Feb 1, 2024 - News

Great reads for Black History Month

Cover of The Sum of Us

The Sum of Us. Photo: Courtesy of Penguin Random House

If you haven't already read the 2023 One Book, One San Diego selection "The Sum of Us" by Heather McGhee, now is a great time to pick it up.

Why it matters: Black History Month began Thursday, and reading works by notable Black authors is one way to honor and better understand Black life, culture and history.

Catch up quick: Each year, one book is featured in the community reading program led by KPBS and public libraries to encourage the community to read and discuss the same book.

  • It's like a book club for the region, with picks for adults, teens, kids and Spanish-language readers, plus discussions, film screenings, lectures and workshops.
  • McGhee's New York Times bestseller was selected for adults.

Details: "The Sum of Us: What Racism Cost Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together" takes readers on McGhee's personal, cross-country journey, finding proof of what she calls the "solidarity dividend: the benefits we gain when people come together across race."

  • McGhee, an economic and social-policy expert, explores inequality and the "lesson that generations of Americans have failed to learn: Racism has a cost for everyone — not just for people of color," the publisher says.
  • There's also a version adapted for young readers and a podcast series.

Worth your time: San Diego Public Library staff curated a list of fiction by award winners and rising stars during Black History Month.

Of note: There are also local lists of Black American history for children, Black American history for teens, Black American history for adults, African American narratives for children, African American narratives for teens and African American narratives for adults.

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