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“The Lost Eleven” by Denise George and Robert Child

You are on a need-to-know basis. You’re told only what’s relevant, and nothing more. Rumors, innuendo, extra little details, none of that’s important; only what you need is what you get. But read “The Lost Eleven” by Denise George and ...

“Never Caught” by Erica Armstrong Dunbar

Run, run, run. Some days, it feels like that’s all you do. Run the kids to school, dash to work, rush with errands, and run yourself ragged before bed. You’re always on the go, always moving, and in the new ...

“Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America” by Michael Eric Dyson

I know what you’re thinking. You’ve said that before, to a furrowed brow, a mischievous smile, a child who’s about to do something sneaky. You can see it in the eyes, the body language, the tone of voice, and you ...

“The Blood of Emmett Till” by Timothy B. Tyson

You really can’t remember. For sure, something important happened years ago, something you should recall very easily, but time’s made things fuzzy. Have you forgotten or, worse yet, have you just remembered everything wrong? Usually, you suppose, it wouldn’t matter ...

“My Life with Earth Wind & Fire” by Maurice White with Herb Powell

Your needs are very simple. Food, shelter, water. Those are the essentials, but then there are the things you need for yourself: family, good friends, a warm bed, a good book, and a place of welcome. You wouldn’t die without ...

“Audacity: How Barack Obama Defied His Critics and Transformed America” by Jonathan Chait

If you can’t say something nice… Sometimes, it’s hard to say nothing at all. There are times when you need to speak out, to confront, share your opinion, rant, or vent. And then there are times, as in the new ...

“Writing to Save a Life: The Louis Till File” by John Edgar Wideman

Even if you wanted to, you couldn’t escape your father. For most of your life, you were known as Little Him. Junior. Insert-your-father’s-name here’s kid. You’re a chip off the ol’ block, maybe named after your Pops, forever known as ...

“Brief Histories of Everyday Objects” by Andy Warner

Imagine the first person who created a toothbrush. Better yet – imagine life before a toothbrush. Think about it: getting your mouth minty-fresh wasn’t exactly easy with twigs or rags. Same things with clean hair, unspoiled leftovers, unsmelly bathrooms, or ...

“Little Shaq: Star of the Week” by Shaquille O’Neal, illustrated by Theodore Taylor III

Being a responsible kid has its rewards. First, there’s the feel-good; you did well, and you can be proud of yourself. That leads to the second benefit: adults see your responsibility, and you’ll have earned their trust. And in the ...

“We Gon’ Be Alright” by Jeff Chang

You had hope that things might be better. We elected a Black man as President, and there was a minute where you could almost see a bit of racial optimism.

Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South

The clowns at your job dominate Ring Number One. Ring Number Two features The Juggler (you) and your checkbook, schedule, chore list, and family obligations. And in Ring Number Three, there’s a wild combination of the other two. Run away ...

Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives

Today was an ordinary day. It had its ups and downs; pleasant surprises came between the mundane and the irritating and you’ll look back at it tomorrow with clarity, perhaps, but its details will be sketchy in a decade. It ...

Darktown

Someone always has to be first. That can be a good thing, or a bad one. Good, if it’s a cafeteria, supermarket queue, electronics store, or conga line; better, if free samples are involved. Bad, in experiments, taste-testing, first-on- last-off ...

Elizabeth and Michael

You never have to explain yourself when you’re together; everything said (and unsaid) is understood. There may be many years between you, but it doesn’t matter. There may be differences in background, but no worries. Nothing keeps you apart, and ...

Elizabeth and Michael

You never have to explain yourself when you’re together; everything said (and unsaid) is understood. There may be many years between you, but it doesn’t matter. There may be differences in background, but no worries. Nothing keeps you apart, and ...