An #amplifymelanatedvoices reading list

There are writers that just do it for you. The writers that are near and dear to my heart have left me speechless and thinking about what I’ve read weeks later. These are a few of those writers.


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing is a debut novel that begins with a family tree that takes you on a walk through each member’s branches. I often had to step away from this book to gather myself because of the blatant number of times I said, “What am I reading?” As I progressed through the story, I realized that those connections were necessary in showing you how these characters developed and interrelated to each person represented. 

This book ripped me apart and brought to the forefront the illuminating glowing reality that occurs between women and men. Many truths, tears, fights, and thoughts went into the parallel motives of characters that just stick to you. 


These Ghosts are Family by Maisy Card

Begins with another family tree but whew what a ride…This book took me on a roller coaster ride I did not want to end. This book makes you question the extent of your own family line and makes you want to check your own roots. I could not help but be sucked in from the beginning and lured along the trail of one crazy turn after another after learning one branch of the family tree, and I wanted to reach back as far as I could into the lives of each family member. I know this is a debut novel but I can’t wait to see more.


Eloquent Rage by Brittany Cooper

Beautiful. Gave me my power back. If you are looking for your power or wonder why Black women are viewed as angry or unapproachable Ms. Cooper breaks it down so eloquently you will definitely be in need of a reread after every major stage of life. 


Sugar and This Bitter Earth by Bernice L. McFadden

Can we talk about the greatness that is Bernice McFadden? Sugar turned 20 years old this year and I am absolutely floored that I did not read it until this year. Sugar and This Bitter Earth should be automatically added to your collection because of the beautiful story telling that resonates so well in the African American community based on its themes of family, survival, self-identity, and much more. There are not enough words that I could possibly say to describe the brilliance in this majestic duo. 


Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi and Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism and You, a Remix by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

If I could describe these titles using one word I would definitely say “dynamic.” If I could use one word to describe these titles’ impact on teens and adults: “life-changing.”  These two are a dynamic combination that enables families to come together, study, and learn about making a change through real life perceptions and ideals. These shifted my mindset so much that I created the #letsgetstamped challenge. We need this, you definitely need this because I definitely needed this!  


Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

An incredible collection of short stories. I often sat and thought about a story and a few left a major imprint on me. Roxane is a master at writing, and she definitely put her foot in this collection. Although at times many of the stories ripped me apart, I grew to love even the ones with the heavier topics.

Crystal Forte

Crystal Forte is a high school educator in Alabama and full-time Ph.D student at St. John’s University with a concentration in Literacy and At-Risk Youth. She is an Alumni of Miles College (B.A, B.S), Alabama State University (M.Ed), Troy University (Ed.S) and a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In her spare time she loves to read, travel, spend time with her family, and book blog through her platform @melanatedreader. You can find out more info at www.melanatedreader.com

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