Three recommended books

The following three acclaimed books offer readers a close and informative look at the lives of African American women.

1) Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America by Charisse Jones and Kumea Shorter-Gooden reveals the double lives that many African American women (and men, as well) lead in moving between white and black worlds. The content is based on descriptions from over 300 African American women about how they shift identities between white/corporate and black/cool—“life between the isms,” as one reviewer put it.

2) The Help, a novel by Kathryn Stockett, is a more personal examination of the intersection of black and white lives from the perspective of employer and employee.

3) My First White Friend: Confessions on Race, Love, and Forgiveness is a very personal memoir of how the author, African American woman journalist Patricia Raybon, struggles with her hatred for the privileged class (a stunning look at the familiar “white privilege” from an astute African American) and her ultimate realization that her seemingly impossible challenge is to replace her hatred with love. Her work is truly as it is described—“an inspiration to others on a voyage of racial reconciliation.”

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