Best Selling Audio Books in Biographies & Memoirs - Ethnic & National

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release date: Nov 14, 2017
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The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir
The ''Mega Diva'' and legendary star of Black-ish looks back on her memorable journey to fame and the unforgettable life lessons she learned along the way.

Jenifer Lewis keeps it real in this provocative and touching memoir by a midwestern girl with a dream whose journey from poverty to Hollywood will move, shock, and inspire.

Told in the audacious voice her fans adore, Jenifer describes a road to fame made treacherous by dysfunction and undiagnosed mental illness, including a sex addiction. Yet, supported by loving friends and strengthened by ''inner soldiers,'' Jenifer never stopped entertaining and creating.

We watch as Jenifer develops icon status stemming from a series of legendary screen roles as the sassy, yet loveable, mama or auntie. And we watch as her emotional disturbances, culminating in a breakdown while filming The Temptations movie, launch her on a continuing search for answers, love, and healing.

Written with no-holds-barred honesty, this gripping memoir is filled with insights gained through a unique life that offers a universal message: ''Love yourself so that love will not be a stranger when it comes.''

From her first taste of applause at five years old to landing on Broadway within eleven days of graduation and ultimately achieving success in movies, television, and global concert halls, Jenifer reveals her outrageous life story with lots of humor, a few regrets, and most importantly, unbridled joy. Candid, warm, and wonderfully inspiring, The Mother of Black Hollywood intimately reveals the heart of a woman who lives life to the fullest.

release date: May 03, 2005
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Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance
Includes the senator's speech from the 2004 Democratic National Convention!

In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father—a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man—has been killed in a car accident. This sudden death inspires an emotional odyssey—first to a small town in Kansas, from which he retraces the migration of his mother’s family to Hawaii, and then to Kenya, where he meets the African side of his family, confronts the bitter truth of his father’s life, and at last reconciles his divided inheritance.
release date: Nov 14, 2017
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Higher Is Waiting
An intimate book of inspiration by the one and only Tyler Perry—actor, producer, director, philanthropist, and the creator of Madea
 
Higher Is Waiting is a spiritual guidebook, a collection of teachings culled from the experiences of a lifetime, meant to inspire readers to climb higher in their own lives and pull themselves up to a better, more fulfilling place. In this intimate book, Tyler Perry writes of how his faith has sustained him in hard times, centered him in good times, and enriched his life.
 
Beginning with his earliest memories of growing up a shy boy in New Orleans, Perry recalls the moments of grace and beauty in a childhood marked by brutality, deprivation, and fear. With tenderness he sketches portraits of the people who sustained him and taught him indelible lessons about integrity, trust in God, and the power of forgiveness: his aunt Mae, who cared for her grandfather, who was born a slave, and sewed quilts that told a story of generations; Mr. Butler, a blind man of remarkable dignity and elegance, who sold penny candies on a street corner; and his beloved mother, Maxine, who endured abuse, financial hardship, and the daily injustices of growing up in the Jim Crow South yet whose fierce love for her son burned bright and never dimmed. Perry writes of how he nurtured his dreams and discovered solace in nature, and of his resolute determination to reach ever higher.
 
Perry vividly and movingly describes his growing awareness of God’s presence in his life, how he learned to tune in to His voice, to persevere through hard times, and to choose faith over fear. Here he is: the devoted son, the loving father, the steadfast friend, the naturalist, the philanthropist, the creative spirit—a man whose life lessons and insights into scripture are a gift offered with generosity, humility, and love.
release date: Apr 25, 2017
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The Operator: Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior
A stirringly evocative, thought-provoking, and often jaw-dropping account, The Operator ranges across SEAL Team Operator Robert O’Neill’s awe-inspiring four-hundred-mission career, which included his involvement in attempts to rescue “Lone Survivor” Marcus Luttrell and abducted-by-Somali-pirates Captain Richard Phillips and which culminated in those famous three shots that dispatched the world’s most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden.

In these pages, O’Neill describes his idyllic childhood in Butte, Montana; his impulsive decision to join the SEALs; the arduous evaluation and training process; and the even tougher gauntlet he had to run to join the SEALs’ most elite unit. After officially becoming a SEAL, O’Neill would spend more than a decade in the most intense counterterror effort in US history. For extended periods, not a night passed without him and his small team recording multiple enemy kills—and though he was lucky enough to survive, several of the SEALs he’d trained with and fought beside never made it home.

The Operator describes the nonstop action of O’Neill’s deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, evokes the black humor of years-long combat, brings to vivid life the lethal efficiency of the military’s most selective units, and reveals firsthand details of the most celebrated terrorist takedown in history.
release date: Mar 01, 2008
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Man's Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy
[Read by Simon Vance]

Man's Search for Meaning is the chilling yet inspirational story of Viktor Frankl's struggle to hold on to hope during the unspeakable horrors of his years as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of those he treated in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Through every waking moment of his ordeal, Frankl's training as a psychiatrist lent him a remarkable perspective on the psychology of survival. As a result of these experiences, Dr. Frankl developed a revolutionary approach to psychotherapy known as logotherapy. At the core of his theory is the belief that man's primary motivational force is his search for meaning. Frankl's assertion that ''the will to meaning'' is the basic motivation for human life has forever changed the way we understand our humanity in the face of suffering.

