Books to build your personal library of inspiration

February 14, 2019

The President’s Bookshelf

By Lynda Jackson Conyers

For years, Nathan Conyers compiled lists of books which inspired him as a writer; that presented thoughts and experiences with which he believed everyone could identify with; and thereby gain insight, strength, and guidance. He thought that everyone should have their own library of spiritual, inspirational, and self-help books with which to inspire themselves. He sincerely believed that reading can give you courage, confidence and the power to live victoriously in life.

I must admit Nathan did so in his own way. Nathan battled a array of medical problems from 1992 to April 2018. He never lost the zeal to better himself. If we put into consciousness that which inspires and uplifts, it stands to reason that we shall tend to inspire and uplift others. Here is a list of books from Nathan’s personal library which inspired him.

The Soul of Success: Inspiring Quotations for Entrepreneurs
By: Janet Cheatham Bell
208 pages
Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (October 16, 1997)

The Soul of Success is a combination of the most profound thoughts of some of the world’s greatest achievers. Once again, we are given words—words that embolden and help us with future conquests—plain old common sense and unique insight into what motivates us to great achievement. Celebrating each stage of building a business, this book offers sharp insights into timeless, real-world topics. Among them: Wally “Famous” Amos on Confidence; Oprah Winfrey on Making Mistakes; Spike Lee on Owning Your Business; Tiger Woods on Setting Goals; Mary Kay Ash on Planning, and Kelvin Boston on Initiative.

The African American Book of Values
By: Steven Barboza
960 pages
Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (September 15, 1998)

In The African American Book of Values, Steven Barboza has gathered together a wealth of stories that make up a moral map for modern living. Relying on the words and stories of (to name a few) the well-known: Langston Hughes, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Zora Neale Hurston, Martin Luther King, Maya Angelou, Frances E.W. Harper, Malcolm X, Alex Haley, Benjamin Banneker, Phillis Wheatley; and the unsung ship captain, Robert Smalls; Underground Railroad “conductor” William Still; stoplight inventor, Elijah McCoy (better known as the “Real McCoy”) ; poet Georgia Douglas Johnson; etiquette maven Charlotte Hawkins Brown; Elizabeth Keckley, seamstress to Mary Todd Lincoln; The African American Book of Values illustrates for young and old, black and white the necessary characteristics by which we should lead our lives.

Split into two sections – “The Book of Self-Mastery” and “The Book of Empathy,” and augmented by black-and-white photos, line drawings and color illustrations, The African-American Book of Values will be a stunning “must-have” addition to African American and American households everywhere.

Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race from 4500 B.C. to 2000 A.D.
By: Chancellor Williams
384 pages
Publisher: Third World Press; 3rd Revised ed. edition (February 1, 1992)

The Destruction of Black Civilization took Chancellor Williams sixteen years of research and field study to compile. The book, which was to serve as a reinterpretation of the history of the African race, was intended to be “a general rebellion against the subtle message from even the most ‘liberal’ white authors (and their Negro disciples): ‘You belong to a race of nobodies. You have no worthwhile history to point to with pride’.” The book was written at a time when many black students, educators, and scholars were starting to piece together the connection between the way their history was taught and the way they were perceived by others and by themselves. They began to question assumptions made about their history and took it upon themselves to create a new body of historical research. The book is premised on the question: “If the Blacks were among the very first builders of civilization and their land the birthplace of civilization, what has happened to them that has left them since then, at the bottom of world society, precisely what happened? The Caucasian answer is simple and wellknown: The Blacks have always been at the bottom.” Williams instead contends that many elements—nature, imperialism, and stolen legacies— have aided in the destruction of the black civilization. The Destruction of Black Civilization is revelatory and revolutionary because it offers a new approach to the research, teaching, and study of African history by shifting the main focus from the history of Arabs and Europeans in Africa to the Africans themselves, offering instead “a history of blacks that is a history of blacks. Because only from history can we learn what our strengths were and, especially, in what particular aspect we are weak and vulnerable. Our history can then become at once the foundation and guiding light for united efforts in serious[ ly] planning what we should be about now.” It was part of the evolution of the black revolution that took place in the 1970s, as the focus shifted from politics to matters of the mind.