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Call for Help

August 24, 2009

Now y’all know I love a good reading list. And I just committed myself to making sure 25% of the nonfiction I read is written by people of colour. But darlings, I’m having a problem finding non-memoir nonfiction that falls into that category.

I know it must be out there. So I’m asking for any suggestions you might have! Science, history, biography, food, economics, art….it can be any topic as long as it isn’t a memoir/autiobiography and is written by a non-white person. You wouldn’t think those would be difficult criteria, would you? Sigh.

When I have enough suggestions, I’ll make a fun annotated list, so that it can be a reference. :)

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2009 4:25 am

    That’s a difficult question. There are so many memoirs but I don’t know many non-memoir non-fiction written by coloured. How about Travellogues?

  2. August 24, 2009 4:36 am

    Hmm…Iran Awakening by Shirin Ebadi is technically a memoir, but it reads more like history. Then again, it’s probably all history you already know. Have you read To Be a Slave by Julius Lester? It’s a YA collection of real slave testimonies that I picked up last year on Debi’s recommendation. A wonderful book, but of course very upsetting :(

    But I know that the idea here is to recommend books other than those that deal with race specifically, and that I’m failing miserably. Just goes to show how much I need your list myself!

  3. August 24, 2009 4:40 am

    PS: going through my non-fiction wishlist I came across bell hooks. She’s written a ton of books about race, class, feminism, history, education…I haven’t read her yet, but she sounds like someone we’d both like.

  4. August 24, 2009 5:10 am

    Neil deGrasse Tyson for science.

  5. August 24, 2009 7:28 am

    The House on Sugar Beach; Cooper is excellent.

    Also, The Black Girl Next Door; Baszile

    good luck

  6. August 24, 2009 7:34 am

    I was going to say Neil deGrasse Tyson, too. He’s fantastic! And I’ll second bell hooks as well. Pearl Cleage is a local author who’s written some terrific non-fiction essays (mostly dealing with domestic abuse, I believe). What about the writings of Martin Luther King, Jr? All the others I can think of are poets, playwrights, and fiction authors. Looking forward to seeing who else you find out about!

  7. August 24, 2009 8:52 am

    I enjoyed “The Senator and the Socialite” by Lawrence Otis Graham.

    Also, “Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings: An American Controversy” by Annette Gordon-Reed.

    Good Luck!

  8. August 24, 2009 9:26 am

    Well, I will be addding bell hooks & Neil DeGrasse Tyson to my list!!

    Alice Walker collected a book of essays “In Our Mothers’ Gardens” that may be useful–some litcrit, but possibly also memoir.

    Toni Morrison has also written a book of critical essays (White Paper?)–given the subject & authors you probably have read those….

    WEB DuBois? Henry Louis Gates, Jr.?

    Good luck!

  9. August 24, 2009 10:12 am

    I haven’t read it (yet), but Gang Leader for a Day, by Sudhir Venkatesh.

    And okay, so it’s kinda memoir-ish, but he’s a sociologist.

  10. historyofshe permalink
    August 24, 2009 12:43 pm

    Anything by Alexandre Dumas is fabulous! I guess you can consider him a PoC as his mother was Afro-Caribbean. :)

  11. August 24, 2009 1:16 pm

    I second Nymeth. bell hooks is wonderful.

  12. stacybuckeye permalink
    August 24, 2009 2:03 pm

    Sadly I haven’t read any lately. Good luck!

  13. August 24, 2009 2:38 pm

    More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City by William Julius Wilson.

  14. August 24, 2009 6:23 pm

    Audre Lorde

    The Cancer Journals
    Sister Outsider
    A Burst of Light

    Eva, Lorde was the quite the intellectual. The breadth of her work is impressive. She was essayist and poet.

    Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers by Nancy Amanda Redd

    Dreads by Francesco Mastalia, Alfonse Pagano, and Alice Walker

    My Sisters’ Voices: Teenage Girls of Color Speak Out by Iris Jacob

  15. August 24, 2009 6:26 pm

    Deepak Chopra. I’ve read very early titles by him. Spirituality/self-help. Even if not religious or into self-help, I think you’d find something worth reading by him.

  16. August 24, 2009 9:32 pm

    I don’t read enough non-fiction to be of any help. There are some Christian writers (of color) I love, but I don’t think that’s what you’re after.

  17. August 25, 2009 1:53 am

    Oh, great! I’ll go exploring for you here!

  18. August 25, 2009 9:37 am

    How about

    Black Feminist Thought – Patricia Hill Collins
    Colonize This! edited by Daisy Hernandez
    Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope – bell hooks (or anything else by her)

  19. August 25, 2009 7:01 pm

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone! :)

  20. August 26, 2009 6:43 am

    I just found this one book that I intend to read in near future: Creating a world without poverty by Muhammad Yunus, founder of Kiva organization.

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