Black History Month: Memoirs

We're still celebrating Black voices! Today we want to share our favorite memoirs written by black authors.


Check out our previous blog post on the series:

Remember you can buy these books at our bookshop and help local bookstores all over the US stay in business!


The Home Place by J. Drew Lanham



Dating back to slavery, Edgefield County, South Carolina--a place "easy to pass by on the way somewhere else"--has been home to generations of Lanhams. In The Home Place, readers meet these extraordinary people, including Drew himself, who over the course of the 1970s falls in love with the natural world around him. As his passion takes flight, however, he begins to ask what it means to be "the rare bird, the oddity."


We recommend this book to those who love nature and deeply moving stories.


A Promised Land by Barack Obama



In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency--a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.


We recommend this book to everyone that loves beautifully written and powerful books.


I'll Never Write My Memoirs by Grace Jones



Iconic music and film legend Grace Jones gives an in-depth account of her stellar career, professional and personal life, and the signature look that catapulted her into the stardom stratosphere. Featuring sixteen pages of stunning full-color photographs, Miss Grace Jones takes us on a journey from Grace's religious upbringing in Jamaica to her heyday in Paris and New York in the '70s and '80s, all the way to present-day London, in what promises to be a no holds barred tell-all for the ages.


We recommend this book to those who love passionate books.


Born a Crime by Trevor Noah



Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man's relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother--his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty.


We recommend this book to those who love compelling memoirs.


My Soul Looks Back by Jessica B. Harris



In the Technicolor glow of the early seventies, Jessica B. Harris debated, celebrated, and danced her way from the jazz clubs of the Manhattan's West Side to the restaurants of Greenwich Village, living out her buoyant youth alongside the great minds of the day--luminaries like Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison. My Soul Looks Back is her tribute to that fascinating social circle and their shared commitment to activism, intellectual engagement, and each other.


We recommend this book to those who are looking for a great New York City memoir.