Essay Sixty-Nine discussed the abysmal lack of Black advertising books. Now here’s required reading for the entire industry. Whether you’re a card-carrying member of the NAACP or the KKK — or anything in between — MultiCultClassics cordially invites you to peruse the list below. Studying just one of the following selections will drive you closer to enlightenment and a healthier society. (All should be available via local bookstores, abebooks.com or amazon.com. For the non-readers and/or dyslexics, many of these works have audio cassette or CD options.)
Proversity by Lawrence Otis Graham.
This book helped kick off MultiCultClassics. Review Essay One for a refresher course. Graham introduces progressive diversity — proversity. It’s a proactive solution to bringing different people together to achieve common goals.
Don’t Believe The Hype by Farai Chideya.
Chideya confronts the misunderstandings, miscommunications, misinformation and outright lies with truth, justice and the American way. Facts meet fiction. Facts win.
Thirteen Ways Of Looking At A Black Man by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Provocative portraits of prominent Black men, including Colin Powell, James Baldwin, Harry Belafonte and Louis Farrakhan — carefully assembled by an insightful and world-class thinker.
Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol.
A powerful depiction of the challenges faced by children in schools from poor and less affluent suburbs. The contrasts separating the haves and the have nots are staggering. If this book doesn’t change your attitudes, you have no heart. Or mind.
Hard Questions, Heart Answers by Bernice King.
Sermons and speeches by the youngest daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr. The Reverend Bernice King inherited her father’s gifts and made them her own.
The Truly Disadvantaged by William Julius Wilson.
Forget any preconceived notions about the problems of poverty. Wilson delivers controversial yet compelling analysis and answers to issues that continue to fester today. This book is outstanding.
Black Looks: race and representation by bell hooks.
Twelve essays probing the emotions and politics behind contemporary representations of Black women and men within White culture, served up by a premier American feminist and intellectual.
Beyond Race And Gender by R. Roosevelt Thomas, Jr.
This classic on diversity makes the others look like wannabes. It should be on the bookshelves of every manager and Human Resources Director in the country.
Race Matters by Cornel West.
“Cornel West is one of the most authentic, brilliant, prophetic, and healing voices in America today. We ignore his truth in Race Matters at our own personal and national peril,” said Marian Wright Edelman. Plus, he made a cameo appearance in The Matrix movie series.
Rage Of A Privileged Class by Ellis Cose.
Why are middle-class Blacks angry? Why should America care? The author, columnist and contributing editor for Newsweek tells you why with passion and precision. It’s a must-read for the masses.
Showing My Color by Clarence Page.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist releases “impolite essays on race and identity” with keen wit and simple genius. Plus, he’s got a great email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Success Runs In Our Race by George Fraser.
The subtitle reads, “The Complete Guide to Effective Networking in the African-American Community.” However, this book offers unlimited guidance to every professional seeking success, regardless of race, creed or color — ultimately providing a superior way to approach business.
Who’s Afraid Of A Large Black Man? by Charles Barkley.
The NBA legend and social commentator speaks about race with people of influence in a variety of fields — including Tiger Woods, Jesse Jackson, President Bill Clinton, Samuel L. Jackson, Rabbi Steven Leder, George Lopez, Robert Johnson, Ice Cube and more.
Is Bill Cosby Right? (Or Has The Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?) by Michael Eric Dyson.
Supporters of Cosby’s recent ravings may want to stay away. But author, professor and cultural critic Dyson makes a forceful argument even Fat Albert would back without hesitation.
Race by Studs Terkel.
Another Pultizer Prize-winning writer talks the talk and walks the walk. Terkel listens, learns and unleashes on the American obsession.
By Any Means Necessary by Malcolm X.
Get better acquainted with one of the most misrepresented leaders in American history.
Any book by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Take your pick. It’s all still relevant and inspirational to the world.
Here’s a new book to be enjoyed by everyone, but it won’t count as much as the recommendations above.
The Life And Death Of Bling Bling by Matthew Vescovo.
This graphic novel explains how underground urban culture becomes popular then played out. It’s high art on breakthrough levels.
The list could go forever. And there are bound to be hundreds accidentally absent. Advance apologies for the gems that were missed.
So move forward. Read just one. Don’t delay. If you’re not deliberately trying to fix advertising’s diversity problem, you’re deliberately contributing to the mess.