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.
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In this post:
Contemporary Fiction by Black Authors
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
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
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!