Tag: Barack Obama

Barack Obama Lists His Top Books of 2018

 

Barack Obama posts his much anticipated list annually on Facebook. Check it out below! Have you read any of his top picks?

 

 

The books and authors highlighted by Obama this year were as follows:

 

Becoming by Michelle Obama
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
American Prison by Shane Bauer
Arthur Ashe: A Life by Raymond Arsenault
Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die by Keith Payne
Educated by Tara Westover
Factfulness by Hans Rosling
Feel Free by Zadie Smith
Florida by Lauren Groff
Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight
Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging by Alex Wagner
A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
A House for Mr Biswas by V.S. Naipaul
How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
Immigrant, Montana by Amitava Kumar
In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History by Mitch Landrieu
The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson
Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
The New Geography of Jobs by Enrico Moretti
The Return by Hisham Matar
There There by Tommy Orange
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick Deneen
The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes

 

 

Featured Image Via Politico

Obama

Here Is Obama’s 2018 Summer Reading List Inspired by His Journey to Africa

Check this out! Obama just revealed his 2018 summer reading list after his trip to Africa. President Obama wrote on his Facebook on Friday about his first time visit to sub-Saharan Africa and how this trip inspired him:

 

Over the years since, I’ve often drawn inspiration from Africa’s extraordinary literary tradition. As I prepare for this trip, I wanted to share a list of books that I’d recommend for summer reading, including some from a number of Africa’s best writers and thinkers – each of whom illuminate our world in powerful and unique ways.
 

The following six books are recommended and introduced by Obama. I directly quote Obama’s simple but beautiful words here:

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
 

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Image via Amazon

A true classic of world literature, this novel paints a picture of traditional society wrestling with the arrival of foreign influence, from Christian missionaries to British colonialism. A masterpiece that has inspired generations of writers in Nigeria, across Africa, and around the world.

 

A Grain of Wheat by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

 

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A chronicle of the events leading up to Kenya’s independence, and a compelling story of how the transformative events of history weigh on individual lives and relationships.

 

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

 

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Mandela’s life was one of the epic stories of the 20th century. This definitive memoir traces the arc of his life from a small village, to his years as a revolutionary, to his long imprisonment, and ultimately his ascension to unifying President, leader, and global icon. Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand history – and then go out and change it.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

 

4

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From one of the world’s great contemporary writers comes the story of two Nigerians making their way in the U.S. and the UK, raising universal questions of race and belonging, the overseas experience for the African diaspora, and the search for identity and a home.

 

The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between by Hisham Matar

 

5

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A beautifully-written memoir that skillfully balances a graceful guide through Libya’s recent history with the author’s dogged quest to find his father who disappeared in Gaddafi’s prisons.

The World As It Is: Inside the Obama White House by Ben Rhodes

 

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It’s true, Ben does not have African blood running through his veins. But few others so closely see the world through my eyes like he can. Ben’s one of the few who’ve been with me since that first presidential campaign. His memoir is one of the smartest reflections I’ve seen as to how we approached foreign policy, and one of the most compelling stories I’ve seen about what it’s actually like to serve the American people for eight years in the White House.

Featured Image Via Bustle

Obama laughing

Obama’s White House Photographer Released Book Called ‘Shade’

If you’re familiar with Pete Souza, Obama’s White House photographer, then you might already know about his hilarious Instagram trolling. 

 

 

 

 

For the past year, Souza has been releasing photographs of Obama with witty, biting captions aimed at the current U.S. administration. The posts took off and have made him a powerful, popular figurehead in the resistance. He’s been using both his skills as a photographer, and his anger and frustration with the current state of the U.S., to stand up and speak out.

 

And now, following the popularity of his bestseller Obama: An Intimate Portrait, Souza will be releasing a second collection of photos entitled Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents.

 

At a recent press release for the upcoming book, Souza said:

 

During the past year, I have been as distressed as anyone by the lies and hate emanating from the current administration. I began to use my personal Instagram account to throw shade at what was happening in the White House. Since then, I’ve been inspired by the comments I’ve received from many people who have posted on Instagram, sent me emails, or talked to me at my speaking events around the country. Many have suggested that I package my photographs and commentary into a book. As that idea becomes a reality, I am excited to once again partner with Little, Brown on this endeavor.

 

The book will compare photos of the Obama administration to the one currently in office, showcasing the two wildly different presidencies.

 

 

 

Pretty sure he wasn’t slandering someone on Twitter.

A post shared by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

 

 

The book is being published through Little Brown, and is expected for release October 16, 2018.

 

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Vox

michelle obama

Michelle Obama’s Memoir Hits Shelves This November!

Former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama’s memoir will be released this coming November 13th, and will be published by Crown, an imprint of Penguin Random House. 

