In the realm of literature, coffee table books hold a special place. They are more than just beautiful decorative pieces; they provide a window into diverse cultures, histories and untold stories. For Black men and women, these coffee table books become even more significant, allowing us to celebrate our shared heritage, honor our ancestors and embrace our collective beauty.
Below, we’ve rounded up coffee table books by Black authors that celebrate the richness of Black culture. From examining the artwork of Black artists who are reshaping the discourse and representation of people of color to celebrating the creativity of Black fashion icons, these books celebrate us.
I Can Make You Feel Good: Tyler Mitchell
by Tyler Mitchell
In I Can Make You Feel Good, every page immerses the reader in Tyler Mitchell’s vibrant and vivid world. The absence of white space echoes Mitchell’s all-encompassing vision, where glowing natural light and rich colors bring to life his intimate and optimistic portrayals of young Black individuals.
Originally a quarantine project, The Modern Day Black Alphabet has evolved into a captivating exploration of the alphabet through imagery and intimate Black experiences. Offering educational value for Black children and coffee table appeal for black adults, this is a book readers of all ages can enjoy.
This remarkable book showcases the bold, colorful and monumental artwork of renowned artist Kehinde Wiley. The artist’s portraits fearlessly touch on themes of race, power and tradition, challenging conventional narratives in art history.
Unseen: Unpublished Black History from the New York Times
by Rachel L. Swarns, Dana Caned, Darcy Eveleigh and Damien Cave
This book unveils a treasure trove of stunning and forgotten photographs from Black history discovered by New York Times staffers. This collection of powerful images, which remained unseen for decades, exposes the biases and complexities of editorial decision-making.
The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion
by Antwaun Sargent
In The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion, curator and critic Antwaun Sargent underscores the increasing visibility of Black figures and models, examining their influence on contemporary visual culture.
This captivating catalog showcases Saar’s new watercolor works on paper. With vibrant colors and layered techniques, she explores the history of underrepresented Black dolls. The book also includes original essays and an interview with the artist, offering insightful perspectives on her art.
By Maya Angelou, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Sara Jane Boyers
Life Doesn’t Bother Me is a powerful celebration of courage through Dr. Maya Angelou’s brave poem. Paired with Jean-Michel Basquiat’s bold paintings, the book conjures fearsome images that are dispelled by faith in oneself.