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Celebrating Black History: Literature Written by Black Authors

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

As Black History Month comes to an end, let us not forget the importance of continuing the celebration of Black arts, creations, history, and lives. We can collectively agree that Black History should not be erased once the 28 days (29 on leap years) of February are over. As a mixed black woman, I love to celebrate my culture and history with my favorite past time: reading. In order to share the celebration and education, I have created a short list of books written by black authors and influencers that I highly recommend reading.

Note: Some books may contain graphic content and deal with heavy topics such as racism, sexism, violence etc.

A Most Beautiful Thing: The True Story of America's All-Black Rowing Team - Arshay Cooper

"The moving true story of a group of young men growing up on Chicago's West side who form the first all-Black high school rowing team in the nation, and in doing so not only transform a sport, but their lives." - Macmillan Publishers

I would suggest this amazing story to anyone and everyone, whether you enjoy sports or not. This book deals with the difficulty of growing up in a neighborhood where safety for Black youth was not guaranteed nor was the option to stay out of a gang. This story highlights the ability of high school boys to put aside their major differences in order to participate in a sport that was marked as a "rich, white" sport to form the bonds of brotherhood and make history.

Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston

"Fair and long-legged, independent and articulate, Janie Crawford sets out to be her own person -- no mean feat for a black woman in the '30s. Janie's quest for identity takes her through three marriages and into a journey back to her roots." - Goodreads

If you are someone who enjoys classics, this book is a perfect read for you. Zora Neale Hurston was a prominent writer in the early 1900s. Her works portray the racial struggles of African Americans in the South. This book is about a woman finding her identity by the events she experiences throughout her life. This book was not accepted immediately at the time of publishing, but was reissued 30 years after its release and has become a highly acclaimed book in the years that followed.

We Should All Be Feminists - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

"Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often-masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists." - Chimamanda.com

Ngozi Adichie offers a perspective of feminism from a black woman by her own experiences and thoughts. If you are passionate about a more inclusive feminism, this is the book to read. I found it to be enlightening and educating, and I would suggest this to anyone who is trying to grasp the concept of feminism in today's world.

Niyah Dedman

Northern Arizona '24

I am a sophomore and an English major at Northern Arizona University with a Creative Writing emphasis and Journalism minor. My favorite activities around town are hiking, hammocking, and spending too much money on iced coffee.
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