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    Posted: Dec 10 2013 at 12:21pm

Monday, February 4, 2013

100 Books by Black Women Everyone Must Read

Posted by For Harriet | Labels: literature

 photo black-woman-reading-library-book-1_zps4954d353.jpg
Far too often Black women are excluded from the classic literary canon. But Black women have consistently published evocative, thoughtful works. Our stories soar. They provoke. They inspire. The work of Black women across history is expansive. Though we've compiled 100 selections, this is still only the tip of the literary iceberg. We encourage you to leave a comment and share more brilliant works by Black women.

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Half of a Yellow Sun- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
With effortless grace, celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie illuminates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra's impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in southeastern Nigeria during the late 1960s. We experience this tumultuous decade alongside five unforgettable characters: Ugwu, a thirteen-year-old houseboy who works for Odenigbo, a university professor full of revolutionary zeal; Olanna, the professor’s beautiful young mistress who has abandoned her life in Lagos for a dusty town and her lover’s charm; and Richard, a shy young Englishman infatuated with Olanna’s willful twin sister Kainene. Half of a Yellow Sun is a tremendously evocative novel of the promise, hope, and disappointment of the Biafran war. (Sources)



The New Jim Crow- Michelle Alexander



Our Black Year: One Family's Quest to Buy Black in America's Racially Divided Economy- Maggie Anderson



I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings- Maya Angelou
Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age–and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns about love for herself and the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned. (Source)



Bitch Is the New Black: A Memoir- Helena Andrews



Ugly Ways- Tina McElroy Ansa
The bestselling tale-powerful, compassionate, humorous-of the three Lovejoy sisters reunited in their hometown of Mulberry, Georgia, on the occasion of their mother’s death. As the emotionally scarred Lovejoys prepare for their mother’s funeral, the spirit of the selfish and manipulative Mudear hovers above them, complaining about her daughters’ “ugly ways” in death as she did in life. (Source)



Those Bones Are Not My Child: A Novel- Toni Cade Bambara



Daughter : A Novel- asha bandele
At nineteen, Aya is a promising Black college student from Brooklyn who is struggling through a difficult relationship with her emotionally distant mother, Miriam. One winter night, Aya is shot by a white police officer in a case of mistaken identity. Keeping vigil by her daughter's hospital bed, Miriam remembers her own youth: her battle for independence from her parents, her affair with Aya's father, and the challenges of raising her daughter. But as Miriam confronts her past -- her losses and regrets -- she begins to heal and discovers a tentative hopefulness. (Source)



Kindred- Octavia Butler
Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana's life will end, long before it has a chance to begin. (Source)



Parable of the Sower- Octavia Butler
When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social chaos, not even gated communities are safe. In a night of fire and death Lauren Olamina, a minister's young daughter, loses her family and home and ventures out into the unprotected American landscape. But what begins as a flight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny... and the birth of a new faith. (Source)
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32 Candles: A Novel- Ernessa T. Carter



The Other Side of Paradise: A Memoir- Staceyann Chin



Unbought and Unbossed- Shirley Chisholm
Unbought and Unbossed is Shirley Chisholm's account of her remarkable rise from young girl in Brooklyn to America's first African-American Congresswoman. She shares how she took on an entrenched system, gave a public voice to millions, and sets the stage for her trailblazing bid to be the first woman and first African-American President of the United States. By daring to be herself, Shirley Chisholm shows us how she forever changed the status quo. (Source)



Babylon Sisters: A Novel- Pearl Cleage



The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 - Lucille Clifton



Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment - Patricia Hill Collins



Wild Stars Seeking Midnight Suns- J. California Cooper
J. California Cooper’s irresistible collection of new stories explores the universal themes of romance, family, and the hopes that propel people’s dreams. In “As Time Goes By” a young woman singlemindedly pursues material wealth, only to suffer from an empty heart. “Catch a Falling Heart” tells of a slyly arranged marriage, and “The Eye of the Beholder” portrays a plain girl’s search for love and her own brand of freedom. Wise, earthy and intimate, these stories are moving parables of the human need to seek some sort of satisfaction, just as a wild star seeks a midnight sun. (Source)



