Boston Public Library
Black Is... 2003: Personalities
Booklists for Adults

*Recommended for Teens

*The Best Pitcher in Baseball: The Life of Rube Foster, Negro League Giant
by Robert Charles Cottrell.
Not only a baseball star but a man of vision who laid the groundwork for challenging Jim Crow.
GV865 .F63 C68 2001

*Can't Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters
by Robert Gordon.
From the cotton fields of Mississippi to the street corners of postwar Chicago, the "godfather of the blues" and the men and women who surrounded him.
ML420 .M748 G67 2002

Carmen McRae: Miss Jazz
by Leslie Gourse.
Recollections and interviews from friends and peers recall her roller coaster life and career.
ML420 .M34185 G68 2001

Cathy Williams: From Slave to Female Buffalo Soldier
by Phillip Thomas Tucker.
The incredible life of a woman who, disguised as a man, joined one of the six black army units formed following the Civil War.
E185.97 .W694 .T83 2002

Chewed Water: A Memoir
by Aishah Rahman aka Virginia Hughes.
The playwright's coming of age and escape from a difficult home life in post-World War II Harlem.
PS3568 .A4135 Z464 2001

Claiming Kin: Confronting the History of an African American Family
by Afi-Odelia E. Scruggs.
A genealogical search led the author not only to her ancestors but also to a spirituality derived from African traditions.
E185.97 .S38 2002

Firefighter
by Herman Williams Jr. with James Hall.
The father of talk show host Montel Williams battled and crossed the racial barriers at the Baltimore Fire Department.
TH9118 .W55 .A3 2002

*Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur
by Eric Dyson.
The impact of his art and still-growing legend on American popular music.
ML420 .S529 .D97

I May Be Wrong but I Doubt It
by Charles Barkley.
The outspoken former NBA player "Sir Charles" takes on the larger issues of life.
GV884 .B28 A29

*Just for a Thrill: Lil Hardin Armstrong, First Lady of Jazz
by James L. Dickerson.
A brilliant composer, arranger, and jazz pianist, Armstrong was also a major behind-the-scenes player in the career of her husband, Louis.
ML420 .A755 D53 2002

A Lawyer's Life
by Johnnie Cochran with David Fisher.
His 40-year struggle for equal justice.
KF373 .C59 A35

Lester Leaps In: The Life and Times of Lester "Pres" Young
by Douglas Henry Daniels.
More than a biography of the "president of the tenor sax," it is also a social and cultural history of African Americans in the first half of the twentieth century.
ML419 .Y7 D36 2002

*Multicolored Memories of a Black Southern Girl
by Kitty Oliver.
From growing up a "geechee" in Jacksonville, Florida, to integrating the University of Florida in the 1960s.
F319 .J1 O45 2001

On Our Way to Beautiful: A Family Memoir
by Yolanda Young.
Despite the unrelenting poverty of rural Shreveport, three generations of women provide strength, love, and security by keeping the church at the center of their lives.
F379 .S4 Y68 2002

Otis!: The Otis Redding Story
by Scott Freeman.
He died in a plane crash at the age of 26, three days after recording (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay.
ML420 .R295 F74 2001

*Ralph Ellison: Emergence of Genius
by Lawrence Jackson.
His life to 1953, when he won the National Book Award for Invisible Man.
PS3555 .L625 Z74 2002

*Revelations: There's a Light after the Lime
by Pastor Mason Betha with Karen Hunter.
Super rapper Ma$e reveals why he left stardom and the celebrity lifestyle behind to become a messenger for God.
BR1725 .M27 A3

Tonight at Noon: A Love Story
by Sue Graham Mingus.
The debutante from the Midwest who married the maverick jazz musician from Watts recalls their life together and his battle with Lou Gehrig's Disease.
ML418 .M45 M46 2002

*Vernon Can Read: A Memoir
by Vernon E. Jordan Jr., with Annette Gordon-Reed.
From his college days driving a limo for a racist bank owner, the author traces his career to the top of America's legal, corporate, and political worlds.
E185.97 .J78 A3 2001

This selected list was compiled by:

Betsy Clarke , Codman Square Branch

Marylou Coveney, Dudley Branch

Denise DeBoer, Fields Corner Branch

Jacqueline Hogan, CLSO

Kathy Kire, Chairperson Teen Services

Sarah Markell , Allston Branch

Margaret Phillibert, Circulation Services

Richard Wintergreen, Adams Street Branch