~ Black History Book List ~

By choosing new books by diverse voices we’ve discovered a richer world, and hope to share that richness with you. 

The aftermath of the alarming events of 2020 caused considerable pain. For many people, it created a long overdue desire to better understand the causes of systemic racism and to learn to act proactively against it. Most of us would not self-identify as racists, but is that enough? How do we become antiracist, for that is the new goal? As with many things, we believe that one of the best places to start is with a book. There are countless books that detail the Black experience, help us better understand and navigate racism, and help us learn the best way to show an anti-racist allyship. Not every book on this list is a call to action. Some are simply great reads.

Here are a few to get you started...

Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women's Fight for Their Rights, by Mikki Kendall, A. D'Amico (Illustrator)

Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones

An African American and Latinx History of the United States, by Paul Ortiz

Aftershocks: A Memoir, by Nadia Owusu

Becoming, by Michelle Obama

Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Black Leopard, Red Wolf, by Marlon James

A Black Women's History of the United States, by Daina Ramey Berry & Kali Nicole Gross

The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, by Trevor Noah

Brief History of Seven Killings, by Marlon James

Bride of the Sea, by Eman Quotah

A Burning, by Megha Majumdar

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West, by Dee Brown

Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine

The City We Became, by N.K. Jemisin

A Colony in a Nation, by Chris Hayes

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, by Richard Rothstein

Crosshairs, by Catherine Hernandez

The Death of Vivek Oji, by Akwaeke Emezi

Dreams From My Father, by Barack Obama

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower, by Dr. Brittney Cooper

The End of Policing, by Alex S Vitale

Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin

The Fire This Time, by Jesmyn Ward

Girl With the Louding Voice, by Abi Dare'

Grace, by Natashia Deon

Heart Berries: A Memoir, by Terese Marie Mailhot

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot, by Mikki Kendall

Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi

How Long Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin

How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi

How to Be Less Stupid about Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide, by Crystal Marie Fleming

How To Kill A City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood, by PE Moskowitz

How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir, by Saeed Jones

How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community, by Mia Birdsong

I Am Not Your Negro, by James Baldwin and Raoul Peck

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou

If Beale Street Could Talk, by James Baldwin

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man's Education, by Mychal Denzel Smith

Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color, Andrea Ritchie, Angela Y. Davis (Foreward by)

It is Wood, It is Stone, by Gabriella Burnham

Juneteenth, by Ralph Ellison, Charles Johnson (Preface by)

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson

Just Us: An American Conversation, by Claudia Rankine

Lakewood, by Megan Giddings

Light for the World to See, by Kwame Alexander

Long Time Coming: Reckoning With Race in America, by Michael Eric Dyson

Luster, by Raven Leilani

The Making of Asian America: A History, by Erika Lee

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor, by Layla Saad, Robin Diangelo (Foreword by)

Mediocre, by Ijeoma Oluo

Milk, Blood, Heat, by Dantiel W. Moniz

Middle Passage, by Charles Johnson

Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America, by Nefertiti Austin

The Mothers, by Brit Bennett

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander 

The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke, by Jeffrey C. Steward

The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead

Officer Clemmons, by Francois Clemmons

One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy, by Carol Anderson, Dick Durbin (Foreword by)

The Portable Frederick Douglass, edited by John Stauffer and Louis Gates, Jr.

A Promised Land, by Barack Obama

Red at the Bone, by Jacqueline Woodson

Ring Shout, by P. Djeli Clark

Rise Up: Confronting a Country at the Crossroads, by Rev. Al Sharpton

Sing, Unburied Sing, by Jesmyn Ward

So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo

Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison

The Souls of Black Folk, by W.E.B. Du Bois, Ibram X. Kendi (Introduction)

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning, by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi

Stolen Justice: The Struggle for African American Voting Rights, by Lawrence Goldstone 

Such a Fun Age, by Kiley Reid

Take a HInt, Dani Brown, by Talia Hibbert

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race, by Jesmyn Ward

Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America, by Michael Eric Dyson

Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston

There, There, by Tommy Orange

Things that Make White People Uncomfortable, by Michael Bennett, with Dave Zirwin

