The MahoganyBooks Art 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, just in time for the holiday season.
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…
MahoganyBooks’ Favorites of 2021: Art
Glory: Magical Visions of Black Beauty
by Kahran and Regis Bethencourt
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER.
From Kahran and Regis Bethencourt, the dynamite husband and wife duo behind CreativeSoul Photography, comes GLORY, a photography book that shatters the conventional standards of beauty for Black children.
Featuring a foreword by Amanda Seales
With stunning images of natural hair and gorgeous, inventive visual storytelling, GLORY puts Black beauty front and center with more than 100 breathtaking photographs and a collection of powerful essays about the children. At its heart, it is a recognition and celebration of the versatility and innate beauty of black hair, and black beauty. The glorious coffee-table book pays homage to the story of our royal past, celebrates the glory of the here and now, and even dares to forecast the future.
It brings to life past, present, and future visions of black culture and showcases the power and beauty of recognizing and celebrating oneself. Beauty as an expression of who you are is power. When we define our own standards of beauty, we take back that power. GLORY encourages children around the world to feel that power and harness it.
The Mamba Mentality
by Kobe Bryant
In the wake of his retirement from professional basketball, Kobe “The Black Mamba” Bryant has decided to share his vast knowledge and understanding of the game to take readers on an unprecedented journey to the core of the legendary “Mamba mentality.” Citing an obligation and an opportunity to teach young players, hardcore fans, and devoted students of the game how to play it “the right way,” The Mamba Mentality takes us inside the mind of one of the most intelligent, analytical, and creative basketball players ever.
For the first time, and in his own words, Bryant reveals his famously detailed approach and the steps he took to prepare mentally and physically to not just succeed at the game, but to excel. Readers will learn how Bryant studied an opponent, how he channeled his passion for the game, how he played through injuries. They’ll also get fascinating granular detail as he breaks down specific plays and match-ups from throughout his career.
Bryant’s detailed accounts are paired with stunning photographs by the Hall of Fame photographer Andrew D. Bernstein. Bernstein, long the Lakers and NBA official photographer, captured Bryant’s very first NBA photo in 1996 and his last in 2016―and hundreds of thousands in between, the record of a unique, twenty-year relationship between one athlete and one photographer.
The combination of Bryant’s narrative and Bernstein’s photos make The Mamba Mentality an unprecedented look behind the curtain at the career of one of the world’s most celebrated and fascinating athletes.
Bibliophile: Diverse Spines
by Jamise Harper
It’s time to diversify your reading list.
This richly illustrated and vastly inclusive collection uplifts the works of authors who are often underrepresented in the literary world. Using their keen knowledge and deep love for all things literary, coauthors Jamise Harper (founder of the Diverse Spines book community) and Jane Mount (author of Bibliophile) collaborated to create an essential volume filled with treasures for every reader:
- Dozens of themed illustrated book stacks—like Classics, Contemporary Fiction, Mysteries, Cookbooks, and more—all with an emphasis on authors of color and authors from diverse cultural backgrounds
- A look inside beloved bookstores owned by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
- Reading recommendations from leading BIPOC literary influencers
Diversify your reading list to expand your world and shift your perspective. Kickstart your next literary adventure now!
EASY TO GIFT: This portable guide is packed with more than 150 colorful illustrations is a perfect gift for any booklover. The textured paper cover, gold foil, and ribbon marker make this book a special gift or self-purchase.
The Black Book Anniversary (35th Edition)
by Middleton A. Harris
A new edition of the classic New York Times bestseller edited by Toni Morrison, offering an encyclopedic look at the black experience in America from 1619 through the 1940s with the original cover restored.
“I am so pleased the book is alive again. I still think there is no other work that tells and visualizes a story of such misery with seriousness, humor, grace and triumph.”–Toni Morrison
Seventeenth-century sketches of Africans as they appeared to marauding European traders. Nineteenth-century slave auction notices. Twentieth-century sheet music for work songs and freedom chants. Photographs of war heroes, regal in uniform. Antebellum reward posters for capturing runaway slaves. An 1856 article titled “A Visit to the Slave Mother Who Killed Her Child.”
In 1974, Middleton A. Harris and Toni Morrison led a team of gifted, passionate collectors in compiling these images and nearly five hundred others into one sensational narrative of the black experience in America–The Black Book. Now in a newly restored hardcover edition, The Black Book remains a breathtaking testament to the legendary wisdom, strength, and perseverance of black men and women intent on freedom. Prominent collectors Morris Levitt, Roger Furman, and Ernest Smith joined Harris and Morrison (then a Random House editor, ultimately a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning Nobel Laureate) to spend months studying, laughing at, and crying over these materials–transcripts from fugitive slaves’ trials and proclamations by Frederick Douglass and celebrated abolitionists, as well as chilling images of cross burnings and lynchings, patents registered by black inventors throughout the early twentieth century, and vibrant posters from “Black Hollywood” films of the 1930s and 1940s. Indeed, it was an article she found while researching this project that provided the inspiration for Morrison’s masterpiece, Beloved.
A labor of love and a vital link to the richness and diversity of African American history and culture, The Black Book honors the past, reminding us where our nation has been, and gives flight to our hopes for what is yet to come. Beautifully and faithfully presented and featuring a foreword and original poem by Toni Morrison, The Black Book remains a timeless landmark work.
Black: A Celebration of a Culture
by Deborah Willis
Over 500 glorious black-and-white photographs celebrating black culture throughout American history, from Jesse Owens to Barry Bonds, Ella Fitzgerald to Halle Berry.
Tucked away in the dusty halls of the Smithsonian archives and nearly forgotten by most historians, black culture is a vast, complex, interconnected web of different people, trends, and lifestyles. Deborah Willis has dug through the archives and hunted down the remnants that tell the wonderful and tragic history of a people. Tackling all subjects with bravery and frankness, Deborah Willis’s work is a true treasure to behold.
Black: A Celebration of a Culture, which would be a perfect complement to any Juneteenth celebration, presents a vibrant panorama of twentieth-century black culture in America and around the world. Broken up into segments that examine in detail such subjects as children, work, art, beauty, Saturday night, and Sunday morning, the photos detail the history and the evolution of a culture. Each photograph, handpicked by Deborah Willis, America’s leading historian of African American photography, celebrates the world of music, art, fashion, sports, family, worship, or play. With five hundred photographs from every time period from the birth of photography to the birth of hip-hop, this book is a truly joyous exhibition of black culture. From Jessie Owens to Barry Bonds, Ella Fitzgerald to Halle Berry, Black: A Celebration of a Culture is joyous and inspiring.