African-American Nonfiction

This selection of African-American nonfiction is provided by the staff of the North Channel Branch Library.

Roger Abrahams. African Folktales: Stories from Black Traditions in the New World
Nearly 100 stories from over 40 tribe-related myths of creation, tales of epic deeds, ghost stories and tales set in both the animal and human realms.

Sharne Algotsson. Spirit of African Design
In The Spirit of African Design, authors Sharne Algotsson and Denys Davis explore a number of stunning homes, successfully capturing the many possibilities that exist for African-inspired design. Text and photographs reveal the strong, distinctive motifs that distinguish the different areas of the continent: the dazzling geometric patterns of North Africa, the rich earth tones of East Africa, the bold graphics of West Africa, as well as the elegant style of Afro-European design and the eclectic interpretations of contemporary designers.

Maya Angelou. Even the Stars Look Lonesome
The renowned author of the #1 "New York Times" bestsellers "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" and "The Heart of a Woman" imparts compelling wisdom learned during a remarkable lifetime in "Even the Stars Look Lonesome"--a glorious continuation of "Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now".
Arna Wendell Bontemps. Young Booker: Booker T. Washington's Early Days
Traces the events of his youth and early career that were the driving force behind Booker T. Washington's determination to help educate his people.

Julia Boyd. Girlfriend to Girlfriend
The strong and sassy women who helped make In the Company of My Sisters: Black Women and Self-Esteem a national bestseller are back, with more straight talk to help every woman get through "the minute-to-minute obstacle course called daily living". Zoey, LeShawn, Cheryl, Jolene, and the whole Sister Circle talk from the heart, sharing encouragement, prayers, and life lessons on everything from stress to shopping, relationships to rap music, self-love to spirituality.
  Gwendolyn Brooks. Family Pictures

Chrisena Coleman. Mama Knows Best: African-American Wives' Tales, Myths, and Remedies for Mothers and Mothers-to-Be
A collection of African-American tales and traditions passed down through generations includes thoughts on cravings, predicting the sex of your baby, curing common ailments, and how to raise a baby to be proud of its heritage.

Bill Cosby. Kids Say the Darndest Things
Readers everywhere are sure to savor this treasury of wit and warmth from children, presented by today's most beloved comic, Bill Cosby. This hilarious, all-new collection ties in to the season debut of Cosby's CBS-TV series of the same name, and will be supported by the network with extensive advertising and promotion, as well as on-air exposure that's certain to turn viewers into readers.

Daryl Cumber Dance. Honey Hush!: An Anthology of African American Women's Humor
Hard-hitting, sometimes risque, always dramatic and eloquent, the vibrant humor of African-American women is celebrated in this bold, unique, and comprehensive collection, featuring contributions from the antebellum poets, early novelists, and contemporary personalities from Toni Morrison to Whoopi Goldberg.

Bonnie St. John Deane. Succeeding Sane: Making Room for Joy in a Crazy World
The author, a disabled, African-American Olympic ski medalist, Rhodes scholar, former White House official, and businesswoman, shares her personal formulas for making it to the top of one's field without sacrificing the things that are most important. Deane's prescriptive plan offers tools, insights, and exercises that help readers get the most from life while giving up less.

Monique DeJongh. How to Marry a Black Man
Part manual, part workbook, part journal, this book includes the results of extensive interviews and focus groups with men ages 25-70. It reveals what marriage means to them and tells what they are really looking for in a potential mates. This unique self-help/workbook is a funny and practical-minded guide for modern women.

Floyd Dickens. The Black Manager: Making It in the Corporate World
A frank, no-nonsense guide to making it in corporate America! "This revised and updated edition of the 1982 classic is full of strategies, models, common sense, and even work sheets. And it rings with authenticity".--Black Enterprise.

Michael Eric Dyson. Between God and Gangsta Rap
A former welfare father from the ghetto of Detroit, Michael Eric Dyson is today a critic, scholar, and ordained Baptist minister who has forged a unique role: he is a compelling spokesman for the concerns of the black community, and also a leader who has a genuine rapport with that community, particularly with urban youth. Arguing that the richness of black culture today can be found in the interstices - between god and gangsta rap - Dyson charts the progress and pain of African Americans over the past decade.

