April 2019| MahoganyBooks Adult Bestsellers
#1 – What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker by Damon Young
From the cofounder of VerySmartBrothas.com, and one of the most read writers on race and culture at work today, a provocative and humorous memoir-in-essays that explores the ever-shifting definitions of what it means to be Black (and male) in America
For Damon Young, existing while Black is an extreme sport. The act of possessing black skin while searching for space to breathe in Americais enough to induce a ceaseless state of angst where questions such as “How should I react here, as a professional black person?” and “Will this white person’s potato salad kill me?” are forever relevant.
What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker chronicles Young’s efforts to survive while battling and making sense of the various neuroses his country has given him.
#2 – No BS (Bad Stats) by Ivory Toldson
Black People Need People Who Believe in Black People Enough Not to Believe Every Bad Thing They Hear about Black People
What if everything you thought you knew about Black people generally, and educating Black children specifically, was based on BS (bad stats)? We often hear things like, “Black boys are a dying breed,” “There are more Black men in prison than college,” “Black children fail because single mothers raise them,” and “Black students don’t read.”
In No BS, Ivory A. Toldson uses data analysis, anecdotes, and powerful commentary to dispel common myths and challenge conventional beliefs about educating Black children. With provocative, engaging, and at times humorous prose, Toldson teaches educators, parents, advocates, and students how to avoid BS, raise expectations, and create an educational agenda for Black children that is based on good data, thoughtful analysis, and compassion. No BS helps people understand why Black people need people who believe in Black people enough not to believe every bad thing they hear about Black people.
#3 – Becoming by Michelle Obama
An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America–the first African-American to serve in that role–she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her–from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it–in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations–and whose story inspires us to do the same.
#4 – Looking for Lorraine by Imani Perry
A revealing portrait of one of the most gifted and charismatic, yet least understood, Black artists and intellectuals of the twentieth century.
Lorraine Hansberry, who died at thirty-four, was by all accounts a force of nature. Although best-known for her work A Raisin in the Sun, her short life was full of extraordinary experiences and achievements, and she had an unflinching commitment to social justice, which brought her under FBI surveillance when she was barely in her twenties. While her close friends and contemporaries, like James Baldwin and Nina Simone, have been rightly celebrated, her story has been diminished and relegated to one work–until now. In 2018, Hansberry will get the recognition she deserves with the PBS American Masters documentary “Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart” and Imani Perry’s multi-dimensional, illuminating biography, Looking for Lorraine.
After the success of A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry used her prominence in myriad ways: challenging President Kennedy and his brother to take bolder stances on Civil Rights, supporting African anti-colonial leaders, and confronting the romantic racism of the Beat poets and Village hipsters. Though she married a man, she identified as lesbian and, risking censure and the prospect of being outed, joined one of the nation’s first lesbian organizations. Hansberry associated with many activists, writers, and musicians, including Malcolm X, Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Paul Robeson, W.E.B. Du Bois, among others. Looking for Lorraine is a powerful insight into Hansberry’s extraordinary life–a life that was tragically cut far too short.
#5 – Sacred Woman by Queen Afua
A transformative journey of physical and ancestral healing from a renowned herbalist, natural health expert, and dedicated healer of women’s bodies and women’s souls
Queen Afua practices a uniquely Afrocentric spirituality. Her classic bestseller, Heal Thyself for Health and Longevity, forever changed the way African Americans practice holistic health. Now, with Sacred Woman, she restores the magnificence of our spirits through sacred initiation.
Queen Afua begins by helping us to discover our unique “womb-an-ness”–and to honor the womb as the center of our consciousness and creativity, giving us a twenty-one-day program for womb purification and spirit rejuvenation. Then Queen Afua summons us to enter the Nine Gateways of Initiation, where she blesses us with the exact tools we need to bring our beings into true harmony with the earth and the cosmos. Through extraordinary meditations, affirmations, and rituals rooted in Ancient Egyptian temple teachings, Queen Afua teaches us how to love and rejoice in our bodies by spiritualizing the words we speak; the foods we eat; the spaces we live and work in; the beauty we create in our lives; the healing energy we transmit to self and others; the relationships we nurture; the service we offer; and the transcendent woman spirit we manifest.
With love, wisdom, and passion, Queen Afua guides us to accept our mission and our mantle as Sacred Women–to heal ourselves, the generations of women in our families, our communities, and our world.