Boston Public Library
Black Is... 2001: Personalities
Booklists for Adults

*Recommended for Teens

ANGEL ON MY SHOULDER: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Natalie Cole with Digby Diehl. 

Battered wife, now divorced, cocaine addict, now recovered &endash; the Grammy Award-winning daughter of Nat King Cole.

ML420 .C636 A3

BOOGIE MAN: THE ADVENTURES OF JOHN LEE HOOKER IN THE AMERICAN 20TH CENTURY by Charles Shaar Murray.

Born in the Mississippi delta the year the first blues record was released, his life and that of music are inexorably intertwined.

ML420 .H635 M87 2000

BROTHERHOOD IN RHYTHM: THE JAZZ TAP DANCING OF THE NICHOLAS BROTHERS by Constance Valis Hill.

Portrait of these remarkable siblings from their vaudeville roots to Hollywood’s big screen.

GV1785.A1 V35

DESTINED TO WITNESS: GROWING UP BLACK IN NAZI GERMANY by Hans Massaquoi.

The son of a Liberian diplomat tells what he witnessed.

DD78.B55 M38 1999

THE DEVIL AND SONNY LISTON by Nick Tosches.

The book is a frank and revealing tell-all of the boxer’s stormy life.

GV1132 .L53 T68

DON’T MAKE ME STOP THIS CAR: ADVENTURES IN FATHERHOOD by Al Roker.

TV’s popular weatherman relates humorous misadventures from infertility to changing diapers.

HQ756. R6395

FATHERING WORDS: THE MAKING OF AN AFRICAN AMERICAN WRITER by Ethelbert Miller.

The poet offers a poignant memoir.

PS3563. I3768 Z465

HURRICANE: THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF RUBIN CARTER by James Hirsch.

Carter’s violent lifestyle and a corrupt New Jersey legal system led to his wrongful conviction for murder.

HV6248 .C353 H57

I WISH YOU LOVE by Gloria Lynne with Karen Chilton.

Gloria Lynne was touted as the heir apparent to Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington, but her rocky personal relationships and dubious financial dealings destroyed her dream.

ML420 .L9456 A3

LANTERNS: A MEMOIR OF MENTORS by Marian Wright Edelman.

A tribute to the church members, teachers, colleagues and family, both famous and not, who provided positive influences in her life.

E185.97 E33 A3 1999

LIFE IS SO GOOD by George Dawson and Richard Glaubman.

Undaunted by the brutal racism of his Texas hometown, this manual laborer learned to read at the age of 98 and wrote this memoir at 101.

F394 .M36 D39

LOOSE BALLS: EASY MONEY, HARD FOULS, CHEAP LAUGHS, AND TRUE LOVE IN THE NBA by Jayson Williams with Steve Friedman.

The book is an honest humorous look at the NBA by one of its own.

GV885.515.N37 W54

LOVE ACROSS COLOR LINES: Ottilie Assing and Frederick Douglass by Maria Diedrich.

Assing, a German journalist, committed suicide when, after she spent 28 years as Douglass’s mistress, he married a different white woman upon the death of his first wife.

E449 .D57 1999

LOVE UNLIMITED: INSIGHTS ON LIFE AND LOVE by Barry White with Marc Eliot.

ML 420. W473 A3 1999

LYING DOWN WITH THE LIONS: A PUBLIC LIFE FROM THE STREETS OF OAKLAND TO THE HALLS OF POWER by Ronald V. Dellums and H. Lee Halterman.

How his first career as a social worker fueled his future activities as a left-wing politician in the House of Representatives.

E840.8 D45 A3 2000

MARIAN ANDERSON: A SINGER’S JOURNEY by Allan Keiler.

While her lifelong racial challenges are not ignored, this biography by a Brandeis professor focuses on Anderson as “an artist first and a civil rights leader by default.”

ML420 .A6 K45 2000

MEASURE OF A MAN: A SPIRITUAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Sidney Poitier.

The actor offers a stream of consciousness reflections on his life - from his poor Bahamian origins to his Hollywood celebrity.

PN 2287 .P57 A3

THE MESSENGER: THE RISE AND FALL OF ELIJAH MUHAMMAD by Karl Evanzz.

This portrait of the co-founder of the nation of Islam includes previously unreleased information.

BP 223 .Z8 E434

MILES AND ME by Quincy Troupe.

A revealing look at a musical genius by his poet-journalist friend.

ML 419. D39 T76

MIRIAM’S SONG: A MEMOIR mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt">by Miriam Mathabane as told to Mark Mathabane.

Kaffir Boy author recounts his sister’s life in South Africa during apartheid.

