The MahoganyBooks Adult Bestsellers list is more than just a look at the Top Five books purchased over the past month from our store and website. It’s a list that takes into account the interests and concerns of African American readers/shoppers regardless of publisher, recency of publication, or book promotions geared at manufacturing sales.
Quite simply, our bestsellers list is a representation of the kinds of literary content that matters to them. #BlackBooksMatter
So without further ado, we present our…
March 2022 | MahoganyBooks Adult Bestsellers
#1 – The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones
A dramatic expansion of a groundbreaking work of journalism, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story offers a profoundly revealing vision of the American past and present.
In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the British colony of Virginia bearing a cargo of twenty to thirty enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival led to the barbaric and unprecedented system of American chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country’s original sin, but it is more than that: It is the source of so much that still defines the United States.
The New York Times Magazine‘s award-winning “1619 Project” issue reframed our understanding of American history by placing slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative. This new book substantially expands on that work, weaving together eighteen essays that explore the legacy of slavery in present-day America with thirty-six poems and works of fiction that illuminate key moments of oppression, struggle, and resistance. The essays show how the inheritance of 1619 reaches into every part of contemporary American society, from politics, music, diet, traffic, and citizenship to capitalism, religion, and our democracy itself.
This is a book that speaks directly to our current moment, contextualizing the systems of race and caste within which we operate today. It reveals long-glossed-over truths around our nation’s founding and construction–and the way that the legacy of slavery did not end with emancipation, but continues to shape contemporary American life.
#2 – Chocolate City by George Derek Musgrove & Chris Myers Asch
“An ambitious, kaleidoscopic history of race and politics in Washington, D.C. . . . Essential American history, deeply researched and written with verve and passion.” – Kirkus Reviews
Monumental in scope and vividly detailed, Chocolate City tells the tumultuous, four-century story of race and democracy in our nation’s capital. Emblematic of the ongoing tensions between America’s expansive democratic promises and its enduring racial realities, Washington often has served as a national battleground for contentious issues, including slavery, segregation, civil rights, the drug war, and gentrification. But D.C. is more than just a seat of government, and authors Chris Myers Asch and George Derek Musgrove also highlight the city’s rich history of local activism as Washingtonians of all races have struggled to make their voices heard in an undemocratic city where residents lack full political rights.
Tracing D.C.’s massive transformations–from a sparsely inhabited plantation society into a diverse metropolis, from a center of the slave trade to the nation’s first black-majority city, from “Chocolate City” to “Latte City–Asch and Musgrove offer an engaging narrative peppered with unforgettable characters, a history of deep racial division but also one of hope, resilience, and interracial cooperation.
#3 – Self-Care for Black Women by Oludara Adeeyo
Prioritize your wellbeing with these 150 self-care exercises designed specifically to help Black women revitalize their outlook on life, improve their mental health, eliminate stress, and self-advocate.
Between micro- and macro-aggressions at school, at work, and everywhere in between, it’s tough to prioritize physical and mental wellness as a Black woman, especially with a constant news cycle highlighting Black trauma. Now, with The Self-Care for Black Women you’ll find more than 150 exercises that will help you radically choose to put yourself first. Whether you need a quick pick-me-up in the middle of the day, you’re working through feelings of burnout, or you need to process a microaggression, this book has everything you need to feel more at peace.
You’ll find prompts like:
-Map out your feelings about a microaggression
-Make a list of your safe spaces
-Detail out an entire day dedicated to your self-care
It’s time to put yourself first and prioritize your self-care once and for all–and this book is here to help you do just that.
#4 – A Black Women’s History of the United States by Daina Ramey Berry & Kali Nicole Gross
2021 NAACP Image Award Nominee: Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction
Honorable Mention for the 2021 Organization of American Historians Darlene Clark Hine Award
A vibrant and empowering history that emphasizes the perspectives and stories of African American women to show how they are–and have always been–instrumental in shaping our country
In centering Black women’s stories, two award-winning historians seek both to empower African American women and to show their allies that Black women’s unique ability to make their own communities while combatting centuries of oppression is an essential component in our continued resistance to systemic racism and sexism. Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross offer an examination and celebration of Black womanhood, beginning with the first African women who arrived in what became the United States to African American women of today.
A Black Women’s History of the United States reaches far beyond a single narrative to showcase Black women’s lives in all their fraught complexities. Berry and Gross prioritize many voices: enslaved women, freedwomen, religious leaders, artists, queer women, activists, and women who lived outside the law. The result is a starting point for exploring Black women’s history and a testament to the beauty, richness, rhythm, tragedy, heartbreak, rage, and enduring love that abounds in the spirit of Black women in communities throughout the nation.
#5 – Today I Affirm by Alexandra Elle
From Alexandra Elle, celebrated poet and author of Neon Soul and Words from a Wanderer, comes Today I Affirm–a journal and guide to reading and writing daily affirmations.
Writing serves as a form of meditation. When we slow down and settle into ourselves, affirmations can assist us in self-awareness, introspection, and understanding. Today I Affirm helps walk readers through the ins and outs of cultivating positive self-talk in a way that is stress-free and easy to understand. This innovative book includes affirmations written by the author, short bits of inspiration, charts to fill in, as well as journal pages all with the focus on self-care.
Alexandra Elle is a writer and creative living in the Washington, DC metro area with her husband and two daughters. In her pre-teen years, writing came into her life by way of therapy and the exploration of healing. Many years later, Alex’s voice and words are being shared poetically in the form of self-love and self-care. Her passion for storytelling, poetry, and narrative writing are infused with life lessons, self-celebration, and building community through reading, writing, and language.
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