Kweisi Mfume

Influentialbooks

December 30, 2007

Born Frizzell Gray, Baltimore native Kweisi Mfume began his career as a political activist, first elected to the Baltimore City Council in 1979. After two terms on the council, in 1986, the Democrat was elected to the House of Representatives and went on to serve as the congressman from Maryland's 7th District for five terms. From 1996 to 2004 he was president and CEO of the Baltimore-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Since a failed bid for the Senate in 2006, Mfume has toured the country on public speaking engagements.

"Invisible Man" / by Ralph Ellison / Vintage / 608 pages / $14.95

It helped to explain race in this society to me in a way that I hadn't really understood before.

"A Gathering of Old Men" / by Ernest J. Gaines / Serpent's Tail / 224 pages / $20.67

That was a book that really gave me a sense of brotherhood and fraternity and an appreciation of our families as they get older - particularly the men in our families, our fathers, our uncles, our brothers.

"For Whom the Bell Tolls" / by Ernest Hemingway / Scribner / 480 pages / $15

One of the major novels in American literature; many readers believe this is Hemingway's best book.

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