Frankl's riveting memoir was named one of the Ten Most Influential Books in America after a 1991 survey by the Library of Congress and Book of the Month Club. This revised and updated version includes a new postscript: ''The Case for a Tragic Optimism.''
release date: Oct 03, 2017
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We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy
In these “urgently relevant essays,”* the National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me “reflects on race, Barack Obama’s presidency and its jarring aftermath”*—including the election of Donald Trump.

New York Times Bestseller • One of Time’s Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of the Year • One of USA Today’s top 10 books of the year • New York Times Notable Book

“We were eight years in power” was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. In this sweeping collection of new and selected essays, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America’s “first white president.”

But the story of these present-day eight years is not just about presidential politics. This book also examines the new voices, ideas, and movements for justice that emerged over this period—and the effects of the persistent, haunting shadow of our nation’s old and unreconciled history. Coates powerfully examines the events of the Obama era from his intimate and revealing perspective—the point of view of a young writer who begins the journey in an unemployment office in Harlem and ends it in the Oval Office, interviewing a president.

We Were Eight Years in Power features Coates’s iconic essays first published in The Atlantic, including “Fear of a Black President,” “The Case for Reparations,” and “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” along with eight fresh essays that revisit each year of the Obama administration through Coates’s own experiences, observations, and intellectual development, capped by a bracingly original assessment of the election that fully illuminated the tragedy of the Obama era. We Were Eight Years in Power is a vital account of modern America, from one of the definitive voices of this historic moment.

*Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Essential . . . Coates’s probing essays about race, politics, and history became necessary ballast for this nation’s gravity-defying moment.”—The Boston Globe 
release date: Jun 01, 1994
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MLK: The Martin Luther King, Jr Tapes
This historical compilation of Martin Luther King, Jr. features live recordings of "The Great March To Freedom," "The Great March To Washington" and the immortal "Free At Last" speech. Plus, a poignant eulogy by Robert F. Kennedy. Run time: 70:02
release date: Oct 17, 2017
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We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories That are Funny, Complicated, and True
In the spirit of Amy Poehler's Yes Please and Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl, a powerful collection of essays about gender, sexuality, race, beauty, Hollywood, and what it means to be a modern woman

One month before the release of the highly anticipated film The Birth of a Nation, actress Gabrielle Union shook the world with a vulnerable and impassioned editorial in which she urged our society to have compassion for victims of sexual violence. In the wake of rape allegations made against director and actor Nate Parker, Union -- a forty-four-year-old actress who launched her career with roles in iconic '90s movies -- instantly became the insightful, outspoken actress that Hollywood has been desperately awaiting. With honesty and heartbreaking wisdom she revealed her own trauma as a victim of sexual assault: ''It is for you that I am speaking. This is real. We are real.''

In this moving collection of thought-provoking essays infused with her unique wisdom and deep humor, Union uses that same fearlessness to tell astonishingly personal and true stories about power, color, gender, feminism, and fame. Union tackles a range of experiences, including bullying, beauty standards, and competition between women in Hollywood, growing up in white California suburbia and then spending summers with her black relatives in Nebraska, coping with crushes, puberty, and the divorce of her parents. Genuine and perceptive, Union bravely lays herself bare, uncovering a complex and courageous life of self-doubt and self-discovery with incredible poise and brutal honesty. Throughout, she compels us to be ethical and empathetic, and reminds us of the importance of confidence, self-awareness, and the power of sharing truth, laughter, and support.

release date: Jan 01, 2001
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A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This companion volume to "A Knock At Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr". includes the text of his most well-known oration, "I Have a Dream", his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, and "Beyond Vietnam", a powerful plea to end the ongoing conflict. Includes contributions from Rosa Parks, Aretha Franklin, the Dalai Lama, and many others.
release date: Jan 16, 2018
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When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir

This program is read by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and includes a bonus conversation

The emotional and powerful story of one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter and how the movement was born. When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & asha bandele is the essential audiobook for every conscientious American.

"This remarkable book reveals what inspired Patrisse's visionary and courageous activism and forces us to face the consequence of the choices our nation made when we criminalized a generation. This book is a must-read for all of us." - Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

From one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a poetic audiobook memoir and reflection on humanity. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Cullors’ story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, a threat to America. But in truth, they are loving women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. In this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience, Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele seek to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable.

More praise for When They Call You a Terrorist:

"Steeped in humanity and powerful prose...This is an eye-opening and eloquent coming-of-age story from one of the leaders in the new generation of social activists." ― Publishers Weekly

"With great candor about her complex personal life, Khan-Cullors has created a memoir as compelling as a page-turning novel." ― Booklist

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