The transformative power of nonfiction opens our eyes, hearts, and minds to the complexities of the human experience. We’ve compiled a list of titles like the new release, Madness by Antonia Hylton, inviting readers to explore the rich tapestry of untold stories and lasting impacts of injustice.
Madness: Race and Insanity in a Jim Crow Asylum by Antonia Hylton
Journalist Antonia Hylton explores the 93-year history of Crownsville Hospital, a segregated asylum in Maryland, blending personal stories and extensive research to highlight the mental health struggles of Black families. The book examines the evolution of the hospital, reflecting broader societal changes in America regarding slavery, racial integration, and civil rights, and critiques the current mental healthcare system’s legacy of treating Black individuals.
Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
This unforgettable exploration of the invisible yet powerful structures that shape our societies, drawing parallels between the caste systems of history and the deeply ingrained hierarchies of the present. With compelling narratives and profound insights, Wilkerson challenges readers to examine the pervasive impact of caste on individual lives and invites them to envision a world free from these enduring divisions.
How The Word Is Passed by Clint Smith
How The Word Is Passed is a profound book taking readers on a journey through historical monuments and landmarks, unraveling how slavery has shaped the United’s States history and its inhabitants. Through vivid storytelling and thoughtful reflection, Smith prompts readers to reconsider the ways in which history is preserved and recounted, offering a compelling exploration of how the past continues to shape our present understanding of race and identity.
We Were Once A Family by Roxanna Asgarian
A propulsive, well-researched narrative exposing the precarious nature of the foster care and adoption systems. Asgarian beckons readers to grapple not only with the dynamic of family but who is deemed worthy of familial bonds. Acknowledging the complex intersectionalities of race, power, poverty, and corruption, readers meet six children, their birth families, and the couple who ended everything.
Killing The Black Body by Dorothy Roberts
Killing The Black Body critically examines the intersection of race, gender, and reproductive justice, revealing the historical and contemporary challenges faced by Black women in asserting control over their bodies. Through meticulous research and compelling storytelling, Roberts sheds light on the ways systemic oppression affects reproductive rights, making a powerful case for the urgent need to address these issues within the broader context of social justice.
Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments by Saidiya Hartman
Through vivid storytelling and a keen historical lens, Hartman challenges traditional narratives, offering a captivating look at resistance, resilience, and the pursuit of freedom. This powerful work invites readers to reconsider conventional norms and appreciate the beauty found in unconventional paths.
Thick by Tressie McMillan Cotton
Thick is a collection of thought-provoking essays that fearlessly confront issues of race, gender, and culture. With a sharp and unapologetic voice, Cotton explores the intersections of identity in contemporary society, encouraging readers to engage in critical conversations about societal norms and challenging them to see the richness and complexity within individual experiences.
Heavy by Kiese Laymon
A raw and unflinchingly honest memoir that reflects on his experiences growing up Black in the American South. Through a blend of personal reflection and societal critique, Laymon delves into themes of identity, addiction, and family, offering readers a powerful and intimate portrayal of the weight carried by individuals navigating a complex world.
The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee
A thought-provoking exploration of the cost of racism to individuals and society. With insightful narratives and analysis, McGhee reveals the interconnectedness of communities and how systemic racism harms everyone. This impactful book challenges readers to envision a more inclusive and equitable future by dismantling the structures that perpetuate inequality.
A Knock At Midnight by Brittany K. Barnett
A captivating memoir with compelling narratives and heartfelt reflections, illuminating the unrelenting impact of mass incarceration on people of color. Propelled by her personal experience, Brittany’s commitment to transforming the criminal justice system inspires readers to become change agents.
Four Hundred Souls edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain
A remarkable anthology featuring essays by 90 Black writers. Tracing the history of Black America from 1619 to the present, this collaborative work challenges readers to delve into the richness and complexity of Black history.