by Lilly Ledbetter,Lanier Scott Isom
About the book: The inspiring story of the woman at the center of the historic discrimination case that inspired the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act--her fight for equal rights in the workplace, and how her determination became a victory for the nationLilly Ledbetter always knew that she was destined for something more than what she was born into--a house with no running water or electricity in the small town of Possum Trot, Alabama. In 1979, when Lilly applied for her dream job at the Goodyear tire factory, she got the job--one of the first women hired at the management level. Nineteen years after her first day at Goodyear, Lilly received an anonymous note revealing that she was making thousands less per year than the men in her position. When she filed a sex-discrimination case against Goodyear, Lilly won--and then heartbreakingly lost on appeal. Over the next eight years, her case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where she lost again. But Lilly continued to fight, and became the namesake of Barack Obama's first official piece of legislation as president. A winning memoir and a powerful call to arms, Grace and Grit is the story of a true American icon.
by Margot Lee Shetterly
About the book: The #1 New York Times bestsellerThe phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner. Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black “West Computing” group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens. Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country’s future.
by Coretta Scott King,Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds
About the book: The Washington Post’s Books to Read in 2017The New York Times Book Review Editors' ChoiceUSA Today, “New and Noteworthy”Read it Forward, Favorite Reads of January 2017A Parade Magazine Pick"This book is distinctly Coretta's story . . . particularly absorbing. . . generous, in a manner that is unfashionable in our culture."―New York Times Book Review“Eloquent . . . inspirational"―USA Today The life story of Coretta Scott King―wife of Martin Luther King Jr., founder of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center), and singular twentieth-century American civil and human rights activist―as told fully for the first time, toward the end of her life, to Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds.Born in 1927 to daringly enterprising parents in the Deep South, Coretta Scott had always felt called to a special purpose. While enrolled as one of the first black scholarship students recruited to Antioch College, she became politically and socially active and committed to the peace movement. As a graduate student at the New England Conservatory of Music, determined to pursue her own career as a concert singer, she met Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister insistent that his wife stay home with the children. But in love and devoted to shared Christian beliefs as well as shared racial and economic justice goals, she married Dr. King, and events promptly thrust her into a maelstrom of history throughout which she was a strategic partner, a standard bearer, and so much more.As a widow and single mother of four, she worked tirelessly to found and develop The King Center as a citadel for world peace, lobbied for fifteen years for the US national holiday in honor of her husband, championed for women's, workers’ and gay rights and was a powerful international voice for nonviolence, freedom and human dignity. Coretta’s is a love story, a family saga, and the memoir of an extraordinary black woman in twentieth-century America, a brave leader who, in the face of terrorism and violent hatred, stood committed, proud, forgiving, nonviolent, and hopeful every day of her life.
by Adam Makos
About the book: For readers of Unbroken comes an unforgettable tale of courage from America’s “forgotten war” in Korea, by the New York Times bestselling author of A Higher Call. Devotion tells the inspirational story of the U.S. Navy’s most famous aviator duo, Lieutenant Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown, and the Marines they fought to defend. A white New Englander from the country-club scene, Tom passed up Harvard to fly fighters for his country. An African American sharecropper’s son from Mississippi, Jesse became the navy’s first black carrier pilot, defending a nation that wouldn’t even serve him in a bar. While much of America remained divided by segregation, Jesse and Tom joined forces as wingmen in Fighter Squadron 32. Adam Makos takes us into the cockpit as these bold young aviators cut their teeth at the world’s most dangerous job—landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier—a line of work that Jesse’s young wife, Daisy, struggles to accept. Deployed to the Mediterranean, Tom and Jesse meet the Fleet Marines, boys like PFC “Red” Parkinson, a farm kid from the Catskills. In between war games in the sun, the young men revel on the Riviera, partying with millionaires and even befriending the Hollywood starlet Elizabeth Taylor. Then comes the war no one expected, in faraway Korea. Devotion takes us soaring overhead with Tom and Jesse, and into the foxholes with Red and the Marines as they battle a North Korean invasion. As the fury of the fighting escalates and the Marines are cornered at the Chosin Reservoir, Tom and Jesse fly, guns blazing, to try and save them. When one of the duo is shot down behind enemy lines and pinned in his burning plane, the other faces an unthinkable choice: watch his friend die or attempt history’s most audacious one-man rescue mission. A tug-at-the-heartstrings tale of bravery and selflessness, Devotion asks: How far would you go to save a friend?Praise for Devotion“Riveting . . . a meticulously researched and moving account.”