Authors reading their own works is nothing new. For centuries poetry was passed down through an oral tradition. In the nineteenth century numerous writers—including Charles Dickens and Mark Twain—went on enormously popular lecture tours reading their work. Those written words have survived but not the author’s voice. Today it is easy to hear an author’s voice with so many appearing on social media and television, but there is something very personal about listening to authors read their own words. Being able to sense which parts authors emphasize and which parts they seem to particularly relish can give an added dimension to the work.
This minibibliography features Black authors narrating their own work. The books cover a wide range of subject matter and include memoirs by Maya Angelou, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Lenny Kravitz. Among the children’s books are titles by performers like Lupita Nyong’o and Kevin Hart along with Ruby Bridges’ account of being the first African American child to integrate a Louisiana public school. Among the literary works are poetry by Langston Hughes and Amanda Gorman and fiction by Toni Morrison and Terry McMillan. Political works cover the range from Stacey Abrams to Candace Owens.
All titles in this minibibliography can be requested from your local cooperating library. The digital talking book titles can be downloaded through the NLS BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) website. Contact your local cooperating library to register for BARD. Registered users can also download titles on iOS and Android devices using the BARD Mobile app. To find your local cooperating library, go to www.loc.gov/nls/braille-audio-reading-materials/find-a-local-library or call toll-free 888-NLS-READ (888-657-7323)
Table of Contents
Autobiography and Memoir
Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court
by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
NBA star reflects on his life growing up in New York City, his years playing basketball for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers, and his involvement as an activist for social change. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For junior and senior high and older readers. 2017.
Transformed: A Navy SEAL's Unlikely Journey from the Throne of Africa, to the Streets of the Bronx, to Defying All Odds
by Remi Adeleke
The Navy SEAL author describes his childhood, in which he went from living as Nigerian royalty to being raised by a single mother in the Bronx. Recounts the choices in his life, both good and bad, that led to his naval career and ultimate success. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
by Maya Angelou
Memoir by African American poet and essayist (1928-2014). Describes her childhood and adolescent years in rural Arkansas, St. Louis, and San Francisco, and the racial and gender indignities she endured. Digital restoration of Angelou's original 1970 analog recording for the American Foundation for the Blind. Some violence, some strong language, and some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 1969.
The Power Playbook: Rules for Independence, Money, and Success
by La La Anthony
Anthony (born 1979 of Nuyorican parents) reflects on growing up in New York City, radio and television broadcasting, acting, and the business empire she has developed that includes cosmetics lines and fashion. Includes personal anecdotes to illustrate ways to succeed by acquiring and retaining power. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.
I Can't Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I've Put My Faith in Beyoncé
by Michael Arceneaux
Collection of fifteen essays exploring Arceneaux's experiences as a gay Black man and the ways faith influenced his life. Discusses his family's reactions to homosexuality, his issues with intimacy, and living in the South and Harlem. Strong language, some violence, and some explicit descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2018.
My Song: A Memoir
by Harry Belafonte
Memoir of the actor and singer who grew up poverty-ridden in Harlem and Jamaica. He tells of his youth, his navy service during WWII, his first forays into acting, and his singing career. He also discusses his experience of racism and his civil rights activism. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2011.
The Pretty One: And Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me
by Keah Brown
Essays from a disability rights advocate with cerebral palsy, discussing what it's like to be Black and disabled in a mostly able-bodied, white America. Examines her relationship with her able-bodied twin, navigating romance, her love of pop culture, and her viral hashtag #DisabledAndCute. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
You Can't Go Wrong Doing Right: How a Child of Poverty Rose to the White House and Helped Change the World
by Robert J. Brown
A memoir from an influential counselor who served many presidents, beginning with John F. Kennedy, as well as other key figures of history. Describes author's involvement with integrating lunch counters, channeling money to the civil rights movement, supporting Coretta Scott King after Martin Luther King's assassination, and visiting Nelson Mandela in prison. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
The Meaning of Mariah Carey
by Mariah Carey
The award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, actress, and philanthropist shares stories of her childhood, her breakthrough into the music business at eighteen, her marriage to Tommy Mottola, and more. Throughout, she connects her life experiences with her music. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2020.
