We’re in the middle of a lot these days. For many of us, it’s the middle of a long overdue education.
The above is a movement within the book industry to support Black authors and show the influence of Black writing in our world today. Below, I’ve made a list of the books I’ve read recently by Black authors that have been important to me. I’ve also included my very own TBR list (some of which I am purchasing this week).
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker – print & audio – this is a classic for a reason
- An American Marriage by Tayari Jones – print & audio – Fictional story about wrongful convictions & the dark truth of our judicial system. Incredibly moving
- The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray – print & audio – A family story of children growing in the wake of their parents imprisonment
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston – print & audio – This is (also) a classic for a reason. 10/10 recommend reading along with the audiobook. (Then read The Sum of Life from Bitter Southerner)
- The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead – print & audio – A Pulitzer Prize winner and shocking story, but I cannot recommend this enough
- The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead – print & audio – Another Pulitzer Prize winner and for good reason
- Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid – print & audio – This one is all about race and privilege. It made me uncomfortable, but in a necessary way.
- Beloved by Toni Morrison – print & audio – this book SHOOK me in college. Absolutely rocked my foundation.
- Becoming by Michelle Obama – print & audio – this one still sits on the NYT Best Seller List and for good reason
- So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know by Retta – print & audio – Retta is.. amazing. That is all.
- The Tradition by Jericho Brown – print & audio – I genuinely cannot recommend (all of) Jericho’s work enough. We need his words. Also a Pulitzer Prize winner. Jericho works at Emory in Atlanta as well.
My To-Be-Read List
- The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates – print & audio
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Ayedemi – print & audio
- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett – print & audio
- Kindred by Octavia E. Butler – print & audio
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – print & audio
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson – print & audio (currently reading)
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander – print & audio
- How to Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi – print & audio
- Be the Bridge by Latasha Morrison – print & audio
- I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown – print & audio
- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo & Michael Eric Dyson – print audio
- Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds – print & audio (this is technically a novel in verse)
- American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin by Terrance Hayes – print & audio
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention poets like Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou and James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison and and and. There are countless others. We don’t lack the books, that’s for sure.
Leave a comment and let me know what you’re reading!