A Faith in the Ultimate Justice of Things

by Doni Crawford

Written forty years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, The Souls of Black Folk examines the journey and conditions of Black America through the eyes of W.E.B. Du Bois. Du Bois is exhaustive, taking an interdisciplinary approach to study these conditions over time in a series of essays that detail how black progress was miniscule at best. Along the way, concepts that Du Bois became known for – double consciousness, the Veil and The Talented Tenth – are introduced and Booker T. Washington’s ideology on the civil rights and industrial education of Black America is critiqued. 

Black Boys Soaring and the Women Who Pay the Price

by Shanel Adams

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison points out nearly every issue the Black community faces through supernatural yet relatable characters and a twisted storyline. Like only Morrison knows how, the novel is inundated with suspense that keeps you entranced until the book is finished. Looking back on the novel, I began to think about how Milkman, the main character, mirrors a few Black men I know. Attractive, intelligent, but the confusion about his Blackness and haunting secrets of his family affects how he operates in society. He reminds me of men who juggle masculinity and vulnerability as if they cannot co-exist. Milkman is that guy that we know, whether athlete, business professional or street hustler, who has everything going for himself but an identity of his own.

The Price is Black

by Stennett Nyekanyeka

Coates emulates the late James Baldwin’s work The Fire Next Time, which contains two essays.  The first is entitled My Dungeon Shook — Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of Emancipation and the second Down At The Cross — Letter from a Region of My Mind.  Critics of the book cite insist that Coates writes in a self-indulgent tone indicative of a writer caught in his success.  Let's call that a point in favor of the critics.  The result is oftentimes verbose as Coates expresses the love and fear he has for his son growing up as a black boy.

Between Howard University and Me

by Shanel Adams

In this book laden with Coates’ not-so-distant memories of police brutality and educational disparities, he awakened memories of my own. Memories that included my walk with the Dream. Coates talks about the Dream we all know; where we work hard, get a nice job, marry well and live happily ever after. 

Hope is Not "Between the World and Me"

by Robert Burton-Harris

BTWAM comes from a place of helplessness, truth, frustration, passion, history, beauty, and struggle. During his National Book Award acceptance speech, Coates reflects on the death of Prince Jones--another victim of police cowardice--and  his inability to give Jones’s family any real justice. "I'm a Black man in America, I can't punish that officer," he says. It’s in this space that BTWAM is forged.

2016 Meeting Dates

Hey y'all! This year's meeting dates are finally in! Our e-discussions will be held on the last Tuesday of each month at 8:30 pm on Twitter, and our fav Phil Lewis is returning to moderate for us. Follow @Phil_Lewis_ @_blackbottom and #bbarchivesbooks to keep up with the conversation!

This year we'll also be introducing in-person book club meetings for our Detroit folllowers -- check back for more details!

**Interested in writing a book club blog? Email us today!

Posted on January 26, 2016 .

The 2016 Book List!

Happy New Year Black Bottom Book Clubbers! We're back this year with an awesome list of black books to increase our knowledge, foster conversation and inspire action. Once again, our book club will kick off during black history month and end in November. We hope you love this book list as much as we do. Stay tuned for meeting dates and more exciting updates!

With Love,

Paige, Phil & Camille

**Interested in writing a blog post on some of this year's books? Email us at archives@blackbottomllc.com to sign up for book club blogger spot!

November - Long Division By Kiese Laymon

This month Black Bottom Book Club is reading Long Division by Kiese Laymon. Our monthly e-discussion will be held November 24th @ 8:00 pm on Twitter -- moderated by @phil_cosby_ and @_blackbottom. 

Want to write a blog about the book? Email us today: archives@blackbottomllc.com


Happy Reading!

**don't forget to follow the hashtag #blackbottombooks to keep up with the discussion!

Posted on November 1, 2015 .

Hands Off Assata?

by Kierra Gray

Assata Shakur refused to take a back seat in the Black Liberation Movement. She was a woman who took an active role in the Black Panther Party and fought passionately for her cause. The United States media paints figures, such as Assata Shakur, as a threat to national security yet the public has little context about the details of her case. As the news unfolds, we will see how the United States and Cuban relations will handle the ongoing battle for Assata Shakur.

Posted on October 26, 2015 .

How Many Cheeks Should Assata Offer?

by Robert Burton-Harris

Among the chorus of stupid, irrational, and unexamined reasons given for why Shakur should voluntarily return to the U.S. is the often cited trope “so she can receive justice”; an idea so ridiculous it barely merits a response and instantly reveals the ignorance of the speaker. Although the consequences have been extraordinary, Shakur has taught us that there is no honor in allowing yourself to be slapped. Especially if that hand belongs to the Empire. Protect yourself. But be physically, emotionally, and psychologically prepared to run ­ indefinitely.