Alexis' Picks

 

 

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Let the Monster Perish: The Historic Address to Congress of Henry Highland Garnet By Henry Highland Garnet Cover Image
$9.00
ISBN: 9780664266295
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)
This book cannot be returned.
Published: Westminster John Knox Press - June 16th, 2020

Henry Highland was a former slave, pastor and abolitionist. This short book details his speech given just days after the adoption of the thirteenth amendment which banned slavery. Many of us have heard of the infamous I Had a Dream speech by MLK, which moved the hearts of the entire country. Highland's speech carries the same energy as MLK's speech raw, vulnerable and heartbreaking. I recommend this book to anyone who loves history or social justice. 


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The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness By Michelle Alexander Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781620971932
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: New Press - January 7th, 2020

Mass incarceration of African Americans has been a subject that's been pushed under the rug for decades. Alexander examines the US prison system and highlights how it has racism embedded within its foundation. This is an eye opening book that I recommend to everyone. 


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Rock My Soul: Black People and Self-Esteem By bell hooks Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780743456067
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Published: Washington Square Press - January 6th, 2004

In this novel Bell Hooks examines the relationship between African American's and self esteem. African Americans have a very unique history and with that comes a complex relationship with the way one may see themselves and experience the world. This book was eye opening, It makes you realize how much negativity and shame from false narratives AA's have internalized over the last 400+ years. When we internalize something for such a long time sometimes it becomes a subconscious truth leading to a warped self image and low self image. This is the start of a harmful domino affect where low self esteem present problems relating to the black family, society and so on.


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The Deep By Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781534439870
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - August 4th, 2020

It is believed that 10-20% of enslaved Africans died on the Middle Passage en route to the new world. What if the women who were thrown aboard were able to survive? The Deep hones in on this story line. Pregnant women who were thrown aboard create a underwater civilization.

This book is easily in my top 5 list of best books I've ever read. This book may be short but it is very powerful and has so much weaved within it. The flow of the writing was perfect and sucked me in immediately. No sentence felt wasted, everything felt important. The Deep is a complex story with several layers yet not overwhelming and confusing. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a genre bending novella. 


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The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl By Issa Rae Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781476749075
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)
Published: 37 Ink - July 12th, 2016

Issa Rae has become a household name after her Starz series Insecure became everyone's Sunday obsession. In her web series The Awkward Black Girl and hit show Insecure, Issa plays a socially awkward girl who finds herself in the strangest situations that creates the perfect on screen drama. This novel shows that the awkward black is not just a role Issa plays often but it's actually just a reflection of who she is. Is the book written sporadically? Absolutely, but that's what makes this book unique. If you want to laugh until your stomach hurts, cringe from second hand embarrassment; or in my case walk away from the book because you relate too much, I recommend this book!


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Passing (American Voices) By Nella Larsen, Matthew Hodgson (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Nella Larsen, Matthew Hodgson (Introduction by)
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ISBN: 9781943536429
Published: Chemeketa Press - January 1st, 2021

Passing is a very short novel that packs a mean punch! This Harlem Renissance classic that shines light on the concept of passing for white as an african amerian. This book challenges our notions of what makes someone part of a racial group. Oh, and the ending is crazy!! Also, I am aware that there is a movie with the amazing Tessa Thompson but there are several VERY important relationship details that are not as intense in the movie as they were in the novel.


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You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty: A Novel By Akwaeke Emezi Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982188702
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Atria Books - May 24th, 2022

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty is Awaeke Emezi book, and I was not disappointed! Feyi is a young African woman who is trying to rebuild her life after things take a traumatic turn. This book felt like I was watching an extra season of girlfriends with more of a queer edge and if Joan happened to take some of Samantha Jones (From Sex in the city) confidence. I really enjoyed this book, it was a very fast read and it pulls at your heart strings.


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Assata: An Autobiography By Assata Shakur, Angela Davis (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Assata Shakur, Angela Davis (Foreword by)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781556520747
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Published: Lawrence Hill Books - November 1st, 1999

This book tells the story of Assata Shakur formerly known as Joann Byron. She is a revolutionary African'-American woman who fought with the Black Panther Party in the 1970's against systemic, environmental, institutional, structural and individual racism. Shakur vulnerably takes her readers on a emotional yet thought provoking ride about her life; starting with her childhood in New York and North Carolina leading into her becoming FBI's Most Wanted. Shakur's amazing story telling , sharp words,  fearless nature and passion to fight for what's right makes this book a page turner. 


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Beloved (Vintage International) By Toni Morrison Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781400033416
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Published: Vintage - June 8th, 2004

Beloved: Beloved is a symbol for the 60 million + Africans who were lost in slavery whose stories and names we will never know.


