Thursday, June 13, 2019

Five Inspirational Books by Black Women to Help you Get Ahead in Life.

I was speaking to a friend this weekend  about some of the latest happenings in her office. 

"Madeline, last week was a strange week at work", she said. I asked her to delve deeper, and her summary was that within the course of five days, a few unexpected announcements had quickly been followed by a few 'movements' in her  team. Old faces went. New ones were introduced. Everything turned around in just one week. 

Our conversation printed three major lessons in my mind. 

1. Chase your dreams. At (almost) all cost
2. No one should ever feel so attached to a company to move on.
3. People in authority put their friends on (thus tightening the already narrow access to progress for everyone else).

I want to zone in on the third - the one about putting others on. I've been in deep thought about whether it's moral to open the door wide for friends and family to come in, should you find yourself in a position of favour. As in, if you could make your sister-in-law the marketing manager and your nephew the business analyst in a company you've only just stepped into yourself, would you? Or do you think it be left to a system based purely on meritocracy?

I am in no position (yet) to make any hiring and firing decisions but what I can do is to introduce you to a handful of books written by black women to help you navigate through your life and career. 

Year of Yes
Where would you be in a year from now if you were to say 'yes' to everything? How much would you have progressed in your career, your relationships, your business? As a woman who likes to plan her life meticuloulsy and has a hard time deviating from the norm, this book helped me. Shonda Rhimes, the executive producer of shows like Scandal and HTGAWM shares how that one magic word revolutionised her life within the course of a year, whilst challenging the reader to become emboldened, to step out and say YES! Here is the full review. 

Little Black Book
This pocket sized number book is great for uni students and women in their 20s starting out their career. It gets to the basics of everything from how to organise your time to helpful hints on giving presentations. What's great is that it cuts out the bullshit and and gets direct to the information you need - something which helps it to maintain its miniscule size. 

Slay In Your Lane. 
This is for all Black British women, no matter your walk of life. Yes, I am making this bold statement because Slay in Your Lane by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabet Uviebenine, covers everything a woman will experience in her life from education to healthcare. With specific advice and resources to help the reader navigate career and business. 

Hearing how the BBC have attempted to belittle the hard work that has gone into #SlayInYourLane, and the women behind it, and then turn around and accuse THEM of bullying is so telling of why black women, up and down the country shut up and put up with tomfoolery at work, in the supermarket, on public transport etc. There is a very well designed system in place to still the voices of black women, whenever we dare to open up about the injustices we face. It has existed for centuries. On this occasion, I'm glad that as a collective we were able to say "nope. Not this time". This was my favourite book of 2018, and frankly Tomi and Elizabeth, its creators, will always have my support. #buildingwomenwithwords #amreading #wednesdaywisdom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #bookblogger #blackandbookish #blackwomenwriters #instablog #writersofig #communications #communicationsacademy #freelancer #femaleentrepreneurs #tipsforbusinesses #BlackBritish #bb_bloggers #freelancer #femaleentrepreneurs #womenwhowrite #blackgirlswhoblog #instablog #writersofig #blackbritishbloggers
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Confessions of a Frustrated Millenial 
It might not have been a selfhelp book, but this book helped me. How? Reading a story about three black women on very seperate journeys to finding fulfilment in their careers was the therapy I needed at a time I wasn't feeling too bright about my own professional progress. This book has heart and soul, but most importantly it will help any frustrated job hunter to feel less alone. Read the full review

Smart Money Woman
If you haven't read this yet, then I'm sorry, you're playing yourself. The good news is, you can purchase this book anytime you want from Amazon. It tells the story of Zuri, a young fashionable lady with a great job, who by living an unsustainable  lifestyle, runs into serious money troubles she has to resolve. Her journey to financial freedom is thus documented chapter by chapter. It's finance 101 with a healthy serving of fiction and lots of sassy, sexy wahala! Yes, it's set in Lagos which adds to its sizzle, but with great money lessons at the end of each chapter. I wrote about it here. 

There you have it! Five inspirational books by black women to help you get ahead in life. All five I have read and can vouch for. I hope this list helps you. Please let me know if you have read any. I would also like to read your recommendations. What should I read next?



  1. I have heard so much about the Smart Money Woman but never quite got around to reading it! Please do a review specifically on it if you can as I would love to know more. :) -

    1. Hi Jamila. Thanks for reading! I have written a review, and now added the links for your convenience :-)

  2. I haven't read any of these books, but will be sure to grab one of them sis. Sounds like great reads. Thanks for sharing sis. Hope your end is going well. :-)

    1. You are most welcome sis. Yes all is well on this end thank you. Hope you and yours are doing great!

  3. Sometimes a few chapters of a specific book and sometimes just a quote that stands out to me and brings some comfort, guidance or just to lift my spirit.

  4. I love inspirational books. These stories somehow help us cope with our own problems and encourages us to be strong and to face the challenges in life.


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