Also of note:
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson (2020). A brilliant dissection of how skin color has been used as an arbitrary tool to build an unjust hierarchy in the U.S.
The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les and Tamara Payne (2020). The winner of the National Book Award, a richly detailed biography about the life of the Nation of Islam spokesman and civil rights icon.
Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 coedited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain (2021). Essays and sketches by 90 black writers — poets, historians, journalists, activists, lawyers and more — each concluding with a powerful poem.
Wild Thing: The Short, Spellbinding Life of Jimi Hendrix by Philip Norman (2020). A reverent biography filled with priceless anecdotes about Hendrix’s stunning talent.
His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope by Jon Meacham (2020). A biography of the great civil rights leader who passed away last year.
Becoming by Michelle Obama (2018). The former first lady’s bestselling memoir, recounting her life story from her upbringing in Chicago through her years in the White House.
Nine Days: The Race to Save Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life and Win the 1960 Election by Stephen and Paul Kendrick (2021). The dramatic story of the civil rights leader’s imprisonment, JFK’s role in freeing him, and how the incident may have changed the course of history.
Christina Ianzito writes about health, travel and entertainment for AARP. Previously, she worked for Capital Style magazine and wrote frequently for The Washington Post. She is the recipient of a Lowell Thomas Award for travel writing.
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