Read

It's never too late to educate yourself. If you want to help the cause, become a better ally, better understand the experiences of Black people and proactively make a change within society, but aren't sure how to go about it, diversifying your bookshelf is a great place to start.

Bud, Not Buddy

"A classic about a boy who decides to hit the road to find his father. "

Brief

The Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award-winning classic about a boy who decides to hit the road to find his father.It's 1936, in Flint Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud's got a few things going for him:1. He has his own suitcase full of special things.2. He's the author of Bud Caldwell's Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself.3. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: flyers advertising Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the DepressionBud's got an idea that those flyers will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road to find this mystery man, nothing can stop him--not hunger, not fear, not vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

A timely, crucial, and empowering exploration of racism--and antiracism--in America. This is NOT a history book.This is a book about the here and now.

Brief

The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi's National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited. Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative written by beloved award-winner Jason Reynolds, this book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas--and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Opposite of Always

A hilarious and heartfelt novel about the choices we make, the people we choose, and the moments that make a life worth reliving.

Brief

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he's falling--hard. Soon she's meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack.But then Kate dies. And their story should end there.Yet Kate's death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate's there again. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn't sure if he's losing his mind.Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate's death, he'll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he's willing to do to save the people he loves.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The Hate U Give

A sixteen-year-old moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends.

Brief

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.But what Starr does--or does not--say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

The vivid story of a black family whose warm ties to each other and their land give them strength to defy rural Southern racism during the Depression

Brief

With the land to hold them together, nothing can tear the Logans apart. Why is the land so important to Cassie's family? It takes the events of one turbulent year - the year of the night riders and the burnings, the year a white girl humiliates Cassie in public simply because she is black - to show Cassie that having a place of their own is the Logan family's lifeblood. It is the land that gives the Logans their courage and pride, for no matter how others may degrade them, the Logans posess something no one can take away.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

March: Book Three

Bringing the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today's world

Brief

By the fall of 1963, the Civil Rights Movement has penetrated deep into the American consciousness, and as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, John Lewis is guiding the tip of the spear. Through relentless direct action, SNCC continues to force the nation to confront its own blatant injustice, but for every step forward, the danger grows more intense: Jim Crow strikes back through legal tricks, intimidation, violence, and death. The only hope for lasting change is to give voice to the millions of Americans silenced by voter suppression: "One Man, One Vote."To carry out their nonviolent revolution, Lewis and an army of young activists launch a series of innovative campaigns, including the Freedom Vote, Mississippi Freedom Summer, and an all-out battle for the soul of the Democratic Party waged live on national television.With these new struggles come new allies, new opponents, and an unpredictable new president who might be both at once. But fractures within the movement are deepening ... even as 25-year-old John Lewis prepares to risk everything in a historic showdown high above the Alabama river, in a town called Selma.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

March: Book Two

Bringing the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today's world

Brief

After the success of the Nashville sit-in campaign, John Lewis is more committed than ever to changing the world through nonviolence - but as he and his fellow Freedom Riders board a bus into the vicious heart of the deep south, they will be tested like never before. Faced with beatings, police brutality, imprisonment, arson, and even murder, the movement's young activists place their lives on the line while internal conflicts threaten to tear them apart.But their courage will attract the notice of powerful allies, from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy... and once Lewis is elected chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, this 23-year-old will be thrust into the national spotlight, becoming one of the "Big Six" leaders of the civil rights movement and a central figure in the landmark 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

March: Book One

Bringing the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today's world

Brief

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis' (an American icon and key figure of the civil rights movement) lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis' personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.Book One spans John Lewis' youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1958 comic book "Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story." Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Genesis Begins Again

A thirteen-year-old who must overcome internalized racism and a verbally abusive family to finally learn to love herself.

Brief

There are ninety-six things Genesis hates about herself. She knows the exact number because she keeps a list. Like #95: Because her skin is so dark, people call her charcoal and eggplant--even her own family. And #61: Because her family is always being put out of their house, belongings laid out on the sidewalk for the world to see. When your dad is a gambling addict and loses the rent money every month, eviction is a regular occurrence.What's not so regular is that this time they all don't have a place to crash, so Genesis and her mom have to stay with her grandma. It's not that Genesis doesn't like her grandma, but she and Mom always fight--Grandma haranguing Mom to leave Dad, that she should have gone back to school, that if she'd married a lighter skinned man none of this would be happening, and on and on and on. But things aren't all bad. Genesis actually likes her new school; she's made a couple friends, her choir teacher says she has real talent, and she even encourages Genesis to join the talent show.But how can Genesis believe anything her teacher says when her dad tells her the exact opposite? How can she stand up in front of all those people with her dark, dark skin knowing even her own family thinks lesser of her because of it? Why, why, why won't the lemon or yogurt or fancy creams lighten her skin like they're supposed to? And when Genesis reaches #100 on the list of things she hates about herself, will she continue on, or can she find the strength to begin again?

