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15 Woke Books People Will Actually Want As Gifts

When you get a loved one a gift, you want it to bring joy and a sense of fulfillment. In other words, you want them to actually like it! An added bonus if it also educates, right? The truth is, nothing opens up someone to another world or new facets of an existing one quite like books. The holidays are officially here so in case you weren’t sure what to get your friends and fam, here are 15 great books that will keep them woke, informed, and empowered. Check them out and thank us later!

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

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#Photocredit @shaynester A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two "letters," written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as "sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle…all presented in searing, brilliant prose,"The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of our literature. #jamesbaldwin #thefirenexttime #goodblackreads #blackauthors #blackwriters #womenwriters #womenauthors #womenofcolor #pocwriters #africanauthors #africanliterature #africanlit #blacklit #blackliterature #bookstagram

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Novelist, essayist, and social critic James Baldwin explored race, sexuality, and differences in class in his work. His book, The Fire Next Time, is made up of two letters, that take on religion and the issue of racial injustice.

Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano

Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent looks at the different things that the Europeans colonizers took from Latin American countries and the aftereffects. It is one of the books John Leguizamo recommends as essential reading for all Latinos.

Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina by Raquel Cepeda

Raquel Cepeda’s Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina is her personal journey to discovering who she is. Ancestral DNA testing was the key that helped Cepeda unlock the identity of a Dominicana in New York.

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

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It's $8. Order it! #youareabadassjensincero

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We are all for books that help you remember your awesomeness. Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life is just the book to remind someone special in your life that they can kick ass in life.

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

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I took so much for granted. I didnt grow up in the greatest conditions. But still, in contrast to other countries, we lived/live like Kings. But I don't remember ever feeling like a King. On the contrary growing up, I felt inadequate, broke, bitter, and sometimes hungry. But my dad could still go to the corner store and get Italian Bread, a pound of ham and a pound of cheese, on "deli store credit." One year we got our hands on some "public assistance" and feasted, lol. Shoot, my dad worked 7 days a week, and bartered his time for tuition assistance, so we could go to Catholic School. To our neighbors, we were poor. But to a little boy in Uttar Pradesh, India…we would probably look like royalty (maybe spoiled brats.) We didn't have as much as everyone but we had more than most…India has 276 million people who live on $1.25/day. – ☆ So a question comes to mind, why are some countries poor and others so rich? – Some takeaways: – 💎So many people argue that certain societies rise to power because they are physically, intellectually or even genetically superior to people of other races, Guns, Germs and Steel determines.. That there is NO fundamental difference in intelligence, propensity for violence, or talent. The difference is, geography. – 💎Geographic Determinism: civilizations develop over time in different ways in response to environmental factors such as temperature, soil fertility, availability of large mammals, and physical barriers to travel. – 💎Food production was INDIRECTLY a prerequisite for the development of guns, germs and steel. So geographic variation in whether, or when, the people's of different continents became farmers and herders explains to a large extent their subsequent contrasting fates. – 💎the four underlying factors that determine the course of human history, 1. Availability of wild plants and animals for domestication, 2. Barriers to diffusion and migration 'within' a continent. 3. The barriers 'between' continents and 4. Population size and density. – #gunsgermsandsteel #jareddiamond #bookaday #alwayslearning #humility

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Pulitzer Prize-winning Gun, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies is a book that offers explanations for why some cultures have been more successful than others. It allows readers to see how certain factors have led to the inequality we see today.

When I Was Puerto Rican: A Memoir by Esmeralda Santiago

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In a childhood full of tropical beauty and domestic strife, poverty and tenderness, Esmeralda Santiago learned the proper way to eat a guava, the sound of tree frogs, the taste of morcilla, and the formula for ushering a dead baby's soul to heaven. But when her mother, Mami, a force of nature, takes off to New York with her seven, soon to be eleven children, Esmeralda, the oldest, must learn new rules, a new language, and eventually a new identity. In the first of her three acclaimed memoirs, Esmeralda brilliantly recreates her tremendous journey from the idyllic landscape and tumultuous family life of her earliest years, to translating for her mother at the welfare office, and to high honors at Harvard.⠀ ⠀ #WhenIWasPuertoRican #EsmeraldaSantiago #OprahsBookClub #BooksForBuilding #ReadingIsFundamental #Bookstagram #KnowledgeOfSelf #ReadersOfIG #BookOfTheDay #ReadWriteUnite #Bookshop #ReadABook #BookNerd #BookCommunity #DiverseReads #BusinessBooks #BiblioTherapy #SelfHelpBooks #BookPhotography #CreativeWriting #iLoveBooks #IGreads #ReadingList #BookPic #Booktography #ReadersAreLeaders #Bibliophile #IGBooks #TheGoodQuote ⠀ ⠀ https://buff.ly/2CyR4ww

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When I Was Puerto Rican is Esmeralda Santiago’s autobiography. It talks about her transition from an upbringing in Puerto Rico to a new existence in New York, and how it felt to live between two cultures.

A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

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Read it #history #apeopleshistoryoftheunitedstates

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As adults, we often feel the need to relearn the history that we were incorrectly taught in grade school. A People’s History of the United States gives the power of telling the story back to the people—the Native Americans, African-Americans, laborers, the poor, and more.

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, Charles C. Mann

Another book on John Leguizamo’s list of books that Latinos should read (you can check out the list here and here) is 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. It tells the truth about the indigenous cultures that thrived before Columbus arrived—the truth we weren’t taught.

Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis

Another great book to inject some positivity and empowerment into your life is Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be. Rachel Hollis breaks down various lies we tell ourselves and how to change from that mindset.

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

We should be learning about indigenous history in school because it is the part of the history of America. However, it is glossed over in favor of European-American narratives. Books like Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States aims to put the focus of the narrative back on the American Indians, so we can finally learn the truth.

Life and Death in the Andes by Kim MacQuarrie

Life and Death in the Andes: On the Trail of Bandits, Heroes, and Revolutionaries takes us on a trip to South America, and lets us relive its history. It is said to be an informative book you won’t want to put down.

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

The only way we can change what’s wrong with America (and the world) is to first be informed about what is really happening. Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness takes a look at how the justice system has been designed to control and keep down African-Americans.

How to Travel without Seeing by Andres Neuman


How to Travel without Seeing: Dispatches from a New Latin America is a trip with author Andres Neuman to 19 Latino countries. He shares with readers interesting observations from each nation, observations that perhaps other writers would have missed.

American Like Me by America Ferrera

Actress and activist America Ferrera decided to share her experience living as both an American and a Honduran in her book, American Like Me: Reflections of Life Between Cultures. She also asked her fellow celeb friends to do the same, compiling personal stories from Uzo Aduba, Kal Penn, Anjelah  Johnson, and more.

Growing Up Chicana/o: An Anthology by Tiffany Ana Lopez


Growing Up Chicana/o is a book that will give readers a window into the Chicano experience. The anthology features 20 stories by Mexican-Americans.