If you’re looking for something to read for Black History History month, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite books by black authors. It was tough putting this list together because there are so many more I could have included. I may have to do a part 2.
This is an incredible graphic novel series by U.S. Representative John Lewis. It's a memoir and a history lesson. Great book for young adults but you'll appreciate it too.
"American Street is about Fabiola Toussaint who immigrates to America with her mother from Haiti, but upon arrival, her mother is detained at customs, leaving Fabiola to navigate a new country and culture on her own with some help from her cousins and aunt." (Amazon) I really liked this book a lot, and the way Ibi Zoboi tells a story.
I'm currently reading this book now. It's an anthology edited by Ibi Zoboi, with stories by incredible authors like: Jason Reynolds, Nic Stone, Rene Watson, Rita Williams-Garcia, Kekla Magoon, and more.
I absolutely adored this book and tell everyone to listen to the audiobook if you can. Hearing Trevor Noah read this book is a true treasure! Trust me on this one.
I haven't read this book yet, because I've been slacking on my reading, but this is currently on my bedside table. Children of Blood and Bone is a West African-inspired fantasy that is being made into a movie. The author recently released the second book in the series, Children of Virtue and Vengeance.
Love the author. Love this book. "Justyce McAllister is a good kid, an honor student, and always there to help a friend—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out." (Amazon)
This book is both heartbreaking and hopeful. It's about 16-year-old Starr Carter who balances her life between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. It was also made into a movie starring Amandla Stenberg who is just brilliant as Starr.
Angie Thomas' second book is about 16-year-old Bri who is the daughter of an underground rap legend. She wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time and also get out of her neighborhood. Loved this book! Can you tell I'm a little obsessed with young adult books?
This book is everything! , It's now an Oscar nominated short film which started as a kickstarter campaign that I am proud to say that contributed to. It's about a father who struggles to do his daughter's hair and is so sweet!
Jason Reynolds is one of my absolute favorite authors. Read everything he writes! This book takes place in and elevator, in 60 seconds, the time it takes for 15-year-old Will to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother. This book is intense and exceptional.
Roxane Gay is a force and so is this book. From Hunger...“I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.” Roxane also has a great podcast called Here to Slay with Tressie McMillan Cottom which I love as well.
"McMillan Cottom has crafted a black woman’s cultural bible, as she mines for meaning in places many of us miss and reveals precisely how—when you’re in the thick of it—the political, the social, and the personal are almost always one and the same." (Goodreads) Loved this book as well as the podcast she does with Roxane Gay, Here to Slay.
I'm currently listening to this audiobook and it's so good. "From award-winning poet Saeed Jones, How We Fight for Our Lives is a stunning coming-of-age memoir written at the crossroads of sex, race, and power." (Goodreads)
I. Loved. This. Book. So. Much. I had heard about Elaine Welteroth when she became the Editor in Chief at Teen Vogue. She's also currently a judge on Project Runway. This memoir hit home for me on so many levels, and the lessons I learned from Elaine's experiences are ones that will definitely stick with me.
"Monday Charles is missing and only Claudia seems to notice. As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?" (Goodreads) Whew! Couldn't put this one down.
Really enjoyed this book. "Friendships, race, privilege, identity—this compelling and thoughtful story explores the issues young women face." (Goodreads)
I haven't read this book yet, but I've heard great things about it. "How to Be an Antiracist is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society." (Goodreads)
"Maleeka suffers every day from the taunts of the other kids in her class. If they're not getting at her about her homemade clothes or her good grades, it's about her dark, black skin. When a new teacher, whose face is blotched with a startling white patch, starts at their school, Maleeka can see there is bound to be trouble for her too. But the new teacher's attitude surprises Maleeka. Miss Saunders loves the skin she's in. Can Maleeka learn to do the same?" (Amazon)
From actress and now author Lupita Nyong'o. "A picture book about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within." (Goodreads)
"When They Call You a Terrorist is Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele’s reflection on humanity. It is an empowering account of survival, strength and resilience and a call to action to change the culture that declares innocent Black life expendable." (Amazon)
I really, really loved this book. It's about the day that Natashia meets Daniel. It's also the day that she's being deported to Jamaica.
I don't even know if you can find this book anymore, but I had to include it. I remember finding it in my house when I was maybe 12 and not being able to put it down. It's an autobiography by Wilma Rudolph about the first American female athlete to win three gold medals at a single Olympic Games. Check your library. Maybe they have it!
This was another book I read as a teenager and has stuck with me ever since. "Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright's powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America." (Goodreads)
Oh Maya Angelou, how I love you. "At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors ("I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare") will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned." (Goodreads)
What a book! The Bluest Eye is about Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, who prays for blonde hair and blue eyes that she thinks will make her beautiful. Just read it.