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L. Mack's Juneteenth Reading List

Suggested readings by notable African-American authors that inspire, uplift and guide us as we celebrate the emancipation of slaves in America (from Author LeAndrea Mack)

Playlist Tags: Bliss Books and Wine genre: African American Voices topic: juneteenth topic: african-american literature juneteenth-featured

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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 »

Audiobook details

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
Audiobook details

Juneteenth

A Novel

By Ralph Ellison
Narrated by: Joe Morton
Length: 14 hours 6 minutes

From the author of bestselling Invisible Man—the classic novel of African-American experience—this long-awaited second novel tells an evocative tale of a prodigal of the twentieth century. Brilliantly crafted, moving, and wise, Juneteenth is the work of an American master.

"Tell me what happened while there's still time," demands the dyin Read more »g...
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Negroland

A Memoir

By Margo Jefferson
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 7 hours 59 minutes

At once incendiary and icy, mischievous and provocative, celebratory and elegiac-here is a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, and American culture through the prism of Margo Jefferson's rarefied upbringing and education among a black elite concerned with distancing itself from whites and the black generality while tirelessly measuring itsel Read more »f...
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On the Other Side of Freedom

The Case for Hope

By DeRay Mckesson
Narrated by: DeRay Mckesson
Length: 3 hours 43 minutes

"On the Other Side of Freedom reveals the mind and motivations of a young man who has risen to the fore of millennial activism through study, discipline, and conviction. His belief in a world that can be made better, one act at a time, powers his narratives and opens up a view on the costs, consequences, and rewards of leading a... Read more »
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Stony the Road

Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow

By Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Narrated by: Dominic Hoffman
Length: 9 hours 10 minutes

A profound new rendering of the struggle by African-Americans for equality after the Civil War and the violent counter-revolution that resubjugated them, as seen through the prism of the war of images and ideas that have left an enduring racist stain on the American mind.

The abolition of slavery in the aftermath of the Civil War is a familia Read more »r...
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There Will Be No Miracles Here

A Memoir

By Casey Gerald
Narrated by: Casey Gerald
Length: 13 hours 32 minutes

There Will Be No Miracles Here

“Gerald's THERE WILL BE NO MIRACLES HERE might very well--and rightfully so--come to be considered one of the great memoirs of an African-American experience in America. In this memoir, Gerald recounts his childhood and life, beginning with early years in Dallas, rife with family drama, religious questioning, grappling with sexuality--to a football career at Yale. In his meditative, lyrical, and ruminative tone Gerald questions American identity, myth, and success. His conversational and conspiratorial style is undergirded by a quite proficient, experimental, and stylish set of literary techniques.”

Books Are Magic image Margaret Grace Myers, Books Are Magic
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The Underground Railroad (Television Tie-in)

A Novel

By Colson Whitehead
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 10 hours 43 minutes

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, the #1 New York Times bestseller from Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. Now an original Amazon Prime Video series directed by Barry Jenkins.

Cora is a slave on a cotto Read more »n...
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Washington Black

A novel

By Esi Edugyan
Narrated by: Dion Graham
Length: 12 hours 18 minutes

Washington Black

“Epic in scope, ranging from a brutal slave plantation in Barbados to scenes in the Arctic, antebellum America, and London, plus a thoughtful denouement in the Moroccan desert, Edugyan’s novel explores the complex relationship between slave and master, the hubris of good intentions, and the tense life of a runaway in constant flight with a Javert on his tail. What results is a compulsive page-turner blessed with effortless prose. Highly recommended.”

Matthew Lage image Matthew Lage, Iowa Book
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The Warmth of Other Suns

The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

By Isabel Wilkerson
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 22 hours 40 minutes

The Warmth of Other Suns

“I'm sorry I hadn't gotten to this sooner. Wilkerson pulls together so much of what I already knew about the US but not necessarily why... a great audiobook, too.”

Flyleaf Books image Jamie, Flyleaf Books
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