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Topic: Seeking books with african american themes

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Subject: Seeking books with african american themes
Date Posted: 2/16/2008 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2008
Posts: 46
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Hey all,

I'm seeking books written by african amercian authors and/or books with african americans as the focal point (ie african american history). I prefer nonfication, autobiographies, biographies,self-help, etc.  Can anybody help???

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 2/18/2008 4:14 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Welcome to PBS!

I have a number of them, mainly on AA history and race relations...I will have to pull some titles for you and come back and post them. :)

ETA:  Here is a partial list from my TBR...I will add some more when I get some time. Most are non-fiction as that's what I tend to read.

Yet a Stranger: Why Black Americans Still Don't Feel at Home
Author: Deborah Mathis


What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America
Author: Tavis Smiley


Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (Crossing Press Feminist Series)
Author: Audre Lorde


Secret and Sacred: The Diaries of James Henry Hammond, A Southern Slaveholder


Rosa Lee: A Mother and Her Family in Urban America
Author: Leon Dash


Race: How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About the American Obsession


A Place to Land : Lost and Found in an Unlikely Friendship
Author: Martha Manning


On Our Way to Beautiful : A Family Memoir
Author: Yolanda Young


North of Slavery : The Negro in the Free States
Author: Leon F. Litwack


Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (Modern Library Classics)
Author: Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs


My Heart Will Cross This Ocean : My Story, My Son, Amadou
Author: Kadiatou Diallo


My First White Friend: Confessions on Race, Love and Forgiveness
Author: Patricia Raybon


Mirror to America : The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin
Author: John Hope Franklin


Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


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



Last Edited on: 2/18/08 4:40 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Subject: any other suggestions???
Date Posted: 2/26/2008 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2008
Posts: 46
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Need some more suggestion. I'm looking to start a youth mentoring program in my area that promotes literacy and education.  Any assistance would be appreciated.

Thanks!

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 2/26/2008 11:29 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Bryant - what age group will you be working with?

Date Posted: 2/27/2008 9:01 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2008
Posts: 46
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Most likely 12-22. This may change, but that's the age group I'm focused on right now. :)

 

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 2/27/2008 6:21 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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When I get some more time, I will post more from my list...

The Color of Water by James McBride (I think it is) is an excellent memoir, that I think "speaks" to many people.

 

Date Posted: 2/28/2008 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2008
Posts: 46
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Okay. I have the Color of Water in my collection/personal library. Haven't read it yet though.

Subject: don't miss Their Eyes Were Watching God
Date Posted: 3/2/2008 11:58 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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It's fiction, from about 1937, but Zora Neale Hurston's novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is simply too good to miss, as a literary work centering on African-American life experiences.

Subject: enjoy Zora
Date Posted: 3/3/2008 8:23 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2008
Posts: 46
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That is a classic. I need to read Dust Tracks on a Road. Any other authors tha you would recommend?

Subject: more recommendations
Date Posted: 3/3/2008 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Bryant:  Yes----Gloria Naylor, both The Women of Brewster Place and The Men of Brewster Place.  (Read Women first.)

Toni Morrison, en toto.  (Even Paradise!)

I think Althea Gibson (the tennis champ) wrote a memoir.

I apologize for not listing men writers.  I don't know much about them.

Subject: good choices
Date Posted: 3/4/2008 11:17 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2008
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Those are good choices. I have both of Gloria's  book on my wishlist. Morrison is great.

Date Posted: 3/18/2008 2:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2006
Posts: 626
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I just finished this book.  It is fiction though.   Ain't No Valley by Sharon Ewell Foster.  LIsted as Christan Fiction.
  Black author, black characters.  Positive message.  She's written others as well and they may need to be read in order, although I did not.

Date Posted: 3/18/2008 2:45 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2008
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Thanks Beth, I will check it out.

Date Posted: 3/19/2008 10:48 AM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2006
Posts: 626
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Forgive me but I didn't even notice you were a guy.  So you may be mentoring males and that book might be a little too chicky for a guy although the message is universal.

Date Posted: 3/19/2008 11:29 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2008
Posts: 46
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Hahaha. That's not a problem. My mentoring program will be for everyone, but I will manage the males who enroll. I'm really excited about it. I wanted to start it before, but after my grandma died 2 months ago, I really have put forth a lot of effort to get it rolling. She's a main source of motivation for me right now.