—USA Today “An inspiring tale . . . portrayed by Makos in sharp, fact-filled prose and with strong reporting.”—Los Angeles Times “[A] must-read.”—New York Post “Stirring.”—Parade “A masterful storyteller . . . [Makos brings] Devotion to life with amazing vividness. . . . [It] reads like a dream. The perfectly paced story cruises along in the fast lane—when you’re finished, you’ll want to start all over again.”—Associated Press“A delight to read . . . Devotion is a story you will not forget.”—The Washington Times“My great respect for Tom Hudner knows no bounds. He is a true hero; and in reading this book, you will understand why I feel that way.”—President George H. W. Bush “This is aerial drama at its best—fast, powerful, and moving.”—Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Dead Wake“Though it concerns a famously cold battle in the Korean War, make no mistake: Devotion will warm your heart.”—Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers and In the Kingdom of Ice “At last, the Korean War has its epic, a story that will stay with you long after you close this book.”—Eric Blehm, New York Times bestselling author of Fearless and Legend
by Benjamin Watson
About the book: Can it ever get better? This is the question Benjamin Watson is asking. In a country aflame with the fallout from the racial divide―in which Ferguson, Charleston, and the Confederate flag dominate the national news, daily seeming to rip the wounds open ever wider―is there hope for honest and healing conversation? For finally coming to understand each other on issues that are ultimately about so much more than black and white?An NFL tight end for the New Orleans Saints and a widely read and followed commentator on social media, Watson has taken the Internet by storm with his remarkable insights about some of the most sensitive and charged topics of our day. Now, in Under Our Skin, Watson draws from his own life, his family legacy, and his role as a husband and father to sensitively and honestly examine both sides of the race debate and appeal to the power and possibility of faith as a step toward healing.
by John Howard Griffin
About the book: THE HISTORY-MAKING CLASSIC ABOUT CROSSING THE COLOR LINE IN AMERICA'S SEGREGATED SOUTH“One of the deepest, most penetrating documents yet set down on the racial question.”—Atlanta Journal & Constitution In the Deep South of the 1950’s, a color line was etched in blood across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. Journalist John Howard Griffin decided to cross that line. Using medication that darkened his skin to deep brown, he exchanged his privileged life as a Southern white man for the disenfranchised world of an unemployed black man. What happened to John Howard Griffin—from the outside and within himself—as he made his way through the segregated Deep South is recorded in this searing work of nonfiction. His audacious, still chillingly relevant eyewitness history is a work about race and humanity every American must read. With an Epilogue by the author and an Afterword by Robert Bonazzi
by Rick Donkor
About the book: The Color of God: America, the Church, and the Politics of Race is a clarion call to racial healing and reconciliation in a racially polarized America, and an urgent message to Black America to rise up and fulfill its divine destiny in the land of its birth. Highlighting the confluence of race, religion, and politics, without being overly polemic, the message contained in its pages will captivate, provoke, educate, occasionally frustrate, and even infuriate you – regardless of which side of the political spectrum you belong to.What is racism? What are its nuances? How has the Church contributed to the shaping of a racially fragmented society? What is the panacea for America’s racial wounds? How do we foster racial healing and reconciliation in this racially polarized and toxic, yet increasingly pluralistic and multiracial context?The Color of God highlights the concept of racial healing and reconciliation in America by•Exposing the cancer of racism as a social, political, economic, and legal construct aimed at subjugation, control, and dominance.•Highlighting the Church’s historical hypocrisy and, by extension, its complicity, in the creation of a racially fragmented American society and world.•Questioning the absolute absurdity of blaming the “White man” and racism for all Black and minority woes.•Provoking the Black body-politic to reject and debunk any false notions and attitudes within the culture that equate deviant and pathological behavior with “Blackness”•Sensitizing White America to the need to own the damage inflicted by the ideology of White Supremacy on entire populations, and to take steps to mitigate its legacy.•Elevating the discourse on restorative justice, the “redemption and lift” of Black America, as fundamental to any real healing and reconciliation.•Inspiring a generation to take America’s “unfinished business” – racial healing and reconciliation – to its logical conclusion.
