Bestsellers lists are simply tools to help inform publishers how they should ration out their marketing and publicity budget to a short list of their author roster. There’s nothing wrong with that from a strictly business perspective. However, what about the books that aren’t moving thousands of units but are somehow reflective of the people minus the influence corporations “subtle” sway. Over the next few months we will be experimenting with a variety of ways to report out not just what’s selling, but what readers are interested in. The goal is to share with you all what topics readers and browsers, alike, are most interested in regardless of genre.
This first iteration is very interesting in that the top 5 books are all non-fiction. What does this mix of titles signify about the present times and the mood of our community? If you have any thoughts, we encourage you to please share them below.
July 2017 Books ‘In-Demand’ on MahoganyBooks
|#1 Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson|
A book that continues to remain relevant as long as the ‘achievement gap’ exists between “white” students and their African-American counterparts.
In 1933, American historian and educator Carter Woodson delivered a powerful denouncement of “Euro-centric” school curricula that inspired black Americans to demand relevant learning opportunities inclusive of their own culture and heritage. Similar thoughts, expressed in other addresses and articles, formed the basis for this landmark work by the pioneering crusader of black education.
|#2 Black Privilege by Charlamagne the God|
Instant New York Times Bestseller
Charlamagne Tha God–the self-proclaimed “Prince of Pissing People Off,” co-host of Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, and “hip-hop’s Howard Stern”–shares his unlikely success story as well as how embracing one’s truths is a fundamental key to success and happiness.
In his new book, Charlamagne Tha God presents his comic, often controversial, and always brutally honest insights on how living an authentic life is the quickest path to success. Beginning with his journey from the small town of Moncks Corner, South Carolina to his headline-grabbing interviews with celebrities like Justin Bieber, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, and Hillary Clinton, he shares how he turned his troubled early life around by owning his (many) mistakes and refusing to give up on his dreams, even after his controversial opinions got him fired from several on-air jobs. Combining his own story with bold advice and his signature commitment to honesty at all costs, Charlamagne hopes this book will give others the confidence to live their own truths.
|#3 The Hidden Cost of Being African American by Thomas Shapiro|
Over the past three decades, racial prejudice in America has declined significantly and many African American families have seen a steady rise in employment and annual income. But alongside these encouraging signs, Thomas Shapiro argues in The Hidden Cost of Being African American, fundamental levels of racial inequality persist, particularly in the area of asset accumulation–inheritance, savings accounts, stocks, bonds, home equity, and other investments. Shapiro reveals how the lack of these family assets along with continuing racial discrimination in crucial areas like homeownership dramatically impact the everyday lives of many black families, reversing gains earned in schools and on jobs, and perpetuating the cycle of poverty in which far too many find themselves trapped.
Shapiro challenges white middle class families to consider how the privileges that wealth brings not only improve their own chances but also hold back people who don’t have them. This “wealthfare” is a legacy of inequality that, if unchanged, will project social injustice far into the future.
|#4 The Falsification of Afrikan Consciousness by Amos Wilson|
This book presents two ground-breaking lectures by Amos Wilson. The first, European Historiography and Oppression Exposed: An Afrikan Perspective and Analysis, was among the first contemporary analyses which delineated the role Eurocentric history-writing plays in rationalizing European oppression of Afrikan consciousness. It explicates why we should study history, how history-writing shapes the psychology of peoples and individuals, how Eurocentric history as mythology creates historical amnesia in Afrikans in order to rob them of the material, mental, social and spiritual wherewithal for overcoming poverty and oppression. Moreover, this engrossing lectures the relationship between the rediscovery and rewriting of Afrikan history and achievement of liberation and prosperity by Afrikan peoples.
The second lecture, Eurocentric Political Dogmatism: Its Relationship to the Mental Health Diagnosis of Afrikan People, advances the contention that the alleged mental and behavioral maladaptiveness of oppressed Afrikan peoples is a political-economic necessity for the maintenance of White domination and imperialism. Furthermore, it indicts the Eurocentric mental health establishment for entering into collusion with the Eurocentric political establishment to oppress and exploit Afrikan peoples by officially sanctioning these egregious practices through its misdiagnosing, mislabeling, and mistreating of Afrikan peoples’ behavioral reactions to their oppression and their efforts to win their freedom and independence.
|#5 African Heroes and Heroines by Carter G. Woodson|
Originally published in 1939 as a counterpoint to the myopic, Eurocentric narrative of African history popular in the West at the time, Carter G. Woodson’s African Heroes and Heroines delves into the rich and complex political, military, and economic history of the African continent with the objective eye of a scientific observer.
Intended for upper-level high school students, Woodson presents a fair biographical treatment of African leaders through history as figures of equal – if not greater – intelligence, prowess, and strength as the heroic leaders canonized in the histories of other races. While the popular histories of Africa in America had represented Africans as disorganized, unenlightened, and docile, Woodson paints a far more realistic picture of a people who were fiercely resistant to Western imperialism and occupation. Through individual portraits of figures like the Mbundu’s Queen Anna Nzinga, Shaka of the Zulu Kingdom, or King Behanzin of Dahomey, Woodson’s work, alongside that of other notable scholars, helped mainstream America move toward a deeper and more complex understanding of Africa’s rich history.