This is my list of 25 books that should be required reading for every Black person or, at least, be in every Black person’s home. These books will help you “Think a New Thought™” about who you are and what it means to be Black in America. The list is by no means a be-all-end-all, they are just 25 books that have been transformative to my way of thinking and will likely have a similar affect on anyone else reading them. They are in no particular order.
The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors
Dr. Frances Cress Welsing
Dr. Welsing made her transition just over a year ago in 2016, but her collection of 25 essays on the subject of race is a seminal work that is timeless in its content and impact.
Ellison won the 1953 National Book Award for Fiction with this novel that skillfully used erudition and wit to detail the existential journey of a young idealist who suddenly realizes that he is all but “invisible” to White society.
The Mis-Education of the Negro
Dr.Carter G. Woodson
Dr. Woodson, the creator of Negro History Week which eventually developed into Black History Month, argues in this book that the traditional educational system, by design, ill-prepares African Americans to compete on a level playing field with the rest of American society. In fact, he opines, that it actually leaves them bereft of any real sense of who they are as a people within this system.
They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America
Ivan Van Sertima
Professor Van Sertima presents his very thoroughly researched and convincing case for documenting the presence of Africans in the Americas long before the arrival of the cultural conqueror called Christopher Columbus. Ancient artifacts and the historical record bear witness with bold clarity to this fact.
George G.M. James
This classic work by a little-known Black college professor showed that Greek civilization and philosophy, long considered the pinnacle of Western thought, was actually purloined from the ancient Egyptian societies that were ancient when Greece was still in the darkness of intellectual ignorance.