My New Book!

My New Book!
My New Book!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

January 26-27, 2019: Crowd-sourced Af Am Life Writing

[For this year’s MLK Day series, I’ve AmericanStudied African American lives in texts. Leading up to this crowd-sourced post on the responses and nominees of fellow AmericanStudiers—add yours in comments, please!]
Shil Sen follows up Monday’s post, writing, “Nice! Equiano should totally be required reading in US schools and colleges.”
For a great piece on Equiano’s book and those exact kinds of questions, see also L.D. Burnett at the USIH blog!
Other suggestions:
Mark Lawton shares, “This is probably an obvious choice, but the autobiography of Frederick Douglass will always stand out as one of the greatest books I’ve ever read. I remember reading it in junior year in high school and it always stuck with me.”
Adam Newman Tweets, “Two somewhat complicated (due to genre) examples I would suggest are John Edgar Wideman’s Writing to Save a Life: The Louis Till File and Tressie McMillan Cottom’s Thick. Both use memoir/autobiography but as material for analysis of contemporary & historical issues of race.” He adds, “Both are pretty freaking amazing and Wideman’s in particular felt largely overlooked perhaps because he is of an older generation though the book itself is truly a tour de force. Meanwhile Cottom’s book is amazing and thankfully getting the attention it rightly deserves.”
Matthew Teutsch writes, “I would say Wideman's Brothers and Keepers. That is a very powerful book. I'm also thinking about works such as John Marrant's narrative or even something like Iceberg Slim's The Naked Soul of Iceberg Slim. Both works highlights different periods and aspects of Black life.”
Finally, one of the most acclaimed recent works of African American biography has to be Imani Perry’s new Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry (2018).
Next series starts Monday,
PS. What do you think? Other African American lives and/or texts you’d highlight?


  1. PPS. Bryn Upton adds:

    "Check out D Watkins’ books The Cook Up and The Beast Side."

  2. Rob Greene Tweets:

    "*Heavy* by Kiese Laymon for sure. I think John Hope Franklin’s *Mirror to America* is a good one. And Du Bois’ Autobiography from the 1960s."