More Books on Belonging and Black History

More Books – February 2021

More Books from:

  • Recent Reads
  • Belonging
  • Black History

Interested in other topics? Email me @ or text me @ 425-418-4398.


Current Reads:

Experimentation Works: The Surprising Power of Business Experiments

by Stefan H. Thomke  | Feb 18, 2020

Businesses run, collectively, more than one test for every person living in the U.S.  The most successful businesses now encourage and give permission and training to every employee that wants to run tests.  Even tests that fail, point you in a better direction.  Each test moves you ahead.  Great lessons for schools.

A Promised Land

by Barack Obama  | Nov 17, 2020

An elegant book, as one described it.  President Obama could have made it as a writer.  He adds just the right amount of colorful description while keeping the story going.  Filled with mini-essays on the state of affairs – from political issues to international crises.  I particularly appreciate the nuance in balancing all sides of an issue and charting the way forward.

The Return

by Nicholas Sparks  | Sep 29, 2020

Simple, feel good book for an escape read.  Veteran returns to rebuild his life after personal injury and personal loss.  Two big mysteries confront him: a desperately ill youngster without family and a beguiling deputy sheriff.

A Time for Mercy (Jake Brigance Book 3)

Book 3 of 3: Jake Brigance  | by John Grisham  | Oct 13, 2020

Third is Grisham’s series set in the fictional town of Clanton, MS.  Jake Brigance local attorney represents a 16 year old on trial for killing a deputy sheriff.  Tension on all sides.  Town sympathy for the deputy.  And a compelling case for an underage youth in fear for the lives of his family.  Mercy … or Justice?

A Gentle Answer: Our ‘Secret Weapon’ in an Age of Us Against Them

by Scott Sauls

Presbyterian minister makes the case for being kind and giving gentle answers as antidote to our times of polarization and conflict

Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics

by Dolly Parton and Robert K. Oermann | Nov 17, 2020

Rags to riches.  Dolly Parton tells her story … growing up in the hill country without cars, roads or much else but family … and music.  She enthuses over some aspect of nearly every song she has written and every musician she has worked with.  While gently glossing over the tough times and less than positive periods in her life.

Helping People Change: Coaching with Compassion for Lifelong Learning and Growth

by Richard Boyatzis, Melvin L. Smith , et al. | Aug 20, 2019

Decades of research on individual change.  Coaching for compliance almost never works in the long term.  Coaching with compassion works when we can tap into the deep sense of calling and purpose that each person brings to life.

Coaching for Equity: Conversations That Change Practice

by Elena Aguilar  | Aug 11, 2020

Long time coach offers lots of tools, rubrics, and stories to help support steady, sustainable movement towards greater equity.  Elena Aguilar is forthright about things that have worked as well as other not so successful lessons learned along the way.  Well worth the time for any of us who aim to lead equity work.


Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do (Issues of Our Time)

Part of: Issues of Our Time (7 Books)  | by Claude Steele  | Apr 4, 2011

Ground breaking work about identity threat and identity safety.  Identity threat causes Blacks to perform less well on academic tests, women to do poorly on math, and white men to falter in athletic contests.  Identity safety tells how we begin to overcome those threats with belonging and acceptance.

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups

by Daniel Coyle  | Jan 30, 2018

By the author of Talent Code.  Author joined up with a half dozen high performing teams around the world to learn first-hand what they do.  Those highly successful teams: create safety, vulnerability and core values.  Great stories and lots of hints on how to grow a great culture.

The Inequality Machine: How College Divides Us

by Paul Tough

In Years That Matter Most, Paul Tough tells about the barriers to college for students of color … and what many colleges are doing to create access, acceptance and belonging.  The Inequality Machine goes deeper.

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations

by Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom

Connected networks (starfish) with strong cultures win out over rigid hierarchies (spiders). Starfish are regenerative; cut them in half and they become two viable starfish.  Cut off a spider’s legs or head and they are irreparably harmed.  Needed are far more resilient networks for our time.

The Power of a Positive Team: Proven Principles and Practices that Make Great Teams Great

by Jon Gordon  | Jun 11, 2018

Positive teams through grow strong through: culture, commitment, communication and caring.  Lots of great stories and good ideas for growing your team.

Just Schools: Building Equitable Collaborations with Families and Communities (Multicultural Education) – December 27, 2019

by Ann M. Ishimaru (Author), James A. Banks (Series Editor)

Going beyond engagement or involvement to truly partner with families.  Taking the time listen, share power and participate in joint problem solving.

The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive: A Leadership Fable (J-B Lencioni Series Book 31)

Part of: J-B Lencioni (12 Books)

Four obsessions = coherent team; clear purpose; over-communicate purpose; use purpose to drive HR systems.  Told in novel format with a concise summary at the end.

Culturally Responsive School Leadership (Race and Education)

by Muhammad Khalifa , H. Richard Milner IV, et al.

As in Just Schools, Khalifa urges schools to tap into the rich funds of knowledge that families and students bring with them.  By working together we can accomplish so much more than when school officials pretend to know all the answers.

The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity

by Nadine Burke Harris  | Jan 23, 2018

Tells the origins of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) model and how it can be used to diagnose and intervene.  Poverty and trauma literally flood our bodies with cortisol and shut down learning. Triggers can cause replays that continue to prevent belonging and learning. 

Black History

Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change

by John Robert Lewis

In the words of John Lewis, beloved congressman.  He returned hate with love through countless beatings and trips to prison.  He was there at the side of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Here in the words of a wise and humane statesman is his recollection of the Civil Rights era.

Caste (Oprah’s Book Club): The Origins of Our Discontents

by Isabel Wilkerson  | Aug 4, 2020

Well written history of race in America … compared and contrasted with caste in India and the Holocaust in Germany.  Sobering book … hard to read and hear … chapter after chapter … how race has been used in America to prevent basic humanity, dignity and equity.

His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope

by Jon Meacham  | Aug 25, 2020

Jon Meacham tells the John Lewis story with equal parts of biography and history, showing how John Lewis fits into the bigger sweep of Civil Rights history.  Across that Bridge (above) gives a personal and spiritual perspective.  His Truth provides more of the details and how the pieces fit together.

The Book of Lost Friends: A Novel

by Lisa Wingate  | Apr 7, 2020

Historically Lost Friends was the name of advertising circulars, read in pulpits during Reconstruction.  Families separated by slave sales and the Civil War, sought out lost family.  This novel tells two overlapping tales:  one about lost friends from the 1870s; the other about those same families in the 1980s.  Told through the eyes of a school teacher struggling to connect with students and make learning relevant.

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools

by Monique W. Morris , Mankaprr Conteh, et al.

Chronicles how Black girls are marginalized and cataloged as defiant.  Told in interview after interview, interspersed with statistics.  Offers lots of suggestions for improved responses that will build relationships and belonging and open the doors to learning.

New Kid

by Jerry Craft  | Feb 5, 2019

Graphic novel about a middle school Black student – the new kid – at a White upper class school for the elite.  Each page presents in words and pictures the many dilemmas faced by the student, his peers, his parents and his teachers.  Graphically presents biases lived out daily in nearly every school.

Class Act

by Jerry Craft  | Oct 6, 2020

Another graphic novel by Jerry Craft giving first-hand glimpses into the daily challenges lived out all too often by Black students in schools.


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