Once considered too short for the court, champion baller and activist Stephen Curry knows a thing or two about being underestimated. It’s no wonder his bookshelf is filled with stories of unlikely heroes overcoming insurmountable odds and defining their own path.
If that sounds like a bookshelf you want to peruse, we’ve got you.
From underdog teams to disabled rights advocates, the stories from Stephen Curry’s Underrated collection will fill you with inspirationmotivation. Explore the everyday heroes that shape our world for the better—no matter the challenge.
Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts – Rebecca Hall
Naming one Black woman who was pivotal to the end of American slavery might be easy (Harriet Tubman). Naming two? Three? Ten? That’s where our textbooks might’ve failed us. In reality, women actually played a crucial hand in leading slave revolts for centuries, from fighting on trade ships to organizing resistance on plantations. In Wake, Dr. Rebecca Hall chronicles their tireless effort through forgotten records and artifacts, even pulling from her own African-American legacy. As a bonus, Hugo Martinez’s stunning graphics add an evocative layer, illustrating the literal sweat, blood, and tears these heroic women gave in the fight for freedom.
You won’t be able to look away from the words or images in Wake. Through personal touches and incredible research, Hall and Martinez unveil an untold chapter of Black women’s history, one that’s equally fascinating and necessary to learn.
Why you’ll love Wake
- Hall’s ancestral and personal connections
- Black women finally centered in history
- Meticulous research with primary sources
- Stunning drawings for visual learners
A Most Beautiful Thing – Arshay Cooper
Join the Crew Team.
Little did Arshay Cooper know, these four words would change his life—and those of his future crewmates.
Growing up on Chicago’s crime-ridden south side, Cooper didn’t know if he would make it through high school, yet alone go to college. But joining a rowing crew—the first all-Black high school team in the nation—reshaped that path. With an oar-stroke of luck and boatful of perseverance, these boys created a new future for themselves, one that defied all odds.
Fans of sports memoirs and underdogs will adore A Most Beautiful Thing. Arshay Cooper bridges harsh reality with heartfelt tenacity, creating one of the decade’s best inspirational books. Now an HBO documentary, this underdog story will turn every cry of “I can’t do it” into “just watch me.”
Why you’ll love A Most Beautiful Thing:
- Inspirational boosts aplenty
- Realistic portrayals of urban poverty
- Teamwork making the dream work
- Black athletes defying the odds in white spaces
Greyboy: Finding Blackness in a White World – Cole Brown
Identity isn’t always as simple as black and white. Sometimes, when you don’t quite fit into one box, you find yourself in between. That’s definitely the case for Cole Brown, who grew up stuck
between his Black family and white schools. Brown never felt truly at home. His identity existed somewhere in the middle—a Greyboy, as he calls himself.
Through interviews and personal tales, Brown courageously shares the harrows of straddling cultures and the challenges intersectional children face. In doing so, he questions the nature of Black identity itself—and why it still matters in today’s diverse world.
Whether you personally identify with Brown or simply admire a gifted storyteller, Greyboy will captivate your heart and mind. Expand your definition of identity with his thoughtful words and a story that defies categorization.
Why you’ll love Greyboy:
- Intricacies of intersectionality
- Brown’s incredibly stirring prose
- Relatable tale for outsiders and in-betweeners
Haben: The Deaf-Blind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law – Haben Girma
Ever faced a raging bull head on?
Confession—neither have we. But for Haben Girma, it’s just one of her life’s many herculean feats. Haben is her story, sharing how an extraordinary woman defied the odds to (literally) take life by the horns. (As in, the figurative bull of life and an actual, real-life bull.)
Growing up deaf and blind, Girma had her fair share of challenges—but that’s never stopped her. At just over thirty years old, she’s already accumulated a lifetime of accomplishments. From attending Harvard Law to scaling Alaskan glaciers, Haben shares the incredible journey of a woman breaking down barriers for both herself and other disabled humans.
No reader can resist Girma’s contagious spirit. Stirring and witty, Haben proves that disabilities are anything but limiting—in fact, they can be our greatest strengths.
Why you’ll love Haben:
- Proof that obstacles are stepping blocks
- Girma’s unstoppable optimism
- Fascinating stories of a fearless life
- Intimate look at deafblind culture
Ignite Your Inner Hero with Literati’s Inspiring Reads
If Stephen Curry’s Luminary books have one message, it’s that the world needs to take another look at people they once underestimated. Start with these stories to discover more heart, heroism, and healing than you could imagine.
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