20 Best Books For Black Women Update 05/2022

Books For Black Women

Even if you’ve given money to Black Lives Matter, protested with your friends, and talked with your allies about how Black people live in the United States, there’s always more you can do to learn about their lives. If you have a lot of books on your bookshelf, look at them. Is there anything or someone that you don’t have? You’ve come to the right place. If you like science fiction or memoirs, there’s something for you in this mix. All of them were written by great Black female authors. These African-American authors have thought of everything, so all you have to do is read their books. You’re going to find your next favorite author soon.

‘Americanah’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

'Americanah' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

 

There is a love story in Americanah, but it’s not the kind of love story you saw as a child. During the military rule in Nigeria, Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love. They break up when they have to leave. Ifemelu is going to America. She has to face what it means to be black in the United States. When it comes to Obinze, he can’t join Ifemelu because of post-9/11 rules. He has to live in London as an undocumented person. It has been 15 years since they last saw each other, and things have changed. But how? And can they get back what they lost?

‘Grand Union: Stories’ by Zadie Smith

Author: Smith is best known for her short stories, which have been published in publications like the New Yorker and the Paris Review. In these fictional stories, she talks about race and class. To me, this is a great example of how to write well. If only it had been longer.

‘Homegoing’ by Yaa Gyasi

There has been colonialism and slavery in Ghana for more than 250 years. In Homegoing, we learn about all of this. Effia and Esi, two half-sisters, tell the story of their lives. One path shows years of war in Ghana, while the other shows slavery in America. Both stories show the strength of a country.

‘We Are Never Meeting in Real Life: Essays’ by Samantha Irby

Do you want to put together a collection of essays that might make you cry? All right. As a writer on the hilarious and real show Shrill, Irby also has a new level of skill in her second book. Essays cover everything from why she should be the new Bachelorette to how to deal with sexual encounters that go wrong.

‘Such a Fun Age’ by Kiley Reid

'Such a Fun Age' by Kiley Reid

This #ReadWithMC pick might make you squirm, but that’s what the author wants you to think about. White blogger Alix Chamberlain calls her Black babysitter, Emira, and asks her to take her toddler, Briar, to the market for a late-night distraction. An event happens that starts a chain of events that will change their lives for the rest of their lives. This book by Reid talks about white privilege head-on, with new dialogue and people you meet in your daily life.

‘Red at the Bone’ by Jacqueline Woodson

In this story, Melody, 16, and her mother learn about desire, education, class, parenthood, and more. This is the coming-of-age story that all coming-of-age stories are based off of. It’s heart-wrenching to think back on all the choices you make in your youth and how they still follow you as you get older.

‘Sing, Unburied, Sing’ by Jesmyn Ward

If you like character-driven family dramas, then you’ve found the best thing in the world for you. People in Ward’s book, a dysfunctional family set in a fictional rural Mississippi, feel so real that you’ll wonder how the book could be a story. This book will keep you reading long after the last page. Every character, from the drug addict mother who’s haunted by her dead brother to her children who can’t get rid of the ghosts of the past, will draw you in.

‘The Bluest Eye’ by Toni Morrison

A lot of people don’t think Toni Morrison is an Icon, but she is one of them. Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning author of 11 novels and a professor of literature at Princeton University, John Steinbeck, writes prose that will stay with you for a very, very long time. His writing is unique and will cut deeply into you and stay there for a long time. As a young African-American woman, Pecola Breedlove wants blue eyes (also known as whiteness) so much that she can’t see her own beauty. Her first book, The Bluest Eye, tells the story of Pecola. There will be a tug on your heartstrings.

‘An American Marriage’ by Tayari Jones

'An American Marriage' by Tayari Jones

This far, if you haven’t read An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, you’ve done something wrong. People who were just married become separated when their husband is convicted of a crime that his wife says he didn’t do. Jones tells the story of Celestial and Roy, a newlywed couple. Roy and Celestial haven’t seen each other for five years, but when he comes back, they have a hard time rekindling their relationship. He used to be Roy’s best man, but now Celestial can get some help from him. Juicy!

‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama

It’s a good idea to read Michelle Obama’s book when it comes out. You don’t have to do anything. And not just because of who she is, but because you know what she’ll bring to the table. Her memoir, “Becoming,” is a look back at her time in and out of the White House, as well as a look at some of society’s biggest problems, like racism and sexism. But you don’t have to take my word for it: The book was the December 2018 pick for #ReadWithMC.

‘The Wedding Date’ by Jasmine Guillory

Make your own love story instead of watching it on TV. Get The Wedding Date. Alexa Monroe and Drew Nichols, two people stuck in an elevator, agree to be wedding dates for each other. Jasmine Guillory, the author of the book, tells their story. I love this book because it is full of charm and hot sex scenes. The book’s main character, Alexa, doesn’t look for a man with doe-eyed eyes. As Chief of Staff to the mayor, she’s a curvy African-American woman. You can’t put people into boxes!

‘We Should All Be Feminists’

We Should All Be Feminists is more than just a piece of writing, though. It’s a call to action, a rallying cry, and a story about a person’s own life. She wants people to reclaim and redefine the word “feminist” so that they can be more inclusive and fight for the rights of all women. Take a look at this and then tell me you don’t want to fight back against the patriarchy. I’ll be here.

‘The Book of Phoenix’ by Nnedi Okorafor

'The Book of Phoenix' by Nnedi Okorafor

Calling all sci-fi fans: This is for you! As a first step, try reading this book by Nnedi Okarafor, or this book by Okarafor. A lot of her writing, especially in The Book of Phoenix, looks at how humans have had a bumpy and difficult journey through science fiction. Think of Divergent, Hunger Games, and Black Panther without the official superhero names. Phoenix lives in Tower 7, where the Book of Phoenix starts. A tragic event makes the gifted girl realize that dismantling the prison she’s called home is just the beginning of a new way of life for her.

‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give is a heartbreaking and powerful story about what it’s like to be a black person in the United States today, told through the eyes of a 16-year-old girl. A book by Angie Thomas talks about how we got to this point and what it will take to fix it. She combines modern political references with old critical race theory to show how we got here and what it will take to fix. Then, watch the movie.

‘Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body’ by Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay is a very clever writer who has a style and language that will make you squirm. In her memoir, Hunger, the Haitian-American queer author talks about body positivity and sexual assault in a way that is raw and heartbreaking. She tells stories and experiences from her own life to show how our society views these topics.

‘The Sun Is Also a Star’ by Nicola Yoon

The Sun Is Also a Star is a must-read. One reason is that we all secretly like YA books. And two, because Nicola Yoon is better at writing YA than most people are at writing YA. Her best-selling book tells the story of Natasha and Daniel, two young people who meet and fall in love just 48 hours before Natasha’s family is set to be sent to Jamaica.

‘Dawn’ by Octavia E. Butler

'Dawn' by Octavia E. Butler

You can let your imagination run wild with this book written by Octavia Butler. Dawn tells the story of Lilith, a person who has been asleep for a long time, while Earth is said to have died. In the morning, Lilith wakes up and finds herself living with an alien race called the Oankali. They are trying to convince Lilith that they saved her. Many people have different views on this story.

‘Caucasia’ by Danzy Senna

During the 1970s, Birdie Lee and her sister, Cole, are two biracial sisters who come of age in the chaos of Boston. While Birdie is born with light skin, her sister is dark. This difference prompts their parents, who can be very political and sometimes angry, to make a decision that splits their family apart. When you read Caucasia, you get to see a specific time and place, but also how American society thinks about race. It is a coming-of-age book that does both.

‘A Raisin in the Sun’ by Lorraine Hansberry

This play is a favorite of young actors who are looking for monologues that are both rich and meaningful. When you read it, you’ll see why. A Raisin in the Sun is a story that will stay with you for a long time. It’s about socioeconomic progress, intergenerational trauma, and dreams, all set in the 1950s.

‘The New Jim Crow’ by Michelle Alexander

The New Jim Crow is a must-read. There are many problems with mass incarceration and the American prison system, but Michelle Alexander talks about them in a way that is both interesting and easy to understand. This book changed the way many people thought about the justice system and led to a national movement to change how police work.

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