11 Books by Black Female Authors to Read During Black History Month
Everything from memoirs to beach reads.
This year I’ve made extra effort to read more and I'm making a conscious effort to expand my reading list to include more diverse voices. With Black History Month approaching, there's no better time to commit to adding Black authors to your reading list—but keep in mind it's not something that should be limited to the month of February. Whether you’re looking for a moving memoir or a thought-provoking beach read, this list can help you find your next book.
These are some of my favorite books from strong Black female authors and a few I've recently added to my "to read" list. Order a few from your local book store or reserve them at your local library this week. All of these picks can be ordered online and shipped directly to your home, but we highly recommend buying from your local Black-owned bookstores.
'Such a Fun Age' by Kiley Reid
When a white social media influencer asks her Black nanny to take her toddler to the local market, chaos ensues when the nanny is accused of kidnapping the little child. What happens next in this New York Times bestseller is a powerful explanation of race and privilege in modern America.
'An American Marriage' by Tayari Jones
Celestial and Roy are happily married newlyweds, until Roy is arrested and sentenced for a crime he didn’t commit. As she comes to terms with what has happened, Celestial turns to Andre, her childhood friend (and best man at their wedding). When Roy is suddenly released after serving 5 years in prison, will Celestial still be waiting for him? This moving pick from Oprah’s Book Club is the winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction and the winner of the 2019 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work.
'Ordinary Light' by Tracy K. Smith
'Becoming' by Michelle Obama
Former First Lady Michelle Obama paints a vivid picture of life on the South side of Chicago and details her journey to the White House in a moving and impactful way. When you’re done reading this instant bestseller, stream the new Netflix documentary by the same name.
'The Proposal' by Jasmine Guillory
When Nikole walks into a Dodgers game with her relatively new boyfriend, the very last thing she expects is for him to propose. The next-to-last thing she expects is to fall for the stranger who saves her from the awkward public spectacle, but that’s exactly what happens in this classic summer romance. This is the second book in a series of novels featuring intertwined friend groups by the best-selling author.
'Hidden Figures' by Margot Lee Shetterly
'Year of Yes' by Shonda Rhimes
If you turn on the TV on Thursday nights, chances are you’ll see one of Shonda Rhimes’ shows. The creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder doesn’t shy away from social issues on her shows, and her book is a refreshingly frank and honest account of the struggles and triumphs she’s encountered as a Black female creative.
'The Hate U Give' by Angie Thomas
In this award-winning novel, sixteen-year-old Starr Carter watches as her best friend Khalil is shot and killed by a police officer. When the incident makes national headlines, Starr must speak up to fight for what is right. This powerful book will make you think critically about the current racial inequality in America.
'The Sun Is Also a Star' by Nicola Yoon
'The Girl with the Louding Voice' by Abi Dare
This New York Times bestseller tells the story of Adunni, a fourteen-year-old Nigerian girl who is determined to get an education, whatever the cost. When she is sold to a local man who buys her as his wife, she runs away to find a better life, but can't escape the knowledge that what happened to her was not an isolated incident. Adunni decides to use her "loudening voice" to tell her story in an attempt to make a powerful change.
'I Almost Forgot About You' by Terry McMillan
When Georgia Young quits her job as an optometrist, her family and friends think she’s crazy to leave her successful career. But what Georgia finds on her journey toward happiness is far better than the life she left behind. If you're looking for an inspiring and uplifting story about making the most of your life, pick up a copy of this book.