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How the Word Is Passed
A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America
"We need this book." —Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to be an Anti-Racist
The Atlantic staff writer and poet Clint Smith's revealing, contemporary portrait of America as a slave owning nation
Beginning in his hometown of New Orleans, Clint Smith leads the reader on an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks—those... Read more »
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You
A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning
“What an amazing, passionate and fast-paced take on Kendi’s original Stamped from the Beginning! It takes you on a journey of racist ideas from then to now, the how and why it still lingers on. Reynolds’s engaging way with words will connect with young adults, and everyone else too. This is a book for everyone to read, so that we all can do better in identifying and stamping out racist thoughts.”Anne, Newtonville Books
Four Hundred Souls
A Community History of African America, 1619-2019
“An absolutely stunning history of African America for people who do not normally read history. Compiled of short stories, essays, and poems, it is perfect for someone who is intimidated by lists of names and dates. Each individual voice stands on its own but together they truly make a 'choir' that flows together beautifully. This is a one-of-a-kind history that is essential reading for everyone.”Tia, Quail Ridge Books
Stamped from the Beginning: A Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
WINNER OF THE 2016 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR NONFICTION
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER IN RACE AND CIVIL RIGHTS
FINALIST FOR THE 2016 NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR NONFICTION
THE MOST AMBITIOUS BOOK OF 2016 —The Washington Post
A BOSTON GLOBE BEST BOOK OF 2016
A WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK OF 2016
A CHICAGO REVIEW OF BOOKS BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF... Read more »
The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
*** A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BUZZ PICK! ***
An electrifying novel about the meteoric rise of an iconic interracial rock duo in the 1970s, their sensational breakup, and the dark secrets unearthed when they try to reunite decades later for one last tour.
“Feels truer and more mesmerizing than some true stories. It’s a packed time capsule that... Read more »
Deacon King Kong
“Deacon King Kong is a quintessential New York story. Set in the Brooklyn projects in 1969, a perpetually inebriated deacon called Sportcoat aims a gun at the neighborhood’s main drug dealer in the public plaza and pulls the trigger. Incredibly well-constructed and hilarious at times, McBride’s story entwines a number of storylines that are kickstarted by this central event. The local Italian gangster, the veteran cop, the meddling churchgoers, and the drug pushers all have their own agendas, hopes, and dreams that are affected. And though Sportcoat doesn’t remember his actions and is always under the influence of gut-rot moonshine, I couldn’t help but root for him as I was reading this. His delightful ineptitude and absence of clarity made this book impossible for me to put down. If you’ve never read McBride before, this is a great introduction.”Stuart McCommon, Novel.
“Gifty immigrated from Ghana, grew up in Alabama, and is working on a PhD in neuroscience at Stanford, where she experiments with mice. She has always felt she wasn’t cool enough or white enough, and tries to prove her value through her brilliance. She tells her raw and powerful story of racism, addiction, mental illness, and especially faith and prayer, all while trying hard to mend a complicated relationship with her mother. This second novel from the author of the award-winning novel Homegoing is compelling and so, so beautifully written.”Sally Weitzen, Wellesley Books
“Solomon is perfectly suited to expand the concept of a civilization of merfolk whose origins were born in the violence of pregnant African women sent to the depths from the vessels of white slave traders. The Deep focuses on Yetu, whose role as historian is to be individually burdened with six centuries of memories of all the wajinru (merfolk), and the consequences when she abdicates her responsibility. With shades of Hans Christian Andersen, Ursula Le Guin, and Lois Lowry, plus inimitable explorations of difficult social interrelationships, Solomon’s short tome is, indeed, a deep read.”Maryelizabeth Yturralde, Creating Conversations
