Recommended Reading for Parents


Many of the books on this page are recommended by Leah Latimer in Higher Ground.

  • Admission Matters: What Students and Parents Need to Know About Getting Into College by Sally P. Springer, Marion R. Franck (Jossey Bass Education Series)
  • Bad Teachers: How to Fight for Your Child’s Education by Guy Strickland (Pocket Books)
  • Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times by Karen Grigsby Bates and Karen Ellyse Hudson (Doubleday)
  • Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males by Freeman A. Frabowski III, Kenneth I. Maton and Geoffrey L. Grief (Oxford University Press)
  • Black Excel African American Students’ College Guide by Isaac Black (John Wiley & Sons)
  • The Black Students’ Guide to Colleges: 700+ Private Money Sources for Black and Minority Students (Madison Books), edited by Barry BeckmanCollege
  • Countdown: The Parent's and Student's Survival Kit for the College Admissions Process by Jill Von GrubenThe Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride (Riverhead Books). The author’s mother sent 12 children to college by working the school system to get them in the better schools and, frequently, just plain threatening her kids to do well.
  • The Encyclopedia of Sports Parenting by Dan Doyle with Deborah Doermann Burch. Everything you need to guide your young athlete through the challenges of youth league, high school and college sports using a practical, values-based sports parenting philosophy.
  • Freedom Challenge: African American Homeschoolers edited by Grace Llewellyn (Lowry House)
  • 40 Ways to Raise a Nonracist Child by Barbara Mathias and Mary Ann French (HarperPerennial)
  • Get out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager by Anthony Wolf
  • Higher Ground: A Guide for Black Parents to Chart a Course for Their Children from Kindergarten to College by Leah Latimer, foreword by Johnetta B. Cole. African-American parents, like others, want the very best education for their children, yet the conditions frequently found in many schools – mismanagement, inadequate out-of-date books and supplies, and low expectations – leave many college-bound African Americans ill-prepared for college-admissions tests and college level courses. Higher Ground  is written to help black parents chart an early course for the college education that will determine their child’s future.
  • How to Talk So Kids Will Listen And Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. This is an excellent communication tool kit based on a series of workshops developed by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Faber and Mazlish (coauthors of Siblings Without Rivalry) provide a step-by-step approach to improving relationships in your house. The "Reminder" pages, helpful cartoon illustrations, and excellent exercises will improve your ability as a parent to talk and problem-solve with your children.
  • The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon by Dr. David Elkind. With the first edition of The Hurried Child, David Elkind emerged as the voice of parenting reason, calling our attention to the crippling effects of hurrying our children through life. He showed that by blurring the boundaries of what is age appropriate, by expecting--or imposing--too much too soon, we force our kids to grow up too fast, to mimic adult sophistication while secretly yearning for innocence.
  • In Their Footsteps: Travel to African American Heritage Sites by Henry Chase (Henry Holt)
  • Maggie’s American Dream by James Comer. The Yale child psychiatrist’s memoir about how his father, a steel-mill worker, and mother, a domestic, insisted on the high standards that led his family to 13 college and graduate degrees.
  • Marva Collins’ Way: Returning to Excellence in Education by Marva Collins and Civia Tamarkin (Tarcher/Pumam)
  • The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours by Marian Wright Edelman (Beacon Press)
  • The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson (Africa World Press, Inc.)
  • Money for College: A Guide to Financial Aid for African American Students by Erlene B. Wilson (Plume/Penguin)
  • Morning by Morning: How We Homeschooled Our African American Sons to the Ivy League by Paula Penn-Nabrit
  • The Mother Daughter Book Club by Shereen Dodson. An African American mother tells how she set up literacy discussions with young girls. Plenty of reading suggestions and discussion ideas.
  • The Multicultural Students’ Guide: What Every African American, Asian American, Hispanic and Native American Applicant Needs to Know about America’s Top Schools by Robert Mitchell (Noonday Press)
  • Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions by Sally Rubenstone, Sidonia Dalby. The GOOD NEWS: Even kids who have barricaded you from their bedrooms since seventh grade are likely to welcome - or at least expect - your input about college
  • Preparing Your Child For College: A Resource Book For Parents 2000 by Richard W. Riley
  • Radical Equations: Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project by Robert P. Moses with Charles E. Cobb, Jr. (Beacon Press)
  • Silver Rights: A True Story from the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Struggle by Constance Curry (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill). This is a story about a Mississippi share-cropping couple’s struggle to educate their 13 children in the 1960s.
  • The Sport of Learning: A Comprehensive Guide for African-American Student Athletes by Vince Fudzie, Andrw Haves and the Boyz (Doubleplay Publishing Group).
  • Swimming Upstream: A Complete Guide to the College Application Process for the Learning Disabled Student by Diane Wilder Howard (Hunt House Publishing).
  • When We're in Public, Pretend You Don't Know Me: Surviving Your Daughter's Adolescences So You Don't Look Like an Idiot and She Still Talks to You by Susan Borowicz (with advice from parenting expert Ava L. Siegler, Ph.D.
  • Winning Scholarships for College: An Insider’s Guide by Marianne Ragins (Henry Holt). A Black high school student from Macon, Georgia, tells how she earned $400,000 in scholarships.