Black Writers to Read From This Black History Month

As Black History Month continues and we celebrate the contributions that African Americans have made to U.S. History. If you are looking for books to read by black authors, here is a list of old and new writers, along with some of their most famous pieces of work.

 

Old: 

  • James Baldwin 

    • Known for his eloquence, passion, and distinctive prose, James Baldwin was an important voice to the black community in the 1960s. His novels highlight the black experience in America, highlighting racism, classism, and sexuality. Some books to read by him are; The Fire Next Time, Giovanni’s Room, and (my favorite book of all time) If Beale Street Could Talk, which was adapted into a movie.

  • Toni Morrison

    • With her work still being studied in school, Toni Morrison is an award-winning author and professor. Her stories are known to deeply detail the lives of African American characters through unique themes and plots. Her books are now studied as great pieces of American Literature as her work is described as poetic prose with vivid imagery. If you’re looking to start reading a few of her books, it’s suggested that you start with Beloved, her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. A few of her other notable novels are Song of Solomon, The Bluest Eye, and Sula.

  • Maya Angelou 

    • Another important figure who made great contributions to American Literature is Maya Angelou. Known for her career as a writer, director, and activist, her literary work reflected events from her own life. If you are looking to read uplifting poetry, read On the Pulse of the Morning or And Still I Rise. If you are interested in commentaries on racism and sexual assault, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings or Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie are both good reads.

New

  • Kristina Forest

    • A fairly new author, Kristina Forest writes young adult romance novels that have black teenagers as the main characters. She has only two books out now and is currently writing a third. Her current novels, Now That I’ve Found You and I Wanna Be Where You Are both tell the story of young girls who are embarking on unexpected life-changing journeys. Her next novel Zyla and Kai is expected to release next summer.

  • Justin A. Reynolds 

    • Releasing his first novel in 2019, Justin Reynolds gained much popularity as his book reached a large audience across the world. With a similar writing style to Nicola Yoon and John Green, Reynolds separates himself through his unique additions of imagination. If you’re looking for fiction novels with elements of magic then read his 2 books: Opposite of Always and Early Departures. He also wrote a graphic novel, Miles Morales: Shock Wave, which will be released later this year. 

  • Upile Chisala

    • South African writer Upile Chisala is widely known for her poetry. Her poems each explore ideas of gender, race, and spirituality. Her personality shines through her work as she shares her personal experiences. For any readers looking for poems about self-love and exploration, her books Soft Magic, Nectar, and A Fire Like You each prove to worth the read.