This article showcases our top picks for the Books By Black Authors. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below). We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.
Adopting a plant-forward diet doesn’t mean that you’ll be eating a lifetime of meals that are primarily steamed broccoli and plain rice because eating healthy doesn’t mean that food has to lack flavor. In Orchids + Sweet Tea, recipe developer and food stylist Shanika Graham-White shows you that plant-forward meals can be delicious, bold, and flavorful. You just have to be willing to be creative and treat food as art.
In this New York Times “New & Noteworthy” book, Emmy-award winning actress and screenwriter Vanessa Baden Kelly examines what “home” means to a Black millennial woman. What are the consequences of gentrification on the life of a young Black woman, and on her ability to raise a family? What does it mean to be part of a lineage, whether it be passed down by name or through the voices of generations of writers and thinkers? Baden’s essays evolve from personal stories to fully-realized communiques of a generation of Black women who are finding a new sense of both belonging and ostracism in private, work, and public life.
Black Hair Love for Teens & Up is an excellent mirror book for black youth and their families to see themselves in literature, aligned with transformative words of poetry. It is also a window book for other cultures to learn more about black peoples’ hair and their culture.
This product was recommended by Tamela C. Todd from TamelaTodd
When you embark on the journey of becoming an entrepreneur, the lines between work and life can get pretty blurry especially if you work in front of you, it happens to all of us and isn’t something to beat yourself up over. However, it is something to be cognizant of because burnout is real and will happen if you’re not careful. Practicing self-care as an entrepreneur is essential in ensuring you’re staying healthy and reaching your maximum productivity.
As a former NFL defensive back, Jordan Babineaux, has mastered the art of capitalizing on moments of uncertainty and upheaval to reach for the next goal. In Pivot to Win, Jordan candidly shares the challenges of rising through the NFL to fulfill a dream he envisioned for himself when he was just a kid. He opens up about the jarring reality of leaving the NFL, starting a broadcast career, and becoming an entrepreneur, consultant, and owner of several businesses. Through his story, Jordan shows how all readers can beat the odds to create the life they want.
For the fantasy lovers out there, The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter is one of the safest bets you can make. The writing is great, the plot complex but easy to follow, the stakes are high and the excitement factor at its highest. We follow Tau who, in the world of the gifted, doesn’t seem to have much to offer. But then a tragic loss pushes him to pursue his revenge where no man has gone before. The benefits are huge – but so is the price. Other than being a great fantasy, The Rage of Dragons explores what happens to a man too focused on his one goal while ignoring everything else. It is the first book in the epic fantasy series The Burning, an engaging, entertaining and occasionally heart breaking tale. It’s hard to believe this book was Evan Winter’s debut novel – it feels like it was written by someone with decades of experience.
This product was recommended by Carmen Wilson from N/A
If you ever wanted to know what an energy orgasm is, this is the book for you. Kundalini Sex is a book that teaches on how energy flows through the body. This book also covers inner healing, deeper connection, and how to have healthier relationships. There are some really practical activities and exercises that support what is shared throughout the book. It’s perfect for singles that are working on themselves. It’s also great for couples looking to try something new or strengthen their relationship.
This book is about positivity. The book talks about the importance of self affirmations. The author guides us on how to build resilience and confidence during tough times. Author points out the importance of breaking the barriers of the comfort zone in order to achieve greater success. I loved reading this book because of how relevant this book is to current times where the world is living in the Pandemic, surrounded by uncertainty. I highly encourage people, especially women to give this book a read, it is a masterpiece.
I love reading fiction written in historical times. I’ve read books written as far back as 400 A.D. However, Black people were always either mere footnotes or the henchmen for the wealthy, White villains. I wanted to publish books where Black people held plausible, strong, and reputable roles. This was the drive behind writing a Victorian-era book with Jamaican, Haitian, and European characters. I was born and raised in Jamaica and moved to America in 2015.
What a find! This book wonderfully explores the concepts of race, identity, lies, and familial love. The story is about twin girls growing up in the segregated South. Their town is a color-struck community that mostly consists of light-skinned black residents. Both sisters, in their own way, rebel against the strictures of the town as teenagers but when they run away from their southern Black community, they wind up rebelling in very different fashions. While one returns to her hometown with her Black daughter, the other decides to live her life as a white woman. Even though they are separated, their lives are still very intertwined. Bringing together multiple generations and their stories, The Vanishing Half looks past racial issues to consider the continued influence of our pasts and why people are forced to live as someone else.
It’s Take Your Kid to Work Day and Andrew is beyond excited to go to work with Mama until he realizes that he does not know what Mama does for work. I am a lawyer or what some call an attorney, begins the exploration of the wonderful world of lawyers. Andrew Learns about Lawyers is a great book and beginner career resource to introduce young children (ages 4-8) to the career of a lawyer. Complete with phonetic assistance, an easy reader glossary, and beautifully diverse and inclusive images and images of legal pioneers (think Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Thurgood Marshall!), your child will begin thinking of a possible career as a lawyer and be in awe of the lawyers in their life. This rhyming career exploration book is perfect for curious sons and daughters as it provides just enough information in an easy to follow and interesting way.
