You are here: Home / The Center / National Reading Circle

National Reading Circle

The DREF National Reading Circle in the Center for Research on African American Women (The Center) is designed to engage women throughout America in reading classic works and scholarly literature by and about women of color. Members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and other women representing diverse backgrounds and professional roles are invited to form a reading circle in their community and read books recommended by the Sister Scholars Advisory Council.

The inaugural reading selection was IDA: A Sword Among Lions by Paula J. Giddings (2009–10); followed by The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander (2010–11). The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson (2011–12) is the current reading selection. Members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and other women representing diverse backgrounds and professional roles are invited to form a reading circle in their community.

The National Reading Circle was recently revived and engaged in virtual events to discuss Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson in 2021 and celebrated Womens' History month with a Literary Jam fundraising event highlighting Just As I Am, by Cicely Tyson in March 2022.

Sister Scholars Advisory Council Recommends its 2022 Summer Reading List

Summer is here…a time to make reading a special part of your activities, especially travel-- whether in real time or imagined. A good book can take you around the world without ever leaving the comfort of your favorite chair.  Check out this year’s Summer Reading List as recommended by the DREF Sister Scholars Advisory Council. The recommendations are quite diverse, reflecting various genres and themes as well as books that are new and older—published years ago.  If the book is exceptionally good, why cast it aside just because its not new. You may have missed it first time around, and it is our pleasure to promote older titles as well as recently published works. Hope you find a title or two that peeks your interests.


  • Finding Me: A Memoir by Viola Davis
  • Feeding the Soul: Finding Our Way to Joy, Love, and Freedom by Tabitha Brown
  • The Catch Me If You Can: One Woman’s Journey to Every Country in the World by Jessica Nabongo
  • Black Boy Smile: A Memoir in Moments by D. Watkins
  • Gullah Geechee Home Cooking by Emily Meggett
  • Black Joy: Stories of Resistance, Resilience, and Restoration by Tracey Michae’L Lewis-Giggetts
  • Bertha Maxwell Roddey: A Modern Day Race Woman and the Power of Black Leadership by Sonya Ramsey
  • Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora (A Cookbook) by Bryant Terry
  • Women of Color Daily Devotional (Summer Edition) published by Urban Spirit and Media Company
  • The Woman God Created You to Be by Kimberla Lawson Roby


  • Night Crawling by Leila Mottley
  • Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman
  • Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow
  • You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi
  • Playing with Fire by Kiki Swinson
  • The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois by Honoree
  • My One Good Nerve by Ruby Dee
  • In Search of Satisfaction by J. California Cooper
  • How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue
  • Carolina Built by Kiana Alexander 

For the Young Readers 

  • Miles Lewis, Whiz Kid #2 (King of the Ice) by Kelly Starling Lyons
  • Miles Lewis, Matchmaker Whiz Kid #3 by Kelly Starling Lyons
  • More than A Princess by Delanda Coleman & Terrence Coleman
  • Mommy, Sing Me a Lullaby by Marci Butler
  • Goodnight Racism by Ibram X. Kendi
  • Parker Looks Up by Parker Curry and Jessica Curry


The Center is committed to promoting educational endeavors and activism by women of color to advance their communities. There are three major objectives of The Center’s National Reading Circle:

  • To educate readers about the important contributions made by African American women
  • To support the African American women authors who have written classic work and/or scholarly literature
  • To motivate the readers to engage in activism that will create possibilities and improve lives for women and their families

For more information contact Deborah Peaks Coleman, Director of Programs



Document Actions