 

Obama, along with her husband Barack Obama who is also publishing a memoir with Crown later this year, reportedly struck a deal for $65 million, though there has been speculation regarding the accuracy of these reports.  

 

 

The book will also explore Michelle Obama’s time in the White House, her experiences of motherhood and her various public campaigns. The book will be published in twenty-four languages as well as in audiobook version. Obama has also announced that Penguin Random House will donate one million editions of the memoir in her family’s name to First Book. First Book is a nonprofit organization providing books and educational materials to schoolchildren.  

 

Featured Image Via Bio.com

James Baldwin, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Maya Angelou african american writers important black history month great

Celebrate Black History Month the Bookworm Way With 20 Essential Reads

In celebration of Black History Month, we thought we’d give you a solid twenty books by and about people of color. Some are fiction, some nonfiction, and there’s even a little poetry in here. Twenty is a lot of books, but maybe you can read just one this month. It really doesn’t matter which—they’re all awesome! We promise.

 

1. Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin

 

Summary: “Trayvon Martin’s parents take the readers beyond the news cycle with an account only they could give: the intimate story of a tragically foreshortened life and the rise of a movement” (Barnes & Noble)

 

Why you should read it: This book will remind you of the issues and struggles faced by people of color in today’s society, and the very real inequalities suffered by young black men.

 

2. Dreams of My Father by Barack Obama

 

Summary: A memoir from the son of a black man and a white mother, trying to find his place and meaning in life as a black American. Follow along with Barack Obama as he traces back his family lines, all while learning more about himself and his father.

 

Why you should read it: Get an inside look on Barack Obama before the oval office, and how his family and journey as a black man shaped him to be the man he is today.

 

3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

 

Hate u give

Image Via Amazon

 

Summary: This is a story about a 16-year-old girl who witnesses her childhood best friend get shot at the hands of a police officer, even though he was unarmed.

 

Why you should read it: Although fictional, stories like this have happened all around the country. See police brutality through the eyes of someone new, and how it affects the community in which it happened.

 

4. I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi

 

Summary: A collection of humorous essays that dissect cultural obsessions, Ajayi’s book loudly calls out bad behaviors in both our real and digital worlds. Subjects vary from cultural importance of television shows, to discussions of race and media representation.

 

Why you should read it: We all get swept up in pop culture and debates on the internet. It might be time to check yourself on the facts and the way you handle yourself on social media. During today’s political climate, this book will bring you the information you need to Do-Better.

 

5. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

 

Summary: Cora is becoming a woman, while enslaved on a cotton plantation in Georgia. A new arrival from Virginia, Caesar, tells her about the underground railroad. It has the same purpose as the underground railroad we are familiar with, except it’s an actual railroad with conductors and engineers.

 

Why you should read it: Colson Whitehead brings together terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era and terrors faced today. This novel can bring things to light for its readers, while telling a compelling and powerful story of one woman.

 

6. Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin

 

Summary: A semi-autobiographical novel, it follows John Grimes—an intelligent teenager in 1930s Harlem. This novel accounts for Grimes’ relationship to his family and church. The personal side focuses on the relationship between Grimes and his mother, his biological father, and his stepfather. It discusses the negative and positive impacts the Pentecostal Church had on the lives of African-Americans.

 

Why you should read it: Go Tell It On the Mountain was ranked 39th on Modern Library’s 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century, and was included in Time Magazine’s TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005. This novel is extremely influential and is a must-read for everyone.

 

7. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

 

jim crow

Image Via Amazon

 

Summary: This book discusses issues specific to men of color and mass incarceration in the United States. Alexander notes that the discrimination faced is also prevalent among other minorities and socio-economically disadvantaged people as well. The central focus is within the title: “mass incarceration is, metaphorically, the New Jim Crow”.

 

Why you should read it: A lot of people believe the wicked Jim Crow laws are long gone, but they’ve just changed shape. Read this book to understand what is happening, and why.

 

8. Strength to Love by Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Summary: A collection of Martin Luther King Jr.’s sermons that focus on racial segregation in the U.S., emphasizing permanent religious values. King reflects on his deep understanding for the need of agape, while discussing how we need to first face our fears in order to reach the better world he believes there is.

 

Why you should read it: The sermons included have shaped many movements around civil rights and are extremely important to remember today. King’s speeches and sermons are inspirational for everyone, reading this book could change your perspective on life while giving you an extra nudge to keep fighting.

 

9. The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou by Maya Angelou

 

Summary: A collection of Maya Angelou’s poems, containing her reflections on African American life and hardship, celebration of womanhood, and tributes to influential people of her time.

 

Why you should read it: Angelou’s poetry shifted and shaped the world, inspiring and captivating both people of color and women. Every line and every word she writes serves its purpose. Angelou was highly influential, and everyone should have her poetry under their belts. 