Winnie Loves Winter is the must-have picture book about the winter season! The title says it all! Winnie loves winter and just cannot wait to tell you what she loves about it. Not just winter-themed, Winnie Loves Winter includes fun facts about winter. Simple engaging text and beautiful friendly and cheerful illustrations makes this book the perfect introduction to winter for young children ages 2 to 8. A good winter picture book featuring a young inviting main character and no specific holidays. After reading, your little one may come to love winter just as much as Winnie!
A Kid’s Book about Lying and Telling the Truth is the ideal book to motivate young children to always tell the truth. Scout’s Honor will help kids identify the reasons they may lie or want to lie, help kids understand the consequences for lying, and help kids understand the importance of telling the truth. With simple text, the book reinforces the values of right and wrong in a straightforward way perfect for children ages 4 to 6. The vibrant cartoon illustrations complement the lesson.
Giraffe Asks for Help is about a short giraffe named Gary who learns how to ask for help via his friends and community. Although a children’s book, this story is a great lesson for people of all ages to put their pride aside and ask for assistance, especially when they’ve tried their best by themselves. Not only has the pandemic taught us that community is important, but Black identity has also reminded us that we need each other in order to succeed.
This product was recommended by Stephen Curry from CocoSign
It is a sensational psychological and sociological drama written beautifully with powerful and bold words. The uniqueness of all the characters is portrayed perfectly by the Author. It is an emotional roller coaster filled with confusion and conflict of the narrator.
This product was recommended by Stephen Curry from CocoSign
A truly captivating multigenerational story that lays out the tragedies, triumphs, and hopes of life they encountered on their path from slave times until now. It will leave you with so many thoughts with its interconnected well-researched history.
I am recommending Soulful Holidays because it is the first children’s book to highlight the joys of both Christmas and Kwanzaa in a way that honors that Black and African-American cultural experience! With the lack of diverse children’s books on the market, this inclusive and culturally significant story is perfect for ALL readers. Cozy up together with this charmingly illustrated family book told in easy-to-read memorable rhymes. Through this heartwarming tale, children and families all over the world can experience the magic of Christmas and the true essence of Kwanzaa. Read about the food, songs, cultural decorations, and more! The catchy couplets in this dazzling picture book will delight readers with the inclusive traditions of families who honor one or both of these incredible holidays. Add this culturally significant rhyming picture book by award-winning author Ciara L. Hill, writer of successful, loveable children’s stories such as Shiloh and Dande the Lion, to your holiday book collection today!
Lost Travel Found tells my story of surviving grief, finding myself across the planet, and falling madly in love. Watch as I share the first few decades of my life, working through the unexpected loss of my father, navigating through the world on a solo trip, and supporting my husband through a devastating cancer diagnosis. It is not just about my caregiving journey, it is a story that will remind you how to overcome a victim mentality to become a victor. It will inspire you to dream big. This book will make hope call your name again. Will you be brave enough to answer? You won’t be disappointed, let the adventure begin!
This product was recommended by April Maccario from Ask April
It uplifts motivation and authenticity to be yourself. We have our voice, wisdom, and passion in making and achieving our goals possible. It includes that someone’s happiness is a matter of choice. It’s up to the person how they react and act to it. Also, it gives the realization to keep memorable ones and moves forward to painful experiences, which I like about this book..
The book has been written by Brit Bennet and narrates the story of two twin sisters. The twin sisters are not separable as two children and opted to live in two different worlds one black and one white. This book provides the information of an offbeat experience of two different realities in one body.
This book has been written by Kiley Ried, it is an inspirational and exciting novel by a new talent. The book casts light on the story of a poor black babysitter and her employer, giving a thrilling and mysterious connection between riches and race. There is such a perilous connection between both of them that can shatter them both.
A great inspirational book that boosts fortitude and perseverance, written by Abi Dare. This book has the story of a young Nigerian woman who is facing a forced life of slavery but is highly determined to get ample education to rid of herself slavery.
This product was recommended by Sonya Schwartz from Her Norm
Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes. Shonda Rhimes, creator, and producer of hit tv shows shares her experience before she said yes to everything that scared her. Written to inspire those who say they are too busy for anything, Shonda narrates in this poignant and often hilarious memoirs her fears and anxieties before becoming the mega talent behind Shondaland.
This product was recommended by Sonya Schwartz from Her Norm
A New York Times notable book, Homegoing tells the story of two half-sisters born in different villages, separated by fate and unaware of each other. One experiences hardships and pain, while the other marries into a life of luxury and experiences comfort. PEN/Hemingway award winner Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing tells a story that spans eight generations and illuminates the legacy of oppression and triumphs over slavery.
This product was recommended by Lynda Fairly from Numlooker
I think no black author can match the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and I love ‘I Have a Dream from his collection. It features the speech he gave on freedom and equality for the people of the black community. It’s empowering and keeps you captive. The words hit you hard and the feel of the speakers gives you a glimpse of the hardship that people of the black community have faced all through these years.