by Paula J. Giddings
About the book: When and Where I Enter is an eloquent testimonial to the profound influence of African-American women on race and women's movements throughout American history. Drawing on speeches, diaries, letters, and other original documents, Paula Giddings powerfully portrays how black women have transcended racist and sexist attitudes--often confronting white feminists and black male leaders alike--to initiate social and political reform. From the open disregard for the rights of slave women to examples of today's more covert racism and sexism in civil rights and women'sorganizations, Giddings illuminates the black woman's crusade for equality. In the process, she paints unforgettable portraits of black female leaders, such as anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells, educator and FDR adviser Mary McLeod Bethune, and the heroic civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer, among others, who fought both overt and institutionalized oppression. When and Where I Enter reveals the immense moral power black women possessed and sought to wield throughout their history--the same power that prompted Anna Julia Cooper in 1892 to tell a group of black clergymen, "Only the black woman can say 'when and where I enter, in the quiet, undisputed dignity of my womanhood, without violence and without suing or special patronage, then and there the whole . . . race enters with me.'"
by Gillian Thomas
About the book: “Meticulously researched and rewarding to read…Thomas is a gifted storyteller.” ―The New York Times Book ReviewBest known as a monumental achievement of the civil rights movement, the 1964 Civil Rights Act also revolutionized the lives of America’s working women. Title VII of the law made it illegal to discriminate “because of sex.” But that simple phrase didn’t mean much until ordinary women began using the law to get justice on the job―and some took their fights all the way to the Supreme Court. Among them were Ida Phillips, denied an assembly line job because she had a preschool-age child; Kim Rawlinson, who fought to become a prison guard―a “man’s job”; Mechelle Vinson, who brought a lawsuit for sexual abuse before “sexual harassment” even had a name; Ann Hopkins, denied partnership at a Big Eight accounting firm because the men in charge thought she needed "a course at charm school”; and most recently, Peggy Young, UPS truck driver, forced to take an unpaid leave while pregnant because she asked for a temporary reprieve from heavy lifting. These unsung heroines’ victories, and those of the other women profiled in Gillian Thomas' Because of Sex, dismantled a “Mad Men” world where women could only hope to play supporting roles; where sexual harassment was “just the way things are”; and where pregnancy meant getting a pink slip.Through first-person accounts and vivid narrative, Because of Sex tells the story of how one law, our highest court, and a few tenacious women changed the American workplace forever.
by Brenda Salter McNeil
About the book: Missio Alliance Essential Reading List of 2015 We can see the injustice and inequality in our lives and in the world. We are ready to rise up. But how, exactly, do we do this? How does one reconcile? What we need is a clear sense of direction. Based on her extensive consulting experience with churches, colleges and organizations, Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil has created a roadmap to show us the way. She guides us through the common topics of discussion and past the bumpy social terrain and political boundaries that will arise. In these pages she voices her call to all believers: "It's time for the followers of Jesus to embark on the prophetic journey that leads to reconciliation and transformation around the world. Many of us may already be aware of the need for reconciliation in our own backyards. . . . We cannot ignore the plight of the people around us and as globalization continues its relentless march onward, we cannot turn a blind eye to the world at large either. We have to face the realities here at home and we must also embrace the stories of people all around the world." Each chapter lays out the next step in the journey. With reflection questions and exercises at the end of each chapter, it's ideal to read together with your church or organization. If you are ready to take the next step into unity, wholeness and justice, then this is the book for you.
