7 Books by Black Authors You Need to Read This Month

When you're choosing what book to read next, do you think about the person who wrote it? If you don't, maybe you should. It's important for you, as a reader, to immerse yourself into worlds created by people who see things differently than you do. It could be as simple as choosing an author of a different gender identity.  Or maybe you're straight and choose to read more books by LGBTQ+ authors. If you're like me, though, one of the biggest differences you seek out between yourself and an author is your race. Recently, I've been reading more books––both fiction and nonfiction––written by authors of color. I decided that, for Black History month, I'd share some of my favorites:

1. Becoming - Michelle Obama (nonfiction)

"Becoming is the autobiographical memoir of former United States First Lady Michelle Obama, published in 2018. Described by the author as a deeply personal experience, the book talks about her roots and how she found her voice, as well as her time in the White House, her public health campaign, and her role as a mother."

Photo courtesy of Vibe

2. Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (fiction)

"As teenagers, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love in a Nigeria under military dictatorship. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America, where Obinze hopes to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face?"

3. The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead (fiction) *winner of the Pulitzer Prize 

"The alternate history novel tells the story of Cora and Caesar, two slaves in the southeastern United States during the 19th century, who make a bid for freedom from their Georgia plantations by following the Underground Railroad, which the novel depicts as primarily a rail transport system in addition to a series of safe houses and secret routes."

4. Bad Feminist - Roxane Gay (nonfiction)

"Bad Feminist: Essays is a 2014 collection of essays by cultural critic, novelist and professor Roxane Gay. Bad Feminist explores being a feminist while loving things that could seem at odds with feminist ideology."

Photo courtesy of TED Blog

5. The Wedding Date - Jasmine Gulliory (fiction)

"Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck in an elevator with is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do, but there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist. From the best man's toast to the bouquet toss, Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible. But before they know it, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. Too bad they can't stop thinking about the other." 

*If you like this book, check out The Proposal, also by Jasmine Gulliory! It isn't a sequel,  (although, I've heard that's in the works!) but it does take place in the same universe. You may even see some familiar faces pop up!

6. Year of Yes: How To Dace It Out, Stand In the Sun, and Be Your Own Person - Shonda Rhimes (nonfiction)

"The mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder chronicles how saying YES for one year changed her life―and how it can change yours, too." (For an extra boost, get the Year of Yes Journal, too!) 

Photo courtesy of The Odyssey 

7. Around The Way Girl - Taraji P. Henson (nonfiction)

"From Taraji P. Henson, Academy Award nominee, Golden Globe winner, and star of the award-winning film Hidden Figures, comes an inspiring and funny memoir—'a bona fide hit' (Essence)—about family, friends, the hustle required to make it in Hollywood, and the joy of living your own truth."