In the scholarly magazine Callaloo, lesbian poet Audre Lorde once said, “My sexuality is part and parcel of who I am, and my poetry comes from the intersection of me and my worlds.”
Lorde, in her life and in her writings, dismantled so many systems that tried to diminish her and her family. She outlines the lessons learned in her seminal text Sister Outsider (Penguin Classics, $26), the feminist’s classic tome of 15 essays and speeches, originally published in 1984.
The work tackles the junctions of racism, sexism, classism, ageism and sexuality in persuasive reflections, which have stood the test of time. Reissued with a bold new cover and an illuminating foreword by poet Mahogany L. Browne, Lorde’s generational truths still cut deep into the darkened soul of America. Sister Outsider’s teachings, by one of our most revered elder stateswomen, should be read by everyone.
There are many other books that celebrate the lives of Black people, and this Black History Month we’ve highlighted just a few of our favorites.
Check them out below:
When you think
of tennis, you
can’t help but
think of Venus
have helped to
game while backhanding racism
and sexism. In Different Strokes:
Serena, Venus, and the Unfinished
Black Tennis Revolution (Nebraska,
$29.95), sports journalist Cecil
Harris points out how far we’ve
come in the game—and how far we
still have to go.
Zora Neale Hurston
reminds us why
she’s a legendary
scribe in Hitting
a Straight Lick
With a Crooked
$25.99), a collection of works including eight recently
unearthed short stories, with a foreword by author Tayari Jones. Among
the selections are a beautifully narrated tale of a woman who steps into
danger’s path to be with her lover and
the melancholy story of a young man
who sells candy in Harlem.
After public schools legally desegregated, Harvard
University recruited 18 Black men, including Kent Garrett, to
enter its hallowed halls as students. In The Last Negroes
at Harvard: The Class of 1963 and the 18 Young Men Who
Changed Harvard Forever (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,
$27), Garrett recounts how they transformed the university
just by showing up as themselves.
cash flow, a
free place to
live and no medical expenses,
would you lie to
love to participate in a secret government-run
research project? In Megan
Giddings’s debut novel, Lakewood
(Amistad, $26.99), reminiscent
of Jordan Peele’s terrifying film
Get Out, the author shows us
the depths to which a financially
struggling Black college student
is willing to go.
Ed Gordon gathered
some of the most
thoughtful voices in
Black America to
talk about progress,
the Black economy,
the Black Girl Magic movement and
the 2020 presidential election in
Conversations in Black: On Power,
Politics, and Leadership (Hachette,
$28). Gordon lets readers sit in on
important discussions with Black
thinkers shaping our world, including
activist Al Sharpton and Essence
Ventures CEO Richelieu Dennis.