Boston Public Library
Black Is... 2000: Personalities
Booklists for Adults

*Recommended for Teens

*ARETHA: From These Roots by Aretha Franklin and David Ritz. For the first time, the Queen of Soul tells her story. ML420.F778 A3 1999

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. Edited by Clayborne Carson. Extracted from King’s speeches and writings, this is a "religious and political autobiography rather than an exploration of his private life." E185.97.K5 A52 1998

BARBARA JORDAN: American Hero by Mary Beth Rogers. An inside look at a life of firsts including first black in the Texas senate and the first black keynote speaker at a national political convention. E840.8.J62 R63 1998

BACKBEAT: Earl Palmer’s Story by Tony Scherman. From Vaudeville to the present, personal history of a drummer who propelled hits by Little Richard, Fats Domino, Ike and Tina Turner and many others. ML419.P38 S34 1999

BEFORE HIS TIME: The Untold Story of Harry T. Moore &endash; America’s First Civil Rights Martyr by Ben Green. Fighting Jim Crow and police corruption in rural Florida, Moore paid with his life when a bomb was placed under his bed Christmas Day, 1951. E185.97.M79 G74 1999

BLUE AS THE LAKE: A Personal Geography by Robert B. Stepto. As he relives his summers at the all-black resort at Idlewild, Michigan, the author also examines six generations of his family as they strived to find and make a home. E185.97.S818 A3 1998

CATCHING DREAMS: My Life in the Negro Baseball Leagues by Paul Bauer and Frazier Robinson. A catcher’s view of the world of black baseball in the 1920’s through the early 1950’s. GV865.R596 A3 1999

COME OUT THE WILDERNESS: Memoir of a Black Woman Artist by Estella Conwill Majozo. Following the author’s beginnings in the 1950’s segregated South through an abusive marriage to becoming an artist, cultural activist and the recipient of the first doctorate in African American literature. PS3563.A29827 Z465 1999

FREEDOM’S CHILD: The Life of a Confederate General’s Black Daughter by Carrie Allen McCray. Publicly acknowledged and educated by her father, she became the acting president of Virginia Seminary, a leader in the NAACP and a lifelong activist for ‘full freedom’ for Negroes. E185.97.A36 M38 1998

*GOT YOUR BACK: The Life of a Bodyguard in the Hardcore World of Gangsta Rap by Frank Alexander with Heidi Siegmund Cuda. Tupac’s main bodyguard tells what went down the night Tupac was murdered. ML420.S529 A8 1998

*GRAND CENTRAL WINTER: Stories from the Street by Caverly Stringer. Sometimes humorous, always poignant personal tales of the author’s struggle to survive on the streets of New York City. HV4506.N6 S77 1998

GROOVIN’ HIGH: The Life of Dizzy Gillespie by Alyn Shipton. Popularly known for his stage antics and puffed-out cheeks, this biography reveals the intellectual who created bebop in the forties and the Afro-Latin sound in the eighties. ML419.G54 S55 1999

*HEAT: My Life On and Off the Diamond by Dwight Gooden with Bob Klapisch. Alcohol and drug addiction nearly ended the career of this Rookie of the Year and Cy Young award winner. GV865.G62 A34

IN THE GARDEN OF OUR DREAMS: Memoirs of a Marriage by Shirlee Taylor Haizlip and Harold C. Haizlip. A forty-year love affair that began as a blind date when she was at Wellesley and he was at Harvard. E185.96 .M174 1998

*LADIES FIRST: Revelations from a Strong Woman by Queen Latifah with Karen Hunter. The rapper takes readers behind the scenes of her life, sharing her mistakes, heartbreaks and successes. HQ1206 .L375 1999

MANDELA: The Authorized Biography by Anthony Sampson. An unprecendented look at "a true profile in courage." DT1974 .S26 1999

*NEFERTITI: Egypt’s Sun Queen by Joyce A. Tyldesley. She was the most influential woman in the Bronze Age until she vanished without a trace. DT87.45 .T95 1999

ON A POSITIVE NOTE: Her Joyous Faith, Her Life in Music, & Her Everyday Blessings by CeCe Winans with Renita Weems. The gospel superstar. ML420.W583 A3 1999x

PLAYING FOR KEEPS: Michael Jordan and the World He Made by David Halberstam. The making of Michael - the image and the athlete. GV884.J67 H35 1999

*PROJECT GIRL by Janet McDonald. Considered a nerd in the projects, a "Project Girl" at Vassar; McDonald battles heroin addiction and other problems before finding her real self. F128.9.N4 M33 1999

RAY CHARLES: Man and Music by Michael Lydon. Drug addict, womanizer, blind man, black man, musical visionary &endash; his highs, his lows and his bittersweet old age. ML420.C46 L93 1998

REMINISCING IN TEMPO: A Portrait of Duke Ellington by Stuart Nicholson. A centennial celebration of his life and times through personal accounts from his wife, sister, son and associates. ML410.E44 N53 1999

*SHE GOT GAME: My Personal Odyssey by Cynthia Cooper. The two-time Most Valuable Player of the Women’s National Basketball Association. GV884.C63 A3 1999

*STREET KINGDOM: Five Years Inside the Franklin Avenue Posse by Douglas Century. Rap culture and gang life on Brooklyn’s deadliest streets: the story of Big K.   HV6439.U7 N436 1999

TED POSTON: Pioneer American Journalist by Kathleen A. Hauke. The first black reporter to spend his career at a mainstream daily newspaper, Poston’s accomplishments include covering the retrial of the Scottsboro Boys. PN4874.P595 H38 1998

TERRY MCMILLAN: The Unauthorized Biography by Diane Patrick. Life of the successful author who is credited for changing the publishing industry. PS3563.C3868 Z86 1999

THEY CAN’T HIDE US ANYMORE by Richie Havens with Steve Davidowitz. Reminiscences of the 60’s: all night hootenannies in Greenwich Village with Bob Dylan, the 1965 Newport folk Festival and Woodstock. ML420.H235 A3 1999

TO KEEP THE WATERS TROUBLED: The Life of Ida B. Wells by Linda O. McMurry. Wells’ crusade against lynching and fierce struggle for equality in a society where blacks, women and especially black women had few rights. E185.97.W55 M38 1998

WATCH ME FLY: What I Learned on the Way to Becoming the Woman I Was Meant to Be by Myrlie Evers-Williams with Melinda Blau. How a sheltered young wife who was forced into single parenthood by an assassin’s bullet, completed her education, supported her family and became the chairwoman of the NAACP.  E185.97.E95 A3 1999

WHITE IS A STATE OF MIND: A Memoir by Melba Pattillo Beals. One of the ‘Little Rock Nine’ tells of life after leaving Central High in her senior year when segregationists offered $10,000 for her death. LC214.23.L56 B47 1999

This selected list was compiled by:  Kendall Brothers, General Library, Teen Services, Marylou Coveney, Dudley Branch, Joseph Fisher, Dudley Branch, Jacqueline Hogan, Grove Hall Branch, Janice Knight, Mattapan Branch, Amy Manson, Chairperson, Connolly Branch, Margaret Phillibert, General Library, Adult Services, Amy Short, West Roxbury Branch,   Georgia Titonis, South End Branch