Floating in a Most Peculiar Way
by Louis Onuorah Chude-Sokei
The author reflects on learning that he is the son of a renowned leader of the short-lived African nation of Biafra, his life as an abandoned child in Jamaica, and his experiences with the politics of race and belonging across the African diaspora. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2021.
The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother's Life in the Detroit Numbers
by Bridgett M. Davis
Novelist recounts upbringing in 1960-'70s Detroit. Her upper middle-class life was funded by her mother's business in the Numbers, an informal lottery that became a fixture African American communities around the country. Also traces her family's history and examines the sacrifices made by her mother. Some violence and strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem: A Memoir
by Daniel R. Day
Autobiography of fashion designer who disrupted the industry with his focus on Black Americans. Discusses growing up in Harlem, avoiding the trap of drugs, building his Harlem-based business, and becoming a fashion icon while dressing prominent clients such as Beyoncé and LL Cool J. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
Walk toward the Rising Sun: From Child Soldier to Ambassador of Peace
by Ger Duany
Memoir of a young Sudanese boy who went from a child soldier and struggling refugee to an international peace activist and Hollywood actor. Violence and strong language. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2020.
There Will Be No Miracles Here: A Memoir
by Casey Gerald
The author, a former Ivy League football letterman and entrepreneur, discusses the many barriers he has overcome on his road to success. Recounts his difficult and impoverished childhood, his family troubles, the tensions he has faced as a gay Black man, and more. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2018.
Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law
by Haben Girma
The autobiography of the first deaf-blind graduate of Harvard Law School. Girma describes her childhood, world travels, development of a text-to-braille communication system, and time at Harvard Law, as well as the ways she uses her talents to advocate for those with disabilities. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
Herbie Hancock: Possibilities
by Herbie Hancock
Grammy Award winner Hancock (born 1940) reflects on his life and career. Discusses growing up on Chicago's South Side, discovering music and jazz, playing in Miles Davis's band, his solo career, drug addiction, becoming a Buddhist, and his work as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2014.
The Truths We Hold: An American Journey
by Kamala D. Harris
California senator and daughter of immigrants discusses how her upbringing informs her political views. Recounts her education and early career as a prosecutor before transitioning into politics. Discusses her views on problem solving, crisis management, and leadership that she feels can aid in uniting Americans. Some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
I'm Telling the Truth, But I'm Lying
by Bassey Ikpi
Personal essays exploring the author's experiences navigating bipolar II and anxiety throughout her life. Also discusses her childhood immigration from Nigeria, early years in America, artistic career, and work as a mental health advocate. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2019.
Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward
by Valerie Jarrett
The longest-serving senior advisor for the Obama administration recounts life as an Iranian immigrant growing up in 1960s Chicago. Discusses her years as a single mother, corporate law career, and eventual work ensuring gender equality, advancing civil rights, and reforming the criminal justice system. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2019.
The If in Life: How to Get off Life's Sidelines and Become Your Best Self
by Rashad Jennings
NFL running back and Dancing with the Stars champion Rashad Jennings shares his inspiring story, imparting practical wisdom and encouraging others to follow their dreams. Commercial audiobook. For junior and senior high and older readers. 2018.
More Myself: A Journey
by Alicia Keys with Michelle Burfor
Memoir of the multiple Grammy-winning musician, who grew up in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City, the only child of a single mother. She describes her journey as an artist and her recollections of those who helped her on her rise to the top. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2020.
