10 Books For Black History Education
To understand, you have to be educated.
February is Black History Month, and I'm excited to celebrate the great accomplishments of Black people throughout history - now AND all year long.
Check out these 10 books to add to your TBR in honor of Black History Month. Start educating yourself and be an ally to those around you.
Black Archives: A Photographic Celebration of Black Life by Renata Cherlise (2/14) - A photographic celebration and exploration of Black identity and experience through the twentieth century from the founder and curator of the hit multimedia platform Black Archives.
A Darker Wilderness: Black Nature Writing from Soil to Stars by Erin Sharkey (2/14) - A vibrant collection of personal and lyric essays in conversation with archival objects of Black history and memory.
The Education of Kendrick Perkins: A Memoir by Kendrick Perkins (2/21) St. Martin’s Press - Kendrick "Perk" Perkins is known for his blunt, opinionated, "carry the hell on" commentary on ESPN's most popular shows. As a fourteen year NBA player and starting center for the 2008 NBA champion Boston Celtics, Perk earned a reputation as an enforcer, a fierce defender, and a great teammate. Now, In The Education of Kendrick Perkins, he opens a different side of himself: a powerful and intimate memoir that goes beyond basketball to discuss the reality of being Black in America.
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Africatown: America's Last Slave Ship and the Community It Created by Nick Tabor (2/21) St. Martin’s Press - An evocative and epic story, Nick Tabor's Africatown charts the fraught history of America from those who were brought here as slaves but nevertheless established a home for themselves and their descendants, a community which often thrived despite persistent racism and environmental pollution.
Black Earth Wisdom: Soulful Conversations with Black Environmentalists by Leah Penniman (2/28) Amistad Press - A soulful collection of illuminating essays and interviews that explore Black people's spiritual and scientific connection to the land, waters, and climate, curated by the acclaimed author of Farming While Black
Above Ground: Poems by Clint Smith (3/28) Little, Brown & Co. - Clint Smith's vibrant and compelling new collection traverses the vast emotional terrain of fatherhood, and explores how becoming a parent has recalibrated his sense of the world. There are poems that interrogate the ways our lives are shaped by both personal lineages and historical institutions. There are poems that revel in the wonder of discovering the world anew through the eyes of your children, as they discover it for the first time.
Built from the Fire: The Epic Story of Tulsa's Greenwood District, America's Black Wall Street by Victor Luckerson (5/23) Random House - A multi-generational saga of a family and a community in Tulsa's Greenwood district, or "Black Wall Street," that in one century survived the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, urban renewal, and gentrification.
I Could Not Believe It: The 1979 Teenage Diaries of Sean Delear by Sean Delear (5/30) - A remarkable time capsule of Simi Valley, 1979, written before the author would become one of LA's most influential artists of subsequent decades.
Watch Your Language: Visual and Literary Reflections on a Century of American Poetry by Terrance Hayes (7/25) Penguin Books - From the National Book Award-winning author of Lighthead, a fascinating collection of graphic reviews, illustrated prose, and visualized poetics addressing the last century of American poetry.
Punished for Dreaming: How School Reform Harms Black Children and How We Heal by Bettina L. Love (9/12) - In the tradition of Michelle Alexander, an unflinching reckoning with the impact of 40 years of racist public school policy on generations of Black lives. In Punished for Dreaming Dr. Bettina Love argues forcefully that Reagan's presidency ushered in a War on Black Children, pathologizing and penalizing them in concert with the War on Drugs.
This is just a small sampling of the nonfiction titles I’ve curated on this topic. Make sure to check out the complete list HERE.
What is the first book you read about Black history?
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