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The Crossover

The Crossover is a 2015 children's book by American author Kwame Alexander and the winner of the 2015 Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award Honor. The book, which is told entirely through verse, was first published in the United States in hardback on March 18, 2014 through HMH Books for Young Readers

Brief

"With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . . The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. 'Cuz tonight I'm delivering," raps twelve-year-old Josh Bell. Thanks to their dad, he and his twin brother, Jordan, are kings on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood--he's got mad beats, too, which help him find his rhythm when it's all on the line. As their winning season unfolds, things begin to change. When Jordan meets a girl, the twins' bond unravels.Told in dynamic verse, this fast and furious middle grade novel that started it all absolutely bounces with rhythm and bursts with heart.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Brown Girl Dreaming

Understanding the thoughts of young people, offering a poetic, eloquent narrative that is not simply a story . . . but a mature exploration of grown-up issues and self-discovery.

Brief

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson's eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The Youngest Marcher

A remarkable and inspiring story of one child's role in the Civil Rights Movement

Brief

Meet the youngest known child to be arrested for a civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963, in this moving picture book that proves you're never too little to make a difference.Nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks intended to go places and do things like anybody else.So when she heard grown-ups talk about wiping out Birmingham's segregation laws, she spoke up. As she listened to the preacher's words, smooth as glass, she sat up tall. And when she heard the plan--picket those white stores! March to protest those unfair laws! Fill the jails!--she stepped right up and said, I'll do it! She was going to j-a-a-il!Audrey Faye Hendricks was confident and bold and brave as can be, and hers is the remarkable and inspiring story of one child's role in the Civil Rights Movement.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Something Happened in Our Town

A discussion between two families -- one White, one Black -- around a police shooting of a Black man in their community

Brief

Something Happened in Our Town follows two families -- one White, one Black -- as they discuss a police shooting of a Black man in their community. The story aims to answer children's questions about such traumatic events, and to help children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives.Includes an extensive Note to Parents and Caregivers with guidelines for discussing race and racism with children, child-friendly definitions, and sample dialogues

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The Only Black Girls in Town

Two black girls in town who discover a collection of hidden journals revealing shocking secrets of the past.

Brief

Beach-loving surfer Alberta has been the only black girl in town for years. Alberta's best friend, Laramie, is the closest thing she has to a sister, but there are some things even Laramie can't understand. When the bed and breakfast across the street finds new owners, Alberta is ecstatic to learn the family is black-and they have a 12-year-old daughter just like her.Alberta is positive she and the new girl, Edie, will be fast friends. But while Alberta loves being a California girl, Edie misses her native Brooklyn and finds it hard to adapt to small-town living.When the girls discover a box of old journals in Edie's attic, they team up to figure out exactly who's behind them and why they got left behind. Soon they discover shocking and painful secrets of the past and learn that nothing is quite what it seems.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

An introduction to readers of all ages to 40 women who changed the world

Brief

An important book for all ages, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of forty trailblazing black women in American history. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash.Among these biographies, readers will find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things - bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come. Whether they were putting pen to paper, soaring through the air or speaking up for the rights of others, the women profiled in these pages were all taking a stand against a world that didn't always accept them.The leaders in this book may be little, but they all did something big and amazing, inspiring generations to come.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The Day You Begin

Finding courage to connect, even when you feel scared and alone.

Brief

There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you.There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it's how you look or talk, or where you're from; maybe it's what you eat, or something just as random. It's not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.Jacqueline Woodson's lyrical text and Rafael López's dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The Snowy Day

A child's wonder at a new world, and the hope of capturing and keeping that wonder forever.

Brief

Peter, The Snowy Day's protagonist, wakes up to the season’s first snowfall. In his bright red snowsuit, he goes outside and makes footprints and trails through the snow. Peter is too young to join a snowball fight with older kids, so he makes a snowman and snow angels and slides down a hill. He returns home with a snowball stashed in his pocket. Before he goes to bed, Peter is sad to discover the snowball has melted. The next day, he wakes up to tons more falling snow. With a friend, he ventures outside again.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Rocket Says Look Up!

Inspiring readers of all ages to dream big through a passion for science and infectious curiosity

Brief

A comet will be visible tonight, and Rocket wants everyone to see it with her--even her big brother, Jamal, whose attention is usually trained on his phone or video games. Rocket's enthusiasm brings neighbors and family together to witness a once-in-a-lifetime sighting. Perfect for fans of Ada Twist, Scientist and Cece Loves Science--Rocket Says Look Up! will inspire readers of all ages to dream big as it models Rocket's passion for science and infectious curiosity.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

I Can Write the World

Revealing to children the power of their own voice.

Brief

Eight-year-old Ava Murray wants to know why there's a difference between the warm, friendly Bronx neighborhood filled with music and art in which she lives and the Bronx she sees in news stories on TV and on the Internet. When her mother explains that the power of stories lies in the hands of those who write them, Ava decides to become a journalist.I Can Write the World follows Ava as she explores her vibrant South Bronx neighborhood - buildings whose walls boast gorgeous murals of historical figures as well as intricate, colorful street art, the dozens of different languages and dialects coming from the mouths of passersby, the many types of music coming out of neighbors' windows and passing cars. In reporting how the music and art and culture of her neighborhood reflect the diversity of the people of New York City, Ava shows the world as she sees it, revealing to children the power of their own voice.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Hair Love

An ode to loving your natural hair -- and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere.

