for our vulnerability–to do the hard work of healing ourselves and our communities.
This book is written with that healing in mind. It unpacks how American systems and institutions enable the kind of violence we’ve seen connected to white supremacy and nationalism. It examines the way media has created a desensitization to violence against Black bodies.
It outlines what it looks like for a person who claims to follow Jesus to be anti-racist. But more than anything, it offers a blueprint for healing and reconciliation that includes the necessity of white people untangling from an ancestral mandate of colonization and false notions of supremacy, and Black and Brown people reckoning with the impact of trauma and feeling free to grieve in whatever way grief shows up.
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.