Last night was the annual potluck and book selection meeting of the Community for Understanding and Hope (CFUH) Book Group.

Let’s start off with the food. So good! We had a huge number of salads and goodies with a great variety of fresh vegetables and fruits and grains. I felt both healthy and happy eating supper last night.

As I described last month, this is the book club that put me on the path of activism and organizing. Since our group rose from a tragedy in our community, we specialize in books on race in America.

Today, I want to share two lists of books for our own documentation and for anyone who happens along this blog post looking for books about diversity and race.

First, here’s our short list, the books we’ll be reading in the next year. I’m really looking forward to each of these books.

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Just Mercy received the most votes in our multi-ballot selection process

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

Just Mercy : A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique Morris

Negroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing by Joy DeGruy

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile

Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City by Colin Gordon

Next, I’ll share our long list — all the books that we brought to consider. We left so many good ones on the table. I hope we’ll come back to some of them eventually.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between the World and Me received the most votes of any book that didn’t make it to our final selection. Several of us read this already, so we opted for Negroland that hasn’t been as widely read.

The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper

One Drop: My Father’s Hidden Life–A Story of Race and Family Secrets by Bliss Broyard

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters

I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan

The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois

A Wreath for Emmet Till by Marilyn Nelson,

The Sellout by Paul Beatty

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons and an Unlikely Road to Manhood by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Jackson 1964 : And Other Dispatches from Fifty Years of Reporting on Race in America by Calvin Trillin

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

Gathering of Waters by Bernice L. McFadden

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson

Forward Through Ferguson, report of the Ferguson Commission

Ferguson’s Fault Lines : The Race Quake That Rocked a Nation by Kimberly Jade Norwood

Buried in the Bitter Waters : The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America by Elliot Jaspin

The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist

The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome by Alondra Nelson

Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond by Marc Lamont Hill

The Hippest Trip in America by Nelson George

This book produced the biggest smiles of any of the books we considered. Such a groovy cover.

Betsey Brown by Ntozake Shange

St. Louis: Disappearing Black Communities by John A. Wright Sr.

My Soul Looks Back in Wonder by Juan Williams

All Aunt Hagar’s Children by Edward P. Jones

The Hippest Trip in America: Soul Train and the Evolution of Culture & Style by Nelson George

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

Ruby by Cynthia Bond

A Taste of Honey by Jabari Asim

The Girls in My Town by Angela Morales

The End of White Christian America by Robert P. Jones

Blood at the Root : A Racial Cleansing in America by Patrick Phillips

Have you read any of these books? Do you have others to recommend to my book club?


Annual Potluck & Book Selection Meeting #BookGroup #WeNeedDiverseBooks — 3 Comments

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