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Black Stories Matter

Black Stories Matter

"We are going back to that beautiful history and it is going to inspire us to greater achievements."
- Carter G. Woodson.

When Woodson first addressed an audience of Hampton Institute students with the signature phrase above, he was envisioning a movement far beyond building on the backs of tradition. The civil rights activist's ambitions subverted the up-and-coming "Negro Week" celebrations that would soon overwhelmingly popularize progressive high schools and extend into a concept of regeneration via revitalized history. Woodson's notion of black excellence was rooted in the plebeian- that is, he believed that history was made by the people, not simply by great men. In turn, he believed that the black community should focus on the countless black figures- past and present- who had contributed to the advancement of human civilization. At Buffalo Street Books, we share in Mr. Woodson's ideal and aim to help broaden narratives and perspectives via literary celebration. In this playlist, you will find a selection of hand-picked multi-genre highlights of black excellence to illuminate the past and inspire the present as we look toward the future.

Playlist Tags: Buffalo Street Books black books matter black history month

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How the Word Is Passed

A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America

By Clint Smith
Narrated by: Clint Smith
Length: 10 hours 6 minutes

If you enjoyed Long Time Coming, then you’ll love How the Word Is Passed.

“From plantation to Angola Prison. From Blandford Cemetery in Petersburg, VA to the African Burial Ground in New York City. From Île de Gorée to Whitney Plantation. From the Emancipation Proclamation to Juneteenth. Clint Smith takes us on an unforgettable journey through the history of slavery in the United States, revealing many truths we’ve never been told. Using lyrical prose, he creates a mesmerizing history lesson told through his personal lens. The facts are punctuated by his reactions to the spaces he visits and the stories he hears in each space. Hard truths told in beautiful language make this a book both highly informative and extremely accessible. Every American should listen to or read it; most of us have a great deal to learn and unlearn. And Smith’s poetic prose and personal voice keep it from feeling like the invaluable sociology and history lesson it is. Definitely one of the best books of the year.”

Raven Book Store image Nancy, Raven Book Store
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A Little Devil in America

Notes in Praise of Black Performance

By Hanif Abdurraqib
Narrated by: JD Jackson
Length: 9 hours 38 minutes

A Little Devil in America

“I loved Hanif Abdurraqib’s A Little Devil in America. This essential book explores a handful of Black performers—some world-famous, others everyday people—across a wide variety of disciplines, seamlessly woven into snippets and stories from Hanif’s own life about Black culture and the performance of Blackness. JD Jackson’s low and easy narration is the perfect complement. Hanif’s commentary on tenderness and rage is especially moving.”

Raven Book Store image Mary, Raven Book Store
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The ABCs of Black History

By Rio Cortez
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 55 minutes

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“In rhyming couplets, Cortez leads readers on a journey through Black life that acknowledges pain and struggle while building confidence with examples of triumph. It’s a tricky maneuver when writing for children, but Cortez pulls it off.” – The New York Times

"A uniquely crafted ABC book that portrays some of the most...

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The 1619 Project: Born on the Water

By Nikole Hannah-Jones & Renée Watson
Narrated by: Nikole Hannah-Jones
Length: 23 minutes

The 1619 Project’s lyrical picture book in verse, adapted for audio, chronicles the consequences of slavery and the history of Black resistance in the United States, thoughtfully rendered by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and Newbery honor-winning author Renée Watson.


A young student receives a family tree assignment in... Read more »

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The 1619 Project

A New Origin Story

By Caitlin Roper, Ilena Silverman & Jake Silverstein
Narrated by: Nikole Hannah-Jones & Full Cast
Length: 18 hours 56 minutes

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A dramatic expansion of a groundbreaking work of journalism, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story offers a profoundly revealing vision of the American past and present.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • NPR • Marie Claire
 
In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the British colony of... Read more »

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Creative Quest

By Questlove
Narrated by: Questlove, Fred Armisen, Tariq Trotter, Dion Flynn, Robin Thede & Norm MacDonald
Length: 8 hours 44 minutes

GRAMMY NOMINEE

This unique, boundary pushing audiobook features original music by Questlove and members of The Roots with vocal guest appearances from Fred Armisen, Tariq Trotter, Dion Flynn, Robin Thede, "Suga" Steve Mandel, Norm MacDonald, Ludo Lefebvre, and Molly Kelly.

Questlove - musician, bandleader, designer, producer, culinary...

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Looking for Lorraine

The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry

By Imani Perry
Narrated by: LisaGay Hamilton
Length: 8 hours 26 minutes

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...
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Kindred

By Octavia E. Butler
Narrated by: Kim Staunton
Length: 10 hours 54 minutes

The first science fiction written by a Black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of Black American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity. Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably... Read more »

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Notes of a Native Son

By James Baldwin
Narrated by: Ron Butler
Length: 5 hours 3 minutes

At last, a new audio edition of the book many have called James Baldwin's most influential work!

Written during the 1940s and early 1950s, when Baldwin was only in his twenties, the essays collected in Notes of a Native Son capture a view of black life and black thought at the dawn of the civil rights movement and as the movement slowly gained...

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Black Girls Rock!

Owning Our Magic. Rocking Our Truth.

By Beverly Bond
Narrated by: Beverly Bond
Length: 7 hours 34 minutes

From the award-winning entrepreneur, culture leader, and creator of the BLACK GIRLS ROCK! movement comes an inspiring and beautifully designed book that pays tribute to the achievements and contributions of black women around the world.

Fueled by the insights of women of diverse backgrounds, including Michelle Obama, Angela Davis, Shonda Rhimes,... Read more »

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Sister Outsider

Essays and Speeches
Crossing Press Feminist: Book #1

By Audre Lorde
Narrated by: Robin Eller
Length: 7 hours 31 minutes

Presenting the essential writings of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider celebrates an influential voice in twentieth-century literature. In this charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action... Read more »

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Blues People

Negro Music in White America

By LeRoi Jones
Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi
Length: 8 hours 54 minutes

“The path the slave took to ‘citizenship’ is what I want to look at. And I make my analogy through the slave citizen’s music—through the music that is most closely associated with him: blues and a later, but parallel, development, jazz…[If] the Negro represents, or is symbolic of, something in and about the nature of American culture, this...

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How Long 'til Black Future Month?

Stories

By N. K. Jemisin
Narrated by: Shayna Small, Gail Nelson-Holgate, Robin Eller & Ron Butler
Length: 14 hours 10 minutes

Three-time Hugo Award winner and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin challenges and delights readers with thought-provoking narratives of destruction, rebirth, and redemption that sharply examine modern society in her first collection of short fiction, which includes never-before-seen stories.

"Marvelous and wide-ranging." -- Los Angeles... Read more »

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