The Patrick Swygert Book Club

H. Patrick Swygert

Oprah Winfrey's book club has had a tremendous impact on the publishing world. Books recommended by Oprah invariably see a dramatic increase in sales and her efforts have produced an increase in reading among both blacks and whites.

Although H. Patrick Swygert, president of Howard University, doesn’t have the audience of Oprah Winfrey, he is contributing mightily to increase reading among African Americans. Dr. Swygert has sent deans and administrators at Howard University a list of books he deems important for people of African descent. President Swygert intentionally omitted from his list a number of classic works such as The Souls of Black Folk and The Autobiography of Malcolm X because he assumes everyone has already read these works.

Here is the list of books recommended by President Swygert:

"This is just one person's view of what's important to read," said President Swygert. "The important thing is we are reading."

Copyright © 2006. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. All rights reserved.