My resolution for 2020 is to read more books by women of color. So when I saw the 52 Weeks of Women of Color challenge on the Mocha Girls Read Facebook page I was thrilled that there would be so many others that would be joining me on this journey.
As you can see there are many tantalizing titles here. Indeed, I have added many to my TBR. Despite my love of books I cannot afford to buy all of these titles. I also realize that the wait times at my library will be lengthy. So here is a list of backlist non-fiction titles that I found intriguing and hopefully you will too.
MICHELLE ALEXANDER, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Why Read It? The New Jim Crow is a well researched and detailed accounting of how drug laws are used to not only lock up black and brown men, but used as a means of social and political control long after they have been released.
GLORY EDIM, Well Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves
Why Read It? Well Read Black Girl is a sublime essay collection that asks black women writers when did they first see themselves reflected in literature and what inspired them to write their own stories.
ROXANE GAY, Hunger: A Memoir of My Body
Why Read It? Hunger is a candid discussion on the author’s personal relationship with food. In vulnerable fashion Gay speaks about emotional trauma, body image and how the hungers of our soul feed into how we love and care for ourselves.
GABRIELLA GUTIERREZ y MUHS, Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia
Why Read It? Presumed Incompetent argues that the challenges professional women of color face are unique. Typically they are the only ones, perhaps even the first, in their department or institution. This book serves as a guide to “navigate the hostile terrain of higher education”.
ZORA NEALE HURSTON, Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo”
Why Read It? Barracoon is one the few reports of the middle passage and enslavement told from the perspective of the captured. It is the only full account of the last African slave ship to arrive in the United States.
PATRISSE KHAN-CULLORS, When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir
Why Read It? In When They Call You a Terrorist activist Patrisse Khan-Cullors talks about the racial persecution that her family has endured and her motivation to become a community organizer. Black Lives Matter is not a terrorist movement but a call for action in the face of injustice.
AUDRE LORDE, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches
Why Read It? Sister Outsider is a groundbreaking work that focuses on the multiplicity of identity. In Lorde’s case she identified as Black, female, queer, poet, activist . . . She argues that instead of using these different identities to oppress one another we should be using them to foster positive change within our society.
CARMEN MARIA MACHADO, In the Dream House
Why Read It? In the Dream House is a poetic and insightful memoir of a toxic relationship. Machado delves not only into why victims stay, but also challenges society’s view about female abusers.
CHANEL MILLER, Know My Name: A Memoir
Why Read It? Know My Name is a provocative memoir that recounts the aftermath of a high profile sexual assault. Know My Name unflinchingly tells the horror of repeatedly being victimized throughout the criminal justice system and Miller’s journey from victim to survivor.
CHERRIE MORAGA, This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color
Why Read It? This Bridge Called My Back is a seminal text in feminist studies. An anthology of Essays, art, poems, letters and interviews that challenges the singularity of white feminism. One of the earliest works to deal with the intersectionality of race, gender and sexuality.
SIMONE SCHWARTZ-BART, In Praise of Black Women; Volumes 1-3
Why Read It? In Praise of Black Women is an illustrated treasury of visionary leaders and unsung sheroes of the African diaspora from ancient times through the present.
ISABELWILKERSON, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration
Why Read It? The Warmth of Other Suns is the first book to talk about this critical period in America’s history where millions of African Americans fled the abuses of the Jim Crow South in hopes for a better future.