Let Love Rule
by Lenny Kravitz
The singer and songwriter looks back on his life and the many contradictory influences that helped shaped him. Biracial and raised by both Christian and Jewish parents, his youth included encounters with famous actors and musicians. Kravitz found his own identity in music. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
by Amyra León
Musician, playwright, author, and activist Amyra León's free verse prose chronicles her childhood in Harlem. León explores love and loss, melody and bloodshed as she navigates the intricacies of foster care, mourning, self-love, and resilience. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For junior and senior high readers. 2020.
Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
by Janet Mock
Journalist chronicles her life growing up in America multiracial, poor, and trans. Discusses her own experiences coming out to her family and loved ones, challenges she faced in her industry, and the dangers faced by trans women of color. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2014.
The Work: My Search for a Life That Matters
by Wes Moore
Author of The Other Wes Moore (DB71647) further examines his rise from disadvantaged inner-city Baltimore childhood to Rhodes scholarship, service in Afghanistan, and success on Wall Street. Reflects on how these experiences shaped his work as a motivational speaker and community advocate. Commercial audiobook. 2015.
The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream
by Barack Obama
Then-Democratic senator from Illinois and author of Dreams from My Father (BR18106, DB43877) details his ideas to improve the country. Discusses American values, the US Constitution, religion, globalization, race, and other subjects of interest to voters. Commercial audiobook. Abridged. 2006.
A Promised Land
by Barack Obama
The first volume of Barack Obama's presidential memoirs, recounting his journey from youth to president of the United States. He discusses his early aspirations, the trajectory of his political career, landmark moments of his first term, and reflections on American politics. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2020.
by Michelle Obama
A memoir by the former First Lady, the first African American in that role. Obama recounts her childhood in Chicago, her years balancing motherhood and her career as an executive, and her time in the White House. Some strong language. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2018.
Broken Places & Outer Spaces: Finding Creativity in the Unexpected
by Nnedi Okorafor
The author recounts how a simple operation took her from track star to paralyzed. Confined in a hospital bed for months, she began to imagine fantastical things and turn those experiences into writing. Also discusses her childhood and other authors who have used hardship to fuel their work. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir
by Kwame Onwuachi
Autobiography of chef who was a contestant on Top Chef in 2015 and won the 2019 James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef of the Year. Describes growing up in New York City and Nigeria, educational challenges, and his journey through the restaurant business. Includes supplemental material. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
The Wind in the Reeds: A Storm, a Play, and the City That Would Not Be Broken
by Wendell Pierce
Ten years after Hurricane Katrina destroyed his family home in New Orleans, actor Wendell Pierce reflects on the storm. Interspersing stories of his own family with New Orleans history, he stresses the role that art and music played in the city's recovery. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.
Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For
by Susan E. Rice
US ambassador to the United Nations and former national security advisor to President Obama recounts pivotal moments from her career in American diplomacy and foreign policy as well as her early life in Washington, DC. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
Everybody's Got Something
by Robin Roberts
Cohost of Good Morning, America, Roberts (born 1960) details her childhood growing up in Mississippi, her life as a television reporter, her health crises including breast cancer and a bone marrow disorder, and the support of friends and family. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2014.
Till the End
by CC Sabathia
Memoir of a former All-Star Yankees pitcher. He describes his youth, and how baseball shaped his life. Called up from the minors at only 20, Sabathia was often the only Black member of his team. Despite his many career successes, alcohol addiction dogged him for years. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2021.
Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and One Man's Story of Redemption in an American Prison
by Shaka Senghor
In 1991, at nineteen, the author was sent to prison for second-degree murder. Upon his release at age thirty-eight, he became an activist and mentor to young men and women facing circumstances like his. He describes the events that shaped his life along the way. Violence, strong language, and explicit descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2016.
