Books Magazine

Diversity Book Club — Short & Long Lists for 2013-2014

By Joyweesemoll @joyweesemoll

The annual potluck and book selection meeting of the Diversity Book Club was last night. It was great fun to talk about good books over good food.

Here are the books we will be reading in the next year:

cover of Before the Mayflower by  Lerone Bennett Jr.
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

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

Here are the books we left on the table, but may want to consider again for a future year:

Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin

How Children Succeed by Paul Tough

Unspeakable by Susan Burch and Hannah Joyner

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Black on White edited by David R Roediger

Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

A Slave No More by David W. Blight

In Search of Our Mother’s Garden by Alice Walker

Homegirls and Handgrenades by Sonia Sanchez

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini

Part of the fun we had last night was matching up book titles with months. We’re reading Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America this fall in two meetings spread more than a month apart because it’s so comprehensive that we believe will have a lot to talk about. We’re reading Malindy’s Freedom in February for the African American Read-In and Black History month — we’re excited that it’s a Missouri story. Their Eyes Are Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is for March, Women’s History Month.

In case you missed it, I compiled the list of all the books (45 of them!) we’ve read since the summer of 2008: The Diversity Book Club Books. We mostly read books about race in America so that’s a great resource for anyone who wants to educate themselves or if you’re looking for a thoughtful way to observe Black History Month or any of the upcoming 50th anniversary observances of the Civil Rights era.

It’s going to be a great year!

Signature of Joy Weese Moll

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