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Glory Edim Recommends

Glory Edim, the founder of Well-Read Black Girl and curator of the anthology Well-Read Black Girl, shares the one book that transformed her life, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Discover below more of her recommendations for Black History Month and beyond.

“I truly loved Mildred Taylor’s work as a child. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a beautifully crafted story of racism, injustice, and inequality in the American South. It’s impossible to measure the impact of her characters in my life. The Logan family illustrated how every individual has the ability to make an impact in their community. More importantly, she taught my 10-year old self how to love myself and Black history without ceasing. The iconic book is a must-read for every person—young or old—who wants to further understand the long and difficult struggle for social justice faced by African-Americans.”

Share the stories written by Black authors that have transformed your life using #BlackStoriesHavePower. We’ll be amplifying these stories this month and every month. In honor of Black History Month, PRH is donating $10K to the Hurston/Wright Foundation.
  1. 1
    Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Book Cover Picture
    Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Book Cover Picture

    Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

    by Mildred D. Taylor

    Set in Mississippi at the height of the Depression, this is the story of one family’s struggle to maintain their integrity, pride, and independence in the face of racism and social injustice. And it is also Cassie’s story–Cassie Logan, an independent girl who discovers over the course of an important year why having land of their own is so crucial to the Logan family, even as she learns to draw strength from her own sense of dignity and self-respect.
    Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Book Cover Picture
    Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Book Cover Picture

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  2. 2
    Drinking Coffee Elsewhere Book Cover Picture
    Drinking Coffee Elsewhere Book Cover Picture

    Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

    by ZZ Packer

    ZZ Packer dazzles with her command of language as she takes us into the lives of characters on the periphery, unsure of where they belong. We meet a Brownie troop of black girls who are confronted with a troop of white girls; a young man who goes with his father to the Million Man March and must decides where his allegiance lies; an international group of drifters in Japan, who are starving, unable to find work; a girl in a Baltimore ghetto who has dreams of the larger world she has seen only on the screens in the television store nearby, where the Lithuanian shopkeeper holds out hope for attaining his own American Dream.
    Drinking Coffee Elsewhere Book Cover Picture
    Drinking Coffee Elsewhere Book Cover Picture

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  3. 3
    Black Is the Body Book Cover Picture
    Black Is the Body Book Cover Picture

    Black Is the Body

    by Emily Bernard

    In these twelve deeply personal, connected essays, Bernard details the experience of growing up black in the south with a family name inherited from a white man, surviving a random stabbing at a New Haven coffee shop, marrying a white man from the North and bringing him home to her family, adopting two children from Ethiopia, and living and teaching in a primarily white New England college town. Each of these essays sets out to discover a new way of talking about race and of telling the truth as the author has lived it.
    Black Is the Body Book Cover Picture
    Black Is the Body Book Cover Picture

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  4. 4
    The Autobiography of Malcolm X Book Cover Picture
    The Autobiography of Malcolm X Book Cover Picture

    The Autobiography of Malcolm X

    by Malcolm X

    In the searing pages of this classic autobiography, originally published in 1964, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement. His fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues of our own time.
    The Autobiography of Malcolm X Book Cover Picture
    The Autobiography of Malcolm X Book Cover Picture

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  5. 5
    The Water Dancer Book Cover Picture
    The Water Dancer Book Cover Picture

    The Water Dancer

    by Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known. So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the Deep South to dangerously idealistic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.
    The Water Dancer Book Cover Picture
    The Water Dancer Book Cover Picture

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  6. 6
    Ordinary Light Book Cover Picture
    Ordinary Light Book Cover Picture

    Ordinary Light

    by Tracy K. Smith

    In Ordinary Light, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Tracy K. Smith tells her remarkable story, giving us a quietly potent memoir that explores her coming-of-age and the meaning of home against a complex backdrop of race, faith, and the unbreakable bond between a mother and daughter. Here is the story of a young artist struggling to fashion her own understanding of belief, loss, history, and what it means to be black in America.
    Ordinary Light Book Cover Picture
    Ordinary Light Book Cover Picture

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  7. 7
    Americanah Book Cover Picture
    Americanah Book Cover Picture

    Americanah

    by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.
    Americanah Book Cover Picture
    Americanah Book Cover Picture

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  8. 8
    Red at the Bone Book Cover Picture
    Red at the Bone Book Cover Picture

    Red at the Bone

    by Jacqueline Woodson

    As the book opens in 2001, it is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody’s coming of age ceremony in her grandparents’ Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the music of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer: Melody’s mother, for her own ceremony– a celebration that ultimately never took place. Unfurling the history of Melody’s parents and grandparents to show how they all arrived at this moment, Woodson considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the costs, the tolls they’ve paid for striving to overcome expectations and escape the pull of history.
    Red at the Bone Book Cover Picture
    Red at the Bone Book Cover Picture

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  9. 9
    Becoming Book Cover Picture
    Becoming Book Cover Picture

    Becoming

    by Michelle Obama

    Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.
    Becoming Book Cover Picture
    Becoming Book Cover Picture

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  10. 10
    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Book Cover Picture
    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Book Cover Picture

    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

    by Maya Angelou

    Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide.
    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Book Cover Picture
    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Book Cover Picture

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