As July comes to an end, I find myself thinking about all that Black people have suffered through yet again, for the comfort of white folks. From Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka recently validating their mental health—to Black LGBTQ+ being stigmatized and having false narratives perpetuated towards them on a large platform, Black people are in a constant battle to make it known that we are deserving of equal rights and basic humanity. In light of this, I would like to highlight three books that focus on the well-being, the struggle, and the liberation of Black people. There will be some household names like Angela Davis and some up-and-coming authors just making their way to the limelight.
Freedom is a Constant Struggle by Angela Davis
Angela Davis is a prominent political figure known throughout households, schools and universities, and political commentary. Many know Davis as an activist who suffered and reaped the consequences of fighting for the liberation of Black, Native and Indigenous people and those who are not free. This book is a collection of essays and interviews that showcase the narrative that she stands by and will fight for until she cannot anymore. Davis highlights the importance of why and how we should all fight for the liberation of the unfree through tales of Black feminism, intersectionality, and the abolition of social constructs that keep marginalized communities stagnant in their fight for freedom.
The Tradition by Jericho Brown
This collection of poetry and prose formulates the questions that Black people have that surpass generations. What is safety? Who is this nation? Where does freedom lie? Reviewers and readers define this collection as a necessary piece in our history, something that addresses our cries and validates our experiences as Black people forced to live in this nation and create our own cultures.
Heavy by Kiese Laymon
In this memoir, we follow Kiese Laymon through his experience, which is not unique to black men, that starts at childhood, and his experience through adolescence and adulthood. The content of this memoir is just as the title explains -- heavy. Laymon weaves in joy, liberation, and the consequences of living as a southern Black man in America, so fluidly that you won’t be able to put the book down.