When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors; asha bandele; Angela Davis (Foreword by)
Call Number: 323 KHA
Publication Date: 2018-01-16
A memoir by the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement explains the movement's position of love, humanity, and justice, challenging perspectives that have negatively labeled the movement's activists while calling for essential political changes.
Twisted by Bert Ashe
Call Number: 391.5 ASH
Publication Date: 2015-06-09
A personal account of an African-American professor's mid-life experiences when he decides to grow dreadlocks, with a cultural and political history of dreadlocks.
Gather Together in My Name by Maya Angelou
Call Number: B ANGELOU
Publication Date: 1974-04-12
Continues Angelou's autobiography, I know why the caged bird sings. As the book begins, she is in her teens and has given birth to a son.
Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals
Call Number: B BEALS
Publication Date: 1995-02-01
A riveting true story of an embattled teenager who paid for integration with her innocence. Beals chronicles her harrowing junior year at Central High where she underwent the segregationists' brutal organized campaign of terrorism which included telephone threats, vigilante stalkers, economic blackmailers, rogue police, and much more.
Unbecoming by Anuradha Bhagwati
Call Number: B BHAGWATI
Publication Date: 2019-03-26
A raw, unflinching, and inspirational memoir by a former United States Marine Captain describing her journey from dutiful daughter of immigrants to wide-eyed recruit to radical activist dedicated to effecting historic policy reform in the military. After a lifetime of buckling to the demands of her strict Indian parents, Anuradha Bhagwati abandons her grad school career at Harvard University to join the Marines. It's the fiercest, most violent, most masculine branch of the military: the perfect place for her to prove that she's the ultimate Cool Girl, someone who can brawl with the boys in every sense of the word. Or at least that's what she thinks. From the moment training begins, Anuradha's G.I. Jane fantasy is punctured. As a bisexual woman of color in the military, she faces adversity and underestimation at every stage, confronting misogyny, racism, abuse, and astonishing injustice perpetrated by those in power. Pushing herself beyond her limits to prove her ability, she is forced to wrestle with what exactly drove her to pursue such punishment and violence in the first place. Once her service concludes in 2004, instead of retreating and putting it all behind her, she decides to do the exact opposite: take to task the leaders and outmoded conventions that she found so objectionable and even dangerous. Full of strength, courage, and heroic resilience, Unbecoming is about one woman who learned to believe in herself in spite of everything; it is the kind of story that will light a fire beneath you, and that will inspire our next generation of fierce female heroes to always persist.
A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown
Call Number: B BROWN
Publication Date: 2007-04-10
Cupcake Brown shares the story of her life, beginning with her mother's death in 1976 when she was just eleven, discussing how she ended up in foster care, her introduction to drugs, alcohol and sex as a runaway, her gang affiliation, and her addiction to crack, and telling how she turned her life around and eventually became an attorney and motivational speaker.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Call Number: B COATES
Publication Date: 2015-07-14
For Ta-Nehisi Coates, history has always been personal. At every stage of his life, he's sought in his explorations of history answers to the mysteries that surrounded him--most urgently, why he, and other black people he knew, seemed to live in fear. What were they afraid of? ... Coates takes readers along on his journey through America's history of race and its contemporary resonances through a series of awakenings--moments when he discovered some new truth about our long, tangled history of race, whether through his myth-busting professors at Howard University, a trip to a Civil War battlefield with a rogue historian, a journey to Chicago's South Side to visit aging survivors of 20th century America's 'long war on black people,' or a visit with the mother of a beloved friend who was shot down by the police.
Obviously by Akilah Hughes
Call Number: B HUGHES
Publication Date: 2019-09-24
Comedian and activist Akilah Hughes shares everything about her journey from a childhood in the south to the big screen while dispensing invaluable big-sister-style advice to a generation of future YouTubers.
Negroland by Margo Jefferson
Call Number: B JEFFERSON
Publication Date: 2015-09-08
The author recounts growing up as a priviledged African American girl while tirelessly measuring herself against both whites and the African American generality.
All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson
Call Number: B Johnson
Publication Date: 2020-04-28
In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.
My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King; Barbara Reynolds
Call Number: B KING
Publication Date: 2017-01-17
The life story of Coretta Scott King--wife of Martin Luther King Jr., founder of the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and singular twentieth-century American civil rights activist--as told fully for the first time, toward the end of her life.
Unbowed by Wangari Maathai
Call Number: B MAA
Publication Date: 2007-09-04
Kenyan environmentalist, feminist, and political activist Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, tells her life story.