Think Black, by Clyde Ford

Trancendent Kingdom, by Yaa Gyasi

Trouble the Saints, by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements, by Charlene Carruthers

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, by Emmanuel Acho

The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

The Undocumented Americans, by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All, by Martha S. Jones

The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett

The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson

Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan

The Water Dancer, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

We Are Called to Be a Movement, by Rev. Dr. William Barber II

We Gon' Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation, by Jeff Chang

We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom, by Bettina Love

We Were Eight Years in Power, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

When No One is Watching, by Alyssa Cole

White Feminism, by Koa Beck

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin DiAngelo, Michael Eric Dyson (Foreword by)

White Tears, Brown Scars: How Feminism Betrays Women of Color, by Ruby Hamad

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, by Nancy Isenberg

Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?: Police Violence and Resistance in the United States, by Alicia Garza (Foreword by), Maya Schenwar (Editor), Joe Macare' (Editor)

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race, by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Why We Can't Wait, by Martin Luther King Jr. 

The World Doesn't Require You: Stories, by Rion Amilcar Scott

 

Children's and YA Book List:

All American Boys, by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely

Anger Is a Gift, by Mark Oshiro

Antiracist Baby, by Ibram X Kendi and Ashley Lukashevsky

Before the Ever After, by Jacqueline Woodson

Black Is a Rainbow Color, by Ekua Holmes and Angela Joy

Black Brother, Black Brother, by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America, by Ibi Zoboi, Tracey Baptiste, Coe Booth, Dhonielle Clayton, Brandy Colbert, Jay Coles, Lamar Giles, Leah Henderson,  Justina Ireland, Varian Johnson, Kekla Magoon, Tochi Onyebuchi, Jason Reynolds, Nic Stone, Liara Tamani, Renée Watson, Rita Williams-Garcia

Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson

Child of the Dream (a Memoir of 1963), by Sharon Robinson

Concrete Rose, by Angie Thomas

The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander

The Day You Begin, by Jacqueline Woodson

Dear Martin, by Nic Stone

Don't Touch My Hair! by Sharee Miller

The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin

Harbor Me, by Jacqueline Woodson

The Hate You Give, by Angie Thomas

Hearts Unbroken, by Cynthia Leitich Smith

If You Come Softly, by Jacqueline Woodson

Inside Battle, by Melanie Sumrow

Internment, by Samira Ahmed

Intersectionallies: We Make Room for All, by Chelsea Johnson, Latoya Council, & Carolyn Choi

Lifting as We Climb: Black Women's Battle for the Ballot Box, by Evette Dionne

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History, by Vashti Harrison

Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History, by Vashti Harrison and Kwesi Johnson

Love, Hate and Other Filters, by Samira Ahmed

Monster, by Walter Dean Myers

New Kid, by Jerry Craft

Not My Idea: A Book about Whiteness, by Anastasia Higginbotham

On the Come Up, by Angie Thomas

The Only Black Girls in Town, by Brandy Colbert

Pet, by Akwaeke Emezi

Piecing Me Together, by Renée Watson

The Poet X, by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Rose That Grew From Concrete, by Tupac Shakur

Say Her Name, by Zetta Elliott, Loveis Wise (Illustrator)

Solo, by Kwame Alexander

Someday Is Now: Clara Luper and the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-Ins, by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Jade Johnson

Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story about Racial Injustice, by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard

Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim

I'm Not Dying with You Tonight, by Gilly Segal & Kimberly Jones

Take the Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance, by Bethany Morrow and Bethany C. Morrow

This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work, by Tiffany Jewell, Aurelia Durrand (Illustrator)

This Is My America, by Kim Johnson

Unapologetic, by Charlene Carruthers

We Are Not Free, by Traci Chee

We Are Not from Here, by Jenny Torres Sanchez

We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide, by Carol Anderson & Tonya Bolden

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, by Wade Hudson (Editor), Cheryl Willis Hudson (Editor)

What Lane? by Torrey Maldonado

When I Was the Greatest, by Jason Reynolds & Michael Frost

Where Are You From? by Jaime Kim and Yamile Saied Méndez

Woke Baby, by Theodore Taylor & Mahogany L. Browne