Maya Angelou

10 Black Literary Works Every Person Should Read This Summer | List


 Whether interested in learning, or just gaining more knowledge about African heritage and culture, nothing beats opening a good book. Still, with so many choices at one's disposal, deciding on a title can prove difficult.

With the help of several well read scholars and emerging millennial voices: Writer & activist  Melanie Coco Mccoy (@MelanieCoMcCoy), Hip Hop Artist & Professor, Timothy Welbeck (@TimothyWelbeck ) & Middle Tennessee State History Graduate student, Joshua Crutchfield (@Crutch4), I sought to compile a necessary list of books we felt every young African Americans should read. A list featuring a range of genres including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and autobiography. From Maya Angelou to Assata Shakur,many of these authors have been heralded with national awards in the United States. Stemming back to 1845 with Fredrick Douglass's "The Autobiography of  Fredrick Douglass". It's these 10 titles have heavily  who have contributed to contemporary narratives about the black experience across the globe.

1. "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou (1969)
2. " The Autobiography of Malcom X"  By  Alex Haley (1965)
 3. "Assata: An Autobiography"  by Assata Shakur (1987)
4. "The Miseducation of the Negro" by Carter G. Woodson (1933) 
 5. "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston (1937)
 6. "The Wretched of the Earth" by Frantz Fanon  (1961) 
7. "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison  (1970)  
8. "All About Love" by Bell Hooks (2011)
 9.  "The Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas, an American Slave" by Fredrick Douglass (1845) 
 10.  The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois (1903)

 Let's make reading cool again! 

cropped-cropped-p1130772.jpgTyree Boyd-Pates is a man on a mission. As a writer, he aspires to expound on culture from a millennial perspective and unite and empower marginalized communities through journalism and social media. A Master's in African American Studies, he also is the creator of The Corner, a one-hour student run weekly radio at Temple University. You can follow him on Twitter: @Tyreebp.


Let's Make Reading Cool Again!


📚| ... So, you guys probably remember that reading list that I gave you a few weeks back? Well, guess who starting his own book club. The #DiasporaBookClub is a way for people to learn more about the literary contributions of African-American authors. The first book that were reading is the autobiography of Malcolm X sore to be a winner! If you want to join, let me know. Let's make reading cool again!!📚

Welcome to The Diaspora Book Club! 

The Diaspora Book Club is a new book club for young adults (18-35) to explore the literary contributions of African-American authors and to connect young people nationally/abroad - around the purpose of reading and growing.

I decided to create the Diaspora Book Club because of a need I saw within our generation. Firstly, a lack of positive African American role models in mainstream culture that resonate with youth outside of sports and entertainment. Secondly, the disinterest by my generation in reading and the unfamiliarity of it's transformative power. And lastly, my desire to inspire people and bring people together around literacy - even if they are from the other side of the world!

The books The Diaspora Book Club will investigate come from a wide range of genres including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and autobiography in Black Literature; From Maya Angelou to Assata Shakur, many of whom have received national awards for their writings. The selection of authors and books come from a literary list provided previously in another post.

The first book, we have decided to read is The Autobiography of Malcolm X  - which is sure to be a winner! Want to join? Pick up the book and join in the conversation. We are doing so via Twitter (using the Hashtag #DiasporaBC) to share our qoutes, thoughts, and  insights with every book we are reading. Exciting!


Why I weep over Maya..


As if it were yesterday, I can recall nearly two semester's ago, an assignment I was given in African-American Lit. For the assignment, every student had to exposit one of  several readings that demonstrated  a mastery and authoritative voice of an author's text. As the books were being passed around, oddly, I felt a strong conviction to choose "I Know why the Caged Bird Sings".

After nearly a month and half of reading, I began to feel different. I was slowly be drawn in by the story Angelou was telling. I began to feel every nuance, every motif, every poetic metaphor of her life in Stamps that left me with the impression that I was on those dusty roads with her.

I was witnessing her innocence as a child. I was witnessing her curiosity about faith and family. I was witnessing her ambiguous relationship to racism in this country. Moreover, I was witnesses sing her awareness of self; despite her displacement, disruption, silence.

Quite naturally, after Caged Bird, I had a growth of sympathy; not only for Angelou, but for Black women as a whole. I began to sympathize with their rape, I began to sympathized with their silence, I was growing sympathetic to the difficulty of identity formation in a society that doesn't see their humanity, but instead, their usefulness for exploitation.  Powerful, right?

Out of all the novels I've had the privilege to read, not many have given me such a lesson. Not only a lesson in my blackness, but my maleness. Maya Angelou revealed to me that regardless, of gender or race, we all have had things that have attempted to silence us. However, as Maya's life and writing has shown us, there is no cage with bars strong enough to conceal ones voice. That voice is the key that lead  you to freedom.

I write this with a grateful heart and eyes full of tears: 

Thank you Dr. Angelou.