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Find more Top 10 Diverse Nonfiction
These 10 outstanding reference books, memoirs, histories, and essay collections represent a year marked more than most by discussions of immigration, politics, LGBTQ rights, and the evolving understanding of U.S. history. They were reviewed in Booklist from February 1, 2018, to January 2019.
American like Me: Reflections on Life between Cultures. By America Ferrera. 2018. Gallery, $26 (9781501180910).
For this essential collection, Ferrera called on dozens of famous Americans to share their experiences of living in the U.S. with more than one cultural, racial, ethnic, or national identity.
Black Power Encyclopedia: From “Black Is Beautiful” to Urban Uprisings. Ed. by Akinyele Umoja and others. 2v. 2018. ABC-CLIO, $189 (9781440840067).
Three editors bring a balance of academic expertise and community activism to this comprehensive two-volume set, sure to increase contemporary understanding of and support further research on the Black Power movement.
A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing: The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland. By DaMaris B. Hill. 2019. Bloomsbury, $25 (9781635572612).
In this distinctive inquiry in verse, Hill reflects on black women who resisted violent racism and misogyny, ranging from the notable and notorious to the lesser-known yet no less heroic.
Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen. By Jose Antonio Vargas. 2018. Morrow/Dey St., $25.99 (9780062851352).
Vargas’ excruciatingly timely memoir challenges readers to confront its call for action and the urgent need for “a new language around migration and the meaning of citizenship.”
Defining Documents in American History: LGBTQ+ (1923–2017). Ed. by Michael Shally-Jensen. 2v. 2018. Salem, $295 (9781682178942).
This stunning two-volume multimedia compendium suitable for public, high-school, and college libraries invites readers to study an ongoing struggle for human rights.
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics. By Donna Brazile and others. 2018. St. Martin’s, $28.99 (9781250137715).
In this intimate look at their careers, Brazile, Yolanda Caraway, Leah Daughtry, and Minyon Moore detail their journeys as political trailblazers with deep respect and affection.
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present. By David Treuer. 2019. Riverhead, $28 (9781594633157).
Ojibwe author Treuer’s scholarly reportage on Native history focuses on how repeated assaults on everything indigenous people held dear led to their strong resolve not only to survive but to emerge reenergized.
The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke. By Jeffrey C. Stewart. 2018. Oxford, $39.95 (9780195089578).
Stewart’s comprehensive biography of writer, educator, philosopher, and supporter of the arts Alain Locke (1885–1954) contextualizes his influences on the world-changing Harlem Renaissance.
Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality. By Sarah McBride. 2018. Crown Archetype, $26 (9781524761479).
McBride, who made history in 2016 as the first transgender person to speak at a national political convention, combines memoir and a passionate case for universal rights for the LGBTQ community.
Trailblazer: A Pioneering Journalist’s Fight to Make the Media Look More like America. By Dorothy Butler Gilliam. 2019. Center Street, $27 (9781546083443).
Hired as the Washington Post’s first black staff reporter, in 1961, Gilliam relates her professional life and personal journey during a time of social transformation and examines challenges currently facing the press.
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