Breath, Eyes, Memory - Edwidge Danticat
At the age of twelve, Sophie Caco is sent from her impoverished village of Croix-des-Rosets to New York, to be reunited with a mother she barely remembers. There she discovers secrets that no child should ever know, and a legacy of shame that can be healed only when she returns to Haiti--to the women who first reared her. What ensues is a passionate journey through a landscape charged with the supernatural and scarred by political violence, in a novel that bears witness to the traditions, suffering, and wisdom of an entire people. (Source)



The Farming of Bones- Edwidge Danticat
The Farming of Bones begins in 1937 in a village on the Dominican side of the river that separates the country from Haiti. Amabelle Desir, Haitian-born and a faithful maidservant to the Dominican family that took her in when she was orphaned, and her lover Sebastien, an itinerant sugarcane cutter, decide they will marry and return to Haiti at the end of the cane season. However, hostilities toward Haitian laborers find a vitriolic spokesman in the ultra-nationalist Generalissimo Trujillo who calls for an ethnic cleansing of his Spanish-speaking country. As rumors of Haitian persecution become fact, as anxiety turns to terror, Amabelle and Sebastien's dreams are leveled to the most basic human desire: to endure. (Source)
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Daughters of the Dust: A Novel- Julie Dash



Women, Race, & Class- Angela Davis
A powerful study of the women's movement in the U.S. from abolitionist days to the present that demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders. (Source)



The Black Notebooks: An Interior Journey- Toi Derricote
The Black Notebooks is one of the most extraordinary and courageous accounts of race in this country, seen through the eyes of a light-skinned black woman and a respected American poet. It challenges all our preconceived notions of what it means to be black or white, and what it means to be human.(Source)



My Soul to Take: A Novel- Tanarive Due


 
The Girl Who Fell from the Sky - Heidi Durrow 
Forced to move to a new city, with her strict African American grandmother as her guardian, Rachel is thrust for the first time into a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring a constant stream of attention her way. It’s there, as she grows up and tries to swallow her grief, that she comes to understand how the mystery and tragedy of her mother might be connected to her own uncertain identity. 



The Joys of Motherhood- Buchi Emecheta
Nnu Ego, a hard-working, optimistic Ibo woman, remains fiercely determined to save her children from the devastation of war, the erosion of village life, and the breakdown of tradition. (Source)



Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self- Danielle Evans
In each of her stories, Danielle Evans explores the non-white American experience with honesty, wisdom, and humor. They are striking in their emotional immediacy, based in a world where inequality is a reality, but the insecurities of young adulthood and tensions within family are often the more complicating factors. (Source)



Plum Bun: A Novel Without a Moral- Jessi Redmon Fauset
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Head Off & Split: Poems-Nikky Finney
Artful and intense, Finney's poems ask us to be mindful of what we fraction, fragment, cut off, dice, dishonor, or throw away, powerfully evoking both the lawless and the sublime.



When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America- Paula Giddings



If It Wasn't for the Women...: Black Women's Experience and Womanist Culture in Church and Community- Cheryl Townsend Gilkes
These collected essays examine the roles of women in their churches and communities, the implication of those roles for African American culture, and the tensions and stereotypes that shape societal responses to these roles. Gilkes examines the ways black women and their experience shape the culture and consciousness of the black religious experience, and reflects on some of the crises and conflicts that attend this experience. (Source)



The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1998- Nikki Giovanni



The Friends- Rosa Guy
Phyllisia eventually recognizes that her own selfish pride rather than her mother's death and her father's tyrannical behavior created the gulf between her and her best friend. (Source)



