Exceptional books to get lost in–books to find yourself and understanding during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Like many people around the globe, I struggled to try to find things to do to fill our time. I will admit that I was not an avid reader before COVID-19. I would always say, “I didn’t have the time.” But that wasn’t the truth. The truth was, I didn’t see myself enough in the stories my peers would recommend.
Below, we’ve curated a list of books that speaks to the Black male narrative, sexuality, White Supremacy, and self-awareness.
The Chiffon Trenches offers a candid look at the who’s who of the last fifty years of fashion. At once ruthless and empathetic. This engaging memoir tells with raw honesty the story of how André survived the brutal style landscape but thrived—despite racism, illicit rumors, and all the other challenges of this notoriously cutthroat industry—to become one of the most renowned voices and faces in fashion.
André deep love for fashion, elegance, and strong women draped throughout the pages of The Chiffon Trenches. From dining with royalty to bootstrapping Giallano’s breakout fashion show, André Leon Tally, is an icon and a Fashion Legend.
Michael has never shied away from discussing his struggles with debt, but in I Don’t Want to Die Poor, he reveals the extent to which it has an impact on every facet of his life—how he dates; how he seeks medical care (or in some cases, is unable to).
He wrestles with the question of whether or not he should have chosen a more financially secure path; finally, he has dealt with his “dream” turning into an ongoing nightmare as he realizes one bad decision could unravel all that he’s earned. You know, actual “economic anxiety.”
His Freshman book, I Can’t Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I’ve Put My Faith in Beyoncé. He gives up an insight into his childhood, navigating his Blackness and queerness, all while trying to figure out what he wants to give the world.
In a series of personal essays, a prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia.
From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea market shopping with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.
When Darnell Moore was fourteen, three boys from his neighborhood tried to set him on fire. They cornered him while he was walking home from school and harassed him because they thought he was gay and poured a jug of gasoline on him, escaping, but barely. It wasn’t the last time he would face death.
Three decades later, Moore is an award-winning writer, a leading Black Lives Matter activist, and an advocate for justice and liberation. In ‘No Ashes in the Fire,’ he shares the journey taken by that scared, bullied teenager who survived and found his calling.
Moore’s transcendence over the myriad forces of repression that faced him is a testament to the grace and care of the people who loved him and his hometown, Camden, NJ, scarred and ignored but brimming with life. Moore reminds us that liberation is possible if we commit ourselves to fight for it, and if we dream and create futures where those who survive on society’s edges can thrive.
The follow-up to the groundbreaking Black Queer Studies, the edited collection No Tea, No Shade brings together nineteen essays from the next generation of scholars, activists, and community leaders working on black gender and sexuality.
Building on the foundations laid by the earlier volume, this collection’s contributors speak new truths about the black queer experience while exemplifying the codification of black queer studies as a rigorous and vital field of study.
Topics include “raw” sex, pornography, the carceral state, gentrification, gender nonconformity, and social media. The relationship between black feminist studies and black trans studies and the black queer experience throughout the black diaspora, and queer music, film, dance, and theater are prominent conversations.
The contributors disprove naysayers who believed black queer studies to be a passing trend and respond to criticism of the field’s early U.S. bias. Deferring to the past while pointing to the future, No Tea, No Shade pushes black queer studies in new and exciting directions.
Let us know what you think about our must-have book recommendations.