recommended by Book Club community members
Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist by Francesca “Chescaleigh” Ramsey
All the things I love about Chescaleigh — her honesty, her wit, her clapbacks, and most importantly, her growth — feel as though they are sprinkled throughout each chapter. If you’re looking for a fun read that details a woman’s passions for creating little learning moments for all while also giving you a crash course in basic social justice concepts, this is the book for you.
— Danialie (she/hers), blogger at Girl Emboldened
The Other Side of Paradise by Staceyann Chin
It’s a memoir by one of Jamaica’s most well-known lesbian poets, who currently lives in New York City. It deals with neglect and trauma, and her ultimate escape from the homophobic Jamaica in the 90’s to New York. Throughout, you can tell she has such a strong spirit.”
— Jasmine (she/hers), writer and aspiring podcast host
All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks
So many POC and specifically WOC walk into love with a somewhat one-dimensional definition and vision of love. I was one of them. This book transformed how I loved and my expectations of being loved — moving it from a performance through platitudes to consecrated values in action."
— Kalima DeSuze (she/hers), owner of Cafe con Libros, a feminist bookstore and coffee shop
Kindred by Octavia Butler
Kindred by Octavia Butler is a must-read for any sci-fi/horror enthusiast, but can also be a suspenseful page-turner for anyone. Kindred tells the story of Dana, a writer who is somehow able to travel back in time to antebellum Maryland whenever an ancestor is in danger. The book has phenomenal Black Women characters and highlights the strength Black Women — slaves and their descendants — must harness daily in order to survive past and present America.
— Jenika M (she/hers), contributing editor for Obvi We’re The Ladies
When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele
I would recommend this book because it exemplifies the journey towards combating heartbreak, injustice, and systematic oppression through community, activism, and love. The stories and themes within this book are relatable to our past and present. It is an inspiring call to action.”
— Sade Lewis (she/hers), co-founder and fashion designer at Sade | Shaniya, a contemporary fashion brand in NYC
Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn
Here Comes the Sun beautifully encompasses the tapestry that is the Jamaican experience from the varied perspectives of native Jamaicans. It’s a story we can all relate to about fighting for your dreams, no matter what the cost, and being forced to examine your own beliefs about yourself and the world around you.
Beloved by Toni Morrison
I enjoy Morrison’s unique poetic style. Even though it isn’t specifically a horror, what Sethe faces through slavery and the haunting of her daughter add a scary appeal.”
— Yeniliz (she/hers), college student
Coal by Audre Lorde
Sula by Toni Morrison
Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid
Kindred by Octavia Butler
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When The Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange