Women’s History Month Reading List

Recognizing the Intellect, Wisdom, and Courage of Black Women

The Osiris Papers

The Osiris Papers: Reflections on the Life and Writings of Dr. Frances Cress Welsing is intended to be the first of many treatises written to examine the life, theories, and contributions of Dr. Frances Cress Welsing. Some of these writings will be hagiographic. Some will be critical, but all will expand our understanding of one of the greatest African thinkers of the past 100 years. 

“There are so many things to feel about this woman” so for this volume, we assembled a group of scholars, social activists, and entertainers to write on one of the Nine Areas of White Supremacy outlined by Neely Fuller in his monumental work The United Independent Compensatory Code/System/Concept: A Compensatory Counter-Racist Code. You will learn how Mr. Fuller directly influenced the theories of Dr. Welsing. While Mr. Fuller asked “What is racism/white supremacy?,” Dr. Welsing asked “Why is there racism/white supremacy?” There is an important difference in these two queries and each will be answered in various ways throughout this volume by writers who 1) knew Dr. Welsing personally, 2) worked with her on various projects, or 3) are deeply familiar with her writings.

The Source of Self-Regard

Arguably the most celebrated and revered writer of our time now gives us a new nonfiction collection–a rich gathering of her essays, speeches, and meditations on society, culture, and art, spanning four decades.

The Source of Self-Regard is brimming with all the elegance of mind and style, the literary prowess and moral compass that are Toni Morrison’s inimitable hallmark. It is divided into three parts: the first is introduced by a powerful prayer for the dead of 9/11; the second by a searching meditation on Martin Luther King Jr., and the last by a heart-wrenching eulogy for James Baldwin. In the writings and speeches included here, Morrison takes on contested social issues: the foreigner, female empowerment, the press, money, “black matter(s),” and human rights. She looks at enduring matters of culture: the role of the artist in society, the literary imagination, the Afro-American presence in American literature, and in her Nobel lecture, the power of language itself. And here too is piercing commentary on her own work (including The Bluest Eye, Sula, Tar Baby, Jazz, Beloved, and Paradise) and that of others, among them, painter and collagist Romare Bearden, author Toni Cade Bambara, and theater director Peter Sellars. In all, The Source of Self-Regard is a luminous and essential addition to Toni Morrison’s oeuvre.

Looking for Lorraine

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 received the recognition she deserved 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. 

A Black Women’s History of the United States

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.

Hood Feminism

A potent and electrifying critique of today’s feminist movement announcing a fresh new voice in Black feminism

Today’s feminist movement has a glaring blind spot, and paradoxically, it is women. Mainstream feminists rarely talk about meeting basic needs as a feminist issue, argues Mikki Kendall, but food insecurity, access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage, and medical care are all feminist issues. All too often, however, the focus is not on basic survival for the many, but on increasing privilege for the few. That feminists refuse to prioritize these issues has only exacerbated the age-old problem of both internecine discord, and women who rebuff at carrying the title. Moreover, prominent white feminists broadly suffer from their own myopia with regard to how things like race, class, sexual orientation, and ability intersect with gender. How can we stand in solidarity as a movement, Kendall asks, when there is the distinct likelihood that some women are oppressing others?

In her searing collection of essays, Mikki Kendall takes aim at the legitimacy of the modern feminist movement arguing that it has chronically failed to address the needs of all but a few women. Drawing on her own experiences with hunger, violence, and hypersexualization, along with incisive commentary on politics, pop culture, the stigma of mental health, and more, Hood Feminism delivers an irrefutable indictment of a movement in flux. An unforgettable debut, Kendall has written a ferocious clarion call to all would-be feminists to live out the true mandate of the movement in thought and in deed.

New Daughters of Africa

This gorgeous collection is  the companion to the classic anthology Daughters of Africa—a major international collection that brings together the work of more than 200 women writers of African descent, celebrating their artistry and showcasing their contributions to modern literature and international culture.

From Antigua to Zimbabwe and Angola to the United States. Key figures, including Margo Jefferson, Nawal El Saadawi, Edwidge Danticat, and Zadie Smith, join popular contemporaries such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Imbolo Mbue, Yrsa Daley-Ward, Taiye Selasi, and Chinelo Okparanta in celebrating the heritage that unites them. Each of the pieces in this remarkable collection demonstrates an uplifting sense of sisterhood, honors the strong links that endure from generation to generation, and addresses the common obstacles female writers of color face as they negotiate issues of race, gender, and class and address vital matters of independence, freedom, and oppression. 

A glorious portrayal of the richness, magnitude, and range of these visionary writers, New Daughters of Africa spans a range of genres—autobiography, memoir, oral history, letters, diaries, short stories, novels, poetry, drama, humor, politics, journalism, essays, and speeches—demonstrating the diversity and extraordinary literary achievements of black women who remain underrepresented, and whose contributions continue to be underrated in world culture today.

Becoming

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.

(Visited 131 times, 17 visits today)
About MahoganyBooks 151 Articles
MahoganyBooks is an online bookstore that believes in social entrepreneurship. We take a leadership role in the African American community promoting reading, writing, and cultural awareness as tools to improve communities as well as enrich the lives of motivated individuals.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*