1 of 5
By now you know I love an absorbing essay collection, and All the Women in My Family Sing (Nothing But The Truth, $16.95) certainly delivers. Editor Deborah Santana has assembled a rich mélange of writers, including Natalie Baszile, Lalita Tademy, Nira A. Hyman and Meera Bowman-Johnson, who go deep on a range of issues that will meet you where your heart beats.
2 of 5
U.S. poet laureate Tracy K. Smith continues to bend and reshape language and reimagine history in revelatory ways. Wade in the Water (Graywolf Press, $24) eerily echoes our anxiety about the current political climate. With verse Smith offers a voice to the powerless, who across centuries have struggled within cruel systems produced by wealthy and uncaring forces.
3 of 5
Perennial New York Times best-selling author Eric Jerome Dickey has done it again. In the titillating Bad Men and Wicked Women (Dutton, $27), the Memphis native pours in more delicious melodrama than you can find on a marathon of Hot Bench episodes. Dickey also mixes social activism into his plot with effective results.
4 of 5
Where has physician Nadine Burke Harris been all of our lives? You will ask yourself that question a mere few pages into The Deepest Well (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27). This groundbreaking work observes the underreported impact of childhood stress across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic lines.
5 of 5
Here's a big shout-out to chronicler Janet Dewart Bell and her exquisite oral history Lighting the Fires of Freedom (The New Press, $25.99). This is a long-overdue homage to the Black women who worked behind the scenes to make the marches successful and create many of the most significant moments of the Civil Rights Movement. Do share with the young'uns.
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