To some, Black Excellence may be a hot topic, but it is truly not a new phenomenon. In fact, for every documented example of Afro-centric achievement, there are certain to be many examples that remain to be discovered and a story to be told. In celebration of Black History Month, the Griots Republic team has selected some winter reading for you that not only speaks to excellence, but exemplifies it.

We Are the Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama. Edited by E.J. Dionne and Joy Reid

Arguably the most influential African-American in the history of the nation is Barack Obama. The 44th President and First Lady Michelle are the epitome of Black excellence, and in February readers can have at their fingertips a collection of his speeches that are sure to be a source of inspiration for many years to come. We Are the Change We Seek contains 27 of former President Obama’s best speeches (including his farewell). The subject matter covers those topics that Obama remained true to throughout his tenure as a public servant and leader of the free world. Every address in this volume captures the eloquence and heart of this great leader and orator. Ultimately, the best part of owning this volume of speeches is that it will remain in the reader’s heart and mind as a constant reminder of what is, what was, and what we could be.

Fighting Black Poverty: 7 Ways African-American Men Escape the Cycle of Poverty by David Aning

While currently pursuing his economics degree at City College of New York, young David Aning tutors students struggling in mathematics and calculus. Self-described as a cooperative and self-motivated, this young entrepreneur believes in educating others in an effort to assist them in gaining financial success and freedom. In Fighting Black Poverty, Aning outlines 7 action-oriented steps that he guarantees if followed, will net financial gain. Aning also provides insights on how men can avoid making the same financial mistakes again as well as closing out each chapter with a word of prayer that is designed to provide both motivation and spiritual balance.

Double Victory by Cheryl Mullenbach

World War II has gone down in history as one of the most tumultuous times in human history but even in conflict Black Excellence could be found. Black women offered their services in a multitude of ways during the war and in Double Victory, Mullenbach highlights their achievements in volunteer work, activism and entertainment. Rarely, outside of the battlefield have the contributions of African-Americans been highlighted but in the era of “Hidden Figures”, this book, available in paperback in February, does just that. The story of Betty Murphy Phillips, a war correspondent and references to Lena Horne and Mary McLeod Bethune are just a few of the women in this volume highlighting remarkable women who have done extraordinary things in the service of this country.

Lest we forget.

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