The literary world is graced with a plethora of captivating books, but some of the most remarkable and thought-provoking pieces have been penned by black authors. We are presenting a selection of some of the best books by black authors, including newly released titles and hidden gems yet to be unearthed.
Our list of books by black authors highlights the best works of fiction and non-fiction, covering a range of topics, including personal memoirs, race relations, social justice issues, and more with this reading list.
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Newly Released Books Amplifiying Black Voices
Soul Food will give you a nourishing feast of stories as varied and diverse as a Sunday brunch. Enjoy the appetizing tales that will warm your heart, delight your mind with joy, and satisfy all your senses.
Editor-Approved Book: Soul Food provides a unique menu of humorous stories from a black perspective, each with its own pinch of heart-warming reality. A good book to read any time: sip some southern tea while you savor the truthfulness and let it uplift your spirit.
Homegirls & Handgrenades
Homegirls & Handgrenades made a historic mark in 1985, winning the American Book Award and being named one of the National Book Critics Circle Prize finalists. This powerful collection continues to be applauded today with its groundbreaking combination of prose, poetic verses, and lyricism – making it just as captivating now as when it first got published.
Editor-Approved Book: One of my favorite books on this list, written by one of my favorite authors, is the re-released book of poems published nearly 40 years ago. You’ll just have to pick this up because black writers like Sonia don’t come around anymore.
Black People Breathe
Released March 14th, Black People Breathe is a book you must purchase expeditiously. Healing from racial trauma is a process that no one should face alone.
This guide offers practical and compassionate insight for Black people (and all POC) striving towards healing, providing unique illustrations, mindful meditations, and breathwork exercises from an expert in the field.
Editor-Approved Book: It’s the first book that made me want to go out and promote this to corporations because one of the most important things I took with me from my last corporate job was not just how toxic the work environment was but how many black women like myself were stuck in the same situation.
This is the book that will change you in every aspect of your very real life.
Ladies, it’s time to embark on a journey of self-discovery that will empower your spiritual and sexual well-being. Let Lyvonne Briggs, the body and sex-positive preacher and author, show you how pleasure can take centerstage instead of shame in this liberating experience!
Editor-Approved Book: Read by yourself or with your best friends; this is one of those books suited for young women and those reasonably comfortable with their bodies and sexual health. Women of color rarely come across a gem like this book.
Black History Month Books Round-Up
Ain’t I an Anthropologist
Thanks to her influential novels, Zora Neale Hurston may be a household name for many African Americans. However, she still needs to be recognized for her groundbreaking work as an anthropologist.
In this thoughtful essay, Jennifer L. Freeman Marshall seeks answers by looking at how critics have responded to both of Hurston’s passions throughout history. She argues that we should celebrate all aspects of her legacy – not just one part or another.
Editor-Approved Book: I have loved Ms. Zora since her debut novel, Jonah’s Gourd Vine. And as someone who studied anthropology at UF, I was enamored by her work in the field but always wondered why her work was never mentioned in any of my courses.
Remember Zora Neale and her extraordinary observations about African-American culture in rural Florida? Connect with an incredible anthropologist by adding this book to your cart.
Black and Queer on Campus
Struggling to find a place to belong, Black and queer students often encounter an unwelcoming environment when they arrive on college campuses.
Michael P. Jeffries gives us an intimate view into what it’s like for these LGBTQ individuals at both predominantly white institutions and historically black colleges – including racism threatening the sense of belonging in many cases among their peers and surroundings.
Editor-Approved Book: Sadly, the American dream may not be all it’s cracked up to be, and this book delves into the lives of those affected by its broken promises. I support the LGBTQIA+ community, and if you are a part of this community, or are looking to understand it better, then I highly recommend Black and Queer on Campus.
Embrace the Power of You
Add this book to your shelf if you’ve ever thought about ways to enhance your time at work. Embrace the Power of You helps you become genuinely seen and heard in your workplace.