Brief

It's up to Daddy to give his daughter an extra-special hair style in this ode to self-confidence and the love between fathers and daughters, from Academy-Award winning director and former NFL wide receiver Matthew A. Cherry and New York Times bestselling illustrator Vashti Harrison. Zuri's hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it's beautiful. When Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he'll do anything to make her -- and her hair -- happy. Tender and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair -- and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Get Up, Stand Up

Explains how to to counter injustice we must lift others up with kindness and courage.

Brief

As a young girl goes on with her day in school, she comes across several instances of teasing and intimidation. But with loving action and some help from her friends, she's able to make things right for herself and others. this cute children's book includes the impactful lyrics of Bob Marley's song 'Get Up, Stand Up' that has inspired millions of listeners around the world with messages of peace, love, and truth. Written by Cedella Marley, Bob Marley's daughter, who has dedicated herself to keeping her father's message and memory alive with exuberant pictures by John Jay Cabuay accompanying Marley's iconic lyrics, Get Up, Stand Up is a vibrant testament to the power we all have to make a difference.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Crown: Ode to a Fresh Cut

A reflection on humanity of black boys and how they see themselves when they approve of their reflections in the mirror.

Brief

This rhythmic, read-aloud title is an unbridled celebration of the self-esteem, confidence, and swagger boys feel when they leave the barber's chair--a tradition that places on their heads a figurative crown, beaming with jewels, that confirms their brilliance and worth and helps them not only love and accept themselves but also take a giant step toward caring how they present themselves to the world. The fresh cuts. That's where it all begins. Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut is a high-spirited, engaging salute to the beautiful, raw, assured humanity of black boys and how they see themselves when they approve of their reflections in the mirror.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Clean Your Room, Harvey Moon!

Teaching kids that it is important to keep their room clean

Brief

Harvey Moon's room is a mess Clothes are everywhere, sticky comic books are shoved under his desk, and there's a cookie under his bed that's so old it's turned gray and fuzzy. What a disaster. There won't be any cartoons until his room is absolutely spotless. But just when Harvey thinks he's finally done, he discovers that his idea of clean is not the same as his mother's

Blact Now!Arrow icon

A Sweet Smell of Roses

A story about the events of the civil rights movement and a girl's experience as a child

Brief

There's a sweet, sweet smell in the air as two young girls sneak out of their house, down the street, and across town to where men and women are gathered, ready to march for freedom and justice. Inspired by countless children and young adults who took a stand, two Coretta Scott King honorees offer a heart-lifting glimpse of children's roles in the civil rights movement.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Another

A great book for kids to use their own imagination and storytelling

Brief

A clever wordless book about a child and her cat .... and another cat that emerges from a inter-dimensional doorway

Blact Now!Arrow icon

This Book is Anti Racist

Gain a deeper understanding of your anti-racist self

Brief

Gain a deeper understanding of your anti-racist self as you progress through 20 chapters that spark introspection, reveal the origins of racism that we are still experiencing, and give you the courage and power to undo it. Each chapter builds on the previous one as you learn more about yourself and racial oppression. 20 activities get you thinking and help you grow with the knowledge. All you need is a pen and paper.Author Tiffany Jewell, an anti-bias, anti-racist educator and activist, builds solidarity beginning with the language she chooses--using gender neutral words to honor everyone who reads the book. Illustrator Aurélia Durand brings the stories and characters to life with kaleidoscopic vibrancy.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

A Kids Book About Racism

Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis.

Brief

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of "race," a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men--bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates's attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son--and readers--the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children's lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

Antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility

Brief

In this "vital, necessary, and beautiful book" (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and "allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to 'bad people' (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America

Ira Katznelson fundamentally recasts our understanding of twentieth-century American history

Brief

In this "penetrating new analysis" (New York Times Book Review) Ira Katznelson fundamentally recasts our understanding of twentieth-century American history and demonstrates that all the key programs passed during the New Deal and Fair Deal era of the 1930s and 1940s were created in a deeply discriminatory manner. Through mechanisms designed by Southern Democrats that specifically excluded maids and farm workers, the gap between blacks and whites actually widened despite postwar prosperity. In the words of noted historian Eric Foner, "Katznelson's incisive book should change the terms of debate about affirmative action, and about the last seventy years of American history."

Blact Now!Arrow icon

This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color

A testimony to women of color feminism as it emerged in the last quarter of the twentieth century

Brief

Originally released in 1981, This Bridge Called My Back is a testimony to women of color feminism as it emerged in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Through personal essays, criticism, interviews, testimonials, poetry, and visual art, the collection explores, as coeditor Cherríe Moraga writes, "the complex confluence of identities--race, class, gender, and sexuality--systemic to women of color oppression and liberation."

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Their Eyes Were Watching God

A young black woman's quest for identity in the 1930s.

Brief

Fair and long-legged, independent and articulate, Janie Crawford sets out to be her own person -- no mean feat for a black woman in the '30s. Janie's quest for identity takes her through three marriages and into a journey back to her roots.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The Warmth of Other Suns

Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals whose lives were changed in America's Great Migration.

