Black-American books and literature are rich in history, context, life lessons, sexual distinction, humility, and presentation of racism. If you want to understand Black and American history and its relationship, there is always a book where you can pick learnings written by African-American authors.
If you want to learn life lessons and struggles, books written by African-American authors are always good reads.
Go Tell It On The Mountain – James Baldwin
James Baldwin’s Go Tell It On The Mountain (1953), a semi-autobiographical novel, was ranked 39th in the Modern List’s 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. The story centered on the hardship of its main character John Grimes -a very intelligent fourteen years old boy, the lives of his parents, aunt, and his slave grandmother. The novel is also a good read for contemplating because words from the Bible are constant in the characters’ lives.
Annie Allen – Gwendolyn Brooks
Gwendolyn Brooks, at the age of 23, became the first African-American author to win the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her African-American book Annie Allen, written in 1949. The book focuses on the life and experiences of a young Black girl named Annie, starting from her childhood up to her womanhood.
Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches – Audre Lorde
Sister Outsider is a book written by Audrey Lorde and was originally published in 1984. It contains an anthology of 15 essays and speeches about feminism, sexism, homophobia, social differences, and love. Lorde was a self-proclaimed black, lesbian, mother, warrior, and poet.
Beloved – Toni Morrison
Beloved, an African-American book written by Toni Morrison, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1987. The book centered on the life of a character named Sethe, who before becoming a free woman, attempted to kill her children to save them from enslavement. Her children survived except Beloved. Follow how she survives her life and combats her trauma.
The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas follows the life of a 16-year-old African American girl named Starr Carter who witnessed the police-involved shooting incident of her best friend. The book is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, a campaign against violence and racism towards black people.
Don’t Call Us Dead – Danez Smith
Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith is composed of a series of poems that illustrate the afterlife of black men. Black men are described as free men in the afterlife as opposed to the heartbreaking violence they suffered while they lived. The book contains many poignant words and proses that create deep emotion and sympathy for the sufferings black men experience.
Kindred – Octavia Butler
Kindred by Octavia Butler is a novel centering on black female protagonists and a young writer named Dana who unexpectedly transported to the 19th century antebellum South where she experienced a different era and slavery. To make her husband believe that she went back in time, she transported with him, but their life went complicated since interracial marriage was considered illegal in America until 1967.