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George Floyd’s Impact, Book Reviews, and Book Excerpts – June 21, 2022


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In The Lightmaker's Manifesto, Karen Walrond helps us name the skills, values, and actions that bring us joy; identify the causes that spark our empathy and concern; and then put it all together to change the world. Creative and practical exercises, including journaling, daily intention-setting, and mindful self-compassion, are complemented by lively conversations with activists and thought leaders such as Valarie Kaur, Brené Brown, Tarana Burke, and Zuri Adele. With stories from around the world and wisdom from those leading movements for change, Walrond beckons readers toward lives of integrity, advocacy, conviction, and joy. Buy Now ▶


His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice by Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa

The book’s authors, Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa, both respected political journalists for The Washington Post, reveal the grim, deeply personal account of the man whose martyrdom triggered a global response to this nation’s racism. While many youths have embraced the symbol of Floyd, very few people recognized the commonality of this man with so many black males in our community. In so many ways, George Perry Floyd Jr. was an everyman through towns and cities containing men of color. These newspaper scribes want to give the full measure of Floyd’s life, warts and all. They speak candidly about Floyd’s colorful father. The elder George Floyd was a professional musician, playing guitar for the Chocolate Buttermilk Band, a funk group that backed James Brown, Teddy Pendergrass, and other R&B bands. More ▶ Read an Excerpt ▶


The New Age of Empire: How Racism and Colonialism Still Rule the World by Kehinde Andrews

This is an updated version of, Kehinde Andrews, seminal book, which has shaken up academia and historians in Europe and the Caribbean with its penetrating analysis. Historian Robin D, G Kelley called the book “a provocation,” and adds: “…we are still living this imperial nightmare, still reaping consequences of contemporary racialized violence and exploitation. The lesson: no freedom under racism, no future under capitalism, no justice without decolonization.”


It’s very timely that the book opens with the 2020 George Floyd killing and the huge protest of resistance that followed the police murder. The British critic terms the Floyd killing as “the straw that broke the camel’s back, coming so close on the heels of the lynching of Ahmaud Arbery and state-sanctioned murder of Breonna Taylor.” He mentions the killing as one of the most significant events to rock the foundations of racism, genocide, colonialism, and imperialism. More ▶


The Sun Does Shine (Young Readers Edition) by Anthony Ray Hinton, with Lara Love Hardin and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times, now adapted for younger readers, with a revised foreword by Just Mercy author Bryan Stevenson.


In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only 29 years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free. Read an Excerpt ▶


Will by Will Smith

I’ve always thought of myself as a coward. Most of my memories of my childhood involve me being afraid in some way-afraid of other kids, afraid of being hurt or embarrassed, afraid of being seen as weak.


But mostly, I was afraid of my father.


When I was nine years old, I watched my father punch my mother in the side of her head so hard that she collapsed. I saw her spit blood. That moment in that bedroom, probably more than any other moment in my life, has defined who I am today.


Within everything that I have done since then—the awards and accolades, the spotlights and the attention, the characters and the laughs—there has been a subtle string of apologies to my mother for my inaction that day. For failing her in that moment. For failing to stand up to my father.

For being a coward. Read the Rest of Chapter One ▶


Unbossed: How Black Girls Are Leading the Way by Khristi Lauren Adams

From Khristi Lauren Adams, author of the celebrated Parable of the Brown Girl, comes Unbossed, a hopeful and riveting inquiry into the lives of eight young Black women who are agitating for change and imagining a better world. Offering practical lessons in leadership, resilience, empathy, and tenacity from a group of young leaders of color who are often neglected, Unbossed includes profiles of Jaychele Nicole Schenck, Ssanyu Lukoma, Tyah-Amoy Roberts, Grace Callwood, Hannah Lucas, Amara Ifeji, Stephanie Younger, and Kynnedy Smith. Read an Excerpt ▶


How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

“What is your definition of a Christian?” Dad asked in his deeply earnest way.

Cone looked at Dad with equal seriousness and responded: “A Christian is one who is striving for liberation.”


James Cone’s working definition of a Christian described a Christianity of the enslaved, not the Christianity of the slaveholders. Receiving this definition was a revelatory moment in Dad’s life. Ma had her own similar revelation in her Black student union—that Christianity was about struggle and liberation. My parents now had, separately, arrived at a creed with which to shape their lives, to be the type of Christians that Jesus the revolutionary inspired them to be. This new definition of a word that they’d already chosen as their core identity naturally transformed them. Read the Rest of Chapter One ▶


Dear Troy,

George Floyd’s, tragic murder, just over 2 years ago, has had the most profound impact on the Black book ecosystem than any event I have witnessed in the past 25 years. Our country was forced to reckon with its legacy of brutality leveled against Black people and how it impacts everyone today.


This resulted in a huge surge of interest in books on racism. Led by Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist, book buyers intentionally purchased these books from Black-owned bookstores. This support, during the pandemic, was a tremendous windfall for many stores. Today there are more Black-owned bookstores than ever before. We recognize the importance of our bookstores; the challenge will be continuing to support them.


Troy, your support is crucial to helping us celebrate our triumphs over tremendous obstacles, through books. Your paid subscriptions, book purchases, suggestions, engagement on the site, social sharing, advertisements, and feedback — all actions are crucial. No matter how trivial you may feel your actions might be, collectively they matter a great deal.


Peace and Love,
Troy Johnson
Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com


This message is sponsored by Broadleaf Books an imprint of 1517 Media.
Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated email.
★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – June 21, 2022 - Issue #361

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