Brief

From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century

A manifesto for creating alternative modes of work, politics, and human interaction

Brief

A world dominated by America and driven by cheap oil, easy credit, and conspicuous consumption is unraveling before our eyes. In this powerful, deeply humanistic book, Grace Lee Boggs, a legendary figure in the struggle for justice in America, shrewdly assesses the current crisis--political, economical, and environmental--and shows how to create the radical social change we need to confront new realities. A vibrant, inspirational force, Boggs has participated in all of the twentieth century's major social movements--for civil rights, women's rights, workers' rights, and more. She draws from seven decades of activist experience, and a rigorous commitment to critical thinking, to redefine "revolution" for our times. From her home in Detroit, she reveals how hope and creativity are overcoming despair and decay within the most devastated urban communities. Her book is a manifesto for creating alternative modes of work, politics, and human interaction that will collectively constitute the next American Revolution.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

A stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States.

Brief

Seldom does a book have the impact of Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow. Since it was first published in 2010, it has been cited in judicial decisions and has been adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads; it helped inspire the creation of the Marshall Project and the new $100 million Art for Justice Fund; it has been the winner of numerous prizes, including the prestigious NAACP Image Award; and it has spent nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.Most important of all, it has spawned a whole generation of criminal justice reform activists and organizations motivated by Michelle Alexander's unforgettable argument that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." As the Birmingham News proclaimed, it is "undoubtedly the most important book published in this century about the U.S."

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin details his early life in Harlem and examins the disturbing consequences of racial injustice

Brief

A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two "letters, " written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as "sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle...all presented in searing, brilliant prose, " The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of our literature.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The Bluest Eye

A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity.

Brief

Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in. Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison's virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

So You Want to Talk About Race

Honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.

Brief

Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy--from police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans--has put a media spotlight on racism in our society. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair--and how do you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend?In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to "model minorities" in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Sister Outsider

Audre Lord propounds social differences as as a vehicle for action and change.

Brief

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. This commemorative edition includes a new foreword by Lorde-scholar and poet Cheryl Clarke, who celebrates the ways in which Lorde's philosophies resonate more than twenty years after they were first published.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Redefining Realness

For anyone fighting to define themselves on their own terms.

Brief

In her profound and courageous New York Times bestseller, Janet Mock establishes herself as a resounding and inspirational voice for the transgender community--and anyone fighting to define themselves on their own terms.With unflinching honesty and moving prose, Janet Mock relays her experiences of growing up young, multiracial, poor, and trans in America, offering readers accessible language while imparting vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of a marginalized and misunderstood population. Though undoubtedly an account of one woman's quest for self at all costs, Redefining Realness is a powerful vision of possibility and self-realization, pushing us all toward greater acceptance of one another--and of ourselves--showing as never before how to be unapologetic and real.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Raising Our Hands

Raising Our Hands asks women to step up and join the frontlines.

Brief

White American women are no monolith. Yet, as Women's March national organizer Jenna Arnold has learned over the past few years criss-crossing the US in conversations with white women about their identity and role in the country, we do possess common characteristics--ones that get in the way of us becoming more engaged as citizens. We're so focused on checking off our to-do lists, or so afraid of getting it wrong, or so busy trying to avoid conflict, that we are actively avoiding the urgent conversations we need to have.We are confused about how we got here and unsure how to do better.Raising Our Hands is the reckoning cry for white women. It asks us to step up and join the new frontlines of the fight against complacency--in our homes, in our behaviors, and in our own minds.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Me and White Supremacy

For readers who are ready to examine their own beliefs, biases, and create social change.

Brief

Updated and expanded from the original workbook (downloaded by nearly 100,000 people), this critical text helps you take the work deeper by adding more historical and cultural contexts, sharing moving stories and anecdotes, and including expanded definitions, examples, and further resources, giving you the language to understand racism, and to dismantle your own biases, whether you are using the book on your own, with a book club, or looking to start family activism in your own home.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Just Mercy

Lawyer Bryan Stevenson's understanding of mercy and justice is forever transformed.

Brief

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn't commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship--and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

How To Be An Antiracist

Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas

Brief

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism--and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At it's core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas--from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilites--that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their posionous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Heavy: An American Memoir

"Kiese Laymon "provocatively meditates on his trauma growing up as a black man" (Entertainment Weekly)

Brief

In Heavy, Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to time in New York as a college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling. Heavy is a "gorgeous, gutting...generous" (The New York Times) memoir that combines personal stories with piercing intellect to reflect both on the strife of American society and on Laymon's experiences with abuse. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, he asks us to confront the terrifying possibility that few in this nation actually know how to responsibly love, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower

Feminism, friendship, and faith in one's own superpowers are all we really need to turn things right side up again.

Brief

So what if it's true that Black women are mad as hell? They have the right to be. In the Black feminist tradition of Audre Lorde, Brittney Cooper reminds us that anger is a powerful source of energy that can give us the strength to keep on fighting.Far too often, Black women's anger has been caricatured into an ugly and destructive force that threatens the civility and social fabric of American democracy. But Cooper shows us that there is more to the story than that. Black women's eloquent rage is what makes Serena Williams such a powerful tennis player. It's what makes Beyoncé's girl power anthems resonate so hard. It's what makes Michelle Obama an icon.Eloquent rage keeps us all honest and accountable. It reminds women that they don't have to settle for less. When Cooper learned of her grandmother's eloquent rage about love, sex, and marriage in an epic and hilarious front-porch confrontation, her life was changed. And it took another intervention, this time staged by one of her homegirls, to turn Brittney into the fierce feminist she is today. In Brittney Cooper's world, neither mean girls nor fuckboys ever win. But homegirls emerge as heroes. This book argues that ultimately feminism, friendship, and faith in one's own superpowers are all we really need to turn things right side up again.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Black Feminist Thought

Patricia Hill Collins explores the words and ideas of Black feminist intellectuals and writers.

