February is celebrated as Black History Month and was first started by Professor Carter G. Woodson. It is an extremely positive movement that serves as just another excuse to celebrate and highlight black lives and achievement. However, I do agree we should extend this idea beyond just February. I am not good at researching Author Demographics and making a conscious effort for picking those books. However, every now and then I will read a book and really love it or be intrigued by a synopsis and google the author and realize it is either by a woman, or a Person of Color. so YAYY!
I am always thrilled to discover such books since I am always pulled between reading a book interested by its synopsis and reading a book for what it is marketed as.
Here I am listing 10 books I have read and loved by Black Authors that I stumbled onto. I call it sweet serendipity 😛 I recommend all of these and would urge you to give it a try if you haven’t already.
Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson
A character driven story set in the 90’s that sheds light on themes like honesty, looking out for each other as a community and justice for black lives. This book isn’t about racism, it’s about brotherhood.
A story about loss, friendship and the lengths you will go for the people you love.
The Black Mage by Daniel Barnes
This Comic Book is a love child of The Lumberjanes Comics & Harry Potter Series that adds a twist to Black character representation. The protagonist isn’t portrayed as someone who is distressed and helpless but amused about stupid racist comments . It also perfectly address the stereotype questions that black people get asked unintentionally which is hilarious to read
Becoming by Michelle Obama
This was the book that changed my perception on Memoirs. Her Beauty, Grace and Intelligence shines through her words that indeed is motivating.
An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
We should all read this book. While Feminism is almost always misunderstood – this book will help you decode why you are a feminist or if not why you should be. It addresses the gender bias problem in society and motivates us to fix it.
And yes, in order to encourage gender equality we need to first and foremost accept that the male species has always been and is entitled.
Say Her Name by Zetta Elliott
This book is a poetry collection written by Black Female Authors for Black Women. It touches on subjects of police brutality, the specific oppression of African American women, sexual assault, racial inequality, imbalanced media coverage, black resistance and empowerment.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Read this if you want to understand -Why the Black Lives Movement is so important. It will urge you to speak up against police brutality and racism. Injustice is awful and this story gives an insight on how helpless we get when it happens to one of us and want the world to be
The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race by Jesmyn Ward
This book gets you off guard. You know you are going to read about a serious topic, you know it and it still manages to make you feel so helpless and heartbroken and provokes you to think .. to think about racism, and the seriousness of its effects. You think you know what racism is, and then you read these essays .
All the essays significantly stand out. Police brutality and systemic racism has been highlighted throughout the book and i guess what gets me is how nothing has changed still.
This book is so important.
Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
Yet another personal memoir that has educated and inspired me. While he talks about Apartheid, his childhood in South Africa, the books highlights poverty, corruption, the black history, domestic violence and most of all his love for his mother. All this in a humorous lighthearted way that acts as a blanket to some of the horrific incidents in his life.
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Set in Nigeria, this award winning thriller stands out from most thriller novels on the market.
Of course like all thriller novels it is twisted but it doesn’t build on the core trope of this genre – suspense. But in fact will make you wonder how very blurry the lines are between right and wrong when it comes to protecting your loved ones
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families
It is a mix of music, family dynamics, social media and activism and gun violence.
Have you read any of these books? Did you like it? Would love to know your thoughts. 😀
Thanks for the recommendations! I want to read Becoming eventually, but it has the longest waitlist ever. I LOVED Born A Crime.
Haha.. I know… I waited almost 2 months to read it myself. and SAME HERE.. Born a Crime has been such a lovely memoir. his love for his mother shows so much.. It left me both laughing and crying
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