3 Decades of My Black Revolutionary Bookshelf

We thought we could save people’s lives with the manna to be found in books — and they only got better over time

A black history book display at a library.
Photo: Newsday LLC/Getty Images

Libraries were not yet under assault by the internet, and with the growing ease of self-publishing, my public library’s shelves were a banquet of cultures and ideas. I may have been a college dropout, but I was building a syllabus in Blackness worthy of a PhD.

Writer and poet holding down Columbus, Ohio

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