By IYWP Intern Kelsey Borbeck
February is the month in which we celebrate Black History and elevate the prominent Black voices of our generation! It’s important to have conversations about the history of Black Americans and the inequalities and injustices that they still face today. While February is a special time to educate yourself and your peers, it’s crucial that these conversations continue beyond one month out of the year, as racism happens every day. One way that you can begin to educate yourself is through reading books written by Black authors! There are so many insightful and amazing books written by Black people that don’t reach the same platform or audience as their white counterparts. And for this month, we wanted to recommend our favorite books written by Black authors!
For a more in depth explanation as to why everyone should be reading books written by Black authors, Jasmine Guillory wrote this article about what supporting Black authors means to her and how it even improves her writing.
Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson
Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid
Ordinary Light: A Memoir by Tracy K. Smith
A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxanne Gay
All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay
Sula by Toni Morrison
Ayiti by Roxanne Gay
The Cutting Season by Attica Locke
Leaving Atlanta by Tayari Jones
A Visitation of Spirits by Randall Kenan
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
Lullaby (For a Black Mother) by Langston Hughes
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe
For more amazing literary recommendations, Oprah Winfrey compiles a list of her favorite books every year. You can click here to find her recommendations for her favorite Black authors of 2020!
I would like to thank all of the IYWP interns who contributed to this list of amazing books and authors!