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Black History Month Reads: For Now and Throughout the Year


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I love Black History Month! It is a month when the contributions of Black people in America are recognized and celebrated. With this being said, I believe that Black history is American history, and America wouldn’t be what it is today without said contributions. Black history and black people should be celebrated every day. 

One of the ways you can celebrate is through reading books. Books about Black history and books written by Black people. Reading is one of my absolute favorite pastimes, so I have some suggestions for you! I have read the following books myself (I am currently reading one of them now). Some are for education, and some are just fun. I’m also a new mom, so I threw in a couple of children’s books for the little ones. Enjoy my list of reads...not only for Black History Month, but all year!

by Frederick Douglass 

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

It’s easy to assume that everyone has read this classic, but I’m sure this isn’t the case. Frederick Douglass is a large figure in American history, and we all should know his story and his contributions to the USA. As I’ve written in a previous review of this book, his story is both heartbreaking and inspiring. Get it here.

Get the Audible version here.

by Michelle Alexander

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

While The New Jim Crow is academic in tone, its significance makes it a must-read. You’ll discover a wealth of statistics shedding light on policing and the U.S. prison system, revealing the disproportionate impact it has on the Black community. Get it here.

Get the Audible version here.

by Angela Y. Davis

Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine and the Foundations of a Movement

Another important figure in American history (she’s still living), Angela Davis, is an activist who has been vocal about the treatment of Black people in America and people of color around the world since the 1960s. Freedom is a Constant Struggle is a book of essays, interviews, and speeches from Davis, which will open your eyes to struggles and oppression occurring around the globe throughout history. Get it here.

Get the Audible version here.

by Yaa Gyasi

Transcendent Kingdom

This novel tells the story of a young Ghanaian woman living in Alabama and the mental health issues that plague her family. Transcendent Kingdom is a bit of a heavy read, but it sends you on a beautiful journey, and I can’t recommend it enough. Get it here.

Get the Audible version here.

by Brit Benett

The Vanishing Half

This captivating, coming-of-age novel tells the story of twins who lead different paths in life when one decides to run away and live as a white woman. It’s not a unique theme, but it's a beautifully written story. Get it here.

Get the Audible version here.

by Emma Dabiri

Twisted: The Tangled History of Black Hair Culture

Written by one of my favorite authors, Twisted will give you the rich history of Black hair and shine light on how and why Black hair is viewed in the way that it is today. In a previous review, I stated, “Emma Dibiri’s capability of digging into society’s hatred of Black hair and articulating the source of it is so eye-opening.” Get it here.

Get the Audible version here.

by Ibram X. Kendi

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

The title of this book accurately captures its essence. As of writing this post, I'm reading about the exploration of the accidental and intentional perpetuation of racist ideas throughout our country's history. Kendi will open your eyes as to why it is incorrect to view the U.S. as a post-racial society. Get it here.

Get the Audible version here.

The following two books are not written by Black authors but share crucial parts of our history in the United States (or even the world).

by Rebecca Skloot

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

One of the most important books I’ve read. I’d never heard of Henrietta Lacks before reading her story, but I believe everyone should know about her and how she changed medical science (but never reaped any rewards) forever. Get it here.

Get the Audible version here.

by Tim Madigan

The Burning: The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921

The Tulsa, Oklahoma burning of Black Wall Street in 1921 destroyed an entire affluent Black community. A shameful part of American history that was about to be kept quiet for a long time. This book is fast-paced and reads in a way that makes it sound like a novel (it’s not). Get it here.

Get the Audible version here.

Children’s Books

by Lupita Nyong'o


Sulwe is about a little girl who is sad that her skin is darker than the rest of her family’s and the other kids at school. This wonderful story teaches the lesson of self-acceptance. Get it here.

Get the Audible version here.

by Vashti Harrison

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

Vashti Harrison is not only an amazing children’s author, but her illustrations and distinct and gorgeous. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History shares the stories of women in Black history, such as Sojourner Truth and Ida B. Wells. Of course, every highlight is accompanied by Harrison’s illustrations. Get it here.

Get the Audible version here.

by Zola Williams

Mimzy and Misty, the Terrible Two

If you want to support a small, self-published author, I can’t go without mentioning my little book, Mimzy and Misty, the Terrible Two. You’ll meet Mimzy and Misty, two troublesome cats that teach the lesson of not judging a book by its cover. Inspired by my own feline companions, who have brought me so much joy! Get it here.

As I conclude, let’s remember that books offer such a profound avenue for understanding and appreciating our rich culture. Each reading experience will add a layer to your understanding, even if it’s just learning about a new Black author. Happy reading and continuous learning!


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