By: zaghra savahl
Have you thought about equipping yourself with more knowledge about Black History and the experience of black people in America? If so, look no further as we’re here to help you get started. We asked some of our team members about books they consider essential reading to gain a deeper understanding. Below are some of their suggestions:
Recommended by Latifat Cabirou
1. Americanah (by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)
"This is a fictional novel that tells the story of a young Nigerian immigrant living in the U.S. The author paints a vivid portrayal of the cultural experiences of Black immigrants in the U.S. as they navigate the racial, ethnic, and cultural landscapes of life in the U.S and negotiate different aspects of their identities. I think many African diasporans can identify with, and connect to different parts of the protagonists' experiences. It also allows non-diasporans to get a glimpse of the many challenges Black immigrants face as they try to make their place in their new world."
2. Becoming (by Michelle Obama)
"What is there not to love about the funny, inspirational, and enlightening memoir from THE Mrs. Obama? Through this memoir, readers may develop a closer sense of connection to our forever first lady as she shares her experiences with many of the daily triumphs and challenges that are commonplace to women, especially Black women. As a young professional navigating life as a parent of young children and as a wife, I found myself resonating with many of Mrs. Obama's testimonies about her insecurities, hope, identities, and life roles. I found myself cheering for her
and being in awe at the idea of showing up to a job interview
with her infant child because, well, she didn't have childcare. I was upset for her when Mr. Obama repeatedly showed up late for dinner. And I cried with her when she lost her first love and wished for him to celebrate her successes with her. It's an all-around feel good book and a must-read for anyone who champions women's rights, love the Obamas, or just want to read a feel good book."
Recommended by Aminat OdunEwu-Seese
3. The Autobiography of Malcolm X (by Alex Hayley and Malcolm X)
"I’m recommending this book as it not only provides a first hand account of the experience of a Black man during the 1940-60’s in America, but also his path to Islam."
4. Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X
(by Johnny Smith and Randy Roberts)
"Most people who are familiar with Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali know that they were friends but may not know that their relationship was actually much deeper. This book details the individual rise of both men, one as a Black American boxing great and another, a Black American Muslim leader, and the crossing of their paths.Both books are not only great for learning more about Black American history in a non-academic setting but also about Islam among Black Americans."
What are some books for Black History Month that you consider as essential reading? Drop us a comment below.
*image source: Above book cover images from www.amazon.com