The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir
by André Leon Talley
Former editor-at-large for Vogue shares his experiences as a Black man in the fashion industry. Describes personalities he has had personal relationships and worked with over the years, including Anna Wintour, Andy Warhol, and Karl Lagerfeld. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
Here for It or, How to Save Your Soul in America: Essays
by R. Eric Thomas
A collection of essays in which the author reflects on his experiences reconciling his Christianity with his sexuality, the exhaustion of code-switching, gaining accidental Internet fame, and covering the 2016 election and its aftermath. He reexamines the meaning of "normal" and discusses how to care about an increasingly bleak future. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
Just As I Am
by Cicely Tyson
Acclaimed African American actress (1924-2021) chronicles her childhood, marriage to Miles Davis, experiences as a single mother, and achievements on stage and screen. Addresses the racial and gender prejudices she experienced in her life and career. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2021.
Raw: My Journey into the Wu-Tang
Memoir of one of the founding members of the hip-hop group the Wu-Tang Clan. He was raised in New York by a single mother and was arrested for dealing drugs in his youth. He relates the story of the formation of the group and their rise to fame. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2018.
What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays
by Damon Young
A collection of autobiographical essays--both serious and humorous--from the editor-in-chief of VerySmartBrothas that examine what it means to be a Black man in early twenty-first-century America. Discusses the idiosyncrasies and distinctions of being Black and critiques concepts of white supremacy and toxic masculinity. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
by Kwame Alexander
A novel in verse. Best friends Noah and Walt help each other with everything. When Noah finds old love letters, Walt hatches a plan to help him woo a girl. But the letters change everything. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2018.
by Mahogany L. Browne
A novel in verse. Picked on at home, criticized for talking trash while beating boys at basketball, and always seen as less than her best friend, a Black teen struggles to like and accept herself. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2021.
Make Me Rain: Poems & Prose
by Nikki Giovanni
Collection of seventy-four poetry and prose works by the author of Chasing Utopia (DB77840) and Racism 101 (DB38687) explore themes of living in America while Black. In "Lemonade Grows from Soil, Too" she reflects on poetry in Black culture. Violence and some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country
by Amanda Gorman
National Youth Poet Laureate delivers an empowering and hopeful poem for the nation. Originally read on January 20, 2021, at the inauguration of the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden. Foreword by Oprah Winfrey. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2021.
by Langston Hughes
A recording of poems and remarks by Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes (1902-1967). Discusses each selection's theme and context. Also available by Hughes: The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (DB41265) and I Wonder as I Wander: An Autobiographical Journey (DB40144). Commercial audiobook. 2002.
Every Body Looking
by Candice Iloh
When Ada leaves home for her freshman year at a Black college, she explores her new-found freedom. As Ada stumbles deeper into the world of dance and explores her sexuality, she begins to wrestle with her past. Strong language, descriptions of sex, and some violence. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2020.
I Almost Forgot about You
by Terry McMillan
Georgia Young is bored with her life. At fifty-four, after two failed marriages, she thought she was done with love, when a chance encounter sends her to find all the men she had loved in her life to tell them what they meant to her. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2016.
It's Not All Downhill from Here
by Terry McMillan
On the eve of her sixty-seventh birthday, Loretha Curry has a booming beauty-supply empire, a gaggle of lifelong friends, and a husband whose moves still surprise her. She certainly doesn't think her best days are behind her. But an unexpected loss turns her world upside down. Strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
God Help the Child
by Toni Morrison
Bride, who was rejected by her light-skinned mother when she was born for being too Black, has made her life into one that many envy. She has her own company, a fortune, and a lover. Dark secrets from the past are coming home to roost, however. Violence, strong language, and explicit descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2015.
by Caleb Azumah Nelson
In a crowded London pub, two young people meet. Both are Black British, both won scholarships to private schools where they struggled to belong, both are now artists--he a photographer, she a dancer--and both are trying to make their mark in a world that both celebrates and rejects them. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2021.
