Living Room

Buying Black Holiday Gift Guide 2017

I know, I’m late. But just like “the man upstairs,” I’m right on time!

It’s easy to forget that money has power, especially when you have little to none of either. It’s even more so easy to forget that we can use our money to support causes in other ways than financial donations, though we should always give to charitable causes that are doing good in the world when possible. In our capitalistic reality, money is power and, more than often, a means of survival. A little can go a long way. We can use our money strategically to support communities we believe in and/or the communities that we belong to. For me, this means supporting people of color by frequenting their business and purchasing their art. It also means telling others about their work. And I am telling you…

Here is a list of exciting vendors and artists I’ve encountered over the past year. While most of the entries are owned or made by blacks, I’ve also included other artists of color whose work is phenomenal. These are books I’ve read, records I’ve listened to, and clothes I’ve gotten lost in.

I invite you to get lost. Find yourself. And share the love with others to do so as well.

Though I have linked everything to show you where you can purchase online, please do remember your locally-owned bookstores. They are your friends. Two of my favorites in Atlanta are Egle Eye Books and Charis Books.

**While this list is For Us By Us, it is also a reference for allies (read: whites) in the movements. We need your dollars and networks, too!**

Sincere thanks to Breanna McDaniel and Martina Dodd who helped to curate this list.

Blueprints to Baskets
Suite Four Sparkling Wine

Lentil and Stitch
The Known Campaign
The Wrap Life
God Is Dope
Handknit by Fatimah

Home, Health, and Happiness
Venus in Leo
Harlem Soap

Books (Poetry)
Ryan Jones, Go Home, Ryan (2016)
Donika Kelly, Bestiary (Graywolf Press, 2016)
Tyree Day, River Hymns (American Poetry Review, 2017)
Nicole Sealy, Ordinary Beasts (Ecco, 2017)
Layli Long Soldier, Whereas (Graywolf Press, 2017)
Cortney Lamar Charleston, Telepathologies (Saturnalia Books, 2017)
Raven Jackson, Litle Violences (Cutbank, 2017)

Books (Theatre)
Paul Carter Harrison and Gus Edwards (editors), Classic Plays from the Negro Ensemble Company (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995)
Stephen Adly Guirgis, Our Lady of 121st Street: Jesus Hopped the A Train; In Arabia, We’d All Be Kings (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013)
Dominique Morisseau, Sunset Baby (Samuel French, 2015)
Suzan-Lori Parks, Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) (Theatre Communications Group, 2015)

Books (Nonfiction)
Fred Moten, Black and Blur (Duke University Press, 2017)

Books (Young Adult)
Nic Stone, Dear Martin
Renee Watson, Piecing Me Together
Tracey Baptiste, The Jumbies
Jason Reynolds, Ghost
Derrick D. Barnes, Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
Jacqueline Woodson, Brown Girl Dreaming
Celia Perez, The First Rule of Punk

Julie Dash, Daughters of the Dust
*Let’s not let this go out of print again, please.

Jerome Jennings, The Beast (2016)
Jamila Woods, HEAVN (2016)

Von Proctor (Big Vision)
Ashley Ja’nae
Umber Magazine

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