The annual book selection and potluck meeting of the Community for Understanding and Hope Book Group is this week — our most fun meeting of the year! I usually call this group the Diversity Book Club on my blog since that’s more descriptive. (Edited to add: Check out the list of books we considered and chose for 2015-2016)

If you live in the St. Louis area, we love new members — send me an email and I’ll get you the details. I’m on and use joyweesemoll as my username.

Our group has been meeting since the summer of 2008. That’s long enough that we’ve started to forget what books we already read. So, my annual tradition is to list all of them, so we don’t accidentally choose one we’ve already read — we’re up to 64 books! I’ve reviewed some of the later ones, so I’ll link to those. This list will be a good resource for anyone who wants to understand why #WeNeedDiverseBooks or how we got to the point that #BlackLivesMatter was a needed hash tag.

cover of Life on the Color Line by Gregory WilliamsA Bound Man: Why We are Excited About Obama and Why He Can’t Win by Shelby Steele

Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He Was Black by Gregory Williams

White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son By Tim Wise

Dreams of my Father by Barack Obama

Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom by Lisa Delpit and Herbert Kohl

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum

Black Wealth, White Wealth by Melvin Oliver and Thomas Shapiro

When Race Becomes Real: Black and White Writers Confront Their Personal Histories by Bernestine Singley

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Joy DeGruy Leary

Race Matters by Cornel West

The Color of Water by James McBride

White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era by Shelby Steele

Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception by Martha Sandweiss

Modello: A Story of Hope for the Inner City and Beyond by Jack Pransky

cover of The Help by Kathryn StockettThe Help by Kathryn Stockett

Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories from the Underground Railroad by Betty DeRamus

The Hemmingses of Monticello: An American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed

Best African-American Fiction 2009, ed. E. Lynn Harris and Gerald Early

140 Years of Soul: A History of African-Americans in Manhattan Kansas, 1865-2005by Geraldine Baker Walton

The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way Into Elite Colleges–And Who Gets Left Outside the Gates by Daniel Golden

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

The Black Girl Next Door: A Memoir by Jennifer Lynn Baszile

Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee

The Bondwoman’s Narrative by Hannah Crafts

The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

The Grace of Silence by Michele Norris

Little X: Growing Up in the Nation of Islam by Sonsyrea Tate

Never Been a Time: The 1917 Race Riot That Sparked the Civil Rights Movement by Harper Barnes

cover of Sister Citizen by Melissa V. Harris-PerryNative Stranger: A Black American’s Journey Into the Heart of Africa by Eddy L. Harris

Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America by Melissa V. Harris-Perry

Unbowed: A Memoir by Wangari Muta Maathai

At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance: A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power by Danielle L. McGuire

Color Me English: Thoughts about Migrations and Belonging Before and After 9/11 by Caryl Phillips

Miracle at St. Anna by James McBride

Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America by Rich Benjamin

killing rage: Ending Racism by bell hooks

How to Be Black by Baratunde Thurston

A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock by David Margolick

Wake of the Wind by J. California Cooper

cover of The New Jim Crow by Michelle AlexanderAmerican Tapestry: The Story of Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama by Rachel L. Swarns

No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities by Will Allen

Telling Memories Among Southern Women by Susan Tucker

Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America by Lerone Bennett, Jr

Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities by Craig Steven Wilder

Malindy’s Freedom: the Story of a Slave Family by Mildred Johnson and Theresa Delsoin

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

TransAtlantic: A Novel by Colum McCann

Sugar in the Blood: A Family’s Story of Slavery and Empire by Andrea Stuart

Substitute Me: A Novel by Lori L Tharps

Some of My Best Friends are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America by Tanner Colby

Ain’t But a Place: An Anthology of African American Writings about St. Louis edited by Gerald Early

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Autobiography of a People by Herb Boyd

Sundown Towns by James Loewen

Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston

Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King

South of Haunted Dreams by Eddie Harris

Fragmented by Design by E. Terrence Jones

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Do you have an suggestions for our next year of reading?


Book Club Selection Meeting #SundaySalon #WeNeedDiverseBooks — 6 Comments

  1. What a fantastic list! What about March Vols. 1 and 2 by John Lewis? I’ve read the first volume, but not the second one yet. There’s also Beloved by Toni Morrison and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

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  3. Pingback: The Long and Short of Book Club #SundaySalon #WeNeedDiverseBooks | Joy's Book Blog

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