Weaving together American history, dramatic family chronicle, and searing episodes of memoir, Annette Gordon-Reed’s On Juneteenth provides a historian’s view of the nation’s long road to Juneteenth, recounting both its origins in Texas and the enormous hardships that African-Americans have endured in the century since, from Reconstruction... Read more »
So You Want to Talk about Race
A current, constructive, and actionable exploration of today’s racial landscape, offering straightforward clarity that readers of all races need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide
In So You Want to Talk about Race, editor-at-large of the Establishment Ijeoma Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in... Read more »
The Nickel Boys (Winner 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
“With every book, Colson Whitehead proves his ever-growing genius. He’s a master of the written word and truly one of the greatest living American novelists of our time. I didn’t think it was possible for him to write something better than Underground Railroad, but he most certainly has — The NickelBoys grabbed me at page one. It’s a mystery and a thriller, a treatise on race and social injustice, and a literary masterpiece all rolled into one. Ellwood and Turner are characters that will stay with me forever. This should be mandatory reading in every classroom.”Michelle Malonzo, Changing Hands
“Homegoing is an epic narrative that is sure to become a treasured staple. Two sisters in Ghana are marked by fiery tragedy: one is married off to an English slave trader, and the other is sold to be a slave in America. The story follows their descendants generation by generation. Homegoing will break your heart over and over, impress you with the resilience of the human spirit and the amazing power of forgiveness, and leave you optimistic and in awe.”Nichole McCown, Bookshop Santa Cruz
The Water Dancer (Oprah's Book Club)
“Ta-Nehisi Coates understands something big and he understands it better than anyone else right now. The Water Dancer led me on a journey up and down the landscape of American slavery with a narrative that feels like The Book of Exodus meets, well, Ta-Nehisi Coates. Over 400 pages I have cried, I have laughed, I have been educated, and I have been enlightened. Coates writes with an honesty that can only come from a sublime, even spiritual, understanding of the souls of the white man and the black man in America. Written with poignancy and humanity, The Water Dancer left me stunned but clear-headed, like I had just been woken up from a deep, dream-filled sleep.”Norris Rettiger, Lemuria Bookstore
Red at the Bone
“Jacqueline Woodon's novella RED AT THE BONE is the story of a black American family told through the perspective of 5 people. Vastly different perspectives of the same events (a teenage pregnancy, prejudice, class issues between generations) creates a compelling audiobook. Listening to this book was a delight, as the 5 narrators truly made it a beautiful production. I've never experienced a story like this and was spellbound. Highly recommend.”Rachel, Avid Bookshop
“In Revival Season, 15-year-old Miriam Horton's eyes are opened to the complexities of spirituality and the depraved nature of humans, including one who she admires the most: her own father, an Evangelical Baptist preacher who plans revival circuits every summer. After witnessing her father violently react to a man who questions his ability to heal, Miriam's world is turned upside-down. And then we have a front-row seat to the downward spiral of her father's confidence and his treatment of others. She realizes that her father has developed a God-complex, and that his healings have become unsuccessful because he has begun to believe in himself more than God. In the midst of her father's crisis, Miriam grapples with the discovery of her own gifts and the tension between wanting to use her gifts to do God's work, and her father's conviction that women are unfit for such work.As someone who grew up around Southern Evangelical churches, this book was a page-turner for me as I rooted for Miriam to discover her own unique gifts, and to use her voice despite being stifled by her father and the church.”Allison, The Snail on the Wall
Ace of Spades
This program includes an author's note read by the author.
Gossip Girl meets Get Out in Ace of Spades, a YA contemporary thriller by debut author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé about two students, Devon & Chiamaka, and their struggles against an anonymous bully.
