I read TWO books that accomplished this...
When I was with my ex of 8.5 yrs (who was 22yrs my senior) it was a learning experience in more than one way. I didn't come away with only traumas. I came away with a plethora of knowledge on a vast number of things. Being with him was like attending a very exclusive university and apprenticing for a genius, albeit..."off-color" mind. My thirst for knowledge was quenched and THEN some.
He had an almost rare collection of books that he took care of like an eccentric curator a library. He would instruct how to read the book without destroying the binding, pages and shape of the book. To this day, I am tender with the books I read...whether mine or someone else's.
One day, he said, "We're going to read today..." I was probably...22 going on 23. I felt like saying, "F_C% that..." out of rebellion...but the sponge in me wanted to absorb...so I complied. He handed me 2 books that day. He said, "You can read this in one day...both of them, but if you can't...at least by tomorrow I want a book report." I looked at him like he stole my mama's purse and shoes and put them on and asked, "How do I look?" O_o <---yea, like that.
I did it. I read, "Assata Shakur: A Biography". Let me tell you...BEFORE I met this cat...I was a militant ABW. I was well versed in the ways of Afro-Centric thinking and unlearning and relearning. This book didn't show me anything different about racism (well some of it...because the way she was treated was beyond what I'd known). What this book showed me was the TRUE power of a Black woman with a mission. The courage that can only come from an oppressed spirit with a free mind. This woman's story was heart-wrenching, exciting, inspiring, and intensely written with a power that spoke to my young mind. It's still one of my favorite books.
The next book was "Superman to Man" by J.A. Rogers. I didn't know WHAT this book was going to be about. The first thing I thought of was Christopher Reeves. (See how the indoctrination of society can place "flash pictures" of ideas and dogma without even trying? The purest example of slave mentality where you don't have to beat your subject...just break down their thought process and walk away. They'll enslave themselves (and their brethren) all on their own ala "Willie Lynch")
What I READ...was amazing. I'm not going to even tell you what that book is about. I'm asking you to read it if you haven't. If you're interested in brilliance and wit...read it. The way this book is written is pure genius. Hell, if I can get hold of another copy...I'm gonna read it again! All I know is that this book gave me confidence to speak up and be heard...to be ME in all of my God-gifted intelligence and to walk tall in what I know. Who I AM. A beautiful, intelligent woman with, not just a mind...but the spirit of a quiet warrior.