Thinking of Reading a New Book?

Why I Love Black Women is a much needed balance to the usual negative rhetoric surrounding Black femininity and identity.  His use of Judeo-Christian principles blurred with intellect and sapiosexual language help to drive his points home.  Dr. Dyson pays homage to notable Black women such as Angela Davis, Maxine Waters, Marcia Dyson, Ruth Simmons, Cathy Hughes, Toni Morrison, and many more.  Finally, a book that showcases brilliance and beauty as true entities to portray the essence and, often, struggle of Black women.  This is a must read for anyone that lost faith in Black women, Black men, and Black relationships.

Black men must be careful not to justify our ugly treatment of black women by pointing to our pain. – Dyson

These ideas often contribute to cultural cannibalism.  We turn on each other rather than embrace each other.  This book reinforces my love for Black women.

Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop by Imani Perry is one of the best analysis of Hip Hop to date.  Her rhetoric is supported by analogies and examples from Henry Louis Gates, Jr, Michael Eric Dyson, and Tricia Rose.  She proves that Hip Hop can be implemented into intellectual environments with the same rigor as artistic environments.  Imani Perry is a fantastic and thorough analyst and this book is a must read to those that look to learn from Hip Hop as well as be entertained.

To experience the full possibilities of Blackness, you must break free of the strictures sometimes placed on Blackness from outside the African-American culture and also from within it. Touré

Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness should be required reading for any course on Black existentialism.  From the Forward to the Outtakes, this book is a wake-up call to anyone that has said “Black people don’t do that” or attempted to reduce Blackness using narrow criterion. His rhetoric is backed by notables such as Cornel West, Marc Lamont Hill, Michael E. Dyson, Melissa Harris-Perry, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Malcolm Gladwell.

There are 40 million was to be Black and revokes ideologies that Blackness is measure based on its proximity to the ghetto. “Post-Black” refers to individualized Blackness.


This may well be mankind’s last chance to choose between chaos and community. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

This is one of Dr. King’s least read but most appreciated books.  He explains his opposition to the Black Power movement.  He talks about the harms of separatism and violence as it relates to our agenda in America.  History occurs twice.  Dr. King expounds on his beliefs about the liabilities of history.  This is his last book and is just as important and ground-breaking as any of his speeches and other books.

…illistrates this tragic aspects of American racial prejudice, Negroes have come to believe in their own inferiority.

Systematic racism is more than a myth and directly correlates with the ideals birth in the Black community today. In other words, de jure actions turn into de facto ideologies. The title, Black Power, may seem militant. This book is far from the stereotypical images that are used to describe the Black Power Movement. This book gives insight into how we can come together as a community and incite change. Organization is key for a successful reform. The political powers and influences are changing and the rhetoric in this book gives an eloquent insight into how important it is for us to be involved in politics and pay attention to the powers that govern us. I highly recommend it.

The real test of leadership is to motivate people to be leaders themselves and to carry the burden. – Cory Booker

This novel had it’s ups and downs. Barack Obama isn’t the only one with a racial political breakthrough. The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama chronicles the breakthroughs of political figures such as President Barack Obama, Mayor Adrian Fenty, Mayor Cory Booker, Mayor Michael Nutter, etc. The most important question I found in the story is how can Bill Clinton [jokingly] be credited as the first black president and Barack Obama is questioned as not being “black enough”. Each story, or as Gwen Ifill so eloquently put it, breakthrough, she correlates their breakthrough to the success of Barack Obama.

But possibility requires patience. And so do breakthroughs. – Gwen Ifill

The Power In Words: The Stories Behind Barack Obama’s Speeches, From the State House to the White House by Mary Frances Berry and Josh Gottheimer is a story about persistence, research, honesty, and perseverance. Eighteen speeches are included and analyzed how each speech added or diverged from President Obama’s political campaign. WORDS MATTER. Not only this but the delivery matters. This book is inspirational and expresses the importance of not only addressing your fan base but effectively addressing your naysayers, as well.

Michael Eric Dyson’s Born To Use Mics is a must have to look at Black America through the eyes of Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones’ Illmatic. Dyson collaborates with other notables such as Imani Perry, Common, Marc Anthony Neal, Mark Lamonte Hill, etc. This is not a biographical novel about Nas’ life. If you want that wait for Toure’s autobiography of Nas, tentatively titled It Aint Hard to Tell. This novel tackles issues within the Black community such as masculinity, patriarchy, nihilism, and the destruction of lives and values. This book is extremely one-sided and paints race as a main problem within America (not just Black America). But, if you have read anything else by Michael Eric Dyson, you are used to this rhetoric. The colloquialism and lyrics used to prove points become redundant yet, still worth the read.

We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves. – Malcolm X

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention is Manning Marable’s last book. After reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X As told to Alex Haley and watching Spike Lee’s film, I was deeply intrigued by the history of the Nation of Islam as well as Malcolm X as a religious figure and political leader. It was interesting seeing the similarities and points of contention with all three stories of Malcolm X. This novel traces the path of his parents, siblings, the Nation, FBI, Muslim Mosque, Inc, Malcolm X, and other prominent figures. This is a novel from all sides. Marable wasn’t seeking to paint Malcolm X as a “great man” but showed his flaws and contradictions as it relates to his marriage and the Nation. Also, the reinvention from Detroit Red to Malcolm X is a miraculous one. It will be hard to top this project.

The Covenant With Black America and The Covenant In Action, by Tavis Smiley, are great additions. The former is about the issues within our community and he offers viable solutions. Smiley doesn’t make excuses for us but, teaches accountability. The latter is how we can put this into ACTION. The number one lesson from this book is “hold all leaders and elected official responsible and demand that they change public policy”. It’s time to be proactive and incite change. Don’t just talk the talk but walk the walk. The downfall of these books is the fact that it paints Black America in an unsuccessful picture. It points out the bad but doesn’t accent the good within our community and the things that are progressing.

Debating Race With Michael Eric Dyson tackles race from every possible way. From segregation to integration, From thought to action, from Black identity to White identity, from xenophobia to paranoia, this book is a must have in your library. He talks with some of the most prominent political figures, comedians, and thinkers of our time such as Dr. Cornel West, John Kerry, John McCain, Tavis Smiley, Stephen Colbert, Dave Chappelle, and Jesse Jackson.

This book isn’t one-sided. Issues are presented from both sides and debated with factual rhetoric. There is something to learn about each chapter. He debates the failings of the government towards the African American community, or low socioeconomic neighborhoods. These heated debates are bound to incite a reaction in you, whether it’s anger, sadness, excitement, or guilt.

Challenging the meaning of life is the truest expression of the state of being human. Viktor E. Frankl

Viktor E. Frankl is the father of logotherapy, as well as a Holocaust survivor. He is an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist.

In 1946, Frankl wrote Man’s Search for Meaning. This novel tells a tale of prisoners in concentration campus. Frankl survived four. In the midst of all this darkness, he developed logotheraphy and inspired prisoners to look towards the future. In fact, this is the essence of logotherapy and distinguishes it from other forms of psychotherapy. He explains that even when you are done with life, life may not be through with you. His forms of psychiatry inspires your personal search for meaning and prevents nihilism in it’s extreme form, suicide. It’s a must read whether you are battling unemployment neurosis or domestic violence. The struggle between apathy and emotion isn’t always an easy one and deserves to be taken seriously.

“Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.” Abraham Lincoln

The Conservative Assault on the Constitution was written, in 2010, by Erwin Chemerinsky, a lawyer and University of California, Irvine professor. He shows and explains the constitutional divide between conservatives and liberals. Chemerinsky takes us on a historical journey and reveals how flawed and immoral our judicial system. From California’s 3-strike rule (Life sentence for shoplifting) to the Bush Administration (torturing prisoners and disregarding the Constitution in the name of Homeland Security).

The first chapter, Separate and Unequal Schools, shows the prejudices of living in low socioeconomic neighborhoods and school districts. I’m glad he tackled race as a key element in this chapter and uncovers how little the Constitution truly protects us from injustice.

Conservatives claim that they are following a method of judicial decision making that is neutral, while liberals are imposing their personal preferences in constitutional preferences. Erwin Chemerinsky


2 responses to “Thinking of Reading a New Book?

  1. Pingback: Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos or Community « My Double Consciousness

  2. Really nice design and great articles , nothing else we want : D.

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