By Coshandra Dillard
One facet of liberation is to open the mind. Last year, I started a virtual book club, called Liberated Bookworms, to help others who have a love of reading stay on task. Since last year, we’ve discussed Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander and others.
We’ve dug in to examine themes, symbolism, and how these books relate to our lives. My hope is to get through many classics from authors such as James Baldwin and Toni Morrison, as well as newcomers.
The goal has been to encourage regular reading, and to examine works by black authors or at least works that are focused on black experiences. We started out with just a handful of black women to maintain a close-knit group who could physically meet and discuss selected books. But with my move to Alabama in May, I would like to open it up to anyone who has an interest in black literature.
This year, we continue to explore biographies, other nonfiction works, poems and novels. Below are 2018 selected works. To join the conversation, follow the Facebook page.
January — Fire Shut Up In My Bones, Charles Blow
February — The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni
March — This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America, Morgan Jenkins
April — The Mother of Black Hollywood, Jenifer Lewis
May — The Autobiography of Malcolm X
June — Barracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo, Nora Zeal Hurston (released spring 2018)
July — Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement, Angela Davis, An Autobiography
August — We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
September — We Were Eight Years in Power, Ta-Nehisi Coates
October — 40 Million Dollar Slaves, William Rhoden
November — I’ll Never Write My Memoirs, Grace Jones
December — Homegirls and Handgrenades, Sonia Sanchez