Keep me posted if you come across any other titles that may be helpful. My goal with the mentoring program is to give kids a new perspective of life, give them hope, show them that hard word does pay off, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, have faith in GOD and themselves.

 

This message is for all that read this post.

Thanks in advance.

Date Posted: 3/19/2008 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2006
Posts: 626
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I wish you much success!!

Subject: Black "American Girl"
Date Posted: 3/19/2008 5:37 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Bryant:  Did anyone remind you that one of the American Girl series is a young black girl?  Each of the girls in the series comes from a different period in U. S. history.......   I sent a bunch of the AG stuff about the girl from Sweden, a member of an early immigrant family, to a relative who is a teacher in Sweden, and the books, paper dolls, etc. made a BIG hit with Elisabet's pupils, even though they had to read 'em in English, a 'second' language for them.  You did say the age bracket was as young as 12, didn't you?

Date Posted: 3/19/2008 6:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2008
Posts: 46
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Bonnie,

Yeah the age group will start at 12. I'm not that familiar with that series, but I will definitley look into it. Thanks for the assistance again.

 

Subject: I have Measure of a man bySidney Poitier
Date Posted: 3/21/2008 11:38 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 1,065
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Date Posted: 4/22/2008 7:21 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 924
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I've read a number of biographies/memoirs in African American history that I would happily suggest:

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs

Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Patillo Beals--This is one of my all-time favorites.

Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody

Narrative of Sojourner Truth by Sojourner Truth

 

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2008
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Thanks. I own all of those except Warriors don't cry.

Date Posted: 4/26/2008 3:07 AM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2007
Posts: 1,130
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I don't know if you're still taking suggestions, but I would suggest W.E.B. DuBois' Souls of Black Folk.

Also, I have heard good things about Jean Toomer's Cane, but have not read it myself. I believe it is a novel.

Date Posted: 4/26/2008 11:44 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2008
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Thanks Grace for the support. I have Souls of Black Folk in my personal collection. I'll check into Cane.

Thanks again.

Date Posted: 4/27/2008 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 830
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It seems like a lot of people have recommended higher level reading materials.  Since you're mentoring, some readers may be 'at risk'  & not on grade level, so I am recommending some authors from 3rd grade through middle school level.  Also, if you look any of these up on Amazon, there is usually other recommended books or a listmania at the bottom of the page which are helpful.  Good luck!

Elementary picture books by: 

Patricia McKissack - Mirandy and Brother Wind, etc. (she's prolific)

Julius Lester - John Henry, etc.

Faith Ringold - Tar Beach, Aunt Harriet's...in the Sky, etc.

John Steptoe - Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters, She Come Bringing Me That Baby Girl,etc.

Angela Johnson - When I Am Old With You, etc.

Jeanetter Winter - Follow the Drinking Gourd

Deborah Hopkinson - Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, Under the Quilt of Night, etc.

Mary Hoffman - Amazing Grace series

Easier chapter books:

Wagon Wheels by Barbara Brenner, Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World, Junebug series by Alice Mead, Julian series by Anne Cameron,

More intermediate or middle school themes (some of these I HIGHLY recommend):

The Skin I'm In by Sharon Flake (4th grade & up girls love this)

Phillip Hall Likes Me, I Reckon Maybe by Bette Green

anything by Virginia Hamilton, Mildred Taylor, Christopher Paul Curtis (My personal favorite is The Watson's Go To Birmingham, but he has a new one that one an award), Walter Dean Myers, Angela Shelf Medearis, Candy Dawson Boyd, Charisse Richardson, etc.

I'll ask my collegues and see if there's anything else I can think of and post later.  I was browsing this thread one day and wrote the same as above, but I lost my connection.  So glad I found it and I hope it helps. Oh, look up any Coretta Scott King award books too!

 

 

 

Date Posted: 4/27/2008 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 830
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I don't know how to edit my former post, but I obviously spelled 'one' insted of 'won'.  I do know the difference, just got in a hurry.  Don't want to give elementary or special ed teachers a bad image.  ~Jan

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