Drawing on Timm’s inspiring story of self-acceptance and insights from other top executives, this book provides practical strategies to help everyone discover their unique identity and break free from fear or shame that might be holding them back at work.
Editor-Approved Book: For black Americans in the US, having to code-switch or blend in with our white counterparts is nearly impossible, but the pressure to do so lingers. This is the book I needed before toting my purple hair, gold rings, and cultural pieces became my shameless way of being.
Crossing The Threshold
In this collection, Wright boldly dives into the complexities of racism and prejudice pertaining to her life in a predominantly White world. The poetic words document her quest to understand and find her voice within these challenging circumstances.
Editor-Approved Book: It’s giving main character energy because this book immediately drew me in with her writing offering courageous healing, turning pain into love, and encouraging those who read it to confront their own inequities for greater understanding.
New York Times Bestseller author Nedra Glover Tawwab is back at it with another book fresh off the press tackling unhealthy familial relationships. With her empowering guide, she provides valuable insight into how we can effectively break these cycles for good and continue striving towards an even brighter future.
Editor-Approved Book: With all the praise, this book feels like a shoo-in for Oprah’s Book Club Pick – readers worldwide have been raving about its immense power and impact.
If you’re looking for a pick-me-up, this is a great book. Dr. Altreisha Foster has her readers hanging on every written word in this book as she goes in-depth about how baking became her form of self-care.
Editor-Approved Book: This book is part memoir, part self-help, and I’m here for it. I, too, can resonate with how baking has helped calm the mental chatter of this chaotic world. I’m looking forward to reading it and soaking up all the wisdom. 🍰 🍪
Editor-Approved Book: Another great book that deserves to be in Oprah’s book club. I’ve been following this poet’s journey online since I discovered her spoken word/audio and used it in my group dance piece. For the young readers, who want to take a break from reading a young adult novel, grab this gem today.
The Body Liberation Project
Editor-Approved Book: Chrissy King is challenging us to move beyond body positivity and into a space of true liberation! In her inspiring narrative blend of memoir, motivation, activities, and thought-provoking prompts about social justice, she outlines how we can strive for something more powerful than just acceptance.
It’s time to embrace the revolutionary power that comes with liberating our bodies. It’s one of those great books you’ll have difficulty putting down.
Coming Soon Amazing Book Releases
Editor-Approved Book: For every young woman who needs a physical reminder that the crown you wear should never be taken off, this book is for you.
With CROWNED, CreativeSoul Photography’s Kahran and Regis Bethencourt are revolutionizing how we experience beloved childhood tales. Featuring sumptuous photographs of classic fairy tales, African and African American folklore stories, and original works crafted by them both–fans of their work will be mesmerized.
Release Date: May 23, 2023
Things I Didn’t Do with This Body
Editor-Approved Book: Amanda Gunn’s stirring debut, Things I Didn’t Do With This Body, is a sensory journey written in six parts. Combining poetry of multiple forms – ragged columns brimming with syncopation and internal rhymes, tight formal sonnets, and angular streams-of-consciousness sequences – this collection artfully probes family relationships and history.
It powerfully recounts Harriet Tubman’s legacy using tender yet emotionally charged language to explore what it means to acknowledge the past while investing hope for transformation in the future.
Release Date: May 23, 2023
Black Girls Must Have It All
Editor-Approved Book: I can’t wait to jump into what will become a page-turning novel because who doesn’t love a trilogy set? The author was hooked by the time her second novel because it’s not the love story you often see written for most black woman-targeted audiences.
After an intense year, Tabitha Walker finds her life in disarray. Can she piece the perfect plan back together – a job that fulfills, a partner to adore and love—all while caring for a newborn? This dramatic conclusion of Black Girls Must Die Exhausted will leave you breathless as it follows our heroine on her quest to find true happiness.
