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Black History Month Reading List

A recommended reading list from the KSHB 41 Action News Staff

Playlist Tags: Bliss Books and Wine genre: African American Voices season: black history month topic: african-american literature african american authors

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Bearing the Cross

Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

By David J. Garrow
Narrated by: Jeff Riggenbach
Length: 34 hours 22 minutes

Winner of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Biography and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, this is the most comprehensive book ever written about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. David J. Garrow had unrestricted access to Martin Luther King’s personal papers, to thousands of pages of newly released FBI documents, and to more than seven hundred... 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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Beloved

By Toni Morrison
Narrated by: Toni Morrison
Length: 12 hours 2 minutes

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 »

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The Bluest Eye

By Toni Morrison
Narrated by: Toni Morrison
Length: 7 hours 5 minutes

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 »

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Citizen

An American Lyric

By Claudia Rankine
Narrated by: Allyson Johnson
Length: 1 hours 37 minutes

Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the... Read more »

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The Fire Next Time

By James Baldwin
Narrated by: Jesse Martin
Length: 2 hours 25 minutes

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 »

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The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 11 hours 40 minutes

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.”

Tattered Cover image Kristen, Tattered Cover
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Homegoing

A novel

By Yaa Gyasi
Narrated by: Dominic Hoffman
Length: 13 hours 10 minutes

Homegoing

“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.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Nichole McCown, Bookshop Santa Cruz
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Social Purpose Annual Report

Social Purpose Annual Report

As we look to the future as a Social Purpose Corporation, we’re committed to serving readers and independent bookstores. Read our 2020 Annual Report to see an overview of the year.

Read the Report

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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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

By Maya Angelou
Narrated by: Maya Angelou
Length: 10 hours 10 minutes

Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide. Her life story is told in the documentary film And Still I Rise, as seen on PBS’s American Masters.

Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute... Read more »

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I'm Still Here

Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness

By Austin Channing Brown
Narrated by: Austin Channing Brown
Length: 3 hours 54 minutes

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • REESE’S BOOK CLUB X HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK PICK • From a leading voice on racial justice, an eye-opening account of growing up Black, Christian, and female that exposes how white America’s love affair with “diversity” so often falls short of its ideals.
 
“Austin Channing Brown introduces herself as a master memoirist.... Read more »

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I'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying

Essays

By Bassey Ikpi
Narrated by: Bassey Ikpi
Length: 7 hours 11 minutes

2020 Audie Finalist – Short Stories/Collections

In I’m Telling the Truth, but I’m Lying Bassey Ikpi explores her life—as a Nigerian-American immigrant, a black woman, a slam poet, a mother, a daughter, an artist—through the lens of her mental health and diagnosis of bipolar II and anxiety. Her remarkable memoir in essays implodes our... Read more »

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If Beale Street Could Talk

A Novel

By James Baldwin
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 7 hours 7 minutes

In this honest and stunning novel, James Baldwin has given America a moving story of love in the face of injustice. Told through the eyes of Tish, a nineteen-year-old girl in love with Fonny, a young sculptor who is the father of her child, Baldwin’s story mixes the sweet and the sad.Tish and Fonny have pledged to get married, but Fonny is... Read more »

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Jump

Take the Leap of Faith to Achieve Your Life of Abundance

By Steve Harvey
Narrated by: Mike Hodge
Length: 4 hours 23 minutes

#1 New York Times bestselling author Steve Harvey helps you engage the Divine Spirit within you to find your life’s desire and use your own imagination to make your life’s vision a reality.

At the beginning of each broadcast of his morning radio show, Steve Harvey offers his millions of listeners a few moments of spiritual advice to inspire and... Read more »

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The Measure of a Man

By Sidney Poitier
Narrated by: Sidney Poitier
Length: 7 hours 59 minutes

In this luminous memoir, a true American icon looks back on his celebrated life and career.  His body of work is arguable the most morally significant in cinematic history, and the power and influence of that work are indicative of the character of the man behind the many storied roles.  Here, Sidney Poitier explores these elements of character... Read more »

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A More Beautiful and Terrible History

The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History

By Jeanne Theoharis
Narrated by: Kim Staunton
Length: 11 hours 17 minutes

Praised by The New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; Bitch Magazine; Slate; Publishers Weekly; and more, this is “a bracing corrective to a national mythology” (New York Times) around the civil rights movement.

The civil rights movement has become national legend, lauded by presidents from Reagan to Obama to Trump, as proof of the power of... Read more »

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The Office of Historical Corrections

A Novella and Stories

By Danielle Evans
Narrated by: Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Nicole Lewis, Brittany Pressley, Shayna Small, January LaVoy, Adenrele Ojo & Janina Edwards
Length: 7 hours 13 minutes

The Office of Historical Corrections

“I have been holding my breath for Danielle Evans’ next book of short stories since Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, and The Office of Historical Corrections was worth the wait. She delivers the same great storytelling, insight, and sharp cultural commentary. Her touch on themes usually associated with older people, such as redemption, reconciliation, and propitiation, moved me. I read the whole collection in two days.”

Loganberry Books image Miesha Headen, Loganberry Books
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Parting the Waters

America in the King Years 1954-63

By Taylor Branch
Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi & Janina Edwards
Length: 45 hours 10 minutes

In Parting the Waters, the first volume of his essential America in the King Years series, Pulitzer Prize winner Taylor Branch gives a “compelling…masterfully told” (The Wall Street Journal) account of Martin Luther King’s early years and rise to greatness.

Hailed as the most masterful story ever told of the American civil rights movement,... Read more »

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Sag Harbor

A Novel

By Colson Whitehead
Narrated by: Mirron Willis
Length: 11 hours 17 minutes

The warm, funny, and supremely original new novel from one of the most acclaimed writers in America

The year is 1985. Benji Cooper is one of the only black students at an elite prep school in Manhattan. He spends his falls and winters going to roller-disco bar mitzvahs, playing too much Dungeons and Dragons, and trying to catch glimpses of... 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 OF... Read more »

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