by Bryan Loritts
About the book: Increasingly, leaders recognize the benefit of multi-ethnic organizations and are compelled to hire diverse individuals who will help them reflect a new America.In his address at a Global Leadership Summit, Bryan Loritts challenged leaders to have a vision that is about more than the stuff that perishes—to have a vision for making sacrifices that make a difference and help to bring about transformation in the lives of others.He brings a similar challenge to leaders in this fable of self-discovery and change, as he explores the central, critical problem leaders often encounter when transitioning their church, business, or organization to reflect a multi-ethnic reality: finding a leader who is willing to immerse themselves in the environments and lives of people who are different from them.In Right Color, Wrong Culture you enter into a conversation between individuals who are grappling with changing neighborhoods while struggling to remain relevant within communities growing in diversity. You journey with Gary and Peter as they challenge those around them to reach beyond what is comfortable and restructure their leadership team.Known for his passion to build diversity in organizations, Bryan Loritts equips you to identify the right person needed in order for your organizations to become multi-ethnic.
by Jim Auchmutey
About the book: In the midst of racial strife, one young man showed courage and empathy. It took forty years for the others to join him…Being a student at Americus High School was the worst experience of Greg Wittkamper's life. Greg came from a nearby Christian commune, Koinonia, whose members devoutly and publicly supported racial equality. When he refused to insult and attack his school's first black students in 1964, Greg was mistreated as badly as they were: harassed and bullied and beaten. In the summer after his senior year, as racial strife in Americus—and the nation—reached its peak, Greg left Georgia.Forty-one years later, a dozen former classmates wrote letters to Greg, asking his forgiveness and inviting him to return for a class reunion. Their words opened a vein of painful memory and unresolved emotion, and set him on a journey that would prove healing and saddening.The Class of '65 is more than a heartbreaking story from the segregated South. It is also about four of Greg's classmates—David Morgan, Joseph Logan, Deanie Dudley, and Celia Harvey—who came to reconsider the attitudes they grew up with. How did they change? Why, half a lifetime later, did reaching out to the most despised boy in school matter to them? This noble book reminds us that while ordinary people may acquiesce to oppression, we all have the capacity to alter our outlook and redeem ourselves.
by Alysia Burton Steele
About the book: Inspired by memories of her beloved grandmother, photographer and author Alysia Burton Steele--picture editor on a Pulitzer Prize-winning team--combines heart-wrenching narrative with poignant photographs of more than 50 female church elders in the Mississippi Delta. These ordinary women lived extraordinary lives under the harshest conditions of the Jim Crow era and during the courageous changes of the Civil Rights Movement. With the help of local pastors, Steele recorded these living witnesses to history and folk ways, and shares the significance of being a Black woman--child, daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother in Mississippi--a Jewel of the Delta. From the stand Mrs. Tennie Self took for her marriage to be acknowledged in the phone book, to the life-threatening sacrifice required to vote for the first time, these 50 inspiring portraits are the faces of love and triumph that will teach readers faith and courage in difficult times.
by Martin Luther King Jr
About the book: "If there is one book Martin Luther King, Jr. has written that people consistently tell me has changed their lives, it is Strength to Love." So wrote Coretta Scott King. She continued: "I believe it is because this book best explains the central element of Martin Luther King, Jr.' s philosophy of nonviolence: His belief in a divine, loving presence that binds all life. That insight, luminously conveyed in this classic text, here presented in a new and attractive edition, hints at the personal transformation at the root of social justice: " By reaching into and beyond ourselves and tapping the transcendent moral ethic of love, we shall overcome these evils." In these short meditative and sermonic pieces, some of them composed in jails and all of them crafted during the tumultuous years of the Civil Rights struggle, Dr. King articulated and espoused in a deeply personal compelling way his commitment to justice and to the intellectual, moral, and spiritual conversion that makes his work as much a blueprint today for Christian discipleship as it was then. Individual readers, as well as church groups and students will find in this work a challenging yet energizing vision of God and redemptive love.
by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
About the book: In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., isolated himself from the demands of the civil rights movement, rented a house in Jamaica with no telephone, and labored over his final manuscript. In this prophetic work, which has been unavailable for more than ten years, he lays out his thoughts, plans, and dreams for America's future, including the need for better jobs, higher wages, decent housing, and quality education. With a universal message of hope that continues to resonate, King demanded an end to global suffering, asserting that humankind-for the first time-has the resources and technology to eradicate poverty.
