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It’s not that hard to read. Here is a list of books that J. Cole should have read before he opened his fucking mouth.

This essay mentions sexual assault.

Jermaine Lamarr Cole is an odd nigga. A perplexing negro. A puzzling, but damning study on the complete lack of imagination, empathy, and capacity for growth and change when it comes to the cishet Black man and how he regards the Black people around him who are not him. And for those who claim to be as “deep” as an ocean, but contain the shallowness of a dirty pond or swamp. And for those who claim to be “woke”, but can barely keep their eyes open when it comes to the struggles of the larger Black community.

You’re probably wondering what in the entire fuck that I’m babbling about. While it is a tale as old as time, this edition of this tale features one Jermaine Lamarr Cole and one [allegedly] Noname. And in this version of the tale, rapper Noname had spent the last year and a half going on an illuminating journey of both self-discovery and radicalization after initially being dragged on Twitter for her views on capitalism. She also decided to take many of us with her when she established a book club (a la Noname’s Book Club). Her growth and startling accountability have been a magnificent trajectory to witness. But not all people feel that way… which is where Jermaine enters the picture.

After a depressing couple of days that included the sexual assault and death of activist Oluwatoyin Salau and the fact that Breonna Taylor’s murderers have still not been charged AND Black women imploring the larger Black community to, you know, give a fuck about our lives, Jermaine decided that this week—of all weeks—was the week to subtweet Noname (a prominent Black woman) via song. A song by the name of “Snow on tha Bluff”. Now, the song is just as corny as its title and much of its prominent lyrics feature Jermaine slinging his dick on a table and telling of the Black wominz—I mean “QUEENS”—to talk nicely and softly to his high yellow self about the oppressions of all Black people. While his asinine fanbase deems Noname, a Black woman, to be “privileged” over his biracial self.

It would seem that Jermaine cannot determine whether he is in fact a man or a child.

With that said… here is a list of books that he should have read before he opened his fucking mouth:

1. Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis

2. To Die for the People by Huey P. Newton

3. The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon

4. In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens by Alice Walker

5. Black Looks: Race and Representation by bell hooks

6. The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master’s House by Audre Lorde

7. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van der Kolk, M.D.

8. Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis

9. Black Theology and Black Power by James Cone

10. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

11. Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? By Martin Luther King, Jr.

12. The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

13. Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall

14. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney

15. Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center by Bell Hooks

16. The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations by Tony Morrison

17. Black Power: The Politics of Liberation by Kwame Ture (Formerly Known as Stokely Carmicheal)

18. Revolutionary Suicide by Huey P. Newton

19. Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon

20. White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson

RECOMMENDED: Abolition Cannot Wait: Visions For Transformation and Radical World-Building

21. Southern Horrors and Other Writings: The Anti-lynching Campaign of Ida B. Wells by Ida B. Wells

22. Death in a Promised Land: The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 by Scott Ellsworth

23. Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur

24. So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

25. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

26. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde

27. Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique Morris

28. DisCrit―Disability Studies and Critical Race Theory in Education by Subini Ancy Annamma, Beth A. Ferri, and David J. Connor

29. Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement by Kimberlé Crenshaw, Garry Peller, Kendall Thomas, and Neil Gotanda

30. Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination by Toni Morrison

31. Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum

32. The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois

33. Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia by Sabrina Strings

34. The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor

35. All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto by George M. Johnson

36. Stokely Speaks: From Black Power to Pan-Africanism by Stokely Carmichael

37. Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty by Dorothy Roberts

38. Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity by C. Riley Snorton

39. The Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker

40. The Salt Eaters by Toni Cade Bambara

RECOMMENDED: Black Women’s History Month: A Wear Your Voice Reading List

41. A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story by Elaine Brown

42. All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, But Some of Us Are Brave by Akasha Gloria Hull, Patricia Bell-Scott, and Barbara Smith

43. White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color by Ruby Hamad (From her 2018 article)

44. Black Reconstruction in America by W.E.B. Du Bois

45. Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present by Harriet A. Washington

46. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin J. DiAngelo

47. How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

48. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

49. The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther by Jeffrey Haas

50. When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Asha Bandele and Patrisse Cullors

51. The Forging of a Black Community: Seattle’s Central District from 1870 through the Civil Rights Era by Quintard Taylor

52. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

53. A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Vivian Hansberry

54. Native Son by Richard Wright

55. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

56. If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin

57. Black feeling, Black talk, Black judgement by Nikki Giovanni

58. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

59. From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America by Elizabeth Hinton

60. The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation by Natalie Y. Moore 

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