Did I mention I love to read…Well I DO!! Ever since I was kid I always had a book to read. Even as I hit 40 this year, I made sure I had my share of reading done. Matter fact this year I even did a Reading Challenge (on Good Reads) where I had to read at one book a month. And as I type this post I managed to get in 15 books plus a few comic books and graphic novels. It felt good to turn the pages (old school reader) of each new book and then look up what my next read would be!!
With all that said, I figure I would keep up with my tradition from last year and compile my ‘Top 21’ books from this year, and as an extra bonus for me I even got to meet some of the authors!! Pretty cool!!
Nothing like sharing some of your faves!! As I always say, ‘sharing is caring.’
So in no particular order, here is my Top 21 List of Books for 2021!!
Just As I Am~Cicely Tyson
Somebody’s Daughter ~Ashley C. Ford
Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre~Carole Boston Weatherford
Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Enduring Message to America~Keisha N. Blain
Black Leopard, Red Wolf: The Dark Star Trilogy~Marlon James
Digital Black Feminism ~Catherine Knight Steele
Maya and the Robot~Eve L. Ewing
The Black Flamingo~Dean Atta
Fast Pitch~Nic Stone
Bamboozled by Jesus: How God Tricked Me into The Life of My Dreams~Yvonne Orji
The Day the Klan Came to Town~Bill Campbell
Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood~Edited by Kwame Mbalia
Chronicling Stankonia: The Rise of the Hip-Hop South~Regina N. Bradley
The Book of Unknown Americans~Cristina Henriquez
The 1619 Project ~Nikole Hannah-Jones
The 1619 Project: Born on the Water ~Nikole Hannah-Jones & Renée Watson
Stella’s Stellar Hair ~Yesenia Moises
How the Word Is Passed A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America ~Clint Smith
The African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS)’s
Seventh Annual Conference
Everyday Practices, Memory Making, and Local Spaces
March 11-12, 2022
A Virtual Conference
Host: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
The process of “memory making” is ongoing as activists throughout the African diaspora confront the past and challenge landscapes that pay homage to colonialism and Eurocentrism. Recent debates surrounding the teaching of Critical Race Theory in K-12 classrooms, The 1619 Project, and the position of Confederate monuments in the public square highlight these contemporary trends. The United States is facing a unique moment of national reckoning that scrutinizes how history is interpreted, commemorated, and displayed.
In the era of social media, local issues can also have immediate global implications. When Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd in the Summer of 2020, protests emerged in cities and towns throughout the United States. But calls for justice and civil rights quickly spread across the globe, as communities throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas condemned anti-Blackness, police brutality, and systemic racism in their own countries. Relatedly, as activists in the United States toppled Confederate monuments and statues of Christopher Columbus last year, people of African descent in Europe also challenged the colonial landscapes displayed in various European cities. In Bristol, for example, activists defaced and destroyed the statues of slave traders such as Edward Colston and in Belgium, activists toppled statues of brutal imperialists such as Leopold II. These national and global activist movements contested the aftermath of enslavement and colonialism in the everyday while also illustrating how memory shapes politics, identities, and communities in the past and present.
In accordance with this contemporary moment, this year’s theme, “Everyday Practices, Memory Making, and Local Spaces” provides an opportunity for interdisciplinary scholarship that examines how history is told in local, national, and international contexts. Correspondingly, AAIHS has selected Las Vegas, Nevada, for its annual conference. The city’s African American residents are deeply tied to national, international, and local histories. As southern Nevada’s Black population grew through the Great Migration, civil rights activists fought against the city’s rampant inequality, culminating in the “Moulin Rouge Agreement” on March 26, 1960, that desegregated the Strip casinos. And as an international tourism hub, spaces throughout southern Nevada have been shaped and reshaped by transnational influences.
As panelists consider their proposals, they might consider the following questions: How do “everyday practices” form conceptions of the past? How is memory “made” and “remade” in different eras of history? How can “local spaces” influence broader discussions of societal injustice and prompt calls for social change? What methods have people from past and present generations used in their “memory making” and why did they use those methods? In what way does gender, sexuality, race, and class complicate memory making in everyday locales? Ultimately, what are the stakes of challenging memorialized and deeply invested in spaces and stories in local, national, and international settings?
