Memoir

How we fight for our lives : a memoir book cover

How we fight for our lives : a memoir

Saeed Jones

BIOGRAPHY Jones, Saeed
Black Lives Matter, Memoir, Nonfiction, LGBTQ+

Haunted and haunting, Jones's memoir tells the story of a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears. Through a series of vignettes that chart a course across the American landscape, Jones draws readers into his boyhood and adolescence--into tumultuous relationships with his mother and grandmother, into passing flings with lovers, friends and strangers. Each piece builds into a larger examination of race and queerness, power and vulnerability, love and grief: a portrait of what we all do for one another--and to one another--as we fight to become ourselves.

Melody's picture

Added by Melody

My vanishing country : a memoir book cover

My vanishing country : a memoir

Bakari Sellers

BIOGRAPHY Sellers, Bakari
Black Lives Matter, Nonfiction, Memoir, Political

"An eye-opening odyssey through the South's past, present, and future that is a moving and gripping tribute to America's forgotten rural working-class black folks. The small town of Denmark was once a thriving hub of South Carolina's idyllic Low Country. Yet today, this majority African-American town with a population of 3,500 is emblematic of the "Forgotten South" -- small communities of color stretching from Appalachia to the Sunbelt. For CNN political analyst Bakari Sellers, Denmark is "home" -- the land on which his forefathers toiled to build lives of meaning and substance, despite systemic racism and Jim Crow laws. In My Vanishing Country, he illuminates the pride and pain that continue to fertilize the soil of one of the poorest states in the nation and the forces threatening rural working-class black life. As he eloquently and powerfully argues, places like Denmark are worth saving; its people -- and their hopes and dreams -- matter because they are an indelible part of America. Since the 2016 election, politicians and the media have focused on the struggles of the white working class while consistently overlooking the residents of Denmark. In this atmospheric, rich, and poetic book, Sellers shines a light on life in today's rural South, where Americans still struggle for the basics of modern life: internet access, groceries, medical care, and clean water. Part memoir, part historical and cultural analysis, My Vanishing Country is a compelling read that captures the remarkable spirit and resilience of one small town and makes visible other "forgotten" communities. My Vanishing Country charts Seller's extraordinary journey -- from growing up the son of civil rights icon Cleveland Sellers to building on his father's achievements as the youngest person to serve in the South Carolina legislature, to his work today at CNN, and to his life as the father of twins he hopes will embrace the Sellers family name and carry on its legacy." --

Melody's picture

Added by Melody

The skin we're in : a year of black resistance and power book cover

The skin we're in : a year of black resistance and power

Desmond Cole

eBOOK
Black Lives Matter, Nonfiction, Memoir, Political

protest, Cole, a columnist with the Toronto Star, was summoned to a meeting with the paper's opinions editor and was informed that his activism violated company policy. Rather than limit his efforts defending Black lives, Cole chose to sever his relationship with the publication. Then in July, at another TPS meeting, Cole challenged the board publicly, addressing rumours of a police cover-up of the brutal beating of Dafonte Miller by an off-duty police officer and his brother. When Cole refused to leave the meeting until the question was publicly addressed, he was arrested. The image of Cole walking, handcuffed and flanked by officers, out of the meeting fortified the distrust between the city's Black community and its police force. In a month-by-month chronicle, Cole locates the deep cultural, historical and political roots of each event so that what emerges is a personal, painful and comprehensive picture of entrenched, systemic inequality. Urgent, controversial and unsparingly honest, The Skin We're In is destined to become a vital text for anti-racist and social justice movements in Canada, as well as a potent antidote to the all-too-present complacency of many white Canadians."--

Melody's picture

Added by Melody

When they call you a terrorist : a Black Lives Matter memoir book cover

When they call you a terrorist : a Black Lives Matter memoir

Patrisse Khan-Cullors

305.896 /Khan-Cullors
Black Lives Matter, Memoir, Political

"A poetic and powerful memoir about what it means to be a Black woman in America--and the founding of a movement that demands restorative justice for all in the land at the tree Raised by a single mother in an impoverished neighborhood In Los Angeles, Patrisse KhanCullors experienced firsthand the prejudice and persecution Black Americans endure at the hands of law enforcement. For Patrisse, the most vulnerable people in the country are Black people. Deliberately and ruthlessly targeted by a criminal justice system serving a white privilege agenda, Black people are subjected to unjustifiable racial profiling and police brutality. In 2013, when Trayvon Martin's killer went free, Patrisse's outrage led her to co-found Black Lives Matter with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi. Condemned as terrorists and as a threat to America, these loving women founded a hashtag that birthed the movement to demand accountability from the authorities who continually turn a blind eye to the injustices inflicted upon people of Black and Brown skin. Championing human rights in the face of violent racism, Patrisse is a survivor. She transformed her personal pain into political power, giving voice to a people suffering inequality and a movement fueled by her strength and love, to tell the country--and the world--that Black Lives Matter. [This book] is Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele's reflection on humanity. It is an empowering account of survival, strength and resilience and a call to action to change the culture that declares innocent Black life expendable."--Dust jacket.

