blackgirlgrown Reading List
Below are some of our favorite reads on a number of issues featured here on blackgirlgrown. We’d love to hear about your favorite books and how they’ve made a difference in your life.
books available through Amazon.com
black women: Maya Angelou’s new book, Letter to My Daughter, is a wonderful book and a quick read on the important lessons and understandings women of all ages should learn, especially young women. The brief chapter on Vulgarity is one every young lady should read. Another interesting read which delves into the lingering impact of fatherlessness on black women is Jonetta Rose Barras’ What Happened to Daddy’s Little Girl.
career and professional development: Most successful business leaders will mention The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli or The Art of War by Sun Tzu as the tried and true texts of navigating the boardroom. Both offer great lessons on business and engagement with allies and rivals. Another standout book offering historical lessons and context is Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power.
As black women in the workplace, we are often challenged with unfair stereotypes and must exceed the expectations instead of just meeting them. Charisse Jones takes a a stab at defining the dual roles of black women in her book, Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America. And given the need to commit ourselves to constant improvement, you will find a number of grammar tips on blackgirlgrown. These tips are from The Grammar Girl and are available in book format as a handy guide for better writing.
community: Much has been said about Bill Cosby’s clarion call for personal and parental responsibility on the black community. While some would suggest this is “airing our dirty laundry,” Cosby reaffirms the lessons taught to us by the patriarchs and matriarchs of our family, and forgotten by today’s. Other books with similar themes and lessons include Juan Williams’Enough and John McWhorter’s series on Losing The Race.
etiquette and personal development: Most of us have not had the luxury of formal etiquette training. What with struggling to make ends meet and providing for basic basic needs, most of our parents weren’t able to teach us the difference between a dinner fork and a salad fork. These are lessons we learn later in life through embarrassment given the unfortunate faux paus. Two great books on the subject include Emily Post’s Book on Etiquette and Harriette Cole’s How To Be: A Guide to Contemporary Living for African Americans. As as we navigate our personal growth and chart a course for the future, What Happy People Know by Dr. Dan Baker gives incredible insight on what makes people happy, and unhappy.
health and wellness:As we strive to be caregivers to our family, we are often times guilty of not caring for ourselves. Our health, and the health of our family should be our most precious priority. The following books provide answers and guidance on health issues facing black women, advice on how to talk to your aging parents, and surviving cancer. ESSENCE: The Black Woman’s Guide to Healthy Living: The Best Advice For Body, Mind + Spirit In Your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s + Beyond and The Caregiver’s Survival Handbook: How to Care for Your Aging Parent Without Losing Yourself .
personal finance: Several years ago, Rich Dad, Poor Dad was the rage, teaching how mindset and outlook matter when it comes to pursuing financial goals. A great series providing easy to understand financial guidance is the Finish Rich collection. A favorite here on blackgirlgrown: Smart Women Finish Rich.