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Summer is for Reading - DREF Sister Scholars Recommended Reading List

The school year has ended, vacation requests have been submitted, daylight lasts longer, creating more time to relax and unwind with a good book. Many of us can’t decide what to read or are simply looking for a few good reading suggestions. The DREF Sister Scholars Advisory Council presents its inaugural Recommended Reading List this 2020 summer season. Here’s wishing you good reading days ahead…may the Sister Scholars Recommended Reading List bring rays of sunshine just like summer.

The book titles are fiction and non-fiction and while some are new titles, several have been around for a few years. The list is comprised of books that we hope you will find informative, interesting, empowering, in some cases entertaining. 

The DREF Sister Scholars 2020 Summer Reading List


  • A Long Time Comin’ by Robin W. Pearson
  • Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham
  • Faith Alone by Terri A. Johnson
  • It’s not All Downhill from Here by Terry McMillan
  • The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates


  • The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir by Andre Leon Talley
  • The Fire Next Time (Illustrated Edition) by James Baldwin and Steve Schapiro
  • A Fool’s Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump by Lonnie G. Bunch, III
  • Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination by Robin D.G. Kelley
  • The Great Migration and the Democratic Party: Black Voters and the Realignment of American Politics in the 20th Century by Keneshia Grant, Ph.D.
  • Ida: A Sword Among Lions-- Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching by Paula J. Giddings
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  • The Man, The Movement, The Museum: The Journey of John R. Kinard as the First African American Director of a Smithsonian Institution Museum by Joy G. Kinard, Ph.D.
  • Medical Bondage: Race, Gender and the Origins of American Gynecology  by Deidre Cooper-Owens
  •  My Vanishing Country: A Memoir by Bakari Sellers
  • Our Time is Now: Power, Purpose and the Fight for a Fair America by Stacey Abrams
  • Power-Nomics by Claud Anderson, Ed.D.
  • Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

Sister Scholars Advisory Council 

Wanda G. Brockington, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Clark-Lewis, Ph.D.
Pearl Ford Dowe, Ph.D.
Zinga Fraser, Ph.D.
Paula J. Giddings
Keneshia Grant, Ph.D.
Kandace G. Hinton, Ph.D.
Mary Howard-Hamilton, Ed.D.
Nikisha Horn, M.B.A.
Carolyn E. Lewis, Chair
Claudia Nelson, Ph.D.
Riche Richardson, Ph.D.
Tchicaya Robertson, Ph.D.
Constance Y. Ross, Esq.
Martha Lue Stewart, Ph.D.
Staff Liaison: 
Deborah Peaks Coleman
DREF Program Director


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