Books offer an easy way to momentarily step into someone else’s shoes, to see the world from someone else’s perspective.
This week, June 14-June 20, as part of the Black Publishing Power Initiative, everyone is encouraged to purchase two books by black authors so the bestseller list will reflect their talents.This initiative was started by Amistad Press, a publisher devoted to giving a platform to black and multicultural voices.
We are both eclectic readers, and it’s easy for us to recommend books–many favorites–by Black authors.
Both of us love Chimimanda Ngozi Adiche. Her characters reflect real people–both in her fiction and nonfiction. We Should All Be Feminists specifically portrays the additional challenges she faces as a Black woman. This little novella is the BEST book to explain the subtleties of feminism. Her Americanah reflects the complexity and diversity of Black people while raising questions about who belongs.
Michele’s favorite title, Tears of a Tiger, was published in 1996. Sharon Draper was the first African American woman to write a YA novel with Black main characters. Crazy that it took so long! But that book created lifetime readers for many of her students. She’s read EVERYTHING by Draper. Most recently blended.
Nic Stone and Angie Thomas are two fairly new authors who we have both heard speak–both are phenomenal speakers in addition to being amazing writers and great encouragers to those of us with publishing aspirations. Their books are part of the YA genre and they address issues related to racial profiling. At the focal point of Nic Stone’s Dear Martin is the story of a young Black man who gets shot by an officer, who mistakes his hairbrush for a gun.
We’ll conclude with the Obamas. Both Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are talented writers. Michelle’s Becoming offers insight into life in the White House, very challenging at times. Barack’s Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance tackles issues of race as they pertain to how his heritage was affected.
We could go on and on, but this might be a good start for those of you looking for ideas.
And while even after reading all these books, as white people, we can never fully understand Black people’s life experiences, but through reading these stories told by Black writers, we gain sympathy and learn how to be better allies and better neighbors. That is the power of books.
Please leave comments if you have suggestions for us and for our followers!