African American (RD 80 and 90)
Grand Central Pub. 2009
While Felicia is a brilliant actor in a truly chilling role in The Wire, what's most remarkable about "Snoop" is what she has overcome in her life. Snoop was born a three-pound cross-eyed crack baby in East Baltimore. Those streets are among the toughest in the world, but Snoop was tougher. The runt of the ghetto showed an early aptitude for drug slinging and violence and thrived as a baby gangsta until she landed in prison after killing a woman in self-defense. There she rebelled violently against the system, and it was only through the intervention of her mentor that she turned her life around. Snoop was discovered in a nightclub and quickly recruited to be one of television's most frightening and intriguing villains. Snoop's is the story of a woman who defied traditional conventions on the hardest streets in America.--From publisher description.
Houghton Mifflin 2000
Tasha, a fifteen-year-old mother, is proud of her baby girl and is determined to be a good parent to her child, but she must draw upon her newfound faith to go on when tragedy strikes.
The perfect wife and mother of three grown children, Marilyn Grimes copes with the problems of midlife as she struggles to recall postponed dreams, and reinvents her marriage, friendships, family, and self.
Beacon Press 2003
Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned across the years to save him. After this first summons, Dana is drawn back, again and again, to the plantation to protect Rufus and ensure that he will grow to manhood and father the daughter who will become Dana's ancestor. Yet each time Dana's sojourns become longer and more dangerous, until it is uncertain whether or not her life will end, long before it has even begun.
Penguin Books 2001
What makes a happy person, a happy life? In this remarkable book, George Dawson, a 101-year-old man who learned to read when he was 98, reflects on the philosophy he learned from his father--a belief that "life is so good" --as he offers valuable lessons in living and a fresh, firsthand view of America during the twentieth century. Born in 1898 in Marshall, Texas, the grandson of slaves, George Dawson tells how his father, despite hardships, always believed in seeing the richness in life and trained his children to do the same. As a boy, George had to go to work to help support the family, and so he did not attend school or learn to read; yet he describes how he learned to read the world and survive in it. "We make our own way," he says. "Trouble is out there, but a person can leave it alone and just do the right thing. Then, if trouble still finds you, you've done the best you can." At ninety-eight, George decided to learn to read and enrolled in a literacy program, becoming a celebrated student. "Every morning I get up and I wonder what I might learn that day. You just never know." In Life is so good, he shares wisdom on everything from parenting ("With children, you got to raise them. Some parents these days are growing children, not raising them") to attitude ("People worry too much. Life is good, just the way it is"). Richard Glaubman captures George Dawson's irresistible voice and view of the world, offering insights into humanity, history, and America--eyewitness impressions of segregation, changes in human relations, the wars and the presidents, inventions such as the car and the airplane, and much, much more. And throughout his story, George Dawson inspires the reader with the message that sustained him happily for more than a century: "Life is so good. I do believe it's getting better."
At nineteen, Marvelyn Brown was lying in a stark white hospital bed at Tennessee Christian Medical Center, feeling hopeless. A former top track and basketball athlete, she was in the best shape of her life, but she was battling a sudden illness in the intensive care unit. Doctors had no idea what was going on. It never occurred to Brown that she might be HIV positive. Having unprotected sex with her Prince Charming had set into swift motion a set of circumstances that not only landed her in the fight of her life, but also alienated her from her community. Rather than give up, however, Brown found a reason to fight and a reason to live.
Spiegel & Grau 2010
Two kids with the same name were born blocks apart in the same decaying city within a few years of each other. One grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, army officer, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison. Told in alternating dramatic narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption, this is the story of two boys and the journey of a generation trying to find their way in a hostile world.
Enduring a hardscrabble existence as the children of alcoholic and absent parents, four siblings from a coastal Mississippi town prepare their meager stores for the arrival of Hurricane Katrina while struggling with such challenges as a teen pregnancy and a dying litter of prize pups.
Robin Perry, from Harlem, is sent to Iraq in 2003 as a member of the Civilian Affairs Battalion, and his time there profoundly changes him.