In February my book group has decided to read a book that has been written by an African American author (you can read all about my book club in this post here if you're curious). I wanted to challenge myself to come up with a list of titles that would fulfill each task on our list for this year, so here is the first installment.
Let me preface this by saying, we shouldn't need a prompt to read African American authors, or authors that have a different religion, race, gender, or situation than our own, but there is a lack of adequate diversity in publishing and too often we all become stuck in what's comfortable, cling to our prejudices and don't feel like branching out into the unknown and likely uncomfortable or challenging. However! Growth happens outside of the comfort zone. Reading is an excellent way to gain empathy and understanding and allows you to see someone's perspective and gain understanding so you can move past just being angry and confused by something or someone's viewpoint.
Take a look at your reading, and, I triple dog dare you (now you have to do it!), in the coming year, challenge yourself. Are you reading books written mostly written by white men? Start reading books written by women, or men from a different background than your own, or written by someone who lives in another country, or written by an immigrant, or someone who practices a different religion than your own. It doesn't even have to be non-fiction, just read from a wider lens.
With that said, here's a list of books I've read, enjoyed, and learned from that were written by African American authors.
Everything's Trash, But It's Okay, by Phoebe Robinson
Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower, by Brittney Cooper
Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine
So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo
I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, by Austin Channing Brown
When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
Behold the Dreamers, by Imbolo Mbue
Books I haven't read yet but am considering for this task (and want to read anyway):
Becoming, by Michelle Obama
We're Going to Need More Wine, by Gabrielle Union
Hunger, by Roxanne Gay
Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah
Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland
Stay with Me, by Ayobami Adebayo
Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
The Fifth Season, by N. K. Jemisin
Please let me know what I should add to my TBR pile! What do you do to broaden your reading life?
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