For the past year, rapper and poet Noname has been reading and recommending progressive texts by POC writers as part of her Book Club – a community-driven project aimed at exploring and uplifting radical thought. As the daughter of the first Black woman to own a bookstore in her native Chicago, Noname’s continuing her mother’s legacy by fostering solidarity and creating safe spaces to discuss groundbreaking work on abolition, Black identity, feminism, decolonization, anticapitalism, self-love and survival.

Though its local chapter meetups have been put on pause in the time of COVID, Noname Book Club has pivoted to monthly Zoom calls where activists, organizers and educators share their thoughts and insights with readers. With an eye on liberation and accessibility for all, the Book Club also sends its monthly selections to incarcerated comrades via the Prison Program – a project that can be supported directly through Patreon.

Find Bookshop links to Noname’s picks below, or support local, Black-owned bookstores by purchasing your copies from her list of partners. For more revolutionary reading, check out the bookshelves of Angela Davis, Alice Walker, bell hooks, Nipsey Hussle and Malcolm X.


Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination by Toni Morrison

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and The Prison Industrial Complex by Eric Stanley & Nat Smith (also rec’d by Janet Mock)

Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Y. Davis

Race Music: Black Cultures From Bebop to Hip-Hop by Dr. Guthrie Ramsey

Blood In My Eye by George Jackson (also rec’d by Nipsey Hussle)

Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur (also rec’d by Tupac Shakur)

War Against All Puerto Ricans by Nelson Antonio Denis

Mean by Myriam Gurba

Love With Accountability by Aishah Shahidah Simmons

As Black As Resistance by William Anderson

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde (also rec’d by Ibram X. Kendi & Janet Mock)

Magical Negro by Morgan Parker

Die Nigger Die! by Jamil Al-Amin

Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon (also rec’d by Nipsey Hussle)

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (also rec’d by Emma Watson)

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler (also rec’d by Gloria Steinem)

How to Cure a Ghost by Fariha Róisín

Faces & Masks (Memory of Fire, Vol. 2) by Eduardo Galeano

Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli

Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby (also rec’d by Roxane Gay)

(via Noname’s Book Club)

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