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3 Black author book recommendations for every reading enthusiast

The statue memoial for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Washingdon D.C.
The statue memoial for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Washingdon D.C.

Black History Month may be drawing to a close this week, but celebrating Black history can undoubtedly be done all year. And according to Derek Handley, an assistant professor of English at UW-Milwaukee, one of the best ways to do that is by reading books written by Black authors. So as February ends, he shares three books he thinks everyone should have on their shelves.

The covers of Derek Handley's three book recommendations
The covers of Derek Handley's three book recommendations


Where Do We Go from Here? by Dr. Martin Luther King II

Handley says, "What some people may not know is Doctor King was a wonderful and beautiful writer — a premier public intellectual. And we get the sense in this book where his ideas and where his thoughts were about the civil rights movement and reflection — looking back and his thoughts about the growing impact of the of the Black power movement."


Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

"[It's about] the relationship that African Americans may have psychologically about escaping some of the the issues or the conditions or the perils of this country," Handely says. "I think if you want to begin reading Toni Morrison, I think. This is a good book."


Water Dancerby Ta-Nehisi Coates

Handley reveals, [The story is] taking a look at slavery and the Underground Railroad ... With fiction, we can go a little bit deeper. We can go into the minds of the people who are alive in this and experiencing it and seeing it from their perspective. That these people that they were people they were not just slaves. They were people who were enslaved."


Mallory Cheng was a Lake Effect producer from 2021 to 2023.
Rob is All Things Considered Host and Digital Producer.
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