The holidays signal the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. With that comes feelings of nostalgia; reflection. I find myself thinking of the year in terms of accomplishments, or the lack thereof. It is a weird combination of looking back and looking forward; acknowledging all of the ways I failed and all of the ways I want to correct that.

But I never fail when it comes to my reading list. So this year I thought it would be fun to share what I am looking forward to reading in 2021. So here goes. 

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Yes! Some of us spend so much time telling ourselves why we can’t do or have the things we want in this life. But what if we shifted that; what if we practiced saying YES! Maybe our life would/could look different — maybe it could look exactly how we want it to. 

African American Poetry: 250 Years of  Struggle & Song Edited by Kevin Young

Collected into a beautiful, hardcover edition with the silk-smooth pages like you would find in the classic King James Bible, is a treasure trove of poetry and song from spanning African American history. Poetry is funny in that it is art but it also is history; it is a record of how far we have come.  

The Annotated African American Folktales Edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Maria Tatar

As I have gotten older, being able to connect to a larger history has become more important to me. Every culture has their myths and legends — these are ours. 

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Earlier this year, I read The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead and loved it. Since then, The Underground Railroad has been on my list. I imagine it will be as heartbreaking as The Nickel Boys was and every bit as good!

The Promise Land by President Barack Obama

I haven’t read this one yet but I am looking forward to it. I got this one on Audible when I found out he was narrating it. It’s cued up and I can’t wait to dig in. He is one of the most charismatic people the world has ever seen. I’ve heard nothing but good things. It’s definitely on the list!

Bonus: Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present by Harriet A. Washington

While everyone is discussing vaccines — whether or not we should take it — I think it’s time to pull this one out again. I never finished; it is a grisly read. But a necessary one. 

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Now more than ever, we are being called to be adaptable. That is what this book is about — learning to adapt and being ready to change as the world changes around you. Another must read.

I find myself wanting to return to some staples — books that have impacted me over the years. Probably because 2020 has been such a roller coaster. This list feels so full of hope. After leaving 2020, I think it is imperative we learn how to live and work in a world crammed with disappointments and obstacles. 2020 was difficult but the hardships aren’t over. We have to continue to equip ourselves with ideas and techniques that inspire us and allow us to overcome everything 2021 will throw at us. 

I believe in you and I hope you find a book on this list that reminds you to continue believing in yourself in 2021! 

Let’s GOO!