10. The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley and Malcolm X

 

Summary: Published in 1965, this book is the result of a collaboration between Malcolm X and Alex Haley. It’s based on a series of interviews held between Haley and Malcolm X between 1963 and Malcolm X’s assassination in 1965. It describes Malcolm X’s philosophy of black pride, black nationalism, and pan-Africanism.

 

Why you should read it: It’s impossible to fully understand the Civil Rights movement without understanding Malcolm X. There’s no better way to understand his mind than committing his autobiography to memory. And watching the movie.

 

11. Michelle Obama: A Life by Peter Slevin

 

Michelle Obama

Image Via Amazon

 

Summary: Slevin follows Michelle Obama from her working-class childhood in Chicago’s largely segregated South Side. Highlighting her tribulations at Princeton and Harvard Law School during racially charged times of the 1980s, to raising a family and helping Barack Obama become the President of the United States.

 

Why you should read it: One of the first detailed accounts of Michelle Obama’s life, showing the path of how she got to her seat as first lady. Read this novel to see how Michelle Obama has always strived to change the world.

 

12. The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois

 

Summary: A collection of essays written focusing on race, Du Bois’ book takes from his own experiences as a black man in the United States.

 

Why you should read it: This book is extremely relevant to black history, and holds a special place in social science as one of the early works in sociology.

 

13. A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

 

Summary: Set after World War II, this play follows a family facing their own war against racism in Chicago. The Younger family of five lives in an apartment meant for three, building tension. When the patriarch of the household passes, the family comes into $10,000 from a life insurance check. Each member of the family has their own plans for what the money could go to.

 

Why you should read it: This play accurately depicts the lives of a family in post-WWII Chicago. It’s a classic, simple as that.

 

14. Kindred by Octavia Butler

 

Summary: A story that focuses on a young black woman from 1976, who finds herself jumping time between her present Californian life and a pre-Civil War Maryland plantation. She meets her ancestors and becomes entangled in the community, conflicting with her existence in her own time.

 

Why you should read it: There’s nothing like a socially conscious time travel story, and Butler’s the master.

 

15. The Known World by Edward P. Jones

 

Known World

Image Via Amazon

 

Summary: A historical novel published in 2003, set in pre-Civil War Virginia, Jones examines the issues regarding the ownership of black slaves by both black and white Americans.

 

Why you should read it: This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel takes on slavery in a very personal way. It’s pretty unforgiving and unforgettable.

 

16. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

 

Summary: This book is written as a letter to the author’s teenage son about feelings, symbolism, and realities of being black in the United States. Coates explains American history and the “racist violence that has been woven into American culture” to his son.

 

Why you should read it: Published in 2015, this is a more recent and accurate telling of what it’s like to be black in America. Coates’ style of writing letters to his son creates a personal feeling to the book, and gives its readers a closer look into his thoughts.

 

17. Negroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson

 

Summary: This memoir recounts Jefferson’s life in the upper-crust of black Chicago, her father being the head of pediatrics at Provident Hospital, and her mother a socialite. She takes us into the insular and discerning society she grew up in. “I call it Negroland because I still find ‘Negro’ a word of wonders, glorious and terrible.”

 

Why you should read it: Jefferson gives a different perspective, showing the readers a glimpse into the world of the Talented Tenth. It showcases privilege, discrimination, and misconception of “post-racial” America.

 

18. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

 

Summary: A collection of poetry sharing what it feels like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, seeing the shadow of Jim Crow and becoming aware of the Civil Rights movement.

 

Why you should read it: It’s a National Book Award winner and Woodson can do no wrong. It’s a great place to start!

 

19. Fences by August Wilson

 

FEnces

Image Via Amazon

 

Summary: A play written in 1985 that explores the African American experience while examining race relations (and other themes). Troy, 53-years-old, is the focus of the play. He’s the head of the household who struggles providing for his family. It follows Troy’s struggles throughout his life, and the effects they have on his family.

 

Why you should read it: It was adapted into a film in 2016, and we all know the book is better. The play gives the readers a chance to see color barriers faced by people of color in the 50s, and how some were able to break that barrier.

 

20. The House That Race Built: Original Essays by Toni Morrison, Angela Y. Davis, Cornel West, and Others on Black Americans and Politics in America Today edited by Wahneema Lubiano

 

Summary: Essays from some of today’s most respected intellectuals that share their ideas on race, power, gender, and society.

 

Why you should read it: This collection of essays can shed light on issues you may not be aware of, or bring more knowledge on issues you’ve already known about. There’s no such thing as knowing too much about something.

 

Feature Images Via PBS, Vox, and Biography