Thursday, May 21, 2020

A book list for black boys



A friend of mine asked me for a reading list for a group of black boys. What follows are twenty-five books to get us started.

Autobiographies 
The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965). By Malcolm X and Alex Haley. This one remains a classic.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845). By Frederick Douglass. Another classic. 
Between the World and Me (2015). by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Moving letter to son with deep cultural history.
Decoded (2010). By Jay-Z. A fun, informative read. Contains variety of cool images.
Black Boy (1945). By Richard Wright. Stands as a classic alongside Malcolm and Frederick Douglass.
The Beautiful Struggle (2008). By Ta-Nehisi Coates. Moving story of a black boy growing up in Baltimore.

Fiction
Patternmaster (1976). By Octavia Butler. Powerful, fascinating science fiction narrative.
The Nickel Boys (2019). By Colson Whitehead. Moving story about black boys held at a troubline reform school.
The Underground Railroad (2016). By Colson Whitehead.  Pathbreaking take on slavery & escape.
Things Fall Apart (1958). By Chinua Achebe. Classic novel about life, onset of colonliasm in Nigeria
Middle Passage (1990). By Charles Johnson. Captivating narrative about slavery and more.

Fiction -- young adult novels
Miles Morales: Spider-Man (A Marvel YA Novel) (2017). by Jason Reynolds.
• When I Was the Greatest (2014). By Jason Reynolds.

Poetry
Vintage Hughes (004). By Langston Hughes. Large selections of poems from one of our major figures.
The Big Smoke (2013). By Adrian Matejka. Narrative in poems about heavyweight boxing champ, Jack Johnson.
Long Way Down (2017). By Jason Reynolds. Young adult novel told in poems about gun violence.

Comics
• Black Panther Volume 1 (2017). By Ta-Nehisi Coates and others. Compelling tale, brilliantly drawn.
• Batman and the Outsiders Vol. 1 (2020). By Bryan Hill and others. Good story featuring Black Lightning, others.
Black Panther: Who is the Black Panther (2015). By Reginald Hudlin. Good narrative about T'Challa and the folks.
A Right to Be Hostile (2003). By Aaron McGruder. Comical story arcs about Huey Freeman and his brother.
Farmhand Vol 1 (2019). By Rob Guillory. Funny and bizarre narrative, written & drawn by Guillory
Quincredible Vol. 1: Quest to Be the Best! (2019). By Rodney Barnes and others. Exciting black teenage hero.

Nonfiction 
Outliers: The Story of Success (2008). By Malcolm Gladwell. A good, intriguing read.
The New Jim Crow (2010). By Michelle Alexander. A tough, important book on mass incarceration.
• The Warmth of Other Suns (2010). By Isabel Wilkerson. Expansive, interrelated narratives about Great Migration.

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