During this time of crisis and shelter in place, I have expanded and curated my own personal library in my home. Abbigail Glen stated that we should “diversify what we read, what we watch, where we eat and where we shop can save us from ignorance.” Take the time, because we have time to educate ourselves extensively in literature that you are interested in. It is time to add some aesthetics to your life. Make sure to invest in diverse books, such as black authors.
There are 5 books that you need on your shelf. I have been reading these books over and over for inspiration and seek as an escape from the news, notifications, and/noise.
The Writer’s Block: A Collection of Poems For Black Women and Other Folks by Ayanna M. Poole
I fell in love with the way Poole wrote your poetry book. She speaks about her journey as a black woman. We went to school together and she has a beautiful and gifted soul. Poole’s book, Writer’s Block is a collection of poetry that explores the disoriented thoughts of a young black woman. Through this book, readers journey life through many speakers’ eyes and find themselves in the crevasses of pages. Poole’s poems create conversations around childhood, womanhood, racism, abuse, relationships and a host of other topics.
Small Doses: Potent Truths For Everyday Use by Amanda Seales
Amanda Seales is a comedian, actress, and activist that speaks fearlessly and passionately about the course of her life and career. Small Doses is also a podcast that she hosts to discuss hot topics and things that are going on in the world. Her book is very bright, colorful, informative and engaging. Amanda Seales is unapologetic, fiercely funny, and searingly honest, Small Doses engages, empowers, and enlightens readers on how to find their truths while still finding the funny.
In Bloom: A Poetic Documentary Of The Journey to Higher Self by Reyna Noriega
Reyna Noriega is an amazing artist as well as an author. Her poetry book is inspiration, and therapeutic to read in a flow. I love her spirit, it reflects her writings and it is impeccably well written. In this collection of poems, written in sequence with the unfolding of the narrator, we explore all of the habits, thought processes, and love stories that must be eradicated in order to meet our higher self. “This world makes it so easy to forget ourselves. Our souls are screaming to be seen and felt and we stuff cotton balls into our ears to drown out the noise. We put poison into our bodies to combat the hunger.”
More Myself by Alicia Keys
This book is beautifully written in discovering your inner truth. The things that Alicia Keys has experienced in the book makes her relatable in a sense of not knowing your worth until you are shown by the grace of God. In More Myself, Alicia shares her quest for truth―about herself, her past, and her shift from sacrificing her spirit to celebrating her worth. With the raw honesty that epitomizes Alicia’s artistry, More Myself is at once a riveting account and a clarion call to readers: to define themselves in a world that rarely encourages a true and unique identity.
Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall
Hood Feminism is required for everyone to own and read. It is a guide of how we can do better as women. When we think of feminism, we think of all women uniting together. However, there is a blind spot amongst certain women who feel and are neglected in this topic. There are some women who oppress women based on skin color, learned behavior, basic needs, health care etc. I have not finished this book but I am learning so much from this text,especially in times like this.
Brandi Hood is a part-time lifestyle writer and full-time English teacher. She juggles being a mom and wife but maintains it gracefully. She loves to read and watch shows like “Sistas” and “Insecure”.