Book List

Best Books of 2020: Black Life in America

  • NONFICTION

    LIFE OF A KLANSMAN

    AUG. 4, 2020

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR

LIFE OF A KLANSMAN

by Edward Ball

An illuminating contribution to the literature of race and racism in America. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    A BLACK WOMEN'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

    FEB. 4, 2020

HISTORY

A BLACK WOMEN'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

by Daina Ramey Berry & Kali Nicole Gross

A vital book for any library or classroom—and for foot soldiers in the fight for racial justice. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    FULL DISSIDENCE

    JAN. 21, 2020

CURRENT EVENTS & SOCIAL ISSUES

FULL DISSIDENCE

by Howard Bryant

Another illuminating social and cultural critique from an important contemporary voice. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    A PECULIAR INDIFFERENCE

    SEPT. 15, 2020

NONFICTION

A PECULIAR INDIFFERENCE

by Elliott Currie

A damning examination of violence in Black America and a call for intervention that is long overdue. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    TWISTED

    JUNE 23, 2020

NONFICTION

TWISTED

by Emma Dabiri

Part memoir, part social history, and sure to become the definitive book on the politics, culture, and economics of black... Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    SISTERS IN HATE

    JULY 21, 2020

NONFICTION

SISTERS IN HATE

by Seyward Darby

Engaging, horrifying, and informative—Darby offers an important, fresh angle on the problems tearing our country apart. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    THE LAST NEGROES AT HARVARD

    FEB. 11, 2020

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR

THE LAST NEGROES AT HARVARD

by Kent Garrett & Jeanne Ellsworth

A fine contribution to the literature of civil rights and the African American experience. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    THE PURPOSE OF POWER

    OCT. 20, 2020

NONFICTION

THE PURPOSE OF POWER

by Alicia Garza

A pragmatic, impassioned guide to vital current affairs. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    WHITE TEARS/BROWN SCARS

    OCT. 6, 2020

NONFICTION

WHITE TEARS/BROWN SCARS

by Ruby Hamad

An extraordinary book for anyone who wishes to pay more than lip service to truly inclusive, intersectional feminism. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    GIRL GURL GRRRL

    DEC. 8, 2020

NONFICTION

GIRL GURL GRRRL

by Kenya Hunt

A powerful collection that is very much of the present moment of resistance but will also endure. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    WHITE TOO LONG

    AUG. 18, 2020

  • NONFICTION

    THE OTHER MADISONS

    MARCH 24, 2020

HISTORY

THE OTHER MADISONS

by Bettye Kearse

A Roots for a new generation, rich in storytelling and steeped in history. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    MEDIOCRE

    DEC. 1, 2020

NONFICTION

MEDIOCRE

by Ijeoma Oluo

A bold, incisive book on heavy topics with a call to action for a more equitable future that doesn’t center White men. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    THE DEAD ARE ARISING

    OCT. 20, 2020

HISTORY

THE DEAD ARE ARISING

by Les Payne & Tamara Payne

A superb biography and an essential addition to the library of African American political engagement. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    JUST US

    SEPT. 8, 2020

NONFICTION

JUST US

by Claudia Rankine

A work that should move, challenge, and transform every reader who encounters it. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    STAKES IS HIGH

    SEPT. 15, 2020

NONFICTION

STAKES IS HIGH

by Mychal Denzel Smith

An urgent and provocative work that deserves the broadest possible audience. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    BLACK WOMEN, BLACK LOVE

    OCT. 6, 2020

NONFICTION

BLACK WOMEN, BLACK LOVE

by Dianne M. Stewart

A beautiful, strikingly original work that is both scholarly and deeply moving. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    STANDOFF

    SEPT. 22, 2020

NONFICTION

STANDOFF

by Jamie Thompson

A nail-biting and nuanced true-life police procedural. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    HOW TO MAKE A SLAVE AND OTHER ESSAYS

    NOV. 2, 2020

NONFICTION

HOW TO MAKE A SLAVE AND OTHER ESSAYS

by Jerald Walker

Crafted with honesty and wry comedic flair, these essays are both engaging and enraging. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    AFROPESSIMISM

    APRIL 7, 2020

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR

AFROPESSIMISM

by Frank B. Wilderson III

An essential contribution to any discussion of race and likely to be a standard text in cultural studies for years to come. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    CASTE

    AUG. 11, 2020

NONFICTION

CASTE

by Isabel Wilkerson

A memorable, provocative book that exposes an American history in which few can take pride. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >

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