Black & Young

Bellevue (William O. Lockridge) LibraryStaff PicksTeens D.C.

Black & Young

Transformative Titles that Expose the Ills of the World

With much of the world currently paying close attention to the injustice that has directly affected black youth and indirectly affected us all, I find this current climate of inequality to be a reoccurring theme in the United States of America.  Being black and young denotes a sense of inferiority in much of the world.  These preexisting notions of what it means to be a man or a woman who is black and young have contributed to theories that have too often framed blacks as the antagonist.  These theories have caused centuries of abuse.

Here are four compelling reads that are sure to allow us all to think about society and our place in it while seeking not to conform but transform our world into a place where all can thrive.

Assata: An Autobiography, Assata Shakur 
This amazing autobiography captures Assata Shakur’s childhood, involvement in the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army while being confronted by The United States of America Judicial System.  The maltreatment that Assata Shakur faced at the hands of police officers while also being charged with the murder of a state trooper and her escape from prison tells a story that sounds all too familiar.

Sag Harbor, Colson Whitehead
Whitehead entices the reader with his wonderful use of the English language and his fictitious and seemingly autobiographical work that sheds light on being a young black man (15- year-old Benji) in Sag Harbor.  Whitehead tells a story of “black boys with beach houses” while speaking a certain young black man experience.

Yearning: race, gender, and cultural politics, bell hooks
Hooks has offered a savory piece of work that speaks to postmodern black consciousness and how our society has ignored the plight of black women and, how the politics of race and gender affect us all.

Makes Me Wanna Holler, Nathan McCall
This riveting read will cause a series of emotions to flood your being.  McCall has successfully tapped into his pain and the pain he has caused others and allowed it to be a vehicle of change for future generations.  While McCall was a teenager, he wanted to be a gangster, a thug and with the help of friends, pent-up anger and a racist society, he became just that.  This book tells the story of race and society without negating consequences.