Boston Public Library
Black Is... 1996: Personalities 
Booklists for Adults

BROTHER LOVE: MURDER, MONEY, AND A MESSIAH. Sydney P. Freedberg.
About the charismatic religious leader, Yahweh Ben Yahweh.

*BUCK LEONARD: THE BLACK LOU GEHRIG: THE HALL OF FAMER'S STORY IN HIS OWN WORDS. Buck Leonard with James A. Riley.
Baseball at the zenith of the Negro Leagues.

BUS RIDE TO JUSTICE: CHANGING THE SYSTEM BY THE SYSTEM: THE LIFE AND WORK OF FRED D. GRAY. Fred D. Gray.
"Lawyer for Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, the Desegregation of Alabama Schools, and the 1965 Selma March."

*BY GEORGE: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF GEORGE FOREMAN. George Forman and Joel Engel.
He turned the hoots of the sports world into hurrahs when he regained the heavyweight championship of the world at the age of forty-five.

THE DITCHDIGGER'S DAUGHTERS: A BLACK FAMILY'S ASTONISHING SUCCESS STORY. Yvonne S. Thornton, M.D. as told to Jo Coudert.
Six sisters attribute their success to their uneducated father's singleminded devotion to hard work and family values.

DREAMS FROM MY FATHER: A STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE. Barack Obama.
The son of a black Kenyan father and a white American mother is part of two worlds but belongs to neither.

*THE EMMITT ZONE. Emmitt Smith with Steve Delsohn.
He was considered pro football's premier running back.

*FLEET WALKER'S DIVIDED HEART: THE LIFE OF BASEBALL'S FIRST BLACK MAJOR LEAGUER. David W. Zang.
He was also the last one until Jackie Robinson played fifty-five years later.

GHETTO SOLUTION. Roland Gilbert and Cheo Tyehimba-Taylor.
Gilbert was founder of a program that trains African-American adults to be role models for African-American youths.

*LETTIN IT ALL HANG OUT. RuPaul.
Part autobiography part how-to manual for drag queens.

LIFE ON THE COLOR LINE: THE TRUE STORY OF A WHITE BOY WHO DISCOVERED HE WAS BLACK. Gregory Howard Williams.
His mother was white, his father was passing. Following their divorce he was forced to deal with his biracial heritage.

LIVE FROM DEATH ROW. Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Columns about racism and injustice in America by a journalist convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of a white police officer.

*MICHAEL JACKSON: UNAUTHORIZED. Christopher Andersen.
Reclusive, enigmatic, even bizarre, but is he really a pedophile?

MY AMERICAN JOURNEY. Colin Powell with Joseph E. Persico.
"Mine is the story of a black kid of no early promise from an immigrant family...who was raised in the South Bronx and somehow rose to become... Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff."

*NO DISRESPECT. Sister Souljah.
More than a biography, the rapper's position on life, love, sex, spirituality, and race.

ONLY IN AMERICA: THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF DON KING. Jack Newfield.
The numbers runner from Cleveland who took control of professional boxing. An expose.

*PRYOR CONVICTIONS: AND OTHER LIFE SENTENCES. Richard Pryor with Todd Gold.
The tormented life of an American comic.

*REBOUND: THE ODYSSEY OF MICHAEL JORDAN. Bob Greene.
His two-year search for himself after his father's untimely death.

REVELATIONS: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ALVIN AILEY. Alvin Ailey with A. Peter Baily.
He overcame insecurity, drug addiction, and mental illness to become a world renowned pioneer in dance and choreography.

*WOODHOLME: A BLACK MAN'S STORY OF GROWING UP ALONE. DeWayne Wickham.
An extended family of Jewish country club members and black caddies provides direction to an orphan after the murder/suicide of his parents.

YOU SEND ME: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SAM COOKE. Daniel Wolff.
"...from the gospel highway to the chittlin' circuit to the Copacabana..."

*Recommended for Teens

This selected list was compiled by Alan Babner, Fields Corner Branch; Elisa Birdsseye-Clark, General Library Reader and Information Services; Sara F. Ennis, Brighton/Faneuil Branch Libraries; Jacquelyn Hogan, Egleston Square/Grove Hall Branch Libraries; Marilyn Poindexter, General Library, Teen Services; Karen L. Williams, Connolly Branch; Sara Markell, Chairperson, Codman Square Branch.