Release Date: April 11, 2023
Editor-Approved Book: For the young adults introduced to Toni Morrison, read this book and all the books she authored. Toni Morrison’s literary contributions are worth our admiration, but her commitment to social justice makes her a true hero.
Toni Morrison, a titan of literature when A.J. Verdelle met her, gave the budding writer an inspiring friend and mentor – one who cultivated daring courage through their artistic collaboration by taking risks to highlight Black women’s experiences in writing.
Release Date: May 30, 2023
The Good Ally
Editor-Approved Book: At a time when racial injustice remains pervasive, The Good Ally provides invaluable insight into the roots of racism and anti-Blackness. It is an essential resource to help individuals become better allies in this collective fight against systemic oppression.
Thoughtfully written with healing as its foundation, it’s sure to empower everyone looking for knowledge on how they can make our world a more equitable one.
Release Date: May 2, 2023
Light and Legacies
Editor-Approved Book: There’s just something about a book that candidly explores personal stories and friendships among black women I’m here for.
Lewis’s Light and Legacies dives deep into the often-overlooked realm of Black girlhood in American literature. Taking readers through its rich history, this compelling book presents an engaging exploration of “Black Girl Magic” from the mid-twentieth century to today – examining works by influential women writers such as Toni Morrison and Tani Cade Bambara along the way.
Release Date: April 27, 2023
Minor Notes, Volume 1
Editor-Approved Book: On your way to adding some self-love poetry books to your cart, do yourself a favor and add something you wouldn’t typically buy with this book.
Driven by admiration for long-lost and unrecognized African American poets, Joshua Bennett and Jesse McCarthy decided to create Minor Notes. This initiative excavates the overlooked works of nineteenth and twentieth-century Black writers with a passion that reaches scholars and everyone who enjoys poetry in this tradition.
By rescuing these pieces from obscurity, they hope to ensure their stories will be part of history forever.
Release Date: April 11, 2023
The Negroes Are Congregating
Editor-Approved Book: This book had me at its polarizing title; we can’t wait to get our hands on it. But, for the average young black woman, this book is timely and inspiring.
From a bold and uncensored outlook comes an evocative mix of spoken word, wit, and soulful refrains. Venturing through tender and turbulent moments, this exploration into the Black experience challenges our perceptions of freedom despite systemic racism while delivering thoughtful commentary with humor from church to Twitter – all for constructing new understandings about those who identify as Black.
Release Date: April 25, 2023
In Our Shoes
Editor-Approved Book: In Our Shoes is an eye-opening and necessary memoir that dives into the complex reality of black womanhood in America.
Through personal stories, cultural critique, pop culture references, and more, author Brianna Holt captivatingly reveals how young Black women have been forced to rise above disproportionate stereotypes and preconceived notions just to make it through their daily lives.
Release Date: April 11, 2023
I Take My Coffee Black
Editor-Approved Book: Tyler Merritt brings his deep insight and revolutionary voice to this powerful memoir. As the creator of viral videos “Before You Call the Cops” and “Walking While Black,” he shares stories from his life as a Black man in America with raw truths, humor, poignancy—and empathy for all who are different or face injustice.
His influential message also serves as an inspiring reminder that connection breeds understanding, something we can use more than ever today!
Release Date: April 4, 2023
Willow Weep for Me
Editor-Approved Book: Nana-Ama Danquah’s powerful memoir shines a bright light on depression in the African American community. Through her raw and affecting personal journey, we understand the devastating effects of silence surrounding mental health issues.
By building new relationships with other Black women facing similar struggles, she discovers the strength within herself that allows healing from painful childhood traumas buried deep beneath despair. In doing so, this book reveals an empowering message about belonging, which is profoundly inspiring and essential reading for everyone seeking resilience amidst adversity today.
Release Date: April 18, 2023
Check out more of the book rounds for BIPOC women:
Hurry and Go Pick Up These Fiction Books by BIPOC Authors
10 Books About Body Image and Self-Esteem BIPOC Women Need