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1. 10 Books We Got Start To Reading!

All the books nominated for this year’s NAACP Image Awards are nothing but fantastic and despite some sad outlooks, turn out to be uplifting. From bios like “Breaking Ground: My Life In Medicine” to children’s books like “Searching For Sarah Rector”, these creative and true-life stories deserve to be read. From every Outstanding Literary category, we’ve selected ten of the books nominated to get your reading on.

2. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

Gay’s book of essays ranging from her love of Sweet Valley High to the tribulations of pro-choice activists was a hit with women’s studies and was at one point very hard to find at your local bookstore. The title as well gained a lot of attention, because what exactly did Gay mean in saying she was a “bad” feminist.

3. Place Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America by Sheryll Cashin

Cashin’s goal with “Place Not Race” was to argue on the side of bettering affirmative action for the children it will ultimately affect in years to come. The controversial option has stalled towards improving itself due to disagreements in Supreme Court, but Cashin’s got some progressive proposals.

4. Who We Be: The Colorization Of America by Jeff Chang

As a Chinese-Hawaiian-American, Chang has written about his love and understanding of hip-hop culture for many years, including his work as a music journalist and the book “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop.” His latest “Who We Be” reflects on the current racial climate of America and uses pop culture and news stories “remixed” as way to question our level of progress and how truly “post-racial” we really are.

5. Momma: Gone by Nina Foxx

Foxx’s novel is fiction, but it feels like a super unique autobiography. “Momma: Gone” is a the story of Denise (Sweetie) Wooten, who’s a member of a family just trying to trying to make sense of their lives in both New York, during the Civil Rights Movement, and rural Alabama. A tragedy occurs, and we feel the pain and rise of this one family through Sweetie, the eyes of a child.

6. Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed by Bryant Terry

We hope we’re not the only ones that need some help in the kitchen! And “Afro-Vegan” is more than welcomed on our countertop! The cookbook’s author is a major chef and foodie who’s also a “food justice” activist and a Food & Society Policy Fellow. “Afro-Vegan” features fusion recipes from the cultures of the Caribbean, African countries, and the South. Well that sounds delicious. Yum! We’ll try to save you a plate.

7. Mayor For Life: The Incredible Story of Marion Barry, Jr. by Marion Barry, Jr. and Omar Tyree

Barry’s legacy was tainted from footage of a 1990 drug binge that aired on the news, but the 4-time Mayor of D.C. led a full life with some admirable bouts of triumph over adversity. He was born in 1936 in Mississippi and one of his first jobs was as a cotton picker. He wanted more in life and graduated from Fisk University, leading into politics. His bio was published in June 2014, and he passed way that November.

8. The 16th Minute Of Fame: An Insider’s Guide For Maintaining Success Beyond 15 Minutes Of Fame by Darrell Miller

In today’s age, there are plenty of people famous for all the wrong reasons, or at least reasons that have nothing to do with an obvious talent like singing or painting. But Miller drew from examples and those who’ve worked in entertainment on how, even in today’s market, your talent or purpose can sustain past a short shelf live. “16th Minute” also includes bits written by Angela Bassett and Blair Underwood.

9. Life In Motion An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland

Copeland began her career as a ballerina when she was 13, and this was late by industry standards. But she’s become an icon of determination and talent to legions of fans, and for Black girls who maybe would not have considered the field of ballet dancing. Her bio draws out her journey from San Pedro in L.A. to the New York stages of the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. In 2013, she won a Black Girls Rock award.

10. Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

“Citizen” is a terrific poetry and collage collection that earned Rankine the honor of being a National Book Award Finalist. The focus is on race in America, but there are also hints of dealing with sexism, as Rankine includes a feminist edge to her work. Heralded by critics and readers alike for its vision and potent words, make room for “Citizen” in your personal library.

11. The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrations by Shane W. Evans

The Red Pencil will remind you of all the possibilities that laid ahead of you as a child, plus the many times you acted on it. Pinkney’s character Amira is a Sudanese girl that led a happy life until terrorists attack her village. She has to seek refuge at a far away camp, but the only way to get there is by foot. With only her pencil handy, her imagination and good faith guide her to new home where she’ll be safe.

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