The Power List is a quarterly publication that details the books being read most by African Americans. The information comes from several sources across various platforms including online booksellers, relevant Facebook pages, and over, 1,000 African-American book clubs. This year several of the books that made the Power List were also nominated for the 2015 NAACP Image Awards. Here are 8 books being read most by African-Americans.
“Bad Feminist” is a collection of essays by highly followed cultural observer, Roxane Gay. Through her essays, Gay creates a narrative that spans both her own personal experiences from childhood until now, as well as historical and cultural moments for feminism. She touches on public and political figures like Chris Brown, pop culture events, films like “Django Unchained” and more, and how feminism is present in each, has been touched by each, or can speak to each. It’s a call-to-arms book, according to Powerlist.info on “all the ways we still need to do better.”
The book cover reads “farm-fresh African, Caribbean and Southern flavors remixed” and inside you’ll find recipes from renowned chef and food-justice activist Bryant Terry. In the book, Terry takes classic recipes from the African diaspora and puts a new spin on them, so they’re suited to vegans and vegetarians. The book features over 100 dishes, often accompanied by a memory of Terry’s, an anecdote from African history, or Terry’s philosophies on building community around food, according to Penguinrandomhouse.com. Here’s a peek at just one type of dish you’ll find inside: smashed potatoes, peas, and corn with chile-garlic oil, inspired by the Kenyan dish irio.
“Just Mercy” is a New York Times bestseller and was named Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Esquire, Time Magazine and more. This is a non-fiction book that serves as a “clarion call to fix our broken justice system,” according to Penguinrandomhouse.com. Author Bryan Stevenson is a successful lawyer who started the Equal Justice Initiative, which works primarily to defend women and children “in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system.” The book follows the true story of one of Stevenson’s first cases — a young man sentenced to death for a murder he said he didn’t commit.
“A Wanted Woman” is a fiction-drama-action thriller that follows a female Caribbean contract killer who goes by the alias Reaper. After a local Trinidadian gang hires her to kill a politician, she’s imprisoned, but the same gang who hired her ends up helping her escape. Will they kill her? Pay her? Hire her again? The book has “gratuitous and graphic depictions of violence,” according to Kirkusreviews.com, which either draws readers in or pushes them away.
“God Help the Child” is by Nobel Prize- and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist Toni Morrison. It’s the first book by her that is “set in our current moment,” according to Goodreads.com. The book is a detailed look at the fact that “what you do to children matters, and they might never forget” — a line taken from the book. It follows the life of Bride, whose white mother withheld love from her because of her darker skin. You see how the suffering of her childhood weaves its way into her romantic relationships, her feelings towards children, and every aspect of her life.
“Between the World and Me” is a non-fiction book by The Atlantic blog writer Te-Nehisi Coates, who is known for writing unpopular, unconventional and sometimes even radical truths, according to Nytimes.com. Between the world and Me is Coates’s current-era version of James Baldwin’s book, “The Fire Next Time,” and is written in the form of letters to the author’s son. The book delves into being black in the U.S. including the history of violence against black people and unfair policing of black youth.
“10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse” is written by nutritionist J.J. Smith, and is based on the idea that you can replace each of your three daily meals with a green smoothie. It provides several recipes for every flavor pallet. The recipes are meant to increase your energy level, clear your mind, and improve your overall health, according to Goodreads.com. The book includes shopping lists and detailed instructions for the 10-day cleanse. The smoothies are intended to help your body naturally crave healthy foods.
The Oprah Winfrey Network is adapting Natalie Baszile’s first novel, “Queen Sugar” into a dramatic miniseries. The story is about Charley, a young window who inherits a sugar cane farm in Louisiana and moves there from Los Angeles with her daughter to get a fresh start. Once in Louisiana, the protagonist is struck by a culture that is stuck in the past when it comes to race relations. She’s also dealing with a homesick daughter and some of her own personal desires, according to Nypost.com.
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