Boston Public Library
Black Is... 2005: Personalities
Booklists for Adults

*Suitable for Teens

*Afeni Shakur: Evolution of a Revolutionary
by Jasmine Guy
A series of conversations on themes such as love, race, drugs, music, and, of course, her son Tupac.
E185.97.S528G89 2004

Alice Walker: A Life
by Evelyn C. White
A portrait of the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer detailing her birth into a family of Georgia sharecroppers, her activism during the 1960s, and her literary achievements.
PS3573.A425 Z93 2004

Becoming Something: The Life Story of Canada Lee
by Mona Z. Smith
Canada Lee, actor, activist, and athlete, was the first African-American to break the color barrier in Hollywood. His life and career were profoundly affected by the McCarthy hearings in the 1950s.
PN2287.L2898 S65 2004

*Betty Shabazz: A Remarkable Story of Survival and Faith Before and
After Malcolm X

by Russell J. Rickford
Profiles her life before, during, and after her marriage; as well as her evolution into a powerful and outspoken African-American leader until her death in 1997.
BP223.Z8R53 2003

*The Big O: My Life, My Times, My Game
by Oscar Robertson
The legendary basketball star details his accomplishments on and off the court, and the racism that cost him his career.
GV884.R6A3 2003x

The Billion Dollar BET: Robert Johnson and the Inside Story of Black Entertainment Television
by Brett Pulley
Award-winning journalist Brett Pulley takes an in-depth look at the founder of Black Entertainment Television.
HE8700.8.P85 2004

Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black Millionaire
by Carol Jenkins and Elizabeth Gardner Hines
Guided by the question, “What do my people need now?, Gaston was able to amass a fortune that benefited both his family and the African American people.
HC102.5.G375 J46 2004

Burning Down My Masters’ House: My Life at the New York Times
by Jayson Blair
Written to share his story of deceit and subsequent cover-up at the New York Times, Blair’s firsthand account provides the missing pieces of the puzzle.
PN4874.B53 A3 2004

Climbing Higher
by Montel Williams with Lawrence Grobel
The popular TV talk-show host looks back on his career, his personal life, and his battle with multiple sclerosis.
PN1992.4.W553A3 2004

*Cooking with Grease
by Donna Brazile
A personal and political memoir in which Brazile reviews her thirty years in politics as she becomes the first African American to lead a major political campaign.
E840.8.B725 A3 2004

*Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues
by Elijah Wald
An account of Johnson’s work in the context of the history of the blues from its rural folk roots to the current style.
ML420.J735 W35 2004

Finding Grace: Two Sisters and the Search for Meaning Beyond the Color Line
by Shirley Taylor Haizlip
In this sequel to her highly acclaimed memoir, The Sweeter the Juice, Haizlip explores the relationship of her mother and aunt, and the cultural dimensions of having lived on opposite sides of the race line.
E185.96.H173 2004

From Rage to Reason: My Life in Two Americas
by Janet Langhart Cohen
Using her anger to fuel positive change, Cohen recounts her personal history from a poor girl from the projects, who became an Ebony fashion model, a respected journalist and subsequently the First Lady of the Pentagon.
PN4874.C644 A4 2004x

*Hank Aaron and the Home Run That Changed America
by Tom Stanton
In the midst of social, racial and political upheaval, Hank Aaron, stepped forward and broke the record of baseball legend Babe Ruth.
GV865.A25 S83 2004

Harriet Jacobs: A Life
by Jean Fagan Yellin
Discusses the life of the author of the most widely read woman’s slave narrative.
E444.J17 Y45 2004

*Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom
by Catherine Clinton
Captures the complex life and personality of an important historical figure, revealing her personal life, accomplishments, and influence.
E444.T82 C57 2004

Judging Thomas: The Life and Times of Clarence Thomas
by Ken Foskett
A portrait of the controversial and enigmatic Supreme Court justice.
KF8745.T48J83 2004

Louis Armstrong: The Off Stage Story of Satchmo
by Michael Cogswell
A tribute to the man and his music through photographs and remembrances.
ML419.A75 C63 2003

LT: Over The Edge: Tackling Quarterbacks, Drugs, and a World
Beyond Football

by Lawrence Taylor with Steve Serby
A memoir detailing the Hall of Fame linebacker’s contributions to the
sport, his addictions, and subsequent intensive therapy and rehab.
GV939.T34A3 2003

Luther: The Life and Longing of Luther Vandross
by Craig Seymour
Profiles the ups and downs of the legendary and reclusive music superstar.
ML420.V272S49 2004