Words of Fire: An Anthology of African-American Feminist Thought- Beverly Guy-Sheftall
In this groundbreaking collection of articles, Dr. Guy-Sheftall has taken us from the early 1830s to contemporary times. Only since the seventies have black women used the term 'feminism.' And, yet, it is that concept that she uses to bring into the same frame the ideas and analyses of Maria Stewart, Sojourner Truth, and Frances Harper of the early nineteenth century, and the work of women such as Audre Lourde, Barbara Smith, and bell hooks, who stand on the threshold of the twenty-first century. --from the epilogue by Johnnetta B. Cole, President, Spelman College (Source)
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A Raisin in the Sun- Lorraine Hansberry



Iola Leroy, or, Shadows Uplifted - Frances E. W. Harper
A striking portrait of black life during the Civil War and Reconstruction, this 1892 work was among the first novels published by an African-American woman. It explores issues of race, politics, and class in the tale of a mixed-race woman who rejects a life of "passing" and devotes herself to the improvement of black society. (Source)



Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America- Melissa Harris-Perry



Nappy Hair- Carolivia Herron
A lively, empowering story about Brenda's knotted-up, twisted, nappy hair and how it got to be that way! Told in the African-American "call and response" tradition, this story leaps off the page, along with vibrant illustrations by Joe Cepeda. (Source)



All About Love: New Visions- bell hooks
As bell hooks uses her incisive mind and razor-sharp pen to explode th question "What is love?" her answers strike at both the mind and heart. In thirteen concise chapters, hooks examines her own search for emotional connection and society's failure to provide a model for learning to love. Razing the cultural paradigm that the ideal love is infused with sex and desire, she provides a new path to love that is sacred, redemptive, and healing for the individuals and for a nation. The Utne Reader declared bell hooks one of the "100 Visionaries Who Can Change Your Life." All About Love is a powerful affirmation of just how profoundly she can. (Source)



Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center- bell hooks



Of One Blood: Or, the Hidden Self- Pauline Hopkins
Of One Blood is the last of four novels written by Pauline Hopkins. She is considered by some to be "the most prolific African-American woman writer and the most influential literary editor of the first decade of the twentieth century, though she is one of the lesser known literary figures of the much lauded Harlem Renaissance. Hopkins tells the story of Reuel Briggs, a medical student who couldn't care less about being black and appreciating African history, but finds himself in Ethiopia on an archeological trip. His motive is to raid the country of lost treasures -- which he does find in the ancient land. However, he discovers much more than he bargained for: the painful truth about blood, race, and the half of his history that was never told. Hopkins wrote the novel intending, in her own words, to "raise the stigma of degradation from [the Black] race." The title, Of One Blood, refers to the biological kinship of all human beings. (Source)



Brown Girl in the Ring- Nalo Hopkinson
This is Nalo Hopkinson's debut novel, which came to attention when it won the Warner Aspect First Novel Contest. It tells the story of Ti-Jeanne, a young woman in a near-future Toronto that's been all but abandoned by the Canadian government. Anyone who can has retreated from the chaos of the city to the relative safety of the suburbs, and those left in "the burn" must fend for themselves. Ti-Jeanne is a new mother who's trying to come to grips with her as- yet-unnamed baby and also trying to end her relationship with her drug-addict boyfriend Tony. But a passion still burns between the young lovers, and when Tony runs afoul of Rudy, the local ganglord, Ti-Jeanne convinces her grandmother Gros-Jeanne to help out. Gros-Jeanne is a Voudoun priestess, and it's clear that Ti-Jeanne has inherited some of her gifts. Although Ti-Jeanne wants nothing to do with the spirit world, she soon finds herself caught up in a battle to the death with Rudy and the mother she thought she lost long ago. (Source)



But Some Of Us Are Brave: All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men: Black Women's Studies- Gloria T. Hull



