More Than Just a Writer
Sister Souljah, whose birth name is Lisa Williamson, is an American writer of urban fiction but I should say by now that she is more than just an author. She is a very well known activist and she has been defending the rights of African-Americans for almost forty years. She also has some interesting past with Bill Clinton which led to her symbolizing a phenomenon in politics known as the “Sister Souljah Moment”.
The author was born in the Bronx, New York, and lived there until she was ten years of age. When she was around ten years old, she and her family moved to the suburbs of Englewood in New Jersey which also hosted many other African-American artists such as Eddie Murphy and Regina Belle. There, she attended Dwight Morrow High School and figured out at a young age that the education system preferred the white side of their history.
A Respectable Voice
After graduating high school, she attended Rutgers University to study American History along with African Studies. She also won a scholarship for the Advanced Summer Program of Cornell University after she won an oratory Contest. She frequently traveled overseas during her college years to see the world as it is. The experiences she gathered as well as her wide array of knowledge on societal issues made her a respectable voice even before she graduated.
Best Sister Souljah Books
I will be starting this article by introducing you to one of the best selling books by Sister Souljah, The Coldest Winter Ever. This piece was published more than twenty years ago, in 1999, and it is the second work of the author to be put on the shelves. It is an urban fiction piece that is very in touch with the African-American culture and it carries a lot of young adult fiction elements.
The hero of this one of the best Sister Souljah books is Winter Santiaga. Winter is a young teenager who can best be described as a troubled teen. It is made clear that she has been spoiled by her family and she is extremely competitive which manifests itself as a desire to “stay on top” in every aspect of her life. Still, she is not a bad kid. It is just very hard to be the daughter of a drug kingpin and not be a little messed up.
Fish Out of Water
When Winter and her family move out of their ghetto and settle down in a rich suburb, it proves quite challenging for her to get rid of her attitude. She does not want to be an average kid in this lousy and boring neighborhood. No sir, she wants to go back to their neighborhood so she can show off to everyone else how “on top” she is. Well, when her pop is taken to jail, she gets what she wants.
However, now that she no longer has a father to give her money and praise her endlessly, she finds herself in a completely new situation. She must now learn to be an average person and even though that is a lot of hard work, it might just turn out to be better for her in the end. The story of this contender for the best Sister Souljah book title feels almost real and it is an enjoyable read from cover to cover.
Continuing on with the list, the second piece I will talk about is going to be another one of Sister Souljah’s most popular books, No Disrespect. This is the first book to be published by Souljah and it was first printed in December 1994. It is also perhaps the most culturally significant work of hers as it is not a fiction piece but an autobiography speaking of the hardships that she faced during her life as a black woman.
The author first talks about her life as a young girl and her relationship with her mother as she was growing up. She shares that she saw her mother as a role model, an image that started to dissipate when her mother started to lose her ways. She witnessed her fall from grace and was shocked by how quickly a person could turn weak. This, she says, was a big motivator for her to get out there and improve herself.
Yeah, I guess it is clear by now that the author has no use for filters in this writing. She is brave enough to say exactly what she went through and how she reacted. For example, there was a very odd part about her sister who is thirteen years of age getting an abortion. She was upset about the whole event and was mad at her mother for making this decision. Whatever you might think about it, I respect her honesty.
There is a lot more to this one of the best Sister Souljah books that I can not possibly fit here. Just to give you an idea, some recurring themes in the book are family, social power struggles, sexuality, and of course, African-American culture. I would say that if you are even the slightest amount curious about the author’s personality, you should give this piece a chance. Even if you are not, I can guarantee that you will not be bored.
Moving on with the article, the next piece that I want to mention is among the best rated books by Sister Souljah that is Midnight. As you can already guess by now, this piece is a romance tale filled to the brim with drama. It is also the first book of the Midnight trilogy which, in my opinion, is the best Sister Souljah series that you can get your hands on.
The main character of this piece was previously a side character in the novel The Coldest Winter Ever. In that book, Midnight was introduced as a humble lieutenant with a heart of gold and the courage of a lion. He worked for a businessman who held a significant amount of power in the criminal underworld and he was one of the most likable characters in that story.
Wealthy and Respectable
This contender for the title of the best Sister Souljah novel kicks things off by telling us all about Midnight’s upbringing. He was raised in an Islamic African family that was as wealthy as it was respectable. He was never devoid of comfort or protection but his loving father made sure to teach him about the hardships of real life. Perhaps he knew that Midnight would have to get out of his father’s empire and take care of the family eventually.
After a chain of events cause Midnight and her mother to run away to the United States, he decides to make use of his father’s teachings and gain power for himself. He also comes across many women in his way whom he makes sure to leave a lasting impression. But one of these women also manages to rent out a room in his mind and the love story of this gangster begins.
I am about halfway through this Sister Souljah book reviews article and the next piece I will be shortly introducing is going to be Midnight and the Meaning of Love. If I am to be completely honest, I was a little prejudicial about this piece as I think it is obvious that the title seems a little bit corny. As I read through it though, I slowly came to accept that this is a decent book talking about different ways to live love.
