Black Coffee Poet’s Book Recommendations For Black History Month 2014
By Jorge Antonio Vallejos
I remember growing up and listening to my Black friends (my first crew comprised of 5 Caribbean boys and I) make correct claims that our school system never taught books written by Black writers. And they would point out the one green page that was used to teach Black history to students.
I hope things have changed.
Below is a list of books I have enjoyed and recommend. In the photo to the left I am holding a collection of poems by Audre Lorde (1934-1992) who was seminal to women of colour and queer women writers being published, read, and heard. Yesterday was Lorde’s birthday; Lorde is not physically with us anymore; I hold and list her book in honour of the historical and groundbreaking work she did.
All the books listed are great. The list includes writers of different genders; straight and queer writers; writers from North America, the Caribbean, and the continent of Africa.
The book on this list that has impacted me the most is The Will To Change: Men, Masculinity and Change by bell hooks. It’s a must for all men to read! I read, underlined, re-read, journaled, and talked about this book after reading it. And I will re-read it again and again. I have changed and learned and will continue to change and learn, and as is life, I have messed up and will always mess up but I will learn from mess ups, question myself, and change and…
Read, SHARE, Tweet, and enjoy the books on this list!
There are many pages here, none of them green, and all of them worth your time. Enjoy…
The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde by Audre Lorde
rivers…and other blackness..between us by d’bi.young.anitafrika
Mixology by Adrian Matejka
My Best Friend Is White by Klyde Broox
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Another Country by James Baldwin
Skinfolk by Nalo Hopkinson
Memoir and Essay
Affirmative Acts by June Jordan
One Day I Will Write About This Place by Binyavanga Wainana
Brother I’m Dying by Edwidge Danticat
Silenced by Makeda Silvera
The Will To Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love by bell hooks
Far From Over: The Music and Life of Drake by Dalton Higgins
Do you appreciate the work I do? Do you have a book you’d like me to read? Consider treating me to a coffee, donating to my site, and sending me a book! Click here to find out how.
Love your choices – some I haven’t looked at for a while and will revisit. Have you seen The Great Black North: Contemporary African Canadian Poetry? You would have received a copy a year ago. There is a site available with info on the 90 contributors at http://blackcanadianpoetry.com/
Thanks for commenting.
I did not know of the collection! Sound good! Have you read it?
Please SHARE and Tweet my list 🙂
And watch my video blog about the list:
Peace, Prayers, Poetry,
Jorge Antonio Vallejos
Black Coffee Poet
What a gorgeous edition of Lorde’s poems; I didn’t realize there was a complete collection available. How wonderful.
Terrific list, too. Particularly like the variety of forms and voices.