What Are You Reading? A Summer-Fall Reading List

A few years ago we were discussing how we can have a more intellectually vibrant campus and part of that was to periodically ask each other what we were reading. My accountability partner is Terry Simon in IT. He often tells me about books he is reading and I share ideas with him.

He just finished “King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild.”

While at Philander one year we did a brochure of a summer reading list for our campus (Lydia was on the cover of the brochure- she must have been 3 or 4). One of my current students Kourtney asked me last week about a list for this summer, and a parent of a #DU22 student just tweeted me about it as well.

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So I am in the car now working on my list for the remainder of summer 2018 and into the fall.

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James Forman Jr. “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.” Just won the Pulitzer Prize. He will be our Ortique lecturer on law and society November 29th.

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Tayari Jones. “An American Marriage: A Novel.” An Oprah book. And Tayari went to the best high school in Atlanta, Benjamin E. Mays!

Isabel Wilkerson. “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration.” Captures migration of black folks from the South to the entire country, in a personal way.

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Howard Bryant. “The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism.” Very timely book as we enter the new NFL season. Bryant will be speaking for Brain Food on September 18th.

Jesmyn Ward. “Sing Unburied Sing.” Tulane professor who has received acclaim for her novels.

Bryan Stevenson. “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.” Past Ortique speaker. Just opened the legacy museum in Montgomery.

Sheba Turk. “Off Air: My Journey to the Anchor Desk.” Local anchor shares her journey with practical advice.

Carter G. Woodson. “The Miseducation of the Negro.” You can’t go wrong with this classic.

Melba Patillo Beals. “Warriors Don’t Cry.” One of the Little Rock 9 (I had a chance to meet them all at the 50th anniversary of the desegregation). This is a great book especially for students who make excuses for stuff that pales in comparison to this.

Mitch Landrieu. “In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History.” Immediate past mayor of New Orleans who made national news by taking down the Confederate statues.

Trevor Noah. “Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood.” Great show, great book.

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Gabrielle Union. “We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True.” She spoke on campus in January. Very open story which I think could be great for college student book clubs.

Tavis Smiley. “Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Year.” This is the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination and this book tells the story of that last year very well.

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Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. “Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin.” I still haven’t finished this book- it was a tough read for me because they paint a VIVD picture of the aftermath. They spoke on campus in April of 2017.

Amy Chua. “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.” This is a wake up call book so folks know who they are competing with not around the world, but right here.

Written by

7th president of Dillard University

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