This product was recommended by Samantha Moss from Romantific
It is one of the best entrepreneurial books since the author discusses the skills that people must possess to thrive in a world where the majority of new businesses fail. It also has numerous pieces of advice and tactics that might help a business succeed.
This product was recommended by Fintan Costello from BonusFinder
Written by one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, this poetic memoir provides an insight to the life of one of the most prominent anti-racist activists of our time. It describes the heartbreaking reality that the people of color still face in the modern United States, with poverty, racial hatred, police brutality and racial profiling. This is a must-read for anyone wanting to deepen their understanding of the culture that still oppresses people of color and anyone who wants to be part of the movement trying to change it.
A book that has won numerous awards and will provoke dialog from all communities. The book is based on Angie a 16-year-old high school junior who loves basketball. Star is the only black girl in her class and is from a poor black neighborhood and has been exposed to gang activity. The story centers around her being in the middle of the fall out of the shooting of her best friend and the experiences she has as a result. Given today’s climate, this is a read for anyone wanting to understand the challenges the black community faces.
A Home for Sally shares the story about a special needs puppy who is surrendered to an adoption facility. This book uses a canine to share how to rise above the unkind words, stares, and behavior that someone with a disability must endure. With this fictional character acknowledging that everyone is lovable regardless of their outer appearance.
This product was recommended by Toks Ayinla from Toks Talks
Toks Ayinla’s Through my Brown Eyes is 180 poems about what it means to be. To be a woman, to be black, to be a child and a child of immigrants. To be a lover and friend. To hurt, heal, learn and grow. The book is written in English and Yoruba to incorporate Ayinla’s Nigerian heritage. The poems are simple yet poignant and have been used international to discuss topics from identity and race to systemic racism. Through my Brown Eyes is divided into 4 sections: About Self, About Culture, About Love and About Life; each taking the reader on a journey through the full range of emotions they hold.
Clifford Worthy, the great grandson of slaves, was one of the few African-American men of his generation who was accepted and excelled as a Black Knight of the Hudson, a traditional nickname for West Point cadets. Worthy describes his journey to West Point, the many challenges he overcame both in his family and in the U.S. Army, including service in the front lines of Vietnam. Rick Forzano, former Head Coach of the Detroit Lions praises Worthy’s memoir and his example to all of us. “He has fought his way through virtually every stage in life with his faith in God giving him the necessary strength and courage,” Forzano writes. In the late 1940s, the doors to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point were closed to most young African-American men. The few who had attended the prestigious military academy before that were subjected to relentless abuse and few survived. Why would Worthy even consider such an impossible dream? At a crossroads in his young life, Worthy took the chance of reaching out to U.S. Rep. John Dingell Sr., who had been a proud part of the New Deal in Washington D.C. and was ready to unlock closed doors. “We need to keep opening doors for other families,” retired U.S. Rep. John Dingell, Jr., writes in the book’s Foreword. “If my father had not taken that chance in the 1940s of sending a young African-American student from Detroit to West Point—Cliff would not have had his remarkable career. … As it was in the past, our country once again is deeply divided. I love this country. Cliff Worthy loves this country. I hope that this memoir will remind you of what it truly means to be an American.” Worthy’s commitment to faith, family and service included his loving support of his son Mark, who was born with developmental disabilities at a time when the boy’s disabilities were not widely understood. That part of this memoir already is inspiring readers who share that long journey with loved ones who live with disabilities. In praising this memoir, Cheryl Loveday, Executive Director of Angels’ Place in Michigan, urges families facing these challenges to read this book. “As the father of three remarkable children, it was the life and specialness of his son Mark that led Cliff to dedicate his time and his wisdom to the Angels’ Place mission—helping to provide homes and hope to hundreds of individuals with developmental disabilities.” James B. Hayes, former Publisher of FORTUNE magazine, writes of The Black Knight: “Stories of certain lives deserve to be told and preserved.. They serve as inspiration for all of us and for generations that follow. Colonel Cliff Worthy’s is one of those lives.”
The novel Harlem Shuffle by author Colson Whitehead is definitely an excellent choice if you want to immerse yourself in a story that you won’t want to stop reading. This novel will bring you many moments of sadness, suspense, and joy. A family with little money trying to get by, a robbery that doesn’t go as planned and a group of shady cops and gangsters make this a very interesting book.
In the book Tia’s Tingles the readers learn about a young African American girl who displays excessive energy, over talks her friends, and shows difficulty concentrating. Throughout the story we follow Tia as she walks us through her day showing how those impulsive behaviors affect her and those she encounters. The author began writing this book in 2014 as her first book in a hopeful series of many children’s books that focus on developing self awareness and an understanding of social, emotional, and mental wellness for children. The author chose to include children of different races and cultures in her books to encourage inclusivity in learning about wellness.
Readers looking to add more children’s books featuring Black and Brown characters to their child’s library will love Rocking Chair, Rocking Chair. The book’s vibrant illustrations engage a little reader’s imagination and its lyrical tone soothes child and adult alike. It is perfect before bed or whenever your little one needs a snuggle..