All you need to know is . . . I’m here to divide and conquer. Like all great tyrants do.... Read more »
“Vern is a captivating protagonist from page one: gritty, determined, flawed, clever, and resourceful. The story slowly fills in all the details of a life that wasn’t what it seemed, and offers an ending you can’t predict. Sorrowland is beautiful, ugly, engaging, and awe-inspiring.”Sydne Conant, A Room Of One's Own Bookstore
“I am at a loss for words. How can I even begin to describe the breathtaking language Robert Jones, Jr. has gifted us in his debut novel, The Prophets? How can I begin to explain how he achieves a feat so marvelous it almost seems impossible? Well, that’s the key word: almost. From his innovative restructuring of the Bible through the lens of America’s history with slavery to characters that leap off the page with colorful grace and dignity, Jones masterfully weaves a narrative that serves as a warning from the past, a prophecy for the future, and a testament to the present. His writing defies all great American novels that have come before, and in doing so becomes one of the greatest I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. I can’t wait for everyone to be as spellbound by this book as I am; it will stay with me forever.”Gage Tarlton, Flyleaf Books
A Song Below Water
“A Song Below Water was a great listen! The narrators were fantastic. I think teen readers will connect to Tavia and Effie's identity journeys. A standout YA fantasy!”Jessica, Brain Lair Books
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
And Other Conversations About Race
The classic, bestselling book on the psychology of racism -- now fully revised and updated
Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of... Read more »
Amari and the Night Brothers
Supernatural Investigations: Book #1
“Amari and the Night Brothers is a contemporary children's Sci-Fi/Fantasy in the vein of Men in Black and Supernatural. Monsters, magic, and supernatural beings living amongst us, but not everyone can see them (or even knows that they are there). Amari (and her missing older brother Quinton) can and have to balance living in the modern world and the one full of supernatural beings (and unsavory events). Fast paced, relatable, and a fun listen!”Rebecca, Rediscovered Books
The Hate U Give
“This bestselling, powerful young adult novel about social justice and one teen girl's effort to fight for what is right, will leave you breathless. The narration by Bahni Turpin is hands down the best I've ever heard. This is such an important book it should be required reading for life in general. Or listening. Definitely listening.”Kristen, Tattered Cover
“Part literary fiction, part spy novel, punctuated by black American history, Lauren Wilkinson’s debut novel crosses time periods and genres. This unflinching portrayal of a young black woman who becomes a Fed during the height of the Cold War is based on the true story of Thomas Sankara, known as “Africa’s Che Guevara.” Politics, illicit relationships, and family drama all converge in this tale of American history, disguised as a thriller, written like a memoir. Be brave. Be groundbreaking. Take risks. Live to see the consequences of your actions and to be bold another day.”BrocheAroe, River Dog Book Co.
The Man Who Lived Underground
“The Man Who Lived Underground reminds us that any ‘greatest writers of the 20th century’ list that doesn’t start and end with Richard Wright is laughable. It might very well be Wright’s most brilliantly crafted, and ominously foretelling, book.” —Kiese Laymon
A major literary event: an explosive, previously unpublished novel about race and... Read more »
The Gone Dead
“This was so engrossing and just so well done that it made for a compelling read. Billie is grieving and trying to find out what happened to her long dead father in the south, where race relations are still tense. I really liked the parts where she bonded with her family and she hadn’t seen in so many years. And one really got a sense of place, listening to the author's description and the narrator's excellent narration.”Audrey, Belmont Books
All the Lonely People
If you loved A Man Called Ove, then prepare to be delighted as Jamaican immigrant Hubert rediscovers the world he'd turned his back on this "warm, funny" novel (Good Housekeeping).In weekly phone calls to his daughter in Australia, widower Hubert Birdpaints a picture of the perfect retirement, packed with fun, friendship, and fulfillment. Bu Read more »t...
