Here are seven books I would love to read. I am not sure which, if any, have been written. The titles are my own: if the book has been written, it is unlikely to have the name I give it. If you know their true names, please tell me.
1. Updated King James Bible
The Authorized or King James Version (KJV) of the Bible is by far the best translation of the Bible into English, but its English is 400 years out of date, which makes it hard to read. Dozens of translations have appeared in the past 50 years, but none are nearly as faithful. Sadly, not even the New King James Version (NKJV). The King James English should be changed as little as possible – only where it is wrong or unclear. The Third Millenium Bible might be good enough.
2. How to Stay Married to a Black Woman
Some may not like the title, but it is a book I need! Advice from those who have done it and have had long happy marriages!
3. The Secret Guide to La-La Land
A sort of Rough Guide to White America and white racism. It is like Langston Hughes’s “The Ways of White Folks” but instead of making its points with short stories, it does it as an up-to-date guide book. Matter-of-fact stuff on redlining, the police, employment, white co-workers, all of it.
4. The Copiously Illustrated History of Black Beauty
The history of black American ideas of female beauty. Can be enjoyed just by looking at the pictures, but if you read it, it is deep stuff since beauty is political.
5. The Book of Centuries
A set of history books, one each for the West, the Middle East, India, China, Peru, Mexico, Africa and the South Pacific. Each one presents history century by century: one chapter, one century. Each chapter starts out with a map, followed by an overview and then short pieces on the famous people, inventions, new words and so on for that century. The idea is that you can get a quick understanding of what was going on anywhere in the world during any century. There are huge holes in my knowledge of history, something these books would fill in. I would also like the same sort of book for Egypt, Greece, Rome, England, West Africa and the Jews.
6. History of the Black English-speaking Peoples
Churchill wrote the white one – this is the black one.
7. The Book of King Tut’s Treasures
I saw his treasures when they were in Philadephia last summer. It was amazing to see so much stuff from 3000 years ago in near-perfect condition. It was like a time machine. Unfortunately you did not understand much of what you were looking at. There were no tour guides and what was written next to each object was written by and for professors in Egyptology. All I could do was look on in wonder. I hated it. This book would be written for ordinary people. It would have a picture of each object and then tell you what it is all about, almost like a storybook. Maybe the Rough Guide is good enough.
– Abagond, 2008.