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10 Books African-Americans Should Read & Have in the Home

Today, at 5PM EST, I’ll be participating in a live interview with Paul Billings host of the “The Beat” on WUVS-LP 103.7FM  located in West Michigan. (You may listen on-line at

Paul Billings is doing a special series on radio titled “14 Days of Thought Provoking Topics”.  Each day different topics relevant to the Black Community are addressed.   Today the topic is: “10 Books African- Americans should read & have in the home”.

Of course this is a big topic.  One could easily come up wth 100 books African Americans should read & have in the home.  When thinking about the 10 books I would recommend I began to reflect on a poem I heard the Nigeria writer Ben Okri recite recently (video below).

In fact, whenever I consider the next book to read, I reflect Ben’s simple yet deep poem. The titles I recommend, I hope, will reflect, at least partically the spirit of Ben’s poem.

I can’t help but believe if we could get 25 percent of adults to read in the manner Ben describes, that the world would be a much better place.


Troy D. Johnson is the President, founder and webmaster of, LLC (The African American Literature Book Club). Launched in March of 1998, has grown to become the largest and most frequently visited website dedicated to books and films by and about people of African descent.