Join Word In Black Summer Reading Club

Fiction, nonfiction, memoir… Team Word In Black loves books. During our meetings, we regularly talk about what we’re reading and share book recommendations. We also come across plenty of must-reads during our reporting. (It turns out that experts in their field also somehow find the time to write books!)  That’s why our education data reporter, Maya Pottiger, came up with the brilliant idea of sharing the books written by folks we talk to with the Word In Black community.

Every Friday, we’ll be adding to our reading list to provide you new titles to check out this summer. After all, everyone can always use more reading recs, right? Click through the slideshow to find your next summer read right here.

“When it comes to sharing perspectives from the Black-hand side, Word in Black is on point, which is why I’m with this reading list,” said Damion Johnston, a Houston-area entrepreneur.

Johnston is not alone.

“I heard from a friend of mine who is always checking for, that a group called Word in Black had a reading list that was as dope as it was diverse,” shared college sophomore Nkenge Oshun. “So, I had to see for myself.”

Osun said she was pleasantly surprised by what she saw.

Below are the books that make up the current, yet growing Word in Black Summer Reading Club:

Double Crossed – “Double Crossed” is a story about breaking generational curses. Serial entrepreneur and mental health advocate George Johnson wrote this memoir after learning the helpful practice of journaling in therapy. He talked about the practice and how it’s helped him heal in our June 1 Twitter Space about healing Black generational trauma.

All Boys Aren’t Blue – “All Boys Aren’t Blue” can be found among the top 10 on both the teen titles of 2021 list and the most challenged books of 2021. In the memoir-manifesto, George M. Johnson honors the LGBTQ+ community by telling their story through a series of intimate personal essays.

Unprotected -In her new memoir, “Unprotected,” Rae Lewis-Thornton shares how childhood trauma shaped her life and ultimately led to her contracting HIV. Read our interview with Thornton to learn more about her activism work and novel.

Not Paved for Us – “Not Paved for Us,” by Camika Royal, chronicles a fifty-year period in Philadelphia education, and offers a critical look at how school reform efforts do and do not transform outcomes for Black students and educators.

America, Goddam – In “America, Goddam,” feminist historian and author Treva B. Lindsey tackles the question “how can we stop the cycle of violence against young women and girls?” and she calls for others to support safe spaces for and by Black women and girls. Read our interview with Lindsey to learn more about her and the powerful organizations fighting for Black women and girls.