Brief

In spite of the double burden of racial and gender discrimination, African-American women have developed a rich intellectual tradition that is not widely known. In Black Feminist Thought, originally published in 1990, Patricia Hill Collins set out to explore the words and ideas of Black feminist intellectuals and writers, both within the academy and without. Here Collins provides an interpretive framework for the work of such prominent Black feminist thinkers as Angela Davis, bell hooks, Alice Walker, and Audre Lorde. Drawing from fiction, poetry, music and oral history, the result is a superbly crafted and revolutionary book that provided the first synthetic overview of Black feminist thought and its canon.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Interiors: A Black Woman's Healing in Progress

Brief

The author's story of her own recovery as an incest survivor, teenage mother, abused spouse, and welfare recipient is interwoven with a study of the problems that afflict African-American women and effective guidelines on the healing process.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The Body Is Not An Apology

The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by violent systems.

Brief

Humans are a varied and divergent bunch with all manner of beliefs, morals, and bodies. Systems of oppression thrive off our inability to make peace with difference and injure the relationship we have with our own bodies.The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. World-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor invites us to reconnect with the radical origins of our minds and bodies and celebrate our collective, enduring strength. As we awaken to our own indoctrinated body shame, we feel inspired to awaken others and to interrupt the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies. When we act from this truth on a global scale, we usher in the transformative opportunity of radical self-love, which is the opportunity for a more just, equitable, and compassionate world--for us all.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The Parable of the Talents

Sequel to Parable of the Sower (no spoilers here)

Brief

"In 2032, Lauren Olamina has survived the destruction of her home and family, and realized her vision of a peaceful community in northern California based on her newly founded faith, Earthseed. The fledgling community provides refuge for outcasts facing persecution after the election of an ultra-conservative president who vows to "make America great again." In an increasingly divided and dangerous nation, Lauren's subversive colony--a minority religious faction led by a young black woman--becomes a target for President Jarret's reign of terror and oppression.Years later, Asha Vere reads the journals of a mother she never knew, Lauren Olamina. As she searches for answers about her own past, she also struggles to reconcile with the legacy of a mother caught between her duty to her chosen family and her calling to lead humankind into a better future."

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The Parable of Sower

In the social chaos of California's early 2020s, fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina must make her voice heard in order to protect her loved ones from the imminent disasters.

Brief

"When global climate change and economic crises lead to social chaos in the early 2020s, California becomes full of dangers, from pervasive water shortage to masses of vagabonds who will do anything to live to see another day. Fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina lives inside a gated community with her preacher father, family, and neighbors, sheltered from the surrounding anarchy. In a society where any vulnerability is a risk, she suffers from hyperempathy, a debilitating sensitivity to others' emotions.Precocious and clear-eyed, Lauren must make her voice heard in order to protect her loved ones from the imminent disasters her small community stubbornly ignores. But what begins as a fight for survival soon leads to something much more: the birth of a new faith . . . and a startling vision of human destiny."

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Queen Sugar

Queen Sugar's heroine, Charley Bordelon is an African-American woman and single mother struggling to build a new life in the contemporary South.

Brief

Readers, booksellers, and critics alike are embracing Queen Sugar and cheering for its heroine, Charley Bordelon, an African American woman and single mother struggling to build a new life amid the complexities of the contemporary South.When Charley unexpectedly inherits eight hundred acres of sugarcane land, she and her eleven-year-old daughter say goodbye to smoggy Los Angeles and head to Louisiana. She soon learns, however, that cane farming is always going to be a white man's business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley struggles to balance the overwhelming challenges of a farm in decline with the demands of family and the startling desires of her own heart.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Boy, Snow, Bird

"Under Oyeyemi's spell, the fairy-tale conceit makes a brilliant setting in which to explore the alchemy of racism, the weird ways in which identity can be transmuted in an instant -- from beauty to beast or vice versa." (Ron Charles, The Washington Post)

Brief

In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts looking, she believes, for beauty--the opposite of the life she's left behind in New York. She marries Arturo Whitman, a local widower, and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow."A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she'd become, but elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy's daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African-Americans passing for white. And even as Boy, Snow, and Bird are divided, their estrangement is complicated by an insistent curiosity about one another. In seeking an understanding that is separate from the image each presents to the world, Boy, Snow, and Bird confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold.Dazzlingly inventive and powerfully moving, Boy, Snow, Bird is an astonishing and enchanting novel. With breathtaking feats of imagination, Helen Oyeyemi confirms her place as one of the most original and dynamic literary voices of our time."

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The Fire Next Time

"The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement."

Brief

A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two "letters, " written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Dreams from My Father

"In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American."

