Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ten Books By the Brothers

This top-ten list is the best by and about black men- and I don't mean 50 cent or Snoop Dogg. These books are intelligent, funny, surprising, saddening enlightening- and they challenge many perceptions about african-american men.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X- Malcolm X
The best thing about Malcolm X's life are the transformations he goes through. From a godless, illiterate drug-dealer to a black supremacist to a devout follower of Islam who renounced his former beliefs, this life story gives insight into the character of this polarizing figure.

The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner
Chris Gardner's life was dramatized in the Will Smith film with the same title. The book goes deeper, and tells Gardner's story from his early childhood until he became a broker. Like all good autobiographies, it doesn't just tell the story of one person, but captures the mood of certain times and places.

The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
This book was a best-seller even before the Presidential election began. This is not a biography as much as it is a statement of his political stance.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
The story of Okonkwo, a Nigerian clan leader who fears being perceived as "a weak man".

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
The life story of the 19th century abolitionist.
Roots by Alex Haley
Alex Haley's fictionalized account of his family history.

Bullwhip Days: The Slaves Remember
In the 1930s, funds from FDR's New Deal were used for recording the spoken accounts of the reamining former slaves. The accounts were collected and this book carries the nuanced stories of men (and women) who survived life on the plantation.

Go Tell It On the Mountain-James Baldwin
Loosely based on the author's own teen years, this is the story of a teenage preacher in Harlem.

Invisible Man- Ralph Ellison
The surrealistic tale of a nameless black man who faces racism.

The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes
The works of the classic American poet who wrote "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" and "The Weary Blues".

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Things Fall Apart is an amazing book. I am always recommending it out. I started The Audacity of Hope and then stopped to let my sister borrow it. One of these days I will get back to reading it!