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This Architect of Change Is Celebrating 50 Books That Changed the Story of African America

This Architect of Change Is Celebrating 50 Books That Changed the Story of African America

By Stacey Lindsay
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Across the nation, individuals and groups have been banning books—from schools, libraries, and organizations. This sweeping action interferes with people's access to insightful, inclusive, edifying literature.

Janus Adams is fighting back.

The award-winning journalist and historian has launched a "pro-reading, pro-knowledge, pro-sanity campaign" campaign called 50 Books That Changed the Story of African America. As the name suggests, the list includes books by and about African Americans, many of which get little recognition.

The idea came to Adams via a note requesting a mind-opening reading list. Adams responded in her newsletter, "Years ago, when I launched the first national book club for African American literature and culture, Harambee, I was inspired and infuriated by the lack of access to books by and about African Americans. Who would have thought we'd be facing that danger again?"

Like every book that tells of all facets of our history and truth, Adams wants everyone to know that #BlackBooksMatter. She writes, "Not only has the African American human rights struggle changed the world for the better; it's changed the world of literature. Did you know that a Black 18th-century author wrote the first autobiography, creating a literary genre?"

You can access Adams' list of 50 books via download here. Beginning May 17, the anniversary of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court school desegregation decision, she'll be adding new books weekly through the end of the year.

Stacey Lindsay

Stacey Lindsay is a Senior Editor at The Sunday Paper. She was previously a news anchor and reporter who covered veterans' issues and breaking news. Learn more at:

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