DT 2405 .A44 M38 2000

MORNING GLORY: A BIOGRAPHY OF MARY LOU WILLIAMS by Linda Dahl.

Life of an unsung heroine, who just may be the mid-century’s most influential jazz musician.

ML417 .W515 D34 1999

MUHAMMAD ALI’S GREATEST FIGHT: CASSIUS CLAY VS. THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA>by Howard L. Bingham and Max Wallace.

The book outlines why Ali refused to be inducted into the United States Army.

GV1132 .A44 W24 2000

NAT KING COLE by Daniel Mark Epstein.

With two wives and many mistresses, his television show, and on-stage attack at a Birmingham concert, his private and professional lives had many highs and lows.

ML420 .C63 E67 1999

NEVER BEFORE, NEVER AGAIN: THE STIRRING AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF EDDIE ROBINSON, THE WINNINGEST COACH IN THE HISTORY OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL by Eddie Robinson with Richard Lapchick.

GV 939 .R58 A3 1999

NO FUTURE WITHOUT FORGIVENESS by Desmond Mpilo Tutu.  

Reflections of the Nobel Laureate’s tenure as chair of South Africa’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

BR 1450 .T88 19999

OPEN SKY: SONNY ROLLINS AND HIS WORLD OF IMPROVISATION by Eric Nisenson.

ML 419 .R64 N57

OUR KIND OF PEOPLE: INSIDE AMERICA’S BLACK UPPER CLASS by Lawrence Otis Graham.

The revealing stories and experiences of elite African Americans who grew up with privilege and power.

E 185.86 .G644 1999

RADIO FREE DIXIE: ROBERT F. WILLIAMS AND THE ROOTS OF BLACK POWER by Timothy B. Tyson.

How the radical radio show host from Alabama ended up influencing policy from the United States to China and Castro’s Cuba.

F 264 M75 T97

RECOVERING LIFE by Charisse and Darryl Strawberry.

The inspirational story tells of this devoted couple’s side-by-side battle to achieve Darryl’s comeback against substance abuse and cancer.

RC 280 C6 S77

RON BROWN: AN UNCOMMON LIFE by Steven A. Holmes.

The man who transformed Clinton’s 1992 campaign into a winner is remembered.

E840.8 .B77 H65 2000

ROSA PARKS by Douglas Brinkley.

F334 .M753 B75

*A SEASON ON THE RESERVATION: MY SOJOURN WITH THE WHITE MOUNTAIN APACHES by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

NBA great turns run-and-gun reservation players into a team good enough to win the state championship.

GV884 .A24 A33 2000

*SEE HOW SHE RUNS: MARION JONES AND THE MAKING OF A CHAMPION by Ron Rapoport.

The book tells the story of the Olympic gold medal-winner before the 2000 Games.

GV1061.15 J67 R36 2000

*SOLDIER: A POET’S CHILDHOOD by June Jordan.

Her first twelve years were shaped by the abusive father that she dearly loved.

PS3560 .O73 Z47 2000 

TAKE ME TO THE RIVER by Al Green with Davin Seay.

Singer or preacher, entertainer or evangelist, man of the world or man of the cloth &endash; his internal and external struggles.

ML420 .G843 A3 2000x

*THA DOGGFATHER : THE TIMES, TRIALS, AND HARD CORE TRUTHS OF SNOOP DOGG by Snoop Dogg with Davin Seay.

Life as a gangbanger, a jailed drug dealer and a musician including graphic anecdotes and candid introspection. Black and white photographs.

ML420 .S6735 A3 1999

TROUBLE MAN: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF MARVIN GAYE by Steve Turner.

Despite his musical genius, a life of financial problems, failed relationships and drug addiction led to his untimely death at the hands of his father.

ML420 .G305 T87 2000

UNDER THE KNIFE: HOW A WEALTHY NEGRO SURGEON WIELDED POWER IN THE JIM CROW SOUTH by Hugh Pearson.

F294 .B35 P43 2000

W.E.B. DU BOIS: THE FIGHT FOR EQUALITY AND THE AMERICAN CENTURY, 1919-1963 by David Levering Lewis.

Volume two of a Pulitzer winning biography explores DuBois’ ideological conflict with Marcus Garvey, his conversion to communism and his self-imposed exile to Ghana.

E185.97 D73 L483 2000x

 

 

This selected list was compiled by:

Marylou Coveney, Dudley Branch

Denise DeBoer, Fields Corner Branch

Jacqueline Hogan, Grove Hall Branch

Kathy Kire, Teen Services

Parker Hill Branch

Amy Manson, Connolly Branch

Margaret Phillibert, General Library, Adult Services

Richard Wintergreen, Adams Street Branch

Joseph Wisniewski, Codman Square Branch