The need to honor Black culture, prioritize Black voices, and appreciate Black stories doesn’t stop on the first of March.
Authors across the world are doing their best to project the fullness of the Black experience with every keyboard stroke.
Want to spend your next morning commute or staycation soaking up their greatness? We’ve rounded up a list of 11 books that will help you celebrate Black history all year long.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
This book should be taught in every school across America. Each chapter of Gyasi's intergenerational novel is strong enough to make a statement on its own. Together they tell the story of a family line that has been severed by horrific circumstances -- from the African villages, to enslavement, to the Middle Passage, to Jim Crow to the Great Migration and beyond. This story vivrantly depicts the divide between Black Americans and those who captured, enslaved then freed Black Americans. Grab several copies now!
Zora and Langston: A Story of Friendship and Betrayal by Yuval Taylor
The friendship between two writers credited with personifying a movement is explored by Taylor with the help of extensive research. He also explores their connection to the many others that they supported and received support from in this iconic Black period of art's great growth. Buy it today!
W. W. Norton & Company
We Speak For Ourselves by D. Watkins
In a world where public intellectuals are being looked to completely capsulate Black culture, Watkins will soon be allowing the hood to have its say. Using his personal experiences and those of others in his community, the Baltimore native shines a light on the perspective of poor Black people whose stories are missing from contemporary writings on race in the upcoming release. Grab it on April 23.
Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper
Written by a grown a-s woman for her fellow grown a-s women, this sharp tale of self discovery sets asides stereotypes and caricatures to address the reality of Black women's anger. No matter what your personality, you're bound to recognize yourself in the pages of this "homegirl intervention." Pick up a newly released paperback copy.
St. Martin's Press
The Undefeated by Kadir Nelson
A tribute to the resiliency of the Black spirit, The Undefeated uses Nelson's oil paintings and Alexander's words to illustrate how far we have come and the hope that will bring us further. Get lost in the complex patterns of the images and the emotions of the passages. Grab now!
The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins
This murder mystery novel, set in America's slavery period, tells the story of a freed servant who has been accused of murdering her employer. Labeled a liar, a sorceress, and a whore by society, this young woman desperately tries to remember the events of an evening that could cost her life. Get it now!
Stony The Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
If you've watched how America is imploding on the nightly news and wondered aloud "how did we get here," this book has the answers you're looking for. It takes a look at reconstruction and explains how laws intended to uphold white supremacy became appealing at a time where Black people were poised to start seeing themselves as equals. Grab it now.
March by John Lewis
Congressman John Lewis collaborated with author Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell on a trilogy of graphic novels that depict the struggles and triumphs of the man who often did not think he would live to see himself be dubbed our "national conscience." Using the countless marches Lewis has participated in throughout his life as an entry point, the trilogy also acknowledges the many unsung heroes of the movements that have propelled our nation. This third and final installment takes place during the 1963 battle for access to full citizenship rights in Selma, Alabama. Buy it now!
Top Shelf Productions
It Was All A Dream: A New Generation Confronts the Broken Promise to Black America by Reniqua Allen
This introspective work acknowledges the way Black millennials are redefining personal success in a world where the benchmarks for having "made it" are increasingly out of reach. Skipping out on bloated mortgage payments and corporate instability, the children Baby Boomers left behind are using peace of mind, rewarding travel experiences and other standards to construct their own version of the American Dream. Shop now!
Bold Type Books
Heavy by Kiese Laymon
This memoir of growing up fat and Black in the Deep South gives voice to experiences to which America often turns a deaf ear. Written in the second person, the author addresses his mother his grandmother, and the child in all of us. Pick it up in paperback today.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Inspired by the tragic murder of Jordan Davis, this book is a series of letters written by a young Black teen attending a predominately white high school to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. following a scary encounter with the police. Having clear evidence to dispute the myth of a post-racial society, the protagonist tries to find a way to navigate his way through a world that sees him as an automatic threat. Buy it now!