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Black History Month Reads

Books you'll love that highlight local authors and honors the African American experience

Our featured local author is Charlene Thomas and her young adult novel Seton Girls, which she says is completely environmentally based on her experience growing up in Montgomery County, MD.

"Seton Girls is a love letter of sorts to my incredible group of high school girlfriends. I wanted to write a story that talked about privilege and centered Black and brown girls as the smart ones, the pretty ones, the heroes...I really wanted the world to see us as stars." 

Seton Girls is a semifinalist in the 2022 Book Shimmy Awards and a finalist in the 2022 Black Book Awards for best in YA fiction. Available via major retail booksellers. To keep up with Charlene Thomas, check out her website https://www.charlenethomasbooks.com/.

The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times by Michelle Obama \ In an inspiring follow-up to her critically acclaimed, #1 bestselling memoir Becoming, former First Lady Michelle Obama shares practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today’s highly uncertain world. How do we build enduring and honest relationships? How can we discover strength and community inside our differences? What tools do we use to address feelings of self-doubt or helplessness? What do we do when it all starts to feel like too much? Michelle Obama offers readers a series of fresh stories and insightful reflections on change, challenge, and power, including her belief that when we light up for others, we can illuminate the richness and potential of the world around us, discovering deeper truths and new pathways for progress.

Half Blown Rose by Leesa Cross-Smith \ An irresistible story of a woman remaking her life after her husband’s betrayal leads to a year of travel, art, and passion in Paris, from the award-winning author of This Close to Okay. In a journey that is both transportive and intimate, Half-Blown Rose traverses liminal spaces and the messy complexities of relationships and romance.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones \ Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward—with hope and pain—into the future

Finding Me by Viola Davis \ Don't miss Oprah's exclusive interview: "Oprah + Viola: A Netflix Special Event" on Netflix! In Davis' book, you will meet a little girl named Viola who ran from her past until she made a life-changing decision to stop running forever. From a crumbling apartment in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to the stage in New York City, and beyond; Finding Me is a deep reflection, a promise, and a love letter of sorts to self. This book is for anyone running through life untethered, desperate and clawing their way through murky memories, trying to get to some form of self-love. For anyone who needs reminding that a life worth living can only be born from radical honesty and the courage to shed facades and be . . . you. This story will inspire you to light up your own life with creative expression and rediscover who you were before the world put a label on you.

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