The Dragons, the Giant, the Women by Wayétu Moore
Call Number: B MOORE
Publication Date: 2020-06-02
Looks at the of Liberian-American author and social entrepreneur, Wayétu Moore.
Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers
Call Number: B MYERS
Publication Date: 2020-05-12
Author Walter Dean Myers describes his childhood in Harlem in the 1940s and 1950s, discussing his loving stepmother, his problems in school, his reasons for leaving home, and his beginnings as a writer.
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Call Number: B NOAH
Publication Date: 2016-11-15
Trevor Noah's unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. .... Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man's relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother-his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Call Number: B OBAMA
Publication Date: 2018-11-13
An autobiography of lawyer and American First Lady Michelle Obama.
The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae
Call Number: B RAE
Publication Date: 2015-02-10
A collection of humorous essays on what it's like to be unabashedly awkward in a world that regards introverts as hapless misfits, and black as cool ... In this debut collection of essays, ... Rae covers everything from cybersexing in the early days of the Internet to deflecting unsolicited comments on weight gain, from navigating the perils of eating out alone and public displays of affection to learning to accept yourself-natural hair and all.
I Never Had It Made by Jackie Robinson; Alfred Duckett
Call Number: B ROBINSON
Publication Date: 2003-05-06
African-American baseball hero Jackie Robinson tells his life story, covering such aspects as his childhood in California; his experiences at UCLA, in World War II, and in the Negro Leagues; and the impact that breaking the color barrier had on his later years, on sports, and on American society.
The Tao of Wu by The RZA
Call Number: B RZA
Publication Date: 2010-11-02
A memoir in which the author, a successful rapper and music producer, discusses his life and work while interweaving his worldview and thoughts on the philosophy of Wu Tang, which is based on his study of martial arts and general artistic style.
The Last Holiday by Gil Scott-Heron
Call Number: B SCOTT-HERON
Publication Date: 2012-12-25
An autobiography of Gil Scott-Heron, musician and pioneer of spoken-word poetry.
Monster by Sanyika Shakur
Call Number: B SHAKUR
Publication Date: 2004-06-29
L.A. Crip gang member Kody Scott recounts his life from the time he joined at eleven years old to being in solitary confinement at San Quentin.
This Is Just My Face by Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe
Call Number: B SIDIBE
Publication Date: 2017-05-01
Oscar-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe reflects on her life amidst a polygamous father and her rise to fame as a movie star, reflecting on dispatches of friendship, depression, celebrities, haters, fashion, race, and weight.
Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults) by Bryan Stevenson
Call Number: B STEVENSON
Publication Date: 2019-09-10
Bryan Stevenson details from his personal experience his many challenges and efforts as a lawyer and social advocate, especially on behalf of America's most marginalized people.
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Call Number: B STEVENSON
Publication Date: 2014-10-21
The founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama recounts his experiences as a lawyer working to assist those desperately in need, reflecting on his pursuit of the ideal of compassion in American justice.
Students on Strike by John A. Stokes; Lois Wolfe (As told to); Herman J. Viola; Herman Viola
Call Number: B STOKES
Publication Date: 2007-12-26
John A. Stokes, one of the leaders of the student strike at R. R. Morton High School in 1951, describes the conditions in which he and his fellow classmates learned and provides an account of how they fought against segregation.
Little X by Sonsyrea Tate
Call Number: B TATE
Publication Date: 1996-12-01
Autobiography offering a woman's perspective on life in the Nation of Islam exploring its appeal, merits, and the contradictions which motivated the author to leave the group.
How Dare the Sun Rise by Sandra Uwiringiyimana; Abigail Pesta
Call Number: B UWIRINGIYIMANA
Publication Date: 2018-05-15
Presents the story of Sandra Uwiringiyimana, a girl from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who tells the tale of how she survived a massacre, immigrated to America, and overcame her trauma through art and activism.
One Day I Will Write about This Place by Binyavanga Wainaina
Call Number: B WAINAINA
Publication Date: 2011-07-19
In this memoir, Wainaina takes us through his school days, his mother's religious period, his failed attempt to study commerce in South Africa, a moving family reunion in Uganda, and his travels around Kenya.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
Call Number: B X
Publication Date: 1987-10-12
The personal story of the man who rose from hoodlum, thief, dope peddler, and pimp to become a leader of the Black Revolution of the 1960s.
If you are looking for a memoir/personal narrative that's unavailable or not in our collection, please let us know. We will help you find it at a local library or purchase it for the collection.