Dust Tracks on a Road: An Autobiography - Zora Neale Hurston
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Their Eyes Were Watching God- Zora Neale Hurston
Their Eyes Were Watching God, is an enduring Southern love story sparkling with wit, beauty, and heartfelt wisdom. Told in the captivating voice of a woman who refuses to live in sorrow, bitterness, fear, or foolish romantic dreams, it is the story of fair-skinned, fiercely independent Janie Crawford, and her evolving selfhood through three marriages and a life marked by poverty, trials, and purpose. A true literary wonder, Hurston's masterwork remains as relevant and affecting today as when it was first published—perhaps the most widely read and highly regarded novel in the entire canon of African American literature. (Source)



Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl - Harriet Jacobs
This autobiographical account by a former slave is one of the few extant narratives written by a woman. Written and published in 1861, it delivers a powerful portrayal of the brutality of slave life. Jacobs speaks frankly of her master's abuse and her eventual escape, in a tale of dauntless spirit and faith. (Source)



Silver Sparrow- Tayari Jones
Set in a middle-class neighborhood in Atlanta in the 1980s, the novel revolves around James Witherspoon’s two families—the public one and the secret one. When the daughters from each family meet and form a friendship, only one of them knows they are sisters. It is a relationship destined to explode when secrets are revealed and illusions shattered. As Jones explores the backstories of her rich yet flawed characters—the father, the two mothers, the grandmother, and the uncle—she also reveals the joy, as well as the destruction, they brought to one another’s lives. (Source)



A Small Place- Jamaica Kinkaid



Quicksand- Nella Larsen
Nella Larsen's first novel tells the story of Helga Crane, a fictional character loosely based on Larsen's own early life. Crane is the lovely and refined daughter of a Danish mother and a West Indian black father who abandons Helga and her mother soon after Helga is born. Unable to feel comfortable with any of her white-skinned relatives, Helga lives in various places in America and visits Denmark in search of people among whom she feels at home. The work is a superb psychological study of a complicated and appealing woman, Helga Crane, who, like Larsen herself, is the product of a liaison between a black man and a white woman. In one sense, Quicksand might be called an odyssey; however, instead of overcoming a series of obstacles and finally arriving at her native land, Larsen's protagonist has a series of adventures, each of which ends in disappointment. (Source)



Small Island: A Novel- Andrea Levy



Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches- Audre Lorde
Presenting the essential writings of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde, SISTER OUTSIDER celebrates an influential voice in twentieth-century literature. In this charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change. Her prose is incisive, unflinching, and lyrical, reflecting struggle but ultimately offering messages of hope. (Source)



Zami: A New Spelling of My Name - A Biomythography- Audre Lorde
ZAMI is a fast-moving chronicle. From the author’s vivid childhood memories in Harlem to her coming of age in the late 1950s, the nature of Audre Lorde’s work is cyclical. It especially relates the linkage of women who have shaped her . . . Lorde brings into play her craft of lush description and characterization. It keeps unfolding page after page. (Source)



A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life- Demetria Lucas

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Unbowed: A Memoir- Wangari Maathai
In Unbowed, Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai recounts her extraordinary journey from her childhood in rural Kenya to the world stage. When Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, she began a vital poor people’s environmental movement, focused on the empowerment of women, that soon spread across Africa. Persevering through run-ins with the Kenyan government and personal losses, and jailed and beaten on numerous occasions, Maathai continued to fight tirelessly to save Kenya’s forests and to restore democracy to her beloved country. Infused with her unique luminosity of spirit, Wangari Maathai’s remarkable story of courage, faith, and the power of persistence is destined to inspire generations to come. (Source)



Brown Girl, Brownstones- Paule Marshall
Hailed by the Saturday Review as "passionate" and "compelling" and by The New Yorker as "remarkable for its courage," this 1959 coming-of-age story centers on the daughter of Barbadian immigrants living in Brooklyn during the Depression and World War II. A precursor to feminist literature, this novel was written by and about an African-American woman. (Source)



