Black History Month is here and with it, comes recognition of Black achievements in society. Here are a few books to read written by Black authors of various genres.
1. “The Other Wes Moore” by Westley “Wes” Watende Omari Moore
Wes Moore is an army combat veteran, Rhodes scholar, and White House Fellow. He is also the CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, where they have dedicated their work to combat poverty in New York.
In his book, Wes explains that he became interested in meeting someone who shares the same name and who became involved in a jewelry store robbery where a man died.
It turns out that the two Wes Moore’s grew up only a few miles away from each other in Baltimore, MD. Throughout the book, Moore draws parallels and differences in their lives that lead them down different life paths.
It’s a great read that gives a different perspective on how bad the inner cities’ state is in America.
2. “Race Matters” by Cornell West
Dr. Cornell West is a Professor of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and holds Professor Emeritus’s title at Princeton University. He is a devout Christian and non-Marxist Socialist. He has become a prominent voice in political matters over the years.
In his book, Dr. West covers many issues, from Black nihilism to Black sexuality. To many, these topics may be taboo to talk about, but many people need to have these conversations.
Dr. West skillfully and intellectually breaks down each subject with thorough knowledge of Black America’s history. He is well educated on the deep history of what Black Americans have had to go through and how the country developed into what it is now. The book is nuanced and provides a unique perspective on life in America.
3. “The Day You Begin” by Jacqueline Woodson
Jacqueline Woodson is an author who has won many awards. She was the Young People’s Laureate from 2015-2017 and was named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature from 2018-2019. She was recently named MacArthur Fellow in 2020.
Her book on this list is slightly different from the others on this list, primarily because it is for kids in kindergarten.
In this children’s book, Woodson explains how everyone is different. She describes how the world may look to children from different perspectives and backgrounds while encouraging children not to be ashamed of their heritage.
There are many important lessons that a young child can learn from this excellent literature piece. The art style is breathtaking and will keep any child entertained with the beautiful illustrations.
4. “The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream” by Dr.’s Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt
This book is unique because, unlike the others on this list, the three men who wrote this book became doctors despite their obstacles. They became different specialists, but they kept their promise to one another.
Each man struggled throughout their journey but kept together strong with a promise. They deal with racism, classism, and many other challenges as they do their best to reach their goals.
The book follows each man as they go through their journey, switching between their stories. It’s a humbling read and realizing discovering how much harder others have to work for something that many take for granted.