Brief

"In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father--a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man--has been killed in a car accident. This sudden death inspires an emotional odyssey--first to a small town in Kansas, from which he retraces the migration of his mother's family to Hawaii, and then to Kenya, where he meets the African side of his family, confronts the bitter truth of his father's life, and at last reconciles his divided inheritance."

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Going to Meet the Man

In these eight short stories, James Baldwin details the ingenious and often desperate ways in which people try to keep their head above water.

Brief

"There's no way not to suffer. But you try all kinds of ways to keep from drowning in it." The men and women in these eight short fictions grasp this truth on an elemental level, and their stories, as told by James Baldwin, detail the ingenious and often desperate ways in which they try to keep their head above water. It may be the heroin that a down-and-out jazz pianist uses to face the terror of pouring his life into an inanimate instrument. It may be the brittle piety of a father who can never forgive his son for his illegitimacy. Or it may be the screen of bigotry that a redneck deputy has raised to blunt the awful childhood memory of the day his parents took him to watch a black man being murdered by a gleeful mob.By turns haunting, heartbreaking, and horrifying--and informed throughout by Baldwin's uncanny knowledge of the wounds racism has left in both its victims and its perpetrators--Going to Meet the Man is a major work by one of our most important writers.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The Audacity of Hope

The Audacity of Hope is Barack Obama's call for a different brand of politics rooted in the faith, inclusiveness, and nobility of spirit.

Brief

The Audacity of Hope is Barack Obama's call for a different brand of politics--a politics for those weary of bitter partisanship and alienated by the "endless clash of armies" we see in congress and on the campaign trail; a politics rooted in the faith, inclusiveness, and nobility of spirit at the heart of "our improbable experiment in democracy." He explores those forces--from the fear of losing to the perpetual need to raise money to the power of the media--that can stifle even the best-intentioned politician. He also writes, with surprising intimacy and self-deprecating humor, about settling in as a senator, seeking to balance the demands of public service and family life, and his own deepening religious commitment.At the heart of this book is Barack Obama's vision of how we can move beyond our divisions to tackle concrete problems. He examines the growing economic insecurity of American families, the racial and religious tensions within the body politic, and the transnational threats--from terrorism to pandemic--that gather beyond our shores.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

A Reason to Believe

2020 Democratic presidential candidate Deval Patrick, “an inspirational figure guided by optimism and hope who presaged the rise of President Obama” (The Boston Globe), recounts his extraordinary journey from the South Side of Chicago to the governorship of Massachusetts.

The Souls of Black Folks

An influential work in the history of sociology, and a cornerstone of African-American literary history

Brief

The Souls of Black Folk is a classic work of American literature by W. E. B. Du Bois. It is a seminal work in the history of sociology, and a cornerstone of African-American literary history. To develop this groundbreaking work, Du Bois drew from his own experiences as an African-American in the American society. Outside of its notable relevance in African-American history, The Souls of Black Folk also holds an important place in social science as one of the early works in the field of sociology.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The Miseducation of the Negro

Presents the case that black children are being culturally conditioned instead of educated in the American school system.

Brief

Originally published in 1933, The Mis-Education of the Negro is still relvant today, raising questions about the impact of slavery on the Black psyche, the American education system, the difference between conditioning and educating, and which of these African-Americans are receiving.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

At the Dark End of the Street

In this groundbreaking book, learn the truth about Rosa Parks and the 1955 boycott.

Brief

Rosa Parks was often described as a sweet and reticent elderly woman whose tired feet caused her to defy segregation on Montgomery's city buses, and whose supposedly solitary, spontaneous act sparked the 1955 bus boycott that gave birth to the civil rights movement. The truth of who Rosa Parks was and what really lay beneath the 1955 boycott is far different from anything previously written.In this groundbreaking and important book, Danielle McGuire writes about the rape in 1944 of a twenty-four-year-old mother and sharecropper, Recy Taylor, who strolled toward home after an evening of singing and praying at the Rock Hill Holiness Church in Abbeville, Alabama. Seven white men, armed with knives and shotguns, ordered the young woman into their green Chevrolet, raped her, and left her for dead. The president of the local NAACP branch office sent his best investigator and organizer--Rosa Parks--to Abbeville. In taking on this case, Parks launched a movement that exposed a ritualized history of sexual assault against black women and added fire to the growing call for change.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Another Country

Another Country is a stunning novel of passions--sexual, racial, political, and artistic.

Brief

Set in Greenwich Village, Harlem, and France, among other locales, Another Country is a novel of passions--sexual, racial, political, artistic--that is stunning for its emotional intensity and haunting sensuality, depicting men and women, blacks and whites, stripped of their masks of gender and race by love and hatred at the most elemental and sublime.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Between the World and Me

Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis.

Brief

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of "race," a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men--bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates's attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son--and readers--the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children's lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

We Were 8 Years in Power

Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of the unprecedented election of a black president and the vicious backlash that followed.

Brief

"We were eight years in power" was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. In this sweeping collection of new and selected essays, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America's "first white president."But the story of these present-day eight years is not just about presidential politics. This book also examines the new voices, ideas, and movements for justice that emerged over this period--and the effects of the persistent, haunting shadow of our nation's old and unreconciled history. Coates powerfully examines the events of the Obama era from his intimate and revealing perspective--the point of view of a young writer who begins the journey in an unemployment office in Harlem and ends it in the Oval Office, interviewing a president.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation

Will the struggle against police violence reignite a broader push for black liberation?