The Twelve Tribes of Hattie- Ayana Mathis



Gathering of Waters- Bernice McFadden



How Stella Got Her Groove Back- Terry McMillan



Daddy Was a Number Runner- Louise Meriwether



Coming of Age in Mississippi- Anne Moody



When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip-Hop Feminist Breaks It Down- Joan Morgan
In this fresh, funky, and ferociously honest book, award-winning journalist Joan Morgan bravely probes the complex issues facing African-American women in today's world: a world where feminists often have not-so-clandestine affairs with the most sexist of men; where women who treasure their independence often prefer men who pick up the tab; and where the deluge of babymothers and babyfathers reminds black women who long for marriage that traditional nuclear families are a reality for less than 40 percent of the African-American population. (Source)



The Bluest Eye- Toni Morrison



Beloved- Toni Morrison
Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement. (Source)



Song of Solomon- Toni Morrison
Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. With this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel García Márquez. As she follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the place of his family’s origins, Morrison introduces an entire cast of strivers and seeresses, liars and assassins, the inhabitants of a fully realized black world. (Source)



The Women of Brewster Place - Gloria Naylor
Once the home of poor Irish and Italian immigrants, Brewster Place, a rotting tenement on a dead-end street, now shelters black families. This novel portrays the courage, the fear, and the anguish of some of the women there who hold their families together, trying to make a home. Among them are: Mattie Michael, the matriarch who loses her son to prison; Etta Mae Johnson who tries to trade the 'high life' for marriage with a local preacher; Kiswana Browne who leaves her middle-class family to organize a tenant's union. (Source)

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The Broke Diaries: The Completely True and Hilarious Misadventures of a Good Girl Gone Broke- Angela Nissel



Who Fears Death- Nnedi Okorafor
Who Fears Death, is a magical realist novel that evenly combines the African literature and fantasy/science fiction. It won the 2011 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel and was a Nebula and Locus Award nominee. The Washington Post said that Who Fears Death is , "Both wondrously magical and terribly realistic." (Source)



Drinking Coffee Elsewhere- ZZ Packer



Topdog/Underdog- Suzan-Lori Parks
A darkly comic fable of brotherly love and family identity is Suzan-Lori Parks latest riff on the way we are defined by history. The play tells the story of Lincoln and Booth, two brothers whose names were given to them as a joke, foretelling a lifetime of sibling rivalry and resentment. Haunted by the past, the brothers are forced to confront the shattering reality of their future. (Source)



Wench: A Novel- Dolen Perkins-Valdez



The Street: A Novel- Ann Petry
THE STREET tells the poignant, often heartbreaking story of Lutie Johnson, a young black woman, and her spirited struggle to raise her son amid the violence, poverty, and racial dissonance of Harlem in the late 1940s. Originally published in 1946 and hailed by critics as a masterwork, The Street was Ann Petry's first novel, a beloved bestseller with more than a million copies in print. Its haunting tale still resonates today. (Source)



Darkest Child: A Novel- Delores Phillips



Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision - Barbara Ransby



Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty-Dorothy Roberts



Homegirls and Handgrenades- Sonia Sanchez



Push: A Novel- Sapphire



Assata: An Autobiography- Assata Shakur



For colored girls who have considered suicide/When the rainbow is enuf- Ntozake Shange


Some Sing, Some Cry: A Novel - Ntozake Shange and Ifa Bayeza 
Award-winning writer Ntozake Shange and real-life sister, award-winning playwright Ifa Bayeza achieve nothing less than a modern classic in this epic story of the Mayfield family. Opening dramatically at Sweet Tamarind, a rice and cotton plantation on an island off South Carolina's coast, we watch as recently emancipated Bette Mayfield says her goodbyes before fleeing for the mainland. With her granddaughter, Eudora, in tow, she heads to Charleston. There, they carve out lives for themselves as fortune-teller and seamstress. Dora will marry, the Mayfield line will grow, and we will follow them on an journey through the watershed events of America's troubled, vibrant history--from Reconstruction to both World Wars, from the Harlem Renaissance to Vietnam and the modern day. Shange and Bayeza give us a monumental story of a family and of America, of songs and why we have to sing them, of home and of heartbreak, of the past and of the future, bright and blazing ahead. (Source



Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth - Warsan Shire



I Put A Spell On You: The Autobiography Of Nina Simone- Nina Simone



The Coldest Winter Ever- Sister Souljah



Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology- Barbara Smith



On Beauty- Zadie Smith
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White Teeth: A Novel- Zadie Smith



The Taste of Salt- Martha Southgate



Cane River- Lalita Tademy



Narrative of Sojourner Truth - Sojourner Truth
This inspiring memoir, first published in 1850, recounts the struggles of a distinguished African-American abolitionist and champion of women's rights. Sojourner Truth tells of her life in slavery, her self-liberation, and her travels across America in pursuit of racial and sexual equality. Essential reading for students of American history. (Source)



On Black Sisters Street: A Novel- Chika Unigwe
Four very different women have made their way from Africa to Brussels. They have come to claim for themselves the riches they believe Europe promises but when Sisi, the most enigmatic of the women, is murdered, their already fragile world is shattered. Drawn together by tragedy, the remaining three women - Joyce, a great beauty whose life has been destroyed by war; Ama, whose dark moods manifest a past injustice; Efe, whose efforts to earn her keep are motivated by a particular zeal - slowly begin to share their stories. They are stories of terror, of displacement, of love, and of a sinister man called Dele. (Source)



The Color Purple- Alice Walker
Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister," a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister's letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self. (Source)



In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose- Alice Walker
In this, her first collection of nonfiction, Alice Walker speaks out as a black woman, writer, mother, and feminist in thirty-six pieces ranging from the personal to the political. Among the contents are essays about other writers, accounts of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and the antinuclear movement of the 1980s, and a vivid memoir of a scarring childhood injury and her daughter’s healing words. (Source)



Jubilee- Margaret Walker
Here is the classic--and true--story of Vyry, the child of a white plantation owner and his black mistress, a Southern Civil War heroine to rival Scarlett O'Hara. Vyry bears witness to the South's prewar opulence and its brutality, to its wartime ruin and the subsequent promise of Reconstruction. It is a story that Margaret Walker heard as a child from her grandmother, the real Vyry's daughter. The author spent thirty years researching the novel so that the world might know the intelligent, strong, and brave black woman called Vyry. The phenomenal acclaim this best-selling book has achieved from readers black and white, young and old, attests to her success. (Source)



Black, White & Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self- Rebecca Walker
The Civil Rights movement brought author Alice Walker and lawyer Mel Leventhal together, and in 1969 their daughter, Rebecca, was born. Some saw this unusual copper-colored girl as an outrage or an oddity; others viewed her as a symbol of harmony, a triumph of love over hate. But after her parents divorced, leaving her a lonely only child ferrying between two worlds that only seemed to grow further apart, Rebecca was no longer sure what she represented. In this book, Rebecca Leventhal Walker attempts to define herself as a soul instead of a symbol—and offers a new look at the challenge of personal identity, in a story at once strikingly unique and truly universal. (Source)



Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman- Michele Wallace
Originally published in 1978, this book caused a storm of controversy as Michele Wallace blasted the masculinist bias of the black politics that emerged from the sixties. She described how women remained marginalized by the patriarchal culture of Black Power and the ways in which a genuine female subjectivity was blocked by the traditional myths of black womanhood. In 1990 the author added a new introduction examining the debate the book had sparked between intellectuals and political leaders; an extensive bibliography of contemporary black feminist studies was also added. Black Macho raised issues and arguments that framed the terms of current feminist and black theory and continues to be relevant today. (Source)



Salvage the Bones: A Novel- Jesmyn Ward



Southern Horrors and Other Writings; The Anti-Lynching Campaign of Ida B. Wells, 1892-1900- Ida B. Wells
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