Lauren’s List

Books to read

Since 1976, every president of the United States has dedicated February to the celebrations of African American achievements and their role in U.S history. This month is a perfect time to dive into reading some amazing books about black history.

 

The Help

The Help is a captivating novel about a young woman, Skeeter, who dreams of becoming a writer. In 1960 Mississippi, the only job Skeeter could find for a woman was in writing was as a newspaper columnist on house cleaning. Skeeter is a college grad without a husband or family, and, as it said in the book, she has not had to learn how to be a “proper southern housewife.” So Skeeter turns to the l...

Black Like Me

John Howard Griffin, the author of Black Like Me, decided the only thing he could do to truly understand discrimination is to darken his skin and travel through america’s most segregated states. One of the most memorable quotes about his experience is when he said, “You feel lost, sick at heart before such unmasked hatred, not so much because it threatens you as because it shows humans in such ...

Roots

Roots, by Alex Haley, starts with the life of Kunta Kinte, who was taken from his village in Africa to be a slave in America. The book follows Kunta Kinte’s descendants as major events in American history occur. This novel is celebrated less for the way it is written and more for the meaning behind the writing. The Revolutionary War, Civil War, Suffrage Movement and Civil Rights movement are view...

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou has written some of the most empowering poems reflecting on the most controversial topics of their time. Her poems reflect on her abusive childhood, her time as a sex worker, and The Civil Rights movement. She worked with Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X during Civil Rights and read her poems at Bill Clinton’s inauguration. Angelou’s openness about challenges she faced makes the...

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes had a pivotal role in popularizing Harlem Renaissance poetry. When Hughes was young his family moved from city to city before eventually settling in Cleveland. He published his first poem, The Negro Speaks of Rivers, in 1921 after a year he spent in Mexico. Many of Hughes’s poems center around the life of a black man in America. His poems are unconventionally structured, adding t...

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