Mercy, Mercy Me: The Art, Loves and Demons of Marvin Gaye
by Michael Eric Dyson
Through interviews with figures close to Marvin, Dyson combines storytelling with analysis to take an intimate look at Marvin’s achievements, decline and ultimate tragic end.
ML420.G305 D97 2004

*No Woman No Cry: My life with Bob Marley
by Rita Marley with Hettie Jones
Marley’s widow tells the story of her early life in the slums of Kingston, Jamaica, her marriage, their rise to international stardom, his drug abuse, and her devotion despite his womanizing.
ML420.M33131 A3 2004

Ordinary Girl: The Journey
by Donna Summer with Marc Eliot
A memoir detailing the popular singer-songwriter’s journey from Boston choir girl to her reign as the Disco Queen of the 1970s.
ML420.S952A3 2003

The Original Marvelettes: Motown’s Mystery Girl Group
by Marc Taylor
The book chronicles Motown’s first successful girl musical group as told by long-time member Katherine Anderson Schaffner.
ML421.M389 T39 2004

*Return to Glory: Inside Tyrone Willingham’s Amazing First Season at Notre Dame
by Alan Grant
A look at Notre Dame’s 2002 season, following Willingham as the new head football coach.
GV939.W53 G73 2003x

September Swoon: Richie Allen, the ’64 Phillies, and Racial Inetgration
by William C. Kashatus
Focusing on the famous 1964 Phillies’ bittersweet season, as an example of widespread racial conflict, the book chronicles the sports career of Richie Allen, his Arkansas days, the Negro Leagues and the history making Phillies era.
GV875.P45 K275 2004

Sidney Poitier: Man, Actor, Icon
by Aram Goudsouzian
An analysis of the life and career of Hollywood’s only black leading man during the Civil Rights era, from his humble beginning on Cat Island in the Bahamas to his 2002 Oscar for lifetime achievement.
PN2287.P57 G68 2004

*Slave: My True Story
by Mende Nazer and Damien Lewis
This is a memoir of a twelve-year-old girl who was kidnapped from her home in Sudan, her seven years spent in slavery, and her escape.
HT1384.K48 N39 2003

Song for My Father: Memoir of an All-American Family
by Stephanie Stokes Oliver
The author’s memoir is a tribute to her father, Charles M. Stokes, a prominent member of the Republican Party.
E895.22.S76 O44 2004

Speak, So You Can Speak Again: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston
by Lucy Hurston
Her story comes alive with samples of memorabilia from her life experiences accompanied by a CD featuring excerpts from interviews with this writer.
PS3515.U789 Z74 2004

Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela
by Hugh Masekela and D. Michael Cheers
Masekela writes about his early life in South Africa under Apartheid rule, his exile to the U.S. in 1960, his pioneering work to raise U.S. interest in African music, and his association with notable musical and political figures.
ML419.M325 A3 2004

The Ticket Out: Darryl Strawberry and the Boys of Crenshaw
by Michael Sokolove
A look at the 1979 Crenshaw High School varsity baseball team from Los Angeles, following the individual stories of each member of the team, including Darryl Strawberry, Chris Brown and Carl Jones.
GV865.S87 S65 2004

Tributes to John Hope Franklin: Scholar, Mentor, Father, Friend
by Beverly Jarrett
A celebration of Franklin, the author of From Slavery to Freedom, and the father of Black Studies.
E175.5.F73 T75 2003

Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
by Geoffrey C. Ward
Ward explores the complex life of Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion, and describes what it was like to be a great black athlete in the early-twentieth-century America.
GV1196.J64 W37 2004

Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde
by Alex De Veaux
Published twelve years after her death, this is the story within the story of her passionate life as a black feminist, lesbian, mother, poet warrior.
PS3562.O75 Z66 2004

*When Nothing Else Matters: Michael Jordan’s Last Comeback
by Michael Leahy
A hard look at Michael Jordan, the man behind the basketball legend, as he makes his “spectacular and disastrous” return to the game.
GV884.J67 L43 2004

Without Regard to Race: The Other Martin Robison Delany
by Tunde Adeleke
A study of the Civil War combat major and Pan-Africanist crusader for Black freedom.
E185.97.D4 A34 2003

You Ain’t Got No Easter Clothes
by Laura Love
This is a coming-of-age memoir about a troubled childhood in Nebraska with a single mother who suffers from schizophrenia.
ML420.L8853 A3 2004