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Amplify Black Authors

Books to read during Black History Month and Beyond

Playlist Tags: Sscarlet's Web genre: Non-Classifiable season: black history month black authors black books blackbooksmatter

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Four Hundred Souls

A Community History of African America, 1619-2019

By Ibram X. Kendi & Keisha N. Blain
Narrated by: Various
Length: 14 hours 1 minutes

Four Hundred Souls

“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.”

Quail Ridge Books image Tia, Quail Ridge Books
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The Devil You Know

A Black Power Manifesto

By Charles M. Blow
Narrated by: JD Jackson
Length: 6 hours 8 minutes

From journalist and New York Times bestselling author Charles Blow comes a powerful manifesto and call to action for Black Americans to amass political power and fight white supremacy.

Race, as we have come to understand it, is a fiction; but, racism, as we have come to live it, is a fact. The point here is not to impose a new racial hierarchy,... Read more »

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Black Magic

What Black Leaders Learned from Trauma and Triumph

By Chad Sanders, Janina Edwards, Sydney Morton, Leon Nixon & Landon Woodson
Narrated by: Chad Sanders
Length: 7 hours 41 minutes

A powerful exploration of Black achievement in a white world based on honest, provocative, and moving interviews with Black leaders, scientists, artists, activists, and champions.

“I remember the day I realized I couldn’t play a white guy as well as a white guy. It felt like a death sentence for my career.”

When Chad Sanders landed his first job... Read more »

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How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House

A Novel

By Cherie Jones
Narrated by: Danielle Vitalis
Length: 8 hours 41 minutes

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House

“Lala wants more. More than her grandmother’s small house and strict admonishments. More than a hand on her head for her birthday. And certainly more than her grandmother’s tale about the one-armed sister, a tale of what happens to disobedient girls who venture where they shouldn’t. But mostly Lala wants her loving and protective mother who sang her name to her and who was murdered in her home while a very young Lala stood outside. Lala’s story becomes intertwined with the stories of Mira Whalen, the wealthy woman whose husband is murdered; Tone, the surfer gigolo; and her criminal husband Adan. They are stories of poverty, sexual abuse, loss, and pain. As their stories converge, there are harsh revelations for both the characters and the reader, and continuous suspense. This novel of poverty and survival, beautifully narrated, drew me in and often left me horrified at the actions and abuses of its characters. The suspense ebbs and flows but is ever-present, leading to a very effective open-ended conclusion.”

Raven Book Store image Nancy, Raven Book Store
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Black Buck

By Mateo Askaripour
Narrated by: Zeno Robinson
Length: 11 hours 12 minutes

Black Buck

“Perhaps I have a different perspective on this book because I have a younger brother who is a Black, 20-something man in sales, but this book presents an evocative, honest, complex portrait of being a BIPOC person in a white-dominant workplace (albeit one that is high-powered, sales-driven, and New York City-based). This is a book that allows a reader to be seen if this is their experience, but also for a reader to learn about a different reality if this is not their own. Black Buck is a tightly woven, contemporary debut from an author to watch.”

River Dog Book Co. image BrocheAroe Fabian, River Dog Book Co.
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Muted (Digital Audio Download Edition)

By Tami Charles
Narrated by: Tami Charles
Length: 5 hours 42 minutes

A ripped-from-the-headlines novel of ambition, music, and innocence lost, perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo and Jason Reynolds!

Be bold. Get seen. Be Heard.

For seventeen-year-old Denver, music is everything. Writing, performing, and her ultimate goal: escaping her very small, very white hometown.

So Denver is more than ready on the day she and... Read more »

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Happily Ever Afters

By Elise Bryant
Narrated by: Jordan Cobb
Length: 10 hours 18 minutes

Jane the Virgin meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in this charming debut romantic comedy filled with Black Girl Magic. Perfect for fans of Mary H. K. Choi and Nicola Yoon, with crossover appeal for readers of Jasmine Guillory and Talia Hibbert romances.

Sixteen-year-old Tessa Johnson has never felt like the protagonist in her own life.... Read more »

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The Three Mothers

How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation

By Anna Malaika Tubbs
Narrated by: Anna Malaika Tubbs
Length: 6 hours 51 minutes

This program is read by the author.

Much has been written about Berdis Baldwin's son James, about Alberta King's son Martin Luther, and Louise Little's son Malcolm. But virtually nothing has been said about the extraordinary women who raised them.

In her groundbreaking and essential debut The Three Mothers, scholar Anna Malaika Tubbs celebrates...
Read more »

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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

Chlorine Sky

By Mahogany L. Browne
Narrated by: Mahogany L. Browne
Length: 2 hours 4 minutes

A novel-in-verse about a young girl coming-of-age and stepping out of the shadow of her former best friend. Perfect for readers of Elizabeth Acevedo and Nikki Grimes.