by Wendell Berry
About the book: With the expected grace of Wendell Berry comes The Hidden Wound, an essay about racism and the damage it has done to the identity of our country. Through Berry’s personal experience, he explains how remaining passive in the face of the struggle of racism further corrodes America’s potential. In a quiet and observant manner, Berry opens up about how his attempt to discuss racism is rooted in the hope that someday the historical wound will begin to heal.
by Otis Moss III
About the book: "Can preaching recover a Blues sensibility and dare speak with authority in the midst of tragedy? America is living stormy Monday, but the pulpit is preaching happy Sunday. The world is experiencing the Blues, and pulpiteers are dispensing excessive doses of non-prescribed prosaic sermons with severe ecclesiastical and theological side effects."―from chapter 1Uniquely gifted preacher Otis Moss III helps preachers effectively communicate hope in a desperate and difficult world in this new work based on his 2014 Yale Lyman Beecher Lectures. Moss challenges preachers to preach with a "Blue Note sensibility," which speaks directly to the tragedies faced by their congregants without falling into despair. He then offers four powerful sermons that illustrate his Blue Note preaching style. In them, Moss beautifully and passionately brings to life biblical characters that speak to today's pressing issues, including race discrimination and police brutality, while maintaining a strong message of hope. Moss shows how preachers can teach their congregations to resist letting the darkness find its way into them and, instead, learn to dance in the dark.
by Martin Luther King
About the book: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s account of the first successful large-scale application of nonviolence resistance in America is comprehensive, revelatory, and intimate. King described his book as "the chronicle of fifty thousand Negroes who took to heart the principles of nonviolence, who learned to fight for their rights with the weapon of love, and who, in the process, acquired a new estimate of their own human worth.'' It traces the phenomenal journey of a community, and shows how the twenty-eight-year-old Dr. King, with his conviction for equality and nonviolence, helped transformed the nation-and the world.
by David Batstone
About the book: “Human trafficking is not an issue of the left or right, blue states or red states, but a great moral tragedy we can unite to stop . . . Not for Sale is a must-read to see how you can join the fight.” —Jim Wallis, author of God's Politics“David Batstone is a heroic character.” —BonoIn the revised and updated version of this harrowing yet deeply inspirational exposé, award-winning journalist David Batstone gives the most up-to-date information available on the $31 billion human trafficking epidemic. With profiles of twenty-first century abolitionists like Thailand’s Kru Nam and Peru’s Lucy Borja, Batstone tells readers what they can do to stop the modern slave trade. Like Kevin Bales’ Disposable People and Ending Slavery, or E. Benjamin Skinner’s A Crime So Monstrous, Batstone’s Not for Sale is an informative and necessary manifesto for universal freedom.
by Burgess Owens
About the book: As heard on Mark Levin and Glenn Beck radio! The Black middle class—saviors of the American way.Liberalism or How to Turn Good Men into Whiners, Weenies and Wimps documents the role of the 21 white, self-avowed socialist, atheist and Marxist founders of the NAACP and their impact on the Black community’s present status at the top of our nations misery index. It highlights the decades of anti-Black legislation supported by liberal black leaders who prioritized class over race in their zeal for the promises of socialism. Their anti-Black legislation, dating back with the 1932 Davis-Bacon Act, continues today to suppress inter-community Black capitalism, federal construction related Black employment, work and job experience for Black teenagers, quality education access for urban black children, and the role of black men as leaders within the family unit. Liberalism or How to Turn Good Men into Whiners, Weenies and Wimps highlights the strategy, used in 1910, to inject the atheist ideology of socialism into a once enterprising, self-sufficient, competitive and proud Christian black community. A portion of that community, the conservative Black middle class, is positioned to pull our nation back from this abyss. Americans can ensure that the century-long sacrifice of lost hopes, dreams and lives made by the proud, courageous, patriotic, capitalist, Christianbased, self-sufficient, education-seeking Black community of the early 1900s was not in vain—but only if we choose to learn lessons from those past Black generations.