Earlier this month, we brought you 50 Books That Every African American Should Read, a comprehensive list of novels spanning across multiple genres, authors and subjects. In response, readers shared their thoughts on what they enjoyed, what they disagreed with, and what books they believe should have been included.
Judging from the hundreds of tweets and comments and close to two-thousand Facebook shares, this list sparked the interest of many readers. For example, one user named prfktstrngr527 discovered new titles, writing, "Thanks for the great list. There are many books listed here that I have never heard of. I will definitely be checking those out."
User Joyce Tesar wrote "These are 50 books EVERYONE should read," echoing the concerns of other readers who said this list ought to apply to everyone regardless of race.
Imagine our delight when we received an official nod of approval from OutKast rapper Big Boi, who tweeted a link to the list along with an effortlessly cool "#yup."
— Big Boi of OUTKAST (@BigBoi) July 15, 2012
TheNextVoiceofYouth expressed an interest in sharing the list with young readers:
I think young black people should read some of these books, if not all of them. More of generation (Gen Y) as well as future generations, need to learn to have self-respect and pride in who they are as a black person. Gwendolyn Brooks is my inspiration when it comes to writing poetry about young black people. Langston Hughes is my favorite poet from my favorite time period in history: The Harlem Renaissance.
In order to continue this important dialogue on vital literature and literary figures in the African American community, we have gathered 20 titles recommended by our readers in the comment section.
The end result: our Readers' Choice List, a compilation for our BV readers, by our BV readers, comprised of books mostly written by black playwrights, scholars, activists, novelists and poets, including J. California Cooper, Sister Souljah, Steve Biko and James McBride, among others.
We will also be compiling another list, and we are calling on readers to provide suggestions beforehand.
With the final month of summer vacation swiftly approaching, students across the country must buckle down and complete their required summer reading. As proposed by several users, the next BV List will feature essential summer reading for African American young adults.
To nominate a book, include the title, author's name and a brief explanation of why young adults should read it. While no option is too obscure to suggest, providing a link to those lesser known titles will definitely increase its chances of appearing on the final book list.
In the meantime take a look at our latest list, then share your thoughts on what books black young adults should read.