Updated: Dec 21, 2020
Books that Need to be on Your TBR:
Over the past few weeks, we’ve all looked at our bookshelves and were shocked to see a lack of diverse voices. Racism is so deeply ingrained in our society, it presents in both obvious and subtle ways.
The best methods to combat this are education and action. We have compiled a list of fiction and non-fiction books by black authors, which feature stories about African-Americans. This is the time to amplify their voices!
Try reading some of the books below, recommending them to your friends, and/or writing reviews on Amazon/Goodreads. By empowering black voices, we can support black authors, artists, and creators, and spread awareness of the issue of systemic oppression in America.
Here we’ve listed some books with short blurbs from their summaries. We hope to get through as many of these as we can, and we’ll be adding reviews for them as we go!
Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America edited by Ibi Zoboi
Black Enough is an essential collection of captivating stories about what it’s like to be young and Black in America.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi's National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited.
How we Fight for our Lives by Saeed Jones
Haunted and haunting, How We Fight for Our Lives is a stunning coming-of-age memoir. Jones tells the story of a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears.
So you Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo
In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to "model minorities" in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.
Good Talk by Mira Jacob
Mira Jacob's touching, often humorous, and utterly unique graphic memoir takes readers on her journey as a first-generation American. At an increasingly fraught time for immigrants and their families, Good Talk delves into the difficult conversations about race, sex, love, and family that seem to be unavoidable these days.
The Fire This Time by Jesmyn Ward
The Fire This Time is divided into three parts that shine a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestle with our current predicament, and envision a better future. Of the eighteen pieces, ten were written specifically for this volume.
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin Diangelo
The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.
Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
In this powerful and provocative memoir, genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon explores what the weight of a lifetime of secrets, lies, and deception does to a black body, a black family, and a nation teetering on the brink of moral collapse.
Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Copper
Far too often, Black women’s anger has been caricatured into an ugly and destructive force that threatens the civility and social fabric of American democracy. But Cooper shows us that there is more to the story than that. Black women’s eloquent rage is what makes Serena Williams such a powerful tennis player. It’s what makes Beyoncé’s girl power anthems resonate so hard. It’s what makes Michelle Obama an icon.
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
In this rousing and deeply empathetic book, Ibram X. Kendi, founding director of the Antiracism Research and Policy Center, shows that when it comes to racism, neutrality is not an option: until we become part of the solution, we can only be part of the problem.
How many of these books have you read? What are your favorite non-fiction books by black authors? Let us know in the comments!!