Boston Public Library
Black Is... 1999: Personalities
Booklists for Adults

*BASQUIAT: A QUICK KILLING IN ART
by Phoebe Hoban. A drug overdose took the life of this graffiti artist at 28.
N6537.B233 H63 1998

BETTY SHABAZZ: A Sisterfriends’ Tribute in Words and Pictures
edited by Jamie Foster Brown. Includes Maxine Waters, Ruby Dee, Johnetta Cole, and Maya Angelou.
BP223.Z8 S543 1998

CRABCAKES: A Memoir
by James Alan McPherson. How a Pulitzer Prize-winning author had to travel to Japan to find the acceptance and community that he could not find at home.
PS3557.A355 Z476 1998

DANCING WITH STRANGERS: A Memoir
by Mel Watkins. Coming of age in the ’60s, this former editor of The New York Times Book Review grew up in mainstream America and formed his position on race by reading, not by marching.
F499.Y8 W38 1998

DEFENDING THE SPIRIT: A Black Life in America
by Randall Robinson. Autobiography of the founder and president of Trans-Africa, a lobby organization dedicated to African and Caribbean issues.
E185.97.R665 A3 1998

EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW: An Autobiography
by Constance Baker Motley. A black female lawyer looks at the Civil Rights Movement.
KF373.M64 A34 1998

*FABRIC OF DREAMS: Designing My Own Success
by Anthony Mark Hankins with Debbie Markley. At 7 he made a dress for his mother; at 28 he heads his $40 million clothing company.
TT505.H265 A3 1998

*THE FLIGHT OF JESSE LEROY BROWN
by Theodore Taylor. Not only did he break racial barriers; he was also the first Black to fly a Navy fighter and the first in naval carrier combat.
V63.B75 T39 1998

*FOR THE LOVE OF GAME: My Story
by Michael Jordan, edited by Mark Vancil. His career, from game-winning basket in the 1982 finals to game-winning basket in the 1998 NBA finals. A lavishly illustrated memoir.
GV884.J67 A28 1998

ELLA BAKER: Freedom Bound
by Joanne Grant. She worked with the major figures of labor, civil rights, and peace movements, not in the front lines but as an organizer behind-the-scenes.
E185.97.B214 G72 1998

*GIRL IN THE MIRROR: Three Generations of Black Women in Motion
by Natasha Tarpley. The poet’s family memoir.
PS3570.A6474 G57 1998

HOW SWEET THE SOUND: My Life with God and Gospel
by Cissy Houston. A first career as a "preferred background vocalist" to Aretha Franklin and Dionne Warwicke; a second career as a "stage mom" to Whitney.
ML420.H674 A3 1998

I WILL SURVIVE: The Book
by Gloria Gaynor. How the "Queen of Disco" fought drugs, alcohol, and bankruptcy for a new life and career in gospel music.
ML420.G307 A3 1997

INTO THE TIGER’S JAW: America’s First Black Marine Aviator.
The autobiography of Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen with J. Alfred Phelps. He served in Korea and Vietnam.
VE25.P48 A3 1998

JOHN COLTRANE: His Life and Music
by Lewis Porter. A jazz scholar includes unpublished interviews, photos, and genealogical documents.
ML419.C645 P65 1998

KING OF THE WORLD: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero
by David Remnick. "Clay rebelled against everything and everyone who would keep him and his people down."
GV1132.A44 R46 1998

*THE LADY, THE MELODY, & THE WORD: The Inspirational Story of the First Lady of Gospel.
by Shirley Caesar. Her family, her struggles during the Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina, and her career in music and the ministry.
ML420.C175 A3 1998

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF RON BROWN: A Memoir by His Daughter.
by Tracey L. Brown. President Clinton’s Secretary of Commerce, who was killed in a plane crash in Croatia.
E840.8.B77 B76 1998

LOOKING FOR FARRAKHAN
by Florence Hamlish Levinsohn. A political journalist examines how Eugene Walcott, the West Indian kid from Boston, became Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam.
BP223.Z8 F386 1997

MILITANT MEDIATOR&emdash;Whitney M. Young, Jr.
by Dennis C. Dickerson. Was the conservative head of the National Urban League naive in believing his color would not hinder his rise in the upper echelons of white political power?
E185.97.Y635 D53 1998

PAUL ROBESON: Artist and Citizen
edited & introduced by Jeffrey C. Stewart. Richly illustrated biographical essays.
E185.97.R63 P37 1998

*PURPLE REIGN: The Artist Formerly Known as Prince
by Liz Jones. Interviews with family, colleagues, friends, and The Artist show the musical evolution of the rock musician.
ML420.P974 J66 1998

SEVENTH CHILD: A Family Memoir of Malcolm X
by Rodnell P. Collins. According to African mythology, the seventh son will lead his people; Malcolm was the seventh son!
BP233.Z8 L57322 1998

TWENTY FAMILIES OF COLOR IN MASSACHUSETTS 1742-1998
by Franklin A. Dorman. For the genealogist.
F63 .D67 1998x

THURGOOD MARSHALL: American Revolutionary
by Juan Williams. Not the gruff, aloof Supreme Court Justice but a charismatic, man-about-town who rejected the teachings of both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King.
KF8745.M34 W55 1998

TRULY BLESSED
by Teddy Pendergrass and Patricia Romanowski. How family and faith in God brought him back from women, cars, cognac, and cocaine before that near fatal accident; and afterwards, from depression, drug abuse, and thoughts of suicide.
ML420.P44 A3 1998

UNAFRAID OF THE DARK: A Memoir
by Rosemary L. Bray. Having survived childhood with the help of A.D.C., the writer adds an informed, compassionate voice to the welfare reform debate.
F548.9.N4 B73 1998

WITH OSSIE AND RUBY: In This Life Together.
"We were lucky enough to be born into the Struggle and from that we have achieved some sense of our worth as married people, lovers, and friends," say Davis and Dee.
PN2285 .D28 1998

WALKING WITH THE WIND: A Memoir of the Movement
by John Lewis. How an Alabama sharecropper’s son joined "the children" and organized the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
E840.8.L43 A3 1998

YOU HAVE TO STAND FOR SOMETHING, OR YOU’LL FALL FOR ANYTHING
by Star Jones. Assistant D.A. turned TV personality, Star tells her life’s lessons.
PN4874.J66 A3 1998

*Recommended for Teens

This selected list was compiled by:  Kendall Brothers, General Library, Teen Services; Moonyean Carlton, General Library, Adult Reader and Information Services; Marylou Coveney, Dudley Branch; Janice Knight, Mattapan Branch; Amy Manson, Jamaica Plain Branch; Sarah Markell, Charlestown Branch;   Jacquelyn Hogan, Chairperson, Grove Hall Branch Libraries.  Boston Public Library, 1999.