Brief

The eruption of mass protests in the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City have challenged the impunity with which officers of the law carry out violence against Black people and punctured the illusion of a postracial America. The Black Lives Matter movement has awakened a new generation of activists.In this stirring and insightful analysis, activist and scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor surveys the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and persistence of structural inequality such as mass incarceration and Black unemployment. In this context, she argues that this new struggle against police violence holds the potential to reignite a broader push for Black liberation.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The Condemnation of Blackness

How the myth of black criminality has shaped our society and sense of self.

Brief

How did we come to think of race as synonymous with crime? A brilliant and deeply disturbing biography of the idea of black criminality in the making of modern urban America, The Condemnation of Blackness reveals the influence this pernicious myth, rooted in crime statistics, has had on our society and our sense of self. Black crime statistics have shaped debates about everything from public education to policing to presidential elections, fueling racism and justifying inequality. How was this statistical link between blackness and criminality initially forged? Why was the same link not made for whites? In the age of Black Lives Matter and Donald Trump, under the shadow of Ferguson and Baltimore, no questions could be more urgent.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Racecraft

"Racecraft" is intimately entwined with other forms of inequality in American life.

Brief

Most people assume that racism grows from a perception of human difference: the fact of race gives rise to the practice of racism. Sociologist Karen E. Fields and historian Barbara J. Fields argue otherwise: the practice of racism produces the illusion of race, through what they call "racecraft." And this phenomenon is intimately entwined with other forms of inequality in American life. So pervasive are the devices of racecraft in American history, economic doctrine, politics, and everyday thinking that the presence of racecraft itself goes unnoticed.That the promised post-racial age has not dawned, the authors argue, reflects the failure of Americans to develop a legitimate language for thinking about and discussing inequality. That failure should worry everyone who cares about democratic institutions.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

#BlackPrivilege

An instant New York Times bestseller! Charlamagne Tha God—the self-proclaimed “Prince of Pissing People Off,” cohost of Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, and “the most important voice in hip-hop”—shares his eight principles for unlocking your God-given privilege.

Brief

In his new book, Charlamagne Tha God presents his comic, often controversial, and always brutally honest insights on how living an authentic life is the quickest path to success. Beginning with his journey from the small town of Moncks Corner, South Carolina to his headline grabbing interviews with celebrities like Justin Bieber, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, and Hillary Clinton, he shares how he turned his troubled early life around by owning his (many) mistakes and refusing to give up on his dreams, even after his controversial opinions got him fired from several on-air jobs. Combining his own story with bold advice and his signature commitment to honesty at all costs, Charlamagne hopes this book will give others the confidence to live their own truths.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Brown Girl Dreaming

Poems both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world.

Brief

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson's eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.Includes 7 new poems, including "Brown Girl Dreaming".

Blact Now!Arrow icon

I'm Judging You

Humorous essays dissect our cultural obsessions and call out bad behavior in our increasingly digital, connected lives

Brief

Luvvie Ajayi is a go-to source for smart takes on pop culture. I'm Judging You is her debut book of humorous essays that dissects our cultural obsessions and calls out bad behavior in our increasingly digital, connected lives. It passes on lessons and side-eyes on life, social media, culture, and fame, from addressing those terrible friends we all have to serious discussions of race and media representation to what to do about your fool cousin sharing casket pictures from Grandma's wake on Facebook.With a lighthearted, razor sharp wit and a unique perspective, I'm Judging You is the handbook the world needs, doling out the hard truths and a road map for bringing some "act right" into our lives, social media, and popular culture. It is the Do-Better Manual.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The Year of Yes

Shonda Rhimes shares how saying "yes" changed her life.

Brief

She's the creator and producer of some of the most groundbreaking and audacious shows on television today. Her iconic characters live boldly and speak their minds. So who would suspect that Shonda Rhimes is an introvert? That she hired a publicist so she could avoid public appearances? That she suffered panic attacks before media interviews?With three children at home and three hit television shows, it was easy for Shonda to say she was simply too busy. But in truth, she was also afraid. And then, over Thanksgiving dinner, her sister muttered something that was both a wake up and a call to arms: You never say yes to anything. Shonda knew she had to embrace the challenge: for one year, she would say YES to everything that scared her.This poignant, intimate, and hilarious memoir explores Shonda's life before her Year of Yes--from her nerdy, book-loving childhood to her devotion to creating television characters who reflected the world she saw around her. The book chronicles her life after her Year of Yes had begun--when Shonda forced herself out of the house and onto the stage; when she learned to explore, empower, applaud, and love her truest self. Yes.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The Sellout

A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court.

Brief

Born in the agrarian ghetto of Dickens--on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles--the narrator of The Sellout resigns himself to the fate of lower-middle-class Californians: I'd die in the same bedroom I'd grown up in, looking up at the cracks in the stucco ceiling that've been there since '68 quake. Raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, he spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe that his father's pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family's financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realizes there never was a memoir. All that's left is the bill for a drive-thru funeral.Fueled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town's most famous resident--the last surviving Little Rascal, Hominy Jenkins--he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Negroland

Margo Jefferson's memoir of growing up in upper-crust black Chicago.

