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Black History Month Reading List


As the debate surrounding Critical Race Theory and public school curriculum captivates school boards and state legislatures nationwide, the fact remains that the contribution of unapologetically Black authors to public discourse has shaped our collective consciousness for the better. To honor this legacy of scholarly activism my intern Adrienne and I have compiled the following list of our personal faves for your reading pleasure:


Fiction

  • Kindred - Octavia Butler

  • The Water Dancer - Tanehisi Coates

  • Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston

  • Beloved - Toni Morrison

  • Sula - Toni Morrison

  • Fortunate Son - Walter Mosley

  • The Coldest Winter Ever - Sister Souljah

  • Midnight - Sister Souljah

Nonfiction


Memoirs

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Dr. Maya Angelou

  • A Piece of Cake: A Memoir - Cupcake Brown

  • The Truths We Hold - Kamala Harris

  • Becoming - Michelle Obama

  • Assata: An Autobiography - Assata Shakur

  • Will - Will Smith

  • Just As I Am - Cicely Tyson

  • Black Boy - Richard Wright

Historical/Social/Political

  • Lead from the Outside - Stacey Abrams

  • Our Time is Now - Stacey Abrams

  • The New Jim Crow - Michelle Alexander

  • The Fire Next Time - James Baldwin

  • Chokehold: Policing Black Men - Paul Butler

  • Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements - Edited by George Breitman

  • Between the World and Me - Tanehisi Coates

  • Women, Race and Class - Angela Y. Davis

  • Are Prisons Obsolete? - Angela Y. Davis

  • Democracy in Black - Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

  • All About Love - bell hooks (Note: Ms. hooks insisted on her name being written in lowercase font throughout her career so as not to center herself, but rather the content of her many literary works.)

  • Killing Rage: Ending Racism - bell hooks

  • Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • The Audacity of Hope - President Barack Obama

  • Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes and Black Women in America - Melissa V. Harris Perry

  • How We Get Free, Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective - Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

  • The Warmth of Other Suns - Isabel Wilkerson

  • The Miseducation of the Negro - Carter G. Woodson (Note: Carter G. Woodson initiated the first celebration of Negro History Week in 1926; eventually the practice expanded to what we know today as Black History Month.)

See anything missing that my readers should add to their personal library? Leave a comment below with your suggestions.


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