Melody's picture

Added by Melody

How to be an antiracist book cover

How to be an antiracist

Ibram X. Kendi

eBOOK
Black Lives Matter, Nonfiction, Memoir, Political

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and re-energizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At it's core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves. Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.

Melody's picture

Added by Melody

Just mercy : a story of justice and redemption book cover

Just mercy : a story of justice and redemption

Bryan Stevenson

340.092 /Stevenson
Black Lives Matter, Nonfiction, Memoir, Political

The founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama recounts his experiences as a lawyer working to assist those desperately in need, reflecting on his pursuit of the ideal of compassion in American justice.

Melody's picture

Added by Melody

Born a crime : stories from a South African childhood book cover

Born a crime : stories from a South African childhood

Trevor Noah

791.45028092 /Noah
Black Lives Matter, Memoir, Nonfiction

Trevor Noah's unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents' indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa's tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle. Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man's relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother's unconventional, unconditional love.

Melody's picture

Added by Melody

No ashes in the fire : coming of age black & free in America book cover

No ashes in the fire : coming of age black & free in America

Darnell L. Moore

BIOGRAPHY Moore, Darnell L.
Black Lives Matter, Memoir

"When Darnell L. Moore was fourteen years old, three boys from his neighborhood tried to set him on fire as he was walking home from school. Darnell was tall and awkward and constantly bullied for being gay. That afternoon, one of the boys doused him with gasoline and tried lighting a match. It was too windy, and luckily Darnell's aunt arrived in time to grab Darnell and pull him to safety. It was not the last time he would face death. What happens to the black boys who come of age in neglected, poor, heavily policed, and economically desperate cities that the War on Drugs and mass incarceration have created? How do they learn to live, love, and grow up? Darnell was raised in Camden, NJ, the son of two teenagers on welfare struggling to make ends meet. He explored his sexuality during the height of the AIDS epidemic, when being gay was a death sentence. He was beaten down and ignored by white and black America, by his school, and even his church, the supposed place of sanctuary. He made it out, but as he quickly learned, escaping Camden, escaping poverty, and coming out do not guarantee you freedom. It wasn't until Darnell was pushed into the spotlight at a Newark rally after the murder of a young queer woman that he found his voice and his calling. He became a leading organizer with Black Lives Matter, a movement that recognized him and insisted that his life mattered. In recovering the beauty, joy, and love in his own life, No Ashes in the Fire gives voice to the rich, varied experiences of all those who survive on the edges of the margins. In the process, he offers a path toward liberation"--

Melody's picture

Added by Melody

Brown girl dreaming book cover

Brown girl dreaming

Jacqueline Woodson

jBIOGRAPHY Woodson, Jacqueline
Black Lives Matter, Read Woke, Biographies, Poetry, Literary Nonfiction, Memoir

"The author shares her childhood memories and reveals the first sparks that ignited her writing career in free-verse poems about growing up in the North and South"--

Casey's picture

Pick this one up, especially now, even if you've read it before. Woodson's story resonates with quiet truth, resiliency, and hope. -Casey

Between the world and me book cover

Between the world and me

Ta-Nehisi Coates

eBOOK
Nonfiction, Literary Nonfiction, History, Memoir, Black Lives Matter, Black History

"For Ta-Nehisi Coates, history has always been personal. At every stage of his life, he's sought in his explorations of history answers to the mysteries that surrounded him -- most urgently, why he, and other black people he knew, seemed to live in fear. What were they afraid of? In Tremble for My Country, Coates takes readers along on his journey through America's history of race and its contemporary resonances through a series of awakenings -- moments when he discovered some new truth about our long, tangled history of race, whether through his myth-busting professors at Howard University, a trip to a Civil War battlefield with a rogue historian, a journey to Chicago's South Side to visit aging survivors of 20th century America's 'long war on black people,' or a visit with the mother of a beloved friend who was shot down by the police. In his trademark style -- a mix of lyrical personal narrative, reimagined history, essayistic argument, and reportage -- Coates provides readers a thrillingly illuminating new framework for understanding race: its history, our contemporary dilemma, and where we go from here"--

Melody's picture

Added by Melody