Lagniappe

2020 The Year of Reading

2020 was a crazy year! But we all made it through! A big part of what helped me in 2020 was reading! For the first time in many years, I had time to dedicate to stillness and reading. It was great to have the opportunity to get back to one of the things that have opened my mind further! Below I want to share some of my favorites books of the 100 I read! There were so many, but I decided to give you quotes from some truly memorable ones. Also, I will share the full list of books I read managed by Good Reads.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
by Michelle Alexander

“For the foreseeable future, racial and ethnic inequality will be a feature of American life. This reality is not cause for despair. The idea that we may never reach a state of perfect racial equality—a perfect racial equilibrium—is not cause for alarm. What is concerning is the real possibility that we, as a society, will choose not to care. We will choose to be blind to injustice and the suffering of others. We will look the other way and deny our public agencies the resources, data, and tools they need to solve problems. We will refuse to celebrate what is beautiful about our distinct cultures and histories, even as we blend and evolve. That is cause for despair.”

A Promised Land by Barack Obama

“Have you ever noticed that if there’s a hard way and an easy way, you choose the hard way every time? Why do you think that is?”
― Barack Obama, A Promised Land

My Voice by Angie Martinez

“The point is, you never know what you can do until you really put yourself out there and try. Do it. Whatever it is. Challenge yourself. If you can’t imagine the finish line, the first step is to just show up. And don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Run your own race.”

Our Time is Now by Stacey Abrams

“Full citizenship rights are the bare minimum one should expect from the government. Yet, for two-thirds of our history, full citizenship was denied to those who built this country from theory to life. African slaves and Chinese workers and Native American environmentalists and Latino gauchos and Irish farmers—and half the population: women. Over the course of our history, these men and women, these patriots and defenders of liberty, have been denied the most profound currency of citizenship: power. Because, let’s be honest, that is the core of this fight. The right to be seen, the right to be heard, the right to direct the course of history are markers of power. In the United States, democracy makes politics one of the key levers to exercising power. So, it should shock none of us that the struggle for dominion over our nation’s future and who will participate is simply a battle for American power.”

Lead From the Outside by Stacey Abrams

“Defeating fear of otherness means knowing who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish and leveraging that otherness to our benefit. Knowing I’d never be invited into smoke-filled rooms or to the golf course, I instead requested individual meetings with political colleagues where I asked questions and learned about their interests, creating a similar sense of camaraderie. In business, I take full advantage of opportunities afforded to minorities but then always offer to share my learning with other groups that have similar needs—expanding the circle rather than closing myself off. Like most who are underestimated, I have learned to over-perform and find soft but key ways to take credit. Because, ultimately, leadership and power require the confidence to effectively wield both.”

The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut’s Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt by Kara Cooney

“Male leaders are celebrated for their successes, while their excesses are typically excused as the necessary and expected price of masculine ambition.”

Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall

“No one can live up to the standards set by racist stereotypes like this that position Black women as so strong they don’t need help, protection, care, or concern. Such stereotypes leave little to no room for real Black women with real problems. In fact, even the most “positive” tropes about women of color are harmful precisely because they dehumanize us and erase the damage that can be done to us by those who might mean well, but whose actions show that they don’t actually respect us or our right to self-determine what happens on our behalf.”

Negroland by Margo Jefferson

“Being an Other, in America, teaches you to imagine what can’t imagine you.”

A Fool’s Errand by Lonnie Bunch, III

“He then said words that have shaped my career: if you are a historian then your job better be to help people remember not just what they want to remember, but what they need to remember.”

My Soul Looks Back by Jessica Harris

“I was a conundrum, a pile of insecurities about not being Black enough or pretty enough or anything enough: too light to be dark and too dark to be light,”

Becoming by Michelle Obama

“For every door that’s been opened to me, I’ve tried to open my door to others. And here is what I have to say, finally: Let’s invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.”

Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less
Jazz
Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology
One Life
Let Love Rule
The Truths We Hold: An American Journey
Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics
A Promised Land
The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut's Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt
Passing
Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle
Things I Should Have Told My Daughter: Lies, Lessons & Love Affairs
Dream More
Brown Girl Dreaming
Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day
Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices & Priorities of a Winning Life
Acid for the Children
Diamond Doris: The True Story of the World's Most Notorious Jewel Thief
Around the Way Girl
My Voice


Shercole’s favorite books »