My Self-Guided Afro-American Studies Reading List

I recently asked my Facebook friends to help me compile a list of books to read for further learning of Afro-American Studies.  Although I minored in it in college, there is still so much that I do not know.  For instance, although I know the names Marcus Garvey, Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, etc., and have a rudimentary understanding of their importance in Afro-American history, I have never read any of their words.

So this list contains the words of black intellectuals, scholars, poets, and writers — some from today, others from yesterday. Some will be old favorites; many will be first-time reads.  I will attempt to cross them out and provide a post about them.  We will see how that goes.

If you would like to recommend anything, feel free to leave a comment!  And also feel free to join me!!  The books are currently listed alphabetically by the author’s last name.

  1. Resurrecting Mingus by Jenoyne Adams
  2. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  3. I  Mix What I Like by Jared Bell
  4. I Write What I Like by Steve Biko
  5. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Conciousness and the Politics of Empowerment by Patricia Hill Collins
  6. Homemade Love by J. California Cooper
  7. Critical Race Theory by Kimberle’ Crenshaw and Garry Peller
  8. The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
  9. The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Critism by Henry Louis Gates
  10. Black Power: The Politics of Liberation by Charles V. Hamilton and Kwame Toure
  11. Young, Gifted, and Black by Lorraine Hansberry
  12. The Ways of White Folks by Langston Hughes
  13. The Angela Davis Reader edited by Joy James
  14. Dutchman & The Slave: Two Plays by LeRoi Jones
  15. The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson
  16. Passing by Nella Larsen
  17. Quicksand by Nella Larsen
  18. Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde
  19. Black Men: Obsolete, Single, Dangerous? Essays by Haki R. Madhubuti
  20. Daughters by Paule Marshall
  21. The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride
  22. Black Woman Redined: Dispelling Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama by Sophia Nelson
  23. Revolutionary Suicide by Huey Newton
  24. Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
  25. Young, Gifted and Black: Promoting High Achievement Among African-American Students by Theresa Perry, Claude Steele, and Asa Hilliard III
  26. The Street by Ann Petry
  27. Assata by Assata Shakur
  28. The Covenant with Black America with Introduction by Tavis Smiley
  29. The Blacker the Berry by Wallace Thurman
  30. Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self by Rebecca Walker
  31. Fences by August Wilson
  32. The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson
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5 responses to “My Self-Guided Afro-American Studies Reading List

  1. Great idea! Keep us posted as we’d love to read your thoughts on the above as you’ve studied these subjects in depth!

    Will you limit your reading to certain time periods or themes in Afro-American studies?

    • I will definitely try to be consistent with sharing my thoughts as I go!

      At this point, I have no real limits or themes although once I start, patterns in what I’m reading may emerge. I suspect the patterns will more likely be in the genres and themes of what I’m reading than in the time periods. And feel free to read and write about any of these books too, I enjoy experiencing things with others only for us to discuss and discover we actually experienced very different things together. =)

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