In honor of Black History Month, we’ve put together books from the past few years as well as books that are coming out soon that are about Black happiness. It doesn’t matter what kind of book it is, because all of these books are about Black adventures, love stories, communities, and friendships and they’re all on this list. Here are some great fiction and nonfiction books that can be read all year long.
Take a Hint, Dani Brown
This sexy romantic comedy is about Dani and her security guard friend, Zaf, who become lovers after he saves her from her office building. In no time at all, a video of them saving the dog goes viral, and people start cheering for them as a couple now. In this case, Dani and Zaf try to take advantage of it. She’ll get a friend with benefits, and he’ll be given free publicity for his charity. It turns out that Dani has feelings for Zaf, so she has to decide whether or not to give in to her fears of dating.
You Should See Me in a Crown
Johnson’s first book for young adults is a big-hearted, inclusive book about a Black queer character. A lot of Liz Lightly’s dreams are bigger than living in her small town. She wants to go to an elite college, join their orchestra, and become a doctor. That’s why she has to play the game when her financial aid doesn’t work out and she finds out about a scholarship that comes with being prom queen. You Should See Me in a Crown is the first book in the Reese Witherspoon Young Adult Book Club. It’s about positive friendships and how important it is to stand up for yourself and your dreams.
More Than Enough
It’s a finalist for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for 2020. The former editor in chief of Teen Vogue talks about how she made it to the top. Welteroth is the daughter of an interracial couple, and she tells her story to show how she broke down barriers at many different places. She also talks about how she found and developed her own identity as she went. If you’re a young person, this book is a great way to show you’re enough.
Children of Blood and Bone
Tomi Adeyemi’s young adult fantasy series is Black Girl Magic in a real-life form. People in the Orisha kingdom try to get revenge on a young woman who lost her magical powers after her mother died and before she was able to get back them again. It takes place over the first two books in the trilogy, Children of Blood and Bone and Children of Virtue and Vengeance. Zélie Adebola is trying to get rid of an oppressive ruler, keep her tribe together, and speak up for herself in an oppressive society that is afraid of her power. Time named Adeyemi’s series one of the best fantasy books of all time because it talks about race, class, and social justice in a way that is epic and has been called one of the best ever. It’s said on Adeyemi’s website that the third book will be out this year.
Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham
Writing and activist Kimberly Drew and New York Times staff writer Jenna Wortham put together a book called Black Futures. The book looks at the question: What does it mean to be Black and alive right now? This collection of work includes images, photos, essays, memes, tweets, interviews, and more. It comes from Black academics, activists, thought leaders, and creators, and they all have something to say. They gave it a good review. Black Futures got a good review from both Kirkus Reviews and Booklist. Kirkus called it a “must-have compilation” that shows “the richness, joy, and power of the modern Black experience.”
The Last Black Unicorn
A book called “Unique” by Tiffany Haddish says that she is different from other people, and her funny, touching collection of essays shows that. Hashdish talks about how she grew up in one of the poorest parts of South Central Los Angeles and how laughter helped her figure out who she was. The Last Black Unicorn is described by Library Journal as “a bawdy, laugh-out-loud tell-all with a liberal dose of heart.” It has humor, honesty, and inspiration in equal amounts.
In West Mills
De’Shawn Charles Winslow
At first, people in the conservative small town of West Mills in North Carolina don’t like Azalea “Knot” Center because of her strong independence. Her life turns upside down when a bad accident leaves her broke and emotionally cut off from her family. She looks for help from her neighbor Otis, who has his own family problems to deal with. For many people who love history, this book by Winslow is a must-read. It shows the value of community, neighborly love, and the idea that we can learn a lot more about each other when we don’t make assumptions.
It’s Not All Downhill from Here
A business is doing well for Loretha Curry. She also has a loving partner and lots of plans for the future. But when something bad happens, she’s forced to look around and figure out what to do next. Loretha doesn’t know where she’s going, but with her family and friends by her side, she wants to show that it’s not going to go down. If you’re a fan of O, The Oprah Magazine, you’ll love this book about aging, heartbreak, and the search to “pump up the volume” in late middle age. McMillan’s charming story shows that age doesn’t matter.
Wings of Ebony
Rue and her sister are still reeling from the death of their mother when Rue’s estranged father shows up and reveals that she is a half-god. There, she learns more about her powers and finds out that magical places can be just as bad as the real one. When Rue finds out that the dark that lurks in Ghizon is also putting her hometown in danger, she must save her sister and fight for what’s right. As a child, Elle gives Rue a voice to speak up against injustice, racism, and class privilege even when the adults around her won’t. “The book gives us all a much-needed ray of hope,” says the author. Nicola Yoon is
Kennedy When two childhood best friends meet again 20 years later, they find that they still have feelings for each other. Ryan’s new second-chance romance is about that. After running for president, Kimba is living the high life as a political consultant. When she sees her childhood friend Ezra, she realizes that they still love each other. One of the things Ryan does in this book is to write a story that has a lot of different points of view. It also talks about how important it is to keep fighting for a happy ending, no matter how bad things look.