The Freedom Artist
by Ben Okri
Within a post-truth totalitarian state, Karnak searches for his lover, Amalantis, who went missing after painting the question "Who is the prisoner?" on a public wall. As he searches, he reflects on Amalantis's question and finds other individuals seeking truth. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
by Danez Smith
Collection of thirty-six poems exploring the meaning and importance of friendship. Examines the impact of violence, xenophobia, and disparity on those defined by race, queerness, and diagnosis. Reflects on the loss of one of the author's closest friends. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
Intimations: Six Essays
by Zadie Smith
The author of Feel Free: Essays (DB90182) examines the experience of lockdown during the 2020 pandemic through a series of personal essays. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2020.
by Nic Stone
When Rico sells a jackpot-winning lotto ticket, she thinks maybe her luck will finally change, but only if she and her popular and wildly rich classmate, Zan, can find the ticket holder who hasn't claimed the prize. Strong language and some violence. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2019.
Odd One Out
by Nic Stone
High school juniors and best friends Courtney and Jupe, and new sophomore Rae, explore their sexuality and their budding attractions for one another. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2018.
by Bryan Washington
A collection of short stories set in Houston, Texas, most of which focus on a young biracial boy coming of age and grappling with his newly discovered homosexuality. The stories of many other residents of the city are woven throughout. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
by Bryan Washington
Japanese American chef Mike and African American daycare teacher Benson begin reevaluating their stale relationship after Mike departs for Japan to visit his dying father and Benson is suddenly stuck with Mike's mom, who becomes an unconventional roommate. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
The Nickel Boys
by Colson Whitehead
1962. Elwood Curtis lives with his grandmother, works when not in school, and admires Dr. Martin Luther King. But one innocent mistake sees him sentenced to reform school--the Nickel Academy. There he meets Turner, whose skepticism challenges Elwood. Their friendship has repercussions in the sadistic school. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2019.
Notes on Grief
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The author, whose father died in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic due to other complications, reflects on the universal pain of loss. She discusses experience of the amount of loss in 2020, the familial and cultural dimensions of grief, and the loneliness and anger that accompany it. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2021.
Let Love Have the Last Word: A Memoir
The Grammy-, Oscar-, and Golden Globe-winning musician, actor, and activist explores how love and mindfulness can build communities and allow you to take better control of your life. He shares personal stories of how people and experiences have led him to a greater understanding of love. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
Love Is the Way: Holding On to Hope in Troubling Times
by Bishop Michael Curry with Sara Grace
Episcopal bishop shares the lessons he has learned throughout his life, focusing on faith, family, community, and ancestors. Discusses his struggles with his faith, racism, and choosing love above all. Proposes works people can do to propagate a loving, faith-filled life. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
by Martin Luther King Jr.
Collection of eleven speeches made by King. Includes "The Birth of a New Nation," which helped galvanize the civil rights movement; the famous "I Have a Dream"; and his final oration, "I've Been to the Mountaintop." Each speech is introduced by a well-known leader, activist, or theologian. Commercial audiobook. 2001.
A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.
by Martin Luther King Jr.
Eleven of King's sermons, including his earliest recorded homily, "Rediscovering Lost Values," and "Remaining Awake during a Great Revolution," delivered at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, just days before his assassination. Each sermon is introduced by well-known ministers such as the Reverend Billy Graham and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Commercial audiobook. 1998.
The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life's Direction and Purpose
by Oprah Winfrey
Winfrey gives guidance on living your best life by sharing her own personal stories as well as wisdom from a wide range of luminaries in entertainment, business, literature, politics, religion, and more. Provides advice on how to find your purpose and pursue it with passion and focus. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
Minority Leader: How to Lead from the Outside and Make Real Change
by Stacey Abrams
Lawyer, romance novelist, and house minority leader for the Georgia General Assembly presents strategies for those on the fringes of power structures--particularly African American women--to achieve and hold power in order to effect change. Topics include fear and otherness, money matters, mentors, work-life balance, and more. Some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2018.
