As protests against racism, police brutality, and injustice against the Black community continue to rock our nation, the Phi Beta Kappa Society recognizes that questions of racial injustice have a heightened and long overdue prominence. We believe that the ideals of liberal arts and sciences education empower us to listen, to learn, to face the structures that perpetuate racism and to demand change.
Last month, as we collected member recommendations for our annual Summer Reading List, members on our Facebook page
suggested that we feature books written by Black authors. We decided to embrace this approach and to curate a list of books across varied genres and subjects, from fiction to memoir, from poetry to graphic novels, history and biography. These works, many suggested by our members and some authored by members, represent just a fraction of the innumerable creative, intellectual, and original voices coming from the Black community, past and present.
We invite members and readers to engage with each of these authors on their own terms. At the same time, this reading list provides an opening to examine the structures and prejudices that have shaped the lives of all Black Americans. As Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith titled her poem
lifting up the words of Black Civil War soldiers, “I will tell you the truth about this, I will tell you all about it.”
Black Phi Beta Kappa Authors
A selection of black Phi Beta Kappa authors. To find more members, visit The Key Reporter's Goodreads page.