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Rashad's Reading List

November 29, 2017

Rashad "thaPoet" Rayford shares his reading list for those who wish to further explore activism and civil rights in literature.

Rashad uses spoken word and music as an outlet for his activism and has led workshops at Nashville Public Library that show others how to follow suit. At these workshops, he works with writers to craft stanzas about social justice and take them all the way through performance with a live band. Rashad will be hosting another Civil Composition workshop on Friday, December 8 at Nashville Public Library.

Since not everyone can come to these workshops, he shared his five favorite books with us to help inspire you:

Cunning, instructive and amoral, this controversial bestseller distills 3,000 years of the history of power into 48 well-explicated laws.

The nameless narrator of this novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of "the Brotherhood," and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be.

Published in 1964, the autobiogrpahy of comedian Dick Gregory is by turns funny, poignant, and thought-provoking.
Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim Movement. 

Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers" -- the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He ask the question: what makes high-achievers different?


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Amber loves learning more about her city and the world through books and stories. She currently works with Bringing Books to Life! where she gets to share stories with boys and girls throughout Nashville.