Ronn Elmore. How to Love a Black Man
As he sheds light on the hidden emotional psychological recesses of the black man's inner world, Dr. Elmore provides down-to-earth advice and real-life anecdotes drawn from his seminars and radio call-in shows to show women how to create the fulfilling relationship each partner wants and deserves.

Ronn Elmore. How to Love a Black Woman
From the author of "How to Love a Black Man" comes a book aimed at helping men understand and love the black women in their lives.
Henry Louise Gates. The Classic Slave Narratives
By 1944, over six thousand ex-slaves had written moving stories of their captivity, providing a prolific testimony to the horrors of bondage and servitude. Noted scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. compiles four of the most important "slave narratives" in this seminal volume.
Nikki Giovanni. Sacred Cows - and Other Edibles
Seeing writing as "a reflection of the moment,'' Giovanni tackles the "nuts and bolts'' of life in this collection of essays.

Lorraine Hansberry. To Be Young, Gifted, and Black: Lorraine Hansberry in Her Own Words
In her first play, the now-classic A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry introduced the lives of ordinary African Americans into our national theatrical repertory. Now, Hansberry tells her own life story in an autobiography that rings with the voice of its creator. "Brilliantly alive".--The New York Times.

Darlene Clark Hine. Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia
'With 604 full-scale biographical entries (and more than 450 photographs), the engagingly written 2,267-page work promises to become an invaluable school and library tool.' --People

Star Jones. You Have to Stand for Something: Or You'll Fall for Anything
One of today's fastest rising television personalities--co-host of the popular daytime program "The View"--pens a provocative and winning work of inspiration, drawing on her remarkable life experiences and opinions.

Dennis Kimbro. Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice
This success guide for black Americans--based on the principles of wealth that Napoleon Hill formulated in his bestseller Think and Grow Rich--distills the secrets of success of many black Americans, from George Washington Carver to Bill Cosby, from Oprah Winfrey to Jesse Jackson.

Mark Ribowsky. A Complete History of the Negro Leagues, 1884 to 1955
Baseball apartheid existed until Jackie Robinson broke that barrier in 1947. Ironically, with the integration of major league baseball, the death knell was rung for "blackball.'' In this blunt look at the Negro leagues, Ribowsky unsentimentally chronicles what he calls the penal colony of American baseball.

Ntozake Shange. The Love Space Demands: A Continuing Saga
Songs of love and urban tragedy from one of the preeminent African-American writers of our time. Shange's poems express the need to be felt and heard, to be necessary. In this love space, we all wear our desires, t-cells, and hearts on our sleeves and experience all that comes with wanting to get hold of life, or someone to love.

Clifton L. Taulbert. When We Were Colored
In this beautifully evocative tale of life in the segregated South, the author of The Last Train North looks back at his "colored" childhood with deep pride, striking honesty, and unusual affection. Soon to be released as a major film from BET Pictures, directed by Tim Reid and starring Richard Roundtree and Phylicia Rashad.

Susan Taylor. Lessons in Living
These nine spiritual pieces speak in a conversational tone, like a trusted friend guiding one through emotionally tough times, leading one to comprehend the truths of life and death.

Iyanla Vanzant. Faith in the Valley
In the companion book to her bestselling "Acts of Faith, " Vanzant inspires black women to look seriously at their lives and to try to determine how their own behavior may be causing avoidable problems.
Phillis Wheatley. The Poems of Phillis Wheatley
For the last twenty years Mason's work (first published in 1966) has been the standard edition of the poems and letters of this young black poet of 18th century Boston. This new edition has been extensively revised in light of new scholarship and has been expanded to include all of Wheatley's 55 poems and 22 letters, the significant variants of poems, and the four Proposals for publication of her works, all of them annotated.

Montel Williams. Mountain, Get Out of My Way
Whether you're a parent or child, black or white, rich or poor, Mountain, Get Out of My Way will fire you up, fill you with hope, and give you the confidence and energy you need to move the mountains in your way, every last one.