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33 Books By Black Authors: Black Lives, History, and Racial Injustice

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Do you read books from a diverse set of authors? Reading books by authors from a different background than you own opens your world view. It enables you to learn from someone who has a different experience and lens than yours. I was inspired to write this post because as an avid reader, I have spent the past 6 years primarily reading books by Black authors and authors of color.

My reading lists in school rarely had any representation on them, and even outside of that I honestly just read books my other white peers were reading, or books that showed up on the top lists (I’m sure this also absolutely says something about what types of books and authors are considered “bestsellers”). I’ve spent these past years being more intentional with what I read, reading a wide range of books by Black authors, and growing more into my identity as a Black woman.

In addition to reading the heavier nonfiction books by Black authors, I also encourage you to read books that explore Black culture, too. This is why I’ve put together a list with a wide range of genres, all by Black authors. Many of these books I have read on my own, and some are own my own reading list. While this is only a small list, I hope this helps you explore more works by Black voices.

Earlier this year, I also created a list of books by contemporary black authors. If you’d like to check out more options, there are some there.

*This post contains affiliate links, and if you happen to sign up through my link I will get a small commission for coffee money, which helps fuel my content creation.

In this post:

+ Contemporary Fiction
+ Classic Fiction
+ Memoirs
+ Essays
+ Racial Inequality / Anti-Racism

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Contemporary Fiction by Black Authors

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid 

Legacy of Orïsha Series by Tomi Adeyemi | Book 1 | Book 2

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi 

The Mothers by Brit Bennett 

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Classic Fiction by Black Authors

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Memoirs by Black Authors

More Than Enough by Elaine Welteroth

The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Hinton

Heavy, an American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Zora Neale Hurston

Hunger by Roxane Gay

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

ESSAYS / ANTHOLOGIES BY BLACK AUTHORS

Well Read Black Girl by Glory Edim 

Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

BOOKS ON RACIAL INEQUALITY / ANTI-RACISM BOOKS

Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo 

How to be an Anti Racist by Ibram X. Kendi

We Live for the We: The Political Power of Black Motherhood by Dani McClain

Represenation Matters

Representation matters, even in the type of books you read and consume! Black lives and Black stories matter. Let me know which books you are looking forward to reading in the comments!

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  1. Kate says:

    Great list! I totally forgot that the 2nd book in the Legacy of Orisha series is out now. I loved the first one!

    • Lucinda Nixon says:

      The second book was great! I’m actually listening to the audiobook now, because I love the narrator so much!

  2. Nij says:

    Wow, great list. Had on my list to re-read Beloved. Just watched the documentary about her life “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” incredible! Will definitely be checking out More than Enough and An A American Marriage.

    • Lucinda Nixon says:

      Oh wow, I definitely need to heck out the documentary! More than Enough was one of my favorite memoirs recently! It resonated with me so much! I’d love to know your thoughts on An American Marriage when you read it! It had some twists for me!

  3. Audrey says:

    This is a terrific list!! While I’ve read some of the books you’ve highlighted, it really inspires me to invest in more black authors!! Thank you!

    • Lucinda Nixon says:

      Thank you so much for checking it out! I hope you find a book on there that you love! There are so many great authors!

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