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
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
Magical Negro by Morgan Parker
Die Nigger Die! by Jamil Al-Amin
Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith
The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty (also rec’d by Questlove)