AAIHS welcomes individual proposals for abbreviated presentations (5-6 minutes) that consider the theme of “Everyday Practices, Memory Making, and Local Spaces” from a variety of perspectives. Each proposal will be considered for inclusion in one of the featured conference sessions, which will be scheduled remotely on Friday, March 11 or Saturday, March 12, 2022. AAIHS invites scholars at various ranks and affiliations (from graduate students to senior faculty and independent scholars) to submit proposals for consideration. Each proposal should include a title and approximately 500 words that clearly explains the paper’s argument; methods and methodologies; interventions; and engagement with the conference theme. Submissions should also include a short CV (1-3 pages in length), highlighting previous publications and presentations, if applicable. Proposals will be accepted on the AAIHS website between September 15, 2021 and November 15, 2021.
FREEDOM…LIBERATION…BLACK RESISTANCE…BIRTH… It is interesting that these words came to mind as I was compiling this month’s list, because I honestly did not have any particular intention. This list was just meant to be, I guess you could say… There’s a lot of amazing literary energy that is coming from each of these texts whether it celebrating an iconic freedom fighter, showcasing the crime fiction genre, chronicling Black resistance via picture and verse.
Let’s just say this we got another set of heavy hitters this month, a few of them I have been anxiously (and patiently) waiting to be released!!
Remember to make sure you pre-order, add to your cart, or run to your local bookstore and grab a copy or two!! So with that said check out this month’s book recommendations below:
“We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American champions who have inspired others to achieve success.” ~National Hispanic Heritage Month/Library of Congress site
In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th-October 15th), I wanted to offer a bonus list of book recommendations particularly for youth!! Gotta make sure the kids get their list too!! You know Dr. G always has a special place for the youth!!
A phrase that always comes to mind and that will be forever ingrained is the notion that #RepresentationMatters!! Regardless of it is popular culture, school curriculums, hiring practices, and especially the materials that read, everyone should feel as though they can and are represented. As I have noted early on, reading has always been a powerful tool for change and great way to find peace and space/place to belong.
It is so necessary that Black and Brown children/youth are able to visually see their experiences drawn and written. Knowing that they can see themselves lets them know they have value within this world. What better way to do that than through a book!! Many of these stories, as well as others, pay tribute to the author’s cultural background, tell familial and community stories and also play a role in de-stigmatizing existing stereotypes and tropes. Additionally, this visual work can inspire, educate, and motivate the next generation!!
So here is a sample of great reads highlighting Afro/Hispanic/Latinx children to add to your literary collection/bookshelves:
A new month…A new season…A new list of recommendations!!
As you prepare to get cozy with your comfy sweaters, hot apple cider, pumpkin spice latte, or my new fave cinnamon crunch latte make sure you get your next piece of reading material. I know I am looking forward to my next book so I can chill out on my balcony and take in that Fall breeze!!
And with that said check out this month’s recommendations below!! Add them to your cart, pre-order, and/or visit your local bookstore to get your copies!!
It’s my BIRTHDAY month (August 16th to be exact!) so you know I gotta bring the heat with this month’s list!! Even added a book for the kids (cause of course you know Dr. G loves the kids!!)!! And the summer is not over yet, so you still got some time to hit the beach and get some good reading in while soaking in that good Vitamin D!!
So check out this month’s selection and make sure to pre-order, go to your local bookstore, or add to your wishlist!!
Summer is right around the corner, and what better time than now to get your summer reading list in order! A few of these are on my list and purchased, patiently awaiting for the pages to be flipped! So go ahead, get your lawn chair, sunglasses, SPF, beach towel, drink of choice, or whatever you need to get into the mood!!
Check out this month’s recommendations!! Maybe you will pick one, two, three, or all of them!!
A Chorus Rises ~Bethany C. Morrow
Ace of Spades: How Do You Stop An Unknown Enemy? ~Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
When Life Gives You Mangoes ~Kereen Getten
Bamboozled by Jesus: How God Tricked Me into the Life of My Dreams ~Yvonne Orji
Punch Me Up To The Gods: A Memoir ~Brian Broome
Remember you can always go back and check out the previous month’s recommendations in the “Resource” section of the website!!