Our Time is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America
by Stacey Abrams
The author of Minority Leader (DB90942) discusses the impacts of voter suppression in twenty-first century American politics, offering suggestions on how to combat this problem and empower citizens. Posits the need for more robust voter protections and recounts how voter suppression impacted the author's own political campaign. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good
by Cory Booker
New Jersey's first African American senator recounts his personal history and career. He draws on his experiences and observations about the issues that concern him most--race, crime, mass incarceration, and economic and environmental justice--to call for America to return to compassion and solidarity. Some violence and some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2016.
Uncounted: The Crisis of Voter Suppression in America
by Gilda R. Daniels
The former deputy chief in the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division discusses the ways that minorities are often disenfranchised through voter suppression despite the Voting Rights Act of 1965. She describes how this suppression can occur in cycles and provides examples of laws and practices that contribute. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House
by Omarosa Manigault Newman
A former presidential assistant and director of communications for the Trump Administration's Office of Public Liaison details her time in the White House and discusses the behind-the-scenes operations of the Trump presidency, as well as her interactions with President Trump before his time in office. Violence and some strong language. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2018.
Blackout: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation
by Candace Owens
A political activist and social media star presents her views on how the Democratic party's policies hurt African American communities in the long run. She recounts her own story of success and dissects specific policies, explaining how she feels they do more harm than good. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2020.
The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story
by Joy-Ann Lomena Reid
A political commentator presents her views of the state of American politics since the election of President Trump as well as what led the country to this point. Discusses why Trump succeeded and whether America can undo the damage she feels he has done. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2019.
Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom
by Condoleezza Rice
The former American secretary of state examines the global struggle for democracy and discusses the reason she feels America must support the cause of human freedom. Explores the various pathways that countries take on the road to democracy. Some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2017.
Rise Up: Confronting a Country at the Crossroads
by Al Sharpton
Minister, political and civil rights activist, and radio talk show host reflects on the trajectory of politics in the early twenty-first century, focusing on the Obama and Trump years. The author discusses his views on the failures that have occurred and suggest a path forward for America to reclaim its core values. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man
by Emmanuel Acho
The host of a similarly titled viral video series discusses the concepts of systemic racism in America, white privilege, cultural appropriation, and more. The author also examines the need for compassionate and understanding discussion when exploring such fraught yet essential subjects. Includes supplemental material. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
by Austin Channing Brown
Black woman's memoir of interacting with a white-dominated America. Reflects on lessons ingrained in her as a child--including finding out she was named Austin because her parents wanted future employers to assume she was a white man. Examines the emotional burden white people place on Black people when discussing race. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2018.
The Beautiful Struggle: A Memoir
by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The author of Between the World and Me (DB82201) and We Were Eight Years in Power (DB89524) reflects on his father's background, his father's struggles to raise the author and his six siblings, and the challenges faced by Black boys entering manhood in America. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2008.
Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Columnist and editor for the Atlantic Monthly examines the history of contentious race relations in America. He reflects on the ways racial inequality plays out in his personal past and in the twenty-first century and imagines the world his teenage son may inherit. Some strong language. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2015.
Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower
by Brittney C. Cooper
The author examines the stereotypes surrounding Black women's anger as well as its power to spark change. She also argues that feminism, friendship, and faith can bring transformative change and explains her views on shaping the world. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2018.
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America
by Michael Eric Dyson
Author of April 4, 1968 (DB66789) and The Black Presidency (DB84212) presents a sermon directed at white people about confronting white privilege. Analyzes the impact of white privilege on the received narrative of American history and urges white people to take responsibility for equality on a personal level. Strong language. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2017.
What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation about Race in America
by Michael Eric Dyson
Recounts three-hour meeting on race, particularly in regard to Black Americans, in 1963 among Robert F. Kennedy, writer James Baldwin, playwright Lorraine Hansberry, psychologist Kenneth Clark, and activist Jerome Smith. Examines the issues discussed that day and the ways they persist into the twenty-first century. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2018.
Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice that Shapes What We See, Think, and Do
by Jennifer L. Eberhardt
The author discusses racial disparities and the role that cultural institutions play in creating, magnifying, and maintaining those inequities. She then offers stories, science, strategies, and tools to address societal biases. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own
by Eddie S. Glaude
A Princeton University professor reflects on his disillusionment by the failure of the civil rights movement to confront America's issues with racial issues. He discusses his own transformation into a political writer and interrogates what he feels is needed to bring about lasting change. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
How Not to Get Shot and Other Advice from White People
by D.L. Hughley
Comedian uses satire to examine race relations in twenty-first century America in the form of a "how-to" guide. Topics covered include how not to get shot by the police, how to look, how to act, understanding white people, and advice for white people from Black people. Some violence, strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2018.
Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family
by Mitchell S. Jackson
The author of The Residue Years (DB79860) reflects on gangs and guns, near-death experiences, masculinity, race, and more within the context of his community. The main text is supplemented with poems and profiles of his male relatives. Reflects on the exigencies that shape the lives of disenfranchised Americans. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto
by George M. Johnson
In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIAP+ activist George M. Johnson explores his youth, and ties together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys. Violence, strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2020.
How to Be an Antiracist
by Ibram X. Kendi
Award-winning author theorizes what an antiracist society might look like and how individuals can play a role in building it. Discusses the roles of ethics, history, law, and science in racial justice. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2019.
When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir
by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
Khan-Cullors, a cofounder of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, recounts her experiences as an artist and activist. Describes her personal history growing up in Los Angeles and the founding of BLM after the murder of Trayvon Martin. Presents calls to action to combat racism in America. Some violence and strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2018.
Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope
by Esau McCaulley
Theologian analyzes the practice of Bible reading and interpretation in traditional Black churches. McCaulley advocates a reading of scripture from the perspective of Black church tradition to connect with a rich faith history and address social justice issues of the twenty-first century. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together
by Heather C. McGhee
The author details the economic and sociological costs of racism for all people and presents her argument for the Solidarity Dividend, her theory that gains come when people unite across race. She theorizes, ultimately, that the zero-sum paradigm unnecessarily harms many and leaves America divided. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2021.
Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City
by Wes Moore
An account of the chaos that erupted in Baltimore, Maryland, following the police killing of Freddie Gray in 2015. The author draws on the experiences of seven individuals on the front lines of the uprising that protested a history of police abuse in the city. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America
by Ijeoma Oluo
The author of So You Want to Talk about Race (DB92142) discusses the history of white, male America and examines the costs of that history in social, economic, and political terms. She particularly focuses on efforts to subvert women, people of color, and the disenfranchised. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You
by Jason Reynolds
National Ambassador for Young People's Literature adapts Ibram X. Kendi's award-winning book Stamped from the Beginning (DB89293). Reynolds discusses how racist ideas started and were spread, and how they can be discredited. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2020.
You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism
by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar
A writer and performer on Late Night with Seth Meyers and host of The Amber Ruffin Show and her sister relay absurd anecdotes of everyday experiences of racism they have encountered. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2021.
No, You Shut Up: Speaking Truth to Power and Reclaiming America
by Symone D. Sanders
A CNN commentator and the youngest national press secretary in American history shares her views on life, politics, career success, and more. She also discusses ways to stand up to those in power and fight for change against oppression, injustice, and inequality. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
My Vanishing Country: A Memoir
by Bakari Sellers
South Carolina politician reflects on his personal history as well as the pride and pain that continue to plague his state. He traces his family's involvement in the civil rights movement and discusses the plight of the South's rural, Black working class. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2020.
Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights
by Gretchen Sullivan Sorin
Examination of the role of the automobile in the development of the travel industry in Black American life. Discusses the impact of racism, the influence of the Green Book first introduced in 1936, and access to the leisure activity of family vacations. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
Black Klansman: Race, Hate, and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime: A Memoir
by Ron Stallworth
Former undercover police officer recounts his time with the Colorado Springs Police Department, where he was the first Black detective in its history. Shares details of the operation he ran with fellow officers to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan. Basis for 2018 movie. Strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2014.
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
by Bryan Stevenson
Attorney and law professor discusses founding the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need. Describes one of his first cases--defending Walter McMillian, a young man sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn't commit. Some violence and strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2014.
Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults): A True Story of the Fight for Justice
by Bryan Stevenson
Founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, delves deep into the US justice system, detailing his many challenges and efforts as a lawyer and social advocate, especially on behalf of America's most marginalized people. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2018.
How to Read a Book
by Kwame Alexander
Suggests a method of reading that begins with planting oneself beneath a tree and leads to a book party one hopes will never end. Commercial audiobook. For preschool-grade 2. 2019.
This is Your Time
by Ruby Bridges
Civil rights activist Ruby Bridges--who, at the age of six, was the first African American to integrate an all-white elementary school in New Orleans--shares her story and offers a powerful call to action. Commercial audiobook. For grades 5-8 and older readers. 2020.
by Taye Diggs
After being teased for looking different, a little Black boy longs to be like everyone else. His mother helps him to see how beautiful he really, truly is. Commercial audiobook. For preschool-grade 2. 2011.
Superheroes Are Everywhere
by Kamala D. Harris
California senator and US vice president recounts how she looked for superheroes in her everyday life as a child, finding them in her parents, her teachers, and her friends. Commercial audiobook. For grades K-3. 2019.
Marcus Makes a Movie
by Kevin Hart
Marcus is not happy to be stuck in after-school film class until he realizes he can turn the story of Toothpick, a cartoon superhero he's been drawing for years, into an actual movie! There's just one problem: he has no idea what he's doing. Commercial audiobook. For grades 3-6. 2021.
by Lupita Nyong'o
When Sulwe's classmates make fun of her dark skin, she tries lightening herself to no avail. But a shooting star's tale of the sisters Night and Day helps her understand there is beauty and worth in every shade. Commercial audiobook. For preschool-grade 2. 2019.
Simon B. Rhymin'
by Dwayne Reed
Chicago fifth-grader Simon, an aspiring rapper who lacks self-confidence, uses his rhymes for a school project and to help bring his community together. Commercial audiobook. For grades 5-8. 2021.
For Every One
by Jason Reynolds
An inspirational poem originally performed at the Kennedy Center for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and later as a tribute to award-winning author Walter Dean Myers, provides a rallying cry to fellow dreamers of the world. Commercial audiobook. For grades 6-9. 2018.
Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks
A collection of ten short stories that all take place on the same day about kids walking home from school. Read by a full cast including the author. Commercial audiobook. For grades 5-8. 2019.
Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre
by Carole Boston Weatherford
An award-winning author recounts the 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma, race massacre--one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation's history. Commercial audiobook. For grades 3-6. 2021.
Brown Girl Dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson
In this autobiography told through vivid poems, Woodson explores her childhood as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s and her growing awareness of the civil rights movement. Reflects on the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite her difficulties with reading as a child. Commercial audiobook. For grades 4-7. 2014.
The Day You Begin
by Jacqueline Woodson
Other students laugh when Rigoberto, an immigrant from Venezuela, introduces himself. Later, however, he meets Angelina and discovers that he is not the only one who feels like an outsider. Commercial audiobook. For grades K-3. 2018.
by Jacqueline Woodson
A young girl and her grandmother prepare for a very special day--the one day a month they get to visit the girl's father in prison. Commercial audiobook. For grades K-3. 2018.
My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich
by Ibi Aanu Zoboi
In the summer of 1984, twelve-year-old Ebony-Grace of Huntsville, Alabama, visits her father in Harlem, where her fascination with outer space and science fiction interferes with her finding acceptance. Commercial audiobook. For grades 5-8. 2019.