On Brightland's Bookshelf

Welcome back to On Brightland’s Bookshelf. This month, we are sharing a special edition in honor of Black History Month, curated by the trailblazing Naj Austin, founder + CEO of Ethel's Club and Somewhere Good.

Ethel's Club is a Black-owned social and wellness club designed for people of color to thrive. It is the first social and wellness platform designed to celebrate people of color in both physical and digital spaces. Somewhere Good is a new social platform designed for people of color to connect. Their mission is inspired by Naj's grandmother, Ethel — to create healing spaces that center and celebrate people of color through conversation, wellness and creativity.

"My Blackness is embedded in everything I do and this past year has been an exploration of combining the written texts of the past, present and future and relating it to my own story. These books capture so many parts of my lived experiences and musings -- I read them to bring myself joy, to feel reflected, to unlearn, to discover and daydream." - Naj Austin

Naj Austin's Picks

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

A potent and electrifying critique of today’s feminist movement announcing a fresh new voice in Black feminism.

Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves by Glory Edim

An inspiring collection of essays by Black women writers, curated by the founder of the popular book club Well-Read Black Girl, on the importance of recognizing ourselves in literature.

All About Love: New Visions by Bell Hooks

A revelation about what causes a polarized society and how to heal the divisions that cause suffering.

Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness by Simone Browne

Simone Browne locates the conditions of Blackness as a key site through which surveillance is practiced, narrated, and resisted.

Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice by Jessica Gordon Nembhard

Jessica Gordon Nembhard chronicles African American cooperative business ownership and its place in the movements for Black civil rights and economic equality.

Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Browne

A novel-in-verse about a young girl coming-of-age and stepping out of the shadow of her former best friend.

Learn more about Ethel's Club here and Somewhere Good here.