Brief

Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic Margo Jefferson was born in 1947 into upper-crust black Chicago. Her father was head of pediatrics at Provident Hospital, while her mother was a socialite. In these pages, Jefferson takes us into this insular and discerning society: "I call it Negroland," she writes, "because I still find 'Negro' a word of wonders, glorious and terrible."Negroland's pedigree dates back generations, having originated with antebellum free blacks who made their fortunes among the plantations of the South. It evolved into a world of exclusive sororities, fraternities, networks, and clubs--a world in which skin color and hair texture were relentlessly evaluated alongside scholarly and professional achievements, where the Talented Tenth positioned themselves as a third race between whites and "the masses of Negros," and where the motto was "Achievement. Invulnerability. Comportment."

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The New Jim Crow

A stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States.

Brief

Seldom does a book have the impact of Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow. Since it was first published in 2010, it has been cited in judicial decisions and has been adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads; it helped inspire the creation of the Marshall Project and the new $100 million Art for Justice Fund; it has been the winner of numerous prizes, including the prestigious NAACP Image Award; and it has spent nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.Most important of all, it has spawned a whole generation of criminal justice reform activists and organizations motivated by Michelle Alexander's unforgettable argument that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." As the Birmingham News proclaimed, it is "undoubtedly the most important book published in this century about the U.S."

Blact Now!Arrow icon

White Teeth

Hapless veterans of World War II, Archie and Samad and their families become agents of England's irrevocable transformation.

Brief

At the center of this invigorating novel are two unlikely friends, Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal. Hapless veterans of World War II, Archie and Samad and their families become agents of England's irrevocable transformation. A second marriage to Clara Bowden, a beautiful, albeit tooth-challenged, Jamaican half his age, quite literally gives Archie a second lease on life, and produces Irie, a knowing child whose personality doesn't quite match her name (Jamaican for "no problem"). Samad's late-in-life arranged marriage (he had to wait for his bride to be born), produces twin sons whose separate paths confound Iqbal's every effort to direct them, and a renewed, if selective, submission to his Islamic faith.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Loving Day

"A frequently hilarious, surprisingly moving story, Loving Day celebrates the wonders of opposites bound in love."

Brief

Warren Duffy has returned to America for all the worst reasons: His marriage to a beautiful Welsh woman has come apart; his comics shop in Cardiff has failed; and his Irish American father has died, bequeathing to Warren his last possession, a roofless, half-renovated mansion in the heart of black Philadelphia. On his first night in his new home, Warren spies two figures outside in the grass. When he screws up the nerve to confront them, they disappear. The next day he encounters ghosts of a different kind: In the face of a teenage girl he meets at a comics convention he sees the mingled features of his white father and his black mother, both now dead. The girl, Tal, is his daughter, and she's been raised to think she's white.Spinning from these revelations, Warren sets off to remake his life with a reluctant daughter he's never known, in a haunted house with a history he knows too well. In their search for a new life, he and Tal struggle with ghosts, fall in with a utopian mixed-race cult, and ignite a riot on Loving Day, the unsung holiday for interracial lovers.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

The Light of the World

Amy-Jill Levine explores the biblical texts surrounding the story of the birth of Jesus.

Brief

Author, professor, and biblical scholar Amy-Jill Levine explores the biblical texts surrounding the story of the birth of Jesus. Join her as she traces the Christmas narrative through the stories of Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary, the journey to Bethlehem, and the visit from the Magi. These stories open conversations around connections of the Gospel stories to the Old Testament, the role of women in first-century Jewish culture, the importance of Mary's visitation and the revolutionary implications of Mary's Magnificat, the census and the stable, and the star of Bethlehem and the flight to Egypt.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Ordinary Light

Tracy K. Smith tells her story of belief, loss, history, and what it means to be black in America.

Brief

"In Ordinary Light, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith tells her remarkable story, giving us a quietly potent memoir that explores her coming-of-age and the meaning of home against a complex backdrop of race, faith, and the unbreakable bond between a mother and daughter. Here is the story of a young artist struggling to fashion her own understanding of belief, loss, history, and what it means to be black in America."

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Never Caught

The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge

Brief

When George Washington was elected president, he reluctantly left behind his beloved Mount Vernon to serve in Philadelphia, the temporary seat of the nation’s capital. In setting up his household he brought along nine slaves, including Ona Judge. As the President grew accustomed to Northern ways, there was one change he couldn’t abide: Pennsylvania law required enslaved people be set free after six months of residency in the state. Rather than comply, Washington decided to circumvent the law. Every six months he sent the slaves back down south just as the clock was about to expire.Though Ona Judge lived a life of relative comfort, she was denied freedom. So, when the opportunity presented itself one clear and pleasant spring day in Philadelphia, Judge left everything she knew to escape to New England. Yet freedom would not come without its costs. At just twenty-two-years-old, Ona became the subject of an intense manhunt led by George Washington, who used his political and personal contacts to recapture his property.

Blact Now!Arrow icon

Take Blaction © 2020, Made with ❤️