Fascinating people tell their stories in their own words.
The Only Black Girl in the Room by Val Day-Sánchez is a memoir told through poetry and prose to capture how she feels about her life thus far. Living as a person who was cultured female, discovered they were genderfluid and that colorblind was a story they were told. Val's essays are heartbreaking, poignant and timely as one finds themselves identifying with what it means to be black in America, even when they have "beaten the odds." It even includes a shoutout to All This. Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward memoir is beautifully written as the author discusses growing in up in Mississippi. Race, poverty, class, and gender shape the people that live there and she is no different. Her stories are vivid and vast as she discusses five men who she has lost throughout her life and how their fate is that of so many others simply because of where they were born.
When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoirby Patrisse Khan-Cullers and asha bandelle is a heartbreaking and empowering. The stories of childhood that are interrupted with the reality of how mental illness is ignored and met with incarceration and the policing of black bodies. The development of the Black Lives Matter movement was inevitable when you read the words on these pages and see that there was no other choice.
Assata Shakur's autobiography is the epitome of woke. It's equally amazing as it is heartbreaking. Her story, which spans from the 50's, 60's, & 70's could very well have been written yesterday.
Mary Brave Bird's sequel to Lakota Woman; Ohitika Woman is gripping and thought provoking as she tells the tale of the struggle she inherited simply for being born in her skin.
James Baldwin: A Collection of Essays by James Baldwin includes some of his most prominent works along with some that aren't so popular. His prose is still just as captivating as the first time you read it. Sadly many of his points are just as relevant as they were fifty years ago.
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a collection of essays that Coates wrote and were published in The Atlantic between 2008 and 2016, over the course of the Barack Obama administration. If you're missing having the Obama's in the White House, definitely read this.
The late Carrie Fisher's autobiography; Wishful Drinking is incredible because it highlights an issue that is usually silenced in our society. Through humor she unapologetically discusses her struggle with mental illness.
Nikola Tesla's autobiography, My Inventions is fascinating. You get to see inside the mind of a pure genius. What he was able to deduce in the 1800's is mind blowing. Bonus; unlike Edison he didn't kill any elephants just to make a point.