Required Reading for BHM 2018 #ReadingBlackOut
Woke folks of all kinds, it’s Black History Month. What are you reading? If you’ve passed BHM 101 and your George Washington Carver and Martin Luther King Jr are collecting dust, you’re ready for some fresh listens. Here are our curated collection of audiobooks that will take your woke-ness to the next level. These works look at contributions by Black History makers of the past and present, recognizing them for their experiences, voices and influence on society. Get your ears ready for some #BlackGirlMagic & #BlackExcellence and listen to these:
This New York Times Best Seller collection of autobiographical essays will have you uncontrollably laughing, ugly crying and thoroughly inspired. Brutally honest, complete with expletives and graphic details you can never un-hear, The Last Black Unicorn tells Haddish’s journey from being a Foster Child in South Central Los Angeles to starring in feature film Girls Trip. Haddish narrates her ghetto fabulous rags to riches story as only she could, and even sings an original (likely improvised) song The Last Black Unicorn at the end, making this is a must-listen for everyone.
Who That? Civil rights leader, legendary stand up comic & Author of N***** An Autobiography
Kick off your shoes, lean back and settle in as your hilarious, passionate and unapologetically Black Uncle, Dick Gregory, tells you his first person experience of Black History as he remembers (and perhaps concocts) it. As a friend of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X and Medgar Evers, Gregory had an inside view of the Civil Rights Movement that is unlike any other you’ve ever heard. And while he has the reputation of dabbling in conspiracy theory, his unique perspective is definitely worth pondering and enjoying. Awards: NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work
Brown Girl Dreaming By Jacqueline Woodson
Who that? Young Adult Fiction Writer, Named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by Library of Congress
The Civil Rights Movement has never been as beautifully illustrated as it is in Jacqueline Woodson’s memoir. Written entirely in prose, Woodson meticulously weaves free verse poetry into a comprehensive narrative of her experience growing up during the 1960’s and 70’s. At a time when race relations were changing rapidly, Woodson’s personal account of the era through the pure and honest eyes of a child, makes this is a magical read for listeners of all ages. Awards: John Newberry Honor, National Book Award, NAACP Image Award
Between the World And Me By Ta-Nehisi Coates
Coates narrates this deeply personal, honest and raw letter to his teenage son. Coates’ view of prejudice, racism, and what it means to be a Black man in America today is heavy, but necessary. He warns his son about the history of racial oppression, the current injustices against Black men, in particular, and the future obstacles he must overcome. Awards: 2015 National Book Award, 2016 PEN Award, 2016 NAACP Image Award
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter, Thomas wrote this debut YA Fiction novel to allow young folks to broach the difficult subjects of institutional racism, police brutality and how to use their voice as a weapon against injustice. The story follows 16 year old Starr Carter whose best friend Khalil is shot by a White Police Officer. The aftermath is a girl torn between the very different reactions from her mostly White private school friends and her mostly Black friends from her neighborhood.
Who That? Srsly? Actress (for over 20 years!) known for films like Bring It On, Think Like A Man (1 & 2) and Birth of A Nation
Grab a glass of Rosé and listen to Gabrielle Union tell you stories from her life through this collection of intimately personal essays. Union shocked the world in 2016 when she prefaced her appearance in the film Birth of A Nation by addressing the rape allegations of the film’s writer/director Nate Parker with a #MeToo style Op-Ed in the LA Times. Her bravery then shines through her writing now. This is not your tired, chronological, safe celebrity memoir. Gabrielle (or Nickie as you’ll call her after reading and becoming her BFF) touches on the most private and impactful moments of her life. Her experiences of trauma, triumph, race and fame are all handcrafted into touching, sometimes tear-jerking, always beautiful stories that will leave you thirsty for more.