A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower
"...Cooper delivers a frank, conversational-style examination of the importance of black female friendships, respectability politics, and harmful stereotypes, among other topics. She blends candor and humor as she roots out toxic behaviors and beliefs we use in America to tear ourselves and each other down, while also offering paths forward.... Read more »
The Fire Next Time
At once a powerful evocation of his early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice to both the individual and the body politic, James Baldwin galvanized the nation in the early days of the civil rights movement with his eloquent manifesto. The Fire Next Time stands as one of the essential works of our... Read more »
An American Memoir
“Telling the truth has always been a radical and political act, but Kiese Laymon writes in Heavy with a rare, vulnerable unity of personal urgency and political clarity. This is a story about how our country’s lies and thefts weigh heavily on the hearts and souls of its black mothers and sons. About how dishonesty about white supremacy, money, sex, and violence threads through our most intimate relationships and causes us to become strangers to ourselves. If Heavy is about lies, it is also fundamentally about the redemptive power of truth, stories, language, and joy. If there’s a way out of the loneliness of being human in a country that does not value or support humanity, Laymon suggests, it is in the connection we find in the words we toss to one another, like lifelines, like laughter.”E.R. Anderson, Charis Books & More
International phenomenon Angie Thomas revisits Garden Heights seventeen years before the events of The Hate U Give in this searing and poignant exploration of Black boyhood and manhood.
If there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it’s that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that... Read more »
Black Leopard, Red Wolf
The Dark Star Trilogy: Book #1
“Marlon James’ Black Leopard, Red Wolf is a shot across the bow of fantasy literature: bold, fresh, and filled with brutal wonder and endless imagination. James’tale set in a fantastical ancient Africa follows a hunter known only as Tracker as he trails the scent of a lost boy, meeting a shape-shifting leopard along the way. At turns hallucinatory, dreamlike, and nightmarish, Black Leopard, Red Wolf’s world envelops the reader in its stink, grime, sweat, and blood. Never has a magical world felt quite so otherworldly and yet frighteningly tactile at the same time. This is literary fantasy as you’ve never encountered it before and a truly original tale of love, loss, power, and identity.”Caleb Masters, Bookmarks
Love and Rage
The Path of Liberation through Anger
A LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER
In the face of systemic racism and state-sanctioned violence, how can we metabolize our anger into a force for liberation?
White supremacy in the United States has long necessitated that Black rage be suppressed, repressed, or denied, often as a means of survival, a literal matter of life and death. In Love and... Read more »
By Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk & Nicola Yoon
Narrated by: Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Dion Graham, Imani Parks, Jordan Cobb, Shayna Small, A.J Beckles & Bahni Turpin
Six critically acclaimed, bestselling, and award-winning authors bring the glowing warmth and electricity of Black teen love to this interlinked novel of charming, hilarious, and heartwarming stories that shine a bright light through the dark.
A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the city is thrown into confusion, a... Read more »
Prophet of Freedom
**Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in History**
“Extraordinary…a great American biography” (The New Yorker) of the most important African-American of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era.
As a young man Frederick Douglass... Read more »
The Good Lord Bird
Soon to be a Showtime limited series starring Ethan Hawke and Daveed Diggs
Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction
From the bestselling author of Deacon King Kong (an Oprah Book Club pick) and The Color of Water comes the story of a young boy born a slave who joins John Brown’s antislavery crusade—and who must pass as a girl to survive.
... Read more »
Notes of a Native Son
At last, a new audio edition of the book many havecalled James Baldwin’s most influential work!
Written during the 1940s and early 1950s, whenBaldwin was only in his twenties, the essays collected in Notes of a Native Son capture a view of black life and blackthought at the dawn of the civil rights movement and as the movement slowlygained... Read more »
The Bluest Eye
The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, is the first novel written by Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature.
It is the story of eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove--a black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others--who prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so... Read more »
The Disordered Cosmos
A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred
From a star theoretical physicist, a journey into the world of particle physics and the cosmos -- and a call for a more just practice of science.
In The Disordered Cosmos, Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein shares her love for physics, from the Standard Model of Particle Physics and what lies beyond it, to the physics of melanin in skin, to the... Read more »
A Phoenix First Must Burn
Sixteen Stories of Black Girl Magic, Resistance, and Hope
Evoking Beyoncé’s Lemonade for a teen audience, these authors who are truly Octavia Butler’s heirs have woven worlds to create a stunning narrative that puts Black women and gender-nonconforming individuals at its center. A Phoenix First Must Burn will take you on a journey from folktales retold to futuristic societies and everything in between.... Read more »
A Chorus Rises
A Song Below Water novel
THE LATEST NOVEL FROM YA SENSATION BETHANY C. MORROW
Meet Naema Bradshaw: a beautiful Eloko, once Portland-famous, now infamous, as she navigates a personal and public reckoning where confronting the limits of her privilege will show Naema what her magic really is, and who it makes her.
