Collection Development Celebrate Black History Month with Audiobooks

Share powerful stories with patrons, including essential non-fiction and historical listens, biographies of notable black heroes, and award-winning stories from bestselling authors. Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate the history, culture, and achievements of African Americans. Help patrons learn more about black history and start important discussions at your library by sharing these must-listen stories.

Black History Month Collection

Click here to view our full collection of Black History Month listens here,
including such notable audios as:

UNITED by Cory Booker
Read by the Author
BOT/Library CD Exclusive

Stay tuned for an audio clip coming soon.

Senator Cory Booker, the first black Senator from New Jersey, reads his inspiring memoir on audiobook. With over 1.6 million Twitter followers, Booker has an incredibly large audience waiting to hear more from him. He is an experienced and impactful speaker who transcends political party lines. In his audiobook, he offers touching stories about the people who inspired him, as well as stories about his own successes and failures during his rise from City Councilor to Mayor of Newark, NJ and finally to Senator of NJ. (Fact: He is only the 21st person in American history to go straight from Mayor to Senator).

While the audiobook digs into real policy issues, its core message is hope. “Hope is the active conviction that despair will never have the last word,” Booker writes. Above all, Booker always advocates for finding a compromise by way of strategic thinking and empathy. We must remember that we all rise or fall together, he argues, and that we must move beyond mere tolerance for one another toward a deeper connection: love. And that is a message worth sharing with listeners everywhere.

Winner of the Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction | Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction | Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize | Finalist for the Kirkus Reviews Prize | An American Library Association Notable Book

JUST MERCY by Bryan Stevenson
Read by the Author

Senator Cory Booker recently praised Bryan Stevenson’s narration of his audiobook in the New York Times Book Review, saying:

“Bryan’s book informed me, inspired me in my work and moved me emotionally. I read it and then listened to it on audiobook because I wanted to hear him read it. I remember grocery shopping in D.C., listening to him read as I went up and down the aisles, and tearing up as I was grabbing cans of vegan chili. Bryan is an extraordinary American, and his book challenges us to be a greater nation, one that lives up to our highest ideals and not our lesser angels.”—Senator Cory Booker

Listeners are sure to be equally affected by this powerful exploration of our legal justice system. As a young lawyer, Bryan Stevenson founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

★ “Stevenson…is a gifted storyteller, and his earnest reading of this memoir provides an unforgettable listening experience. Very highly recommended for true crime aficionados as well as those interested in criminal justice and the law.”—Library Journal, starred review

Not since Atticus Finch has a fearless and committed lawyer made such a difference in the American South. Though larger than life, Atticus exists only in fiction. Bryan Stevenson, however, is very much alive and doing God’s work fighting for the poor, the oppressed, the voiceless, the vulnerable, the outcast, and those with no hope. JUST MERCY is his inspiring and powerful story.”—Author John Grisham

For listeners who enjoyed JUST MERCY,
recommend this recently released must-listen:

by Austin Reed, Caleb Smith, David W. Blight and Robert B. Stepto
Read by Dominic Hoffman

Dominic Hoffman narrates the earliest known prison memoir by an African American writer—recently discovered and authenticated by a team of Yale scholars—that sheds light on the longstanding connection between race and incarceration in America.

★ “Although written more than 100 years ago…[Austin Reed’s] story was lost and unknown until the manuscript turned up at auction in 2009. This candid and stirring autobiography provides an intimate look at the cruel and violent world of crime and punishment in the 19th century…Reed’s unique story is highly recommended to anyone interested in African American history or the history of crime and punishment in the United States.”—Library Journal, starred review

and an ALA Notable Non-Fiction Book

Read by the Author

Hear Ta-Nehisi Coates read his bold memoir and exploration of America’s racial history. Written in the form of a letter to his son, Coates has crafted a uniquely intimate and intensely personal audiobook.

Senator Cory Booker also selected this book as one of his favorites this year, saying, “[Ta-Nehisi Coates’s] articles—and especially his book BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME—have been incredibly important to me this year, as I have been thinking and writing a lot about race and the promise of America. I admire and respect him, even though (or because) I find myself disagreeing with some of what he writes and some of the conclusions he draws. It is authors like Ta-Nehisi…who challenge me, force me to re-examine my conclusions and defend my ideas.”

★ “Coates delivers a mesmerizing, must-listen performance…Coates is the only person who could have narrated this audiobook—and it should be required listening for all Americans.”—Publishers Weekly, starred audio review

Step into the studio with author/narrator Ta-Nehisi Coates in this video.

Add this powerful debut to your Summer ’16 Listen List:

HOMEGOING by Yaa Gyasi
Reader TBA
On Sale 6/7/16

Ta-Nehisi Coates says, “Gyasi’s characters are so fully realized, so elegantly carved—very often I found myself longing to hear more…HOMEGOING is an inspiration.”

More not-be-missed recent and upcoming releases:

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