Maya Breuer’s Reading, Watching, and Listening Recommendations for Black History Month

Maya Breuer, E-RYT 500, is the Vice President of Cross-Cultural Advancement for Yoga Alliance, cofounder of the Black Yoga Teachers Alliance, and an Emerita Trustee of Kripalu. She began studying yoga in 1986 and received her yoga teacher certification from Kripalu in 1992. Maya is the creator of the Yoga Retreat for Women of Color, which she has brought to Kripalu every year since 1998. Her teaching combines traditional forms with her own indigenous wisdoms, encouraging individuals to use yoga to renew their spirit, change their consciousness, and embrace healthy living. 

Here Maya offers a selection of work by Black artists, writers, and musicians that she finds meaningful, powerful, and beautiful.

Reading List

Visual Artists

Kara Walker

From the Whitney Museum of American Art: “Drawing her inspiration from sources as varied as the antebellum South, testimonial slave narratives, historical novels, and minstrel shows, Walker has invented a repertoire of powerful narratives in which she conflates fact and fiction to uncover the living roots of racial and gender bias.”

Installation at the Whitney

Nick Cave

From Art21: Nick Cave is best known for his “Soundsuits”—surreally majestic objects blending fashion and sculpture—that originated as metaphorical suits of armor in response to the Rodney King beatings and have evolved into vehicles for empowerment. 

Courtesy of

Soundtrack for the Month

  • Miles Davis
  • John Coltrane
  • Billie Holiday
  • Bessie Smith
  • Alicia Keyes
  • Beyoncé


Maya Angelou, “Rainbow in the Clouds”

Toni Morrison, Nobel Lecture, 1993