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Stillness Speaks By Eckhart Tolle Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781577314004
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)
Published: New World Library - August 26th, 2003

Stillness Speaks is one of the most powerful books I've ever read. It's a very fast read, only about 87 pages and each page packs a punch. The pages are not even filled with words just thought provoking statements that bring readers calmness. If you are a person who happens to be interested in mindfullness, this is a great start.


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Monday's Not Coming By Tiffany D. Jackson Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062422675
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - May 22nd, 2018

Claudia is so excited to see her best friend Monday after returning home from summer break. Her and Monday have been inseparable since they were kids. However, when Claudia returns home and she doesn't receive a call from Monday and Monday doesn't show up to school on the first day, Claudia begins to worry. To make things even more weird Claudia keeps finding these encrypted messages left by Monday. Where is Monday? and why hasn't anyone else noticed she's missing? This book tells the story of a beautiful friendship between two young girls and the profound story of loss and confusion . 


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Letter to My Daughter By Maya Angelou Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812980035
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - October 27th, 2009

This book feels like a stream of Maya Angelou's subconscious. She tells stories about people , events and traumatic experiences that ultimately formed her into who she is. Angelou's fiery personality and ability to be honest and vulnerable makes this book a very fast read. Through out this entire book I felt as though i was reading Maya Angelou's journal with how free and raw this book was written. 


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The Sweetness of Water (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel By Nathan Harris Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316362481
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)
Published: Little, Brown and Company - June 15th, 2021

The Sweetness of Water takes place after the civil war, during the reconstruction period of southern states. Prentiss and Landry are former slaves who were recently freed by the emancipation proclamation. When they find themselves in the Georgia woods trying to trap their next meal they run into George Walker a local who is emotionally numb and having marital issues. George decides to hire the two brothers to farm his lands in hopes of growing a peanut farm. However, the locals do not approve of George's decisions to hire two black men to farm his lands. Sweetness of water tells a story of humanity and humility . 


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Conjure Women: A Novel By Afia Atakora Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780525511502
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - February 23rd, 2021

Conjure women tells the story of Rue a young girl born into slavery to a conjure woman Miss May Belle. Since Rue's birth she has faced many challenges, heartbreak, despair and adversity. She is determined to make a life worth living not just based on survival. This type of change requires a lot of conjuring, sometimes a bit too much conjuring. I recommend this book to someone who enjoys a great historical fiction page turner.


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Somebody's Daughter: A Memoir By Ashley C. Ford Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250305978
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)
Published: Flatiron Books: An Oprah Book - June 1st, 2021

Ford vulnerably takes readers on a emotional journey though her turbulent childhood. She explains the relationship dynamics she had with her abusive and confusing mother, incarcerated father and emotionally unavailable but wise grandmother. My favorite thing about this book is Ford's ability to transport readers back to their time of early adolescents, with her vivid memory and her constant attention on the development of child curiosity.


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Nobody's Magic By Destiny O. Birdsong Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781538721391
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)
Published: Grand Central Publishing - February 8th, 2022

Nobody's Magic follows the life of three albino women who live in the south as they maneuver their way through womanhood. Each woman has their own unique stories with hurdles revolving around identity, sexuality and authenticity. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story about womanhood but who can also overlook the huge role that men play in the each of characters walk into their truth. 


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The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love By bell hooks Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780743456081
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Washington Square Press - December 21st, 2004

This is a profound book that has changed my life for the better. Bell Hooks eloquently explains how not only has patriarchy terrorized women but, it has also corrupted our men mentally and emotionally. Hooks compassionately approaches heavy topics such as Men and their relationship with masculinity and love. She expresses concerns with how men are conditioned and offers up a solution. I recommend this book to everyone, anyone can learn from this book. 


Ring By André Alexis Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781552454305
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)
Published: Coach House Books - September 28th, 2021

This stand-alone book in a 5 part series was an amazing read. It's an unorthodox romance novel that has glimmers of magical realism and weaves in some Greek mythology. This novel follows a woman who has a ring that can possibly grant the wearer the power to change three things about their partner in exchange for a huge sacrifice.


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All About Love: New Visions (Love Song to the Nation #1) By bell hooks Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780060959470
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - January 30th, 2018

Bell Hooks has become one of my favorite authors over the last few years. In this novel Hooks speaks about our most powerful but underrated weapon, love. She explains the power of love and goes into detail on how love has the ability to heal and transform us all. Hooks ability to always come from a place a compassion when approaching issues in our society encourages change in the softest yet most powerful way. All About Love felt like a warm embrace from someone you love after a long day.


