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Letting Black Voices Be Heard

Our list of anti-racist and black empowering books by black authors.

Playlist Tags: Book Beat genre: Nonfiction topic: antiracism topic: feminism topic: black authors topic: black lives matter topic: activism

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Black Brother, Black Brother

By Jewell Parker Rhodes
Narrated by: Barrie Buckner
Length: 4 hours 36 minutes

From award-winning and bestselling author, Jewell Parker Rhodes comes a powerful coming-of-age story about two brothers, one who presents as white, the other as black, and the complex ways in which they are forced to navigate the world, all while training for a fencing competition.
Framed. Bullied. Disliked. But I know I can still be the best.

Read more »>...
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Not So Pure and Simple

By Lamar Giles
Narrated by: Korey Jackson
Length: 11 hours

An Indie Next List Pick!

In his first contemporary teen novel, critically acclaimed author and two-time Edgar Award finalist Lamar Giles spotlights the consequences of societal pressure, confronts toxic masculinity, and explores the complexity of what it means to be a “real man.”

Del has had a crush on Kiera Westing since kindergarten. And now,... Read more »

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I'm Not Dying with You Tonight

By Kimberly Jones & Gilly Segal
Narrated by: Channie Waites & Brittany Pressley
Length: 5 hours 19 minutes

I'm Not Dying with You Tonight

“I loved the dual narration and the way these two young women bond during a very traumatic night, and the way their characters really seem to grow. I've read whole series that showed less character development in 20 some odd books! Segal and Jones are the perfect pair, and I can't remember reading a novel written by two authors that flowed and gelled as much as this one - the chemistry between the writers adds to the chemistry of the story. This is a total binge-read or binge-listen (I recommend both)! ”

Fountain Bookstore image Kate, Fountain Bookstore
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I Don't Want to Die Poor

By Michael Arceneaux
Narrated by: Michael Arceneaux
Length: 7 hours

One of NPR’s Best Books of 2020
One of Time’s 100 Must-Read Books of 2020

From the New York Times bestselling author of I Can’t Date Jesus, which Vogue called “a piece of personal and cultural storytelling that is as fun as it is illuminating,” comes a wry and insightful essay collection that explores the financial and emotional cost of chasing... Read more »
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The Pretty One

On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me

By Keah Brown
Narrated by: Keah Brown
Length: 9 hours 27 minutes

From the disability rights advocate and creator of the #DisabledAndCute viral campaign, a thoughtful, inspiring, and charming collection of essays exploring what it means to be black and disabled in a mostly able-bodied white America.

Keah Brown loves herself, but that hadn’t always been the case. Born with cerebral palsy, her greatest desir Read more »e...
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Black Enough

By Ibi Zoboi, Tracey Baptiste, Coleen Booth, Dhonielle Clayton, Brandy Colbert, Jay Coles, Lamar Giles, Leah Henderson, Justina Ireland, Varian Johnson, Kekla Magoon, Tochi Onyebuchi, Jason Reynolds, Nic Stone, Liara Tamani, Renée Watson & Rita Williams-Garcia
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin & Ron Butler
Length: 11 hours 14 minutes

Edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi, and featuring some of the most acclaimed bestselling Black authors writing for teens today—Black Enough is an essential collection of captivating stories about what it’s like to be young and Black in America. A selection of the Schomburg Center's Black Liberation Reading List.

Black is...sisters... Read more »

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Between the World and Me

By Ta-Nehisi Coates
Narrated by: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Length: 3 hours 35 minutes

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER • NAMED ONE OF TIME’S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE • PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • ONE OF OPRAH’S “BOOKS THAT HELP ME THROUGH” • NOW AN HBO ORIGINAL SPECIAL EVENT
 
Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal... Read more »
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No Ashes in the Fire

Coming of Age Black and Free in America

By Darnell L Moore
Narrated by: Darnell L Moore
Length: 6 hours

From a leading journalist and activist comes a brave, beautifully wrought memoir.

When Darnell Moore was fourteen, three boys from his neighborhood tried to set him on fire. They cornered him while he was walking home from school, harassed him because they thought he was gay, and poured a jug of gasoline on him. He escaped, but just barely. I Read more »t...
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Freedom is a Constant Struggle

Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement

By Angela Y. Davis
Narrated by: Angela Davis & Coleen Marlo
Length: 5 hours 47 minutes

In these newly collected essays, interviews, and speeches, world-renowned activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world.

Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today' Read more »s...
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The Condemnation of Blackness

Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America

By Khalil Gibran Muhammad
Narrated by: Mirron Willis
Length: 12 hours 43 minutes

Lynch mobs, chain gangs, and popular views of black southern criminals that defined the Jim Crow South are well known. We know less about the role of the urban North in shaping views of race and crime in American society.

Following the 1890 census—the first to measure the generation of African Americans born after slavery—crime statistics, ne Read more »w...
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How to Be an Antiracist

By Ibram X. Kendi
Narrated by: Ibram X. Kendi
Length: 10 hours 43 minutes

How to Be an Antiracist

“Among the multi-faceted array of antiracist literature newly published in the last two years, Ibram X. Kendi’s How To Be an Antiracist stands alone as a definitive source of history and socio-political critique, while offering a new paradigm of thought aimed at paving the way for correcting centuries of social injustice. Hearing this visionary and transformative work in Kendi’s own voice will no doubt bring it all straight into your heart, humanizing his ideas, and firmly setting you on your own path to doing the work of becoming an antiracist.”

Oblong Books image Noelle, Oblong Books
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So You Want to Talk about Race

By Ijeoma Oluo
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 7 hours 41 minutes

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 »

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Stamped from the Beginning: A Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

By Ibram X. Kendi
Narrated by: Christopher Dontrell Piper
Length: 18 hours 32 minutes

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 O Read more »F...
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Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

And Other Conversations About Race

By Beverly Daniel Tatum
Narrated by: Beverly Daniel Tatum
Length: 13 hours 27 minutes

The classic, New York Times-bestselling book on the psychology of racism that shows us how to talk about race in America.

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? How can we get past our reluctance t Read more »o...
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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, 10th Anniversary Edition

By Michelle Alexander
Narrated by: Karen Chilton
Length: 16 hours 56 minutes

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 o Read more »f...
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Biased

Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do

By Jennifer L. Eberhardt, PhD
Narrated by: Jennifer L. Eberhardt, PhD
Length: 10 hours 23 minutes

"Poignant....important and illuminating."—The New York Times Book Review

"Groundbreaking."—Bryan Stevenson, New York Times bestselling author of Just Mercy

From one of the world’s leading experts on unconscious racial bias come stories, science, and strategies to address one of the central controversies of our time


How do we talk about bias? How d Read more »o...
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White Fragility

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

By Robin DiAngelo
Narrated by: Amy Landon
Length: 6 hours 20 minutes

The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of whit Read more »e...
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How We Fight For Our Lives

By Saeed Jones
Narrated by: Saeed Jones
Length: 5 hours 34 minutes

How We Fight For Our Lives

“Saeed Jones is supremely talented, so I expected his memoir to be great. I did NOT expect, however, to be left immobile in my chair after reading that final paragraph, processing the beauty of his words and those indelible sentences he’s generous enough to share with us. How We Fight for Our Lives is a moving and intimate portrait of the writer growing up as a young, gay black man and trying to understand the complex realities of his identity. We also gain insight to Jones’ relationship with his mother, a story that left me in pieces by the end. How We Fight for Our Lives is raw, difficult, and truthful, and completely stuffed with love.”

BookPeople image Eugenia Vela, BookPeople
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What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker

A Memoir in Essays

By Damon Young
Narrated by: Damon Young
Length: 8 hours 11 minutes

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker

“Damon Young's collection of autobiographical essays is a pleasure to listen to. As the author reads his own work it contains inflections and an expressiveness that adds to the already strong material. The book is hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measure. It gives a vivid portrait of growing up as a Black man in America with insight into familial dynamics, what it's like to be marginalized by society but also the inner pressures he puts on himself because of the culture that surrounds him. I highly recommend.”

Nancy image Nancy, NYU Bookstore
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Unapologetic

A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Our Movement

By Charlene Carruthers
Narrated by: Charlene Carruthers
Length: 5 hours 49 minutes

This 21st-century activist's guide to upending mainstream ideas about race, class, and gender carves out a path to collective liberation.

Drawing on Black intellectual and grassroots organizing traditions, including the Haitian Revolution, the US civil rights movement, and LGBTQ rights and feminist movements, Unapologetic challenges all of u Read more »s...
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