The story of this piece starts with Midnight finally wedding his true love, Akemi. I did not introduce Akemi earlier as I figured I have a lot of time to do so but she was the love interest of Midnight in the first book. She is a Japanese girl at the age of sixteen and she loves her to-be husband as much as he loves her. At the beginning of the book, this young couple is preparing to get married.
A Global Adventure
However, their happiest day is ruined when Akemi’s father kidnaps her to take her back to Japan. Heavily offended by this, Midnight takes off storming after making sure his family is safe. He makes it clear that he is set on rescuing his wife come hell or high water and sets off on his global journey to find her. In his search, he travels through three countries and tastes countless cultures.
The most interesting part of this addition to the best Sister Souljah series was the people Midnight met on his way. I found every one of these characters to be interesting in their own way and each of their interactions with Midnight felt like it added a new dimension to the story. This book is all about the different ways of living your love as I have said above and showing these ways through varying characters was absolutely the right choice.
A Moment of Silence is the fifth one of the Sister Souljah books that I have in order for you and it is also the last book of the Midnight series. It is the book in which all of the hardships Midnight went through in the first two books along with all the lessons he has learned are brought to closure. The piece shows us what Midnight’s search for love and power ultimately brings him.
The book picks up the story of the series right from where the previous one left it. Midnight has just returned to Queens from his worldwide journey and is thinking of changing a few things. He does not want to rely on violence as much as he did before as he is a married man and wants to keep his wife safe from any trouble that might come her way.
Environment Overriding Consciousness
However, he is forced to put that idea right back in the drawer when his little sister Naja is under the threat of violence. This is just enough to make Midnight forget what temper is and he kills her sister’s assailant right there on the spot by unleashing the power of his Ninjutsu training. As a result, he is forced to lay low for a while and he chooses to do so in a money laundering ring.
What Midnight does not know is that the members of this ring are working with the cops. Thus, he is arrested with the charges of murder and lands in a jail cell. Away from all the people he loves, Midnight clings to his Muslim faith to get him through his sentence. What follows next makes up the heart-pounding story of this nominee for the title of the best Sister Souljah book.
Continuing on with this Sister Souljah book list, the sixth piece that I will give my thoughts on is going to be A Deeper Love Inside: The Porsche Santiaga Story. This piece is a follow-up to one of the author’s most well known works, The Coldest Winter Ever. However, it also has quite a fame of its own as it is among the top rated books Sister Souljah.
The story of A Deeper Love Inside revolves around Porsche Santiago, the witty and sharp young sister of Winter. I expected her story to be the opposite of Winter’s before I started reading the book but while they are not too similar, there is also not that clear of a contrast between them. I should also mention that this story takes place around the same time as its prequel, right when Ricky Santiaga is put in jail.
Hustler From Birth
One of the first things the book tells us about the little protagonist is that she completely looks up to her older sister. It is also implied that she has his father’s blood running through her veins. In other words, she is a hustler from birth. Maybe for this reason, he is all too stubborn to accept a new life whether it be in group homes, foster care, or juvenile detention centers.
I think that Porsche may be the most unique character that the author ever wrote and it adds a lot to the enjoyment of this one of the best novels by Sister Souljah. Even when she is crying and pouting needlessly, as children do, it just seems sensible to me. Her code of honor is also impressive for a kid her age and her loyalty to it makes up for an enchanting story.
Carrying on with this Sister Souljah books ranked article, the last piece I want to share my thoughts on before I say my goodbyes is Life After Death. It is another continuation of the author’s most popular book The Coldest Winter Ever and follows a more mature Winter. It is also the latest Sister Souljah book to date as it was published in 2021.
Even though a little time has passed after the events of the first piece, Winter is still pretty much the same girl. Spending money on fashionable clothes is still a big pleasure of hers and so is looking pretty. She also still loves her father as much as she has before. The only difference is that she seems to have toughened up a bit.
A Better Protagonist
Winter’s main goals in life are to take back all that belonged to her father, claim her crown once again, and get Midnight back into her life one way or another. As cool as all of this sounds, Winter also has a bullet meant for her. Simone, her close business partner is not really fond of her.
In my opinion, this new book by Sister Souljah is definitely better than the original story of Winter. It was easy to sense that Winter’s character could provide a lot of rich storytelling opportunities but she was not really fit to make big and exciting decisions yet. This version of her feels well-seasoned and gives the reader an intense reading experience.
I said that Sister Souljah is more than just a writer when I was introducing her. However, her work as a writer is not a thing to skip over. While not all of her works are flawless masterpieces, her style carries a unique charm. She is brutally honest with both how she expresses herself and how she writes out her characters. I can not say that she is for everyone but I certainly enjoyed her work.
Alissa is an avid reader, blogger, and wannabe writer. (She's a much better cook than a writer actually). Alissa is married, has one human, one feline, and two canine kids. She always looks a mess and never meets a deadline.