"Mahogany L. Browne's debut YA ia an absolute masterpiece. It will leave you breathless." -Elizabeth Acevedo, New York Times bestselling author of The Poet X 

She looks me hard in my... Read more »

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The Rib King

A Novel

By Ladee Hubbard
Narrated by: Korey Jackson & Adenrele Ojo
Length: 10 hours 8 minutes

“Ladee Hubbard’s voice is a welcome original.” —Mary Gaitskill

Upstairs, Downstairs meets Parasite: The acclaimed author of The Talented Ribkins deconstructs painful African American stereotypes and offers a fresh and searing critique on race, class, privilege, ambition, exploitation, and the seeds of rage in America in this intricately woven and... Read more »

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A Promised Land

By Barack Obama
Narrated by: Barack Obama
Length: 29 hours 9 minutes

A Promised Land

“No one really needs my blurb to help sell this book, but I wanted to give it anyway, especially for the audiobook, narrated by Barack Obama himself. If you want to know his incredible knowledge and wisdom that guided him through major decisions, and also hear him drop a few F-bombs, you need to listen to this fantastically written book. ”

Quail Ridge Books image Amber, Quail Ridge Books
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We Still Here

Pandemic, Policing, Protest, and Possibility

By Marc Lamont Hill, Frank Barat & Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Narrated by: Marc Lamont Hill & Jacques Morel
Length: 2 hours 53 minutes

In the midst of loss and death and suffering, our charge is to figure out what freedom really means—and how we take steps to get there.

“In the United States, being poor and Black makes you more likely to get sick. Being poor, Black, and sick makes you more likely to die. Your proximity to death makes you disposable.”

The uprising of 2020 marked... Read more »

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A Black Women's History of the United States

REVISIONING HISTORY: Book #5

By Daina Ramey Berry & Kali Nicole Gross
Narrated by: Janina Edwards
Length: 10 hours 2 minutes

2021 NAACP Image Award Nominee: Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction

A vibrant and empowering history that emphasizes the perspectives and stories of African American women to show how they are—and have always been—instrumental in shaping our country

In centering Black women’s stories, two award-winning historians seek both to empower African... Read more »

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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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Stride Toward Freedom

The Montgomery Story
King Legacy: Book #1

By Martin Luther King, Jr
Narrated by: JD Jackson
Length: 8 hours 59 minutes

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s account of the first successful large-scale application of nonviolent resistance in America is comprehensive, revelatory, and intimate. King described his book as "the chronicle of 50,000 Negroes who took to heart the principles of nonviolence, who learned to fight for their rights with the weapon of love, and who,... Read more »

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Where Do We Go From Here

Chaos or Community?

By Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King & Vincent Harding
Narrated by: JD Jackson
Length: 8 hours 37 minutes

The last book written by King his final reflections after a decade of civil rights struggles

In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., isolated himself from the demands of the civil rights movement, rented a house in Jamaica with no telephone, and labored over his final manuscript. In this significantly prophetic work, which has been unavailable for... Read more »

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Love and Rage

The Path of Liberation through Anger

By Lama Rod Owens
Narrated by: Lama Rod Owens
Length: 9 hours

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 »

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Such a Fun Age

By Kiley Reid
Narrated by: Nicole Lewis
Length: 9 hours 58 minutes

Such a Fun Age

“What a beautifully rich and nuanced book! Emira, a mid-twenties educated but slightly driftless woman is working 2 part time jobs still trying to find her passion. She find joy in her part time babysitting job, finding her three year old charge a delightfully odd little person who keeps her interested. But things turn complicated when she is asked to take her charge to the local grocery store late at night and is accosted by the store security guard and a "well meaning" patron. Accused of kidnapping and unable to leave Emira holds her dignity and stands up for herself as another patron films the incident. Emira wants nothing more than to put the incident behind her but those closest to her have other ideas of what is best for her. This novel packs an emotional punch, making us question our own motives and wondering if we really have our loved ones best interests at heart. A perfect book group pick for those who like to focus on character driven stories.”

Books & Company image Genavieve, Books & Company
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My Vanishing Country

A Memoir

By Bakari Sellers
Narrated by: Bakari Sellers
Length: 5 hours 9 minutes

What J. D. Vance did for Appalachia with Hillbilly Elegy, CNN analyst  and one of the youngest state representatives in South Carolina history Bakari Sellers does for the rural South, in this important book that illuminates the lives of America’s forgotten black working-class men and women.

Part memoir, part historical and cultural analysis, My... Read more »

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Girl Gurl Grrrl

On Womanhood and Belonging in the Age of Black Girl Magic

By Kenya Hunt
Narrated by: Kenya Hunt, Ebele Okobi, Jessica Horn, Funmi Fetto & Amanda Bright
Length: 5 hours 39 minutes

“One of the year’s must-reads.” –ELLE

“[A] provocative, heart-breaking, and frequently hilarious collection.” –GLAMOUR

“Essential, vital, and urgent.” –HARPER’S BAZAAR

In the vein of Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist and Issa Rae’s The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, but wholly its own, a provocative, humorous, and, at times, heartbreaking collection... Read more »

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