In 1997, rappers of conscious Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey (AKA Mos Def) poured their rap money into Nkiru Books, Brooklyn’s first Black bookstore, where Kweli was also an employee when their album, Black Star, was released.
On the 28th of December 2015, Kweli had posted a picture on Facebook talking about how despite the fact that they weren’t able to save Nkiru’s location, he will reignite Nkiru Books online, selling books of literature, education, history and culture of people of color, through his website.
Just looking at the book covers posted on his website makes me drool! Even if one chooses not to purchase these gems directly through the website, the website makes an awesome guide to books you can borrow from the library in a quest to decolonize your mind. Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Angela Davis, W.E.B. du Bois, Audre Lorde, bell hooks… the list goes on.
Here’s an interesting article on why we must read the books written by writers of color, especially as they courageously stare down on the white gaze. Want to understand the decolonization debate? Here’s a reading list you should check out.
Decolonizing the mind is not just a goal; it is a life long process… a way of life. I hope that in 2016 and beyond, I will continue this journey in full force; there are PLENTY of books out there to guide me along that way, so it’s all good.