Teen influencer Naema Bradshaw has it all: she’s famous,... Read more »
America’s most celebrated novelist, Nobel Prize-winner Toni Morrison extends her profound take on our history with this twentieth-century tale of redemption: a taut and tortured story about one man’s desperate search for himself in a world disfigured by war.
Frank Money is an angry, self-loathing veteran of the Korean War who, after traumatic... Read more »
Looking for Lorraine
The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry
Winner of the 2019 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography
Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction
Winner of the Shilts-Grahn Triangle Award for Lesbian Nonfiction
Winner of the 2019 Phi Beta Kappa Christian Gauss Award
A New York Times Notable Book of 2018
A revealing portrait of one of the most gifted and charismatic, yet... Read more »
The Hill We Climb
An Inaugural Poem for the Country
Amanda Gorman’s powerful and historic poem “The Hill We Climb,” read at President Joe Biden’s inauguration
“Deeply rousing and uplifting.” —Vogue
On January 20, 2021, Amanda Gorman became the sixth and youngest poet to deliver a poetry reading at a presidential inauguration. Taking the stage after the 46th... Read more »
Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement
In May 1967, internationally renowned activist Fannie Lou Hamer purchased forty acres of land in the Mississippi Delta, launching the Freedom Farms Cooperative (FFC). A community-based rural and economic development project, FFC would grow to over 600 acres, offering a means for local sharecroppers, tenant farmers, and domestic workers to pursue... Read more »
The Secret Women
The author of Dancing on the Edge of the Roof, now a Netflix film starring Alfre Woodard, returns with a riveting, emotionally rich, novel that explores the complex relationship between mothers and daughters in a fresh, vibrant way—a stunning page-turner for fans of Terry McMillan, Tayari Jones, and Kimberla Lawson Roby.
Elise Armstrong, Carmen... Read more »
A Little Devil in America
Notes in Praise of Black Performance
“Hanif Abdurraqib's exploration of Black performance in America is a cultural keystone that is chillingly relevant. Whether discussing the fact that a knowing look or advice on a route from a cashier is a form of a living Green Book that still exists because there are places Black people are not safe, to the origin of the card game spades or the difference between showing out or showing off, at the heart A Little Devil in America circles back to the fact that Black Americans have been forced to survive in places there were not welcome. The section on Black funerals pierced my heart. This book needs to be read, taught, underlined and discussed.”Rachel , Avid Bookshop
Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding New York Times bestseller 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... Read more »
Sing, Unburied, Sing
“Sing, Unburied, Sing is a dark and gorgeous song of love and heartbreak, haunting and tragic and disorienting in its timelessness. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill anchors Ward's tale to Mississippi today, which is almost indistinguishable from its notorious yesterday, a present and past (ironically) made more alive in the novel by ghosts and where everyone suffers from the cancers of buried sins. On Jojo's 13th birthday, while Mam is dying and Pop struggles to keep everyone safe, Leonie plans a road trip to the prison to pick up Michael, Jojo and baby Kayla's father. It's The Odyssey meets the Delta blues meets William Faulkner and Toni Morrison and some ineffable something that is Jesmyn Ward's own magic.”Sara Hinckley, Hudson Booksellers
A FINALIST for the Booker Prize, the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, the VCU/Cabell First Novelist Prize, the Lambda Literary Award, the NYPL Young Lions Award, and the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award
“A blistering coming of age story” —O: The Oprah Magazine
Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Washington... Read more »
Song of Solomon
An official Oprah Winfrey’s “The Books That Help Me Through” selection
With this brilliantly imagined New York Times bestselling novel, Toni Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel García Márquez.
Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain... Read more »