So We Are All On the Same Page Reading List (2019)

For the Culture 

To make this list we asked around a little bit, talked amongst ourselves and peeped the literary and academic richness on black people/experiences and culture. So we picked an arbitrary number, that was a reasonable number of readings to highlight this week. That number was 15. 

From our bookshelf to yours here are some of our favorite reads For the Culture 
(in no particular order) 

1. The Souls of Black Folk – W.E.B. Du Bois 
2. American Street – Ibi Zoboi 
3. In the Wake: On Blackness and Being – Christina Sharpe 
4. Electric Arches – Eve Ewing 
5. Decoded – Jay Z 
6. Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination – Robin Kelley 
7. Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison 
8. The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison 
9. Americanh – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 
10. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf – Ntozake Shange 
11. Kindred – Octavia Butler 
12. Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop – Adam Bradley  
13. Fourty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete – William Rhoden 
14. Hunger – Roxane Gay 
15. Becoming – Michelle Obama 

Really did have a tough time deciding what to highlight because there is so much written that is worth reading  #ReadingIsFundamental 

If you’ve read any of these, have recommendations (any genre) For The Culture or just trying to flex #BookwormBrag tweet at us at @BlackArgPros 

For the History 

Just like last time we asked around and picked a arbitrary number of works to highlight. Today’s magical random number is……..10!!!! 

One more thing. This Wednesday we got so excited at the (auto) biographies and memoirs people enjoyed that we wanted to double down and spotlight those separately  

(In no particular order) 
1. The Warmth of Other Suns – Isabel Wilkerson 
2. The Black Jacobins – C.L.R. James 
3. Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans From Colonial Times to the Present – Harriet Washington 
4. Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South, An Oral History – E. Patrick Johnson 
5. One Person, No Vote How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy – Carol Anderson 
6. Waiting ’Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America – Peniel E. Joseph 
7. Riot and remembrance : the Tulsa race war and its legacy – James Hirsch 
8. Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture, and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement – S. Craig Watkins 
9. We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement – Akinyele Omowale-Umjoa  
10. Red, White & Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms – Frank Wilderson 

(Auto)Biographies & Memoirs we love, some historical, some not, all great read  
(In no particular order) 
1. Assata: An Autobiography – Assata Shakur 
2. The Autobiography of Malcolm X – Malcolm X 
3. The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl – Issa Rae 
4. The Fire Next Time – James Baldwin 
5. Confessions of a Video Vixen – Karrine Steffans 
6. Dreams of My Father – Barack Obama 
7. Jackie Robinson: A biography – Arnold Rampersad 
8. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History – Vashti Harrison 
9. Faith and Struggle in the Lives of Four African Americans: Ethel Waters, Mary Lou Williams, Eldridge Cleaver, and Muhammad Ali – Randal Jelks 
10. Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday – Angela Davis 

Compiling this weeks list was too much fun but this is a conversation so we want to hear from you all. Drop by @BlackArgPros on Twitter and let us know your favorite (auto)biographies and memoirs #BlackBookworm  

For Professional Development 

Great recs come from our executive secretary Aubrey Semple. He recommends 

1) Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Manager’s Guide to Getting Results – Alison Green & Jerry Hauser  

My justification behind this selection was based on the need to having tools necessary for me to be a more effective manager in my organization. The desire to be a great leader requires having the skills to dictate, delegate, and motivate your team and it also requires specific tips and tricks on how to get the best of your staff. I highly recommend the book to new and veteran non-profit professionals that are seeking tools necessary to “change the world”  

2) Rise and Grind: Outperform, Outwork, and Outhustle your Way To A More Successful and Rewarding Life – Daymond John  Daymond John’s book reminds me of the importance of grit and persistence. John speaks about his struggles with creating his fashion start-up from trunk of his car to one of the most popular urban brands of the 90s and early 2000s. The book inspired me to remind myself that in order to succeed, one must be able to deal with losses along the way. For anyone that needs inspiration of the power of grit and determination for any goal and/or aspirations, this is a great read!