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The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom By Don Miguel Ruiz, Janet Mills Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9781878424310
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Amber-Allen Publishing - November 7th, 1997

Self help books have become the new phenomenon with social media taking a more conscious turn. This is yet another self help book however, instead of it being this deep and philosophical book that follows the life of a noble man with a less than honorable occupation who learns to love his life after being envious of others. This book is straight forward and to the point it talks about self limiting thought patterns, the power of words and minimalism. I loved this book, it was a fast read and mind altering. 


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Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot By Mikki Kendall Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525560562
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Penguin Books - February 23rd, 2021

In this collection of essays Mikki Kendall examines black feminism and the exclusion of black women in the feminist movement. This book focuses heavily on intersectional feminism. Intersectional feminism is a complex subject that explains how discrimination is not a box that is one size fits all. There are people who belong to different marginalized identities that often overlap and intensify each other creating a distinctive experience of discrimination. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about intersectional feminism.


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The Autobiography of Malcolm X By MALCOLM X Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780345350688
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Published: Ballantine Books - October 12th, 1987

From the years 1963- 1965 journalist Alex Haley sat down with Malcolm X for a series of interviews, this collaboration created this amazing autobiography. The media has painted Malcolm X to be this extremely left, violent loud mouth who had a strong hate for white people. Once you read this autobiography you get a true sense of who Malcolm Little was. I really enjoyed this book! I appreciate how authentic Malcolm was when speaking about himself. Malcolm was far from perfect and he was very aware of that. I feel that is what made Malcolm who he was, his awareness of his shortcomings and drive to change the things he didn't like about himself and within the world. Reading this book you get a true understanding on who Malcolm was, what drove him and most importantly what made him who he was.


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The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story By Nikole Hannah-Jones (Created by), The New York Times Magazine (Created by), Caitlin Roper (Editor), Ilena Silverman (Editor), Jake Silverstein (Editor) Cover Image
By Nikole Hannah-Jones (Created by), The New York Times Magazine (Created by), Caitlin Roper (Editor), Ilena Silverman (Editor), Jake Silverstein (Editor)
$38.00
ISBN: 9780593230572
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: One World - November 16th, 2021

The 1619 project is a great research piece that focuses on slavery and how it has changed and affected society since the first ship arrived on British American soil in 1619. A lot of people have mistaken this book as a history book and its not. This book is more of a argument to make the reader reevaluate what they have been taught about the origin of the United States. I really enjoyed this book! Nikole Hannah-Jones did a great job at explaining the forgotten history of the US and also providing historical evidence to back each topic she spoke about. 


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Lulu and Zoey: A Sister Story By Carrie Finison, Bea Jackson (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Carrie Finison, Bea Jackson (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780762473984
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Running Press Kids - June 7th, 2022

Have you ever been bombarded by cuteness? If not, i want you to experience that so get this book. Finsion did a great job showcasing the beautiful yet annoying relationship dynamic between two sisters.


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Bodies Are Cool By Tyler Feder, Tyler Feder (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Tyler Feder, Tyler Feder (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593112625
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Rocky Pond Books - June 1st, 2021

This book is the first book that comes to mind when I think about how much representation matters. Covering everything you can possibly imagine from freckles and skin disorders to physical disabilities and religion coverings. I recommend this book not only to kids but to adults also.


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White Lines By Tracy Brown Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780312336486
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - January 9th, 2007

This book was explosive! Tracy Brown's writing style and subject matters reminds me a lot of the amazing Sister Souljah. Don't be intimidated by the size of this novel it is a true page turner.


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The Divine Nine: The History of African American Fraternities and Sororities By Lawrence C. Ross, Jr. Cover Image
$21.95
ISBN: 9781496728876
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)
Published: Dafina - August 27th, 2019

Growing up I was surrounded by people who joined African American fraternities/sororities. I vividly remember the weddings where they would dance together in unison, holding up hand symbols and having a good time. I always wondered what exactly were these organizations and how they came about. This book answered those questions for me and gave me a new founded respect for the divine nine. 


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The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History By David F. Walker, Marcus Kwame Anderson (Illustrator) Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781984857705
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Ten Speed Press - January 19th, 2021

Bad ass black liberation party in the 70's, Fashion, history...AND dope art! You can never go wrong with this read. Over the years I have read several books about the Black Panther Party and this is by far the best one. I really enjoyed the spontaneity of this graphic novel. I was able to learn really cool and somewhat random facts about some of the members who tend to fly under the radar and also enjoy some powerful art work that was able to fully encompass some revolutionary moments for the BPP. 


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