5 Books You Need to Read By Black Women

Ah February, the middle of winter, edging towards the cusp of Spring, but more importantly, February brings us Black History Month. So why not curl up with one of these fabulous reads, all written by bada** black women!

1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

 

 

The Hate U Give is an extremely relevant read with heavy influence from the Black Lives Matter Movement. The novel follows sixteen year old Starr Carter who finds herself drawn to activism after she witnesses her childhood best friend being shot by the police, while unarmed. It's also slated to be an upcoming movie starring Amandla Stenberg, who starred in Everything, Everything, another young adult book to film adaptation with a black female lead.

 

2. Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay

 

 

If you haven't dipped into the genius that is Roxanne Gay, now is the time to do it. Bad Feminist is a riveting read that features Gay’s thoughts on everything from labels associated with feminism and the “Blurred Lines” of consent in Robin Thicke’s controversial video, to Django Unchained. A must read for everyone who identifies as a feminist.

 

3. The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

 

 

This is definitely a must read for the nerds and misfits. In this hilarious collection of essays, Issa Rae discusses her upbringing as an awkward black girl in a world where black people are often portrayed as “cool” and “hip”. Her essays analyze the intersections and differences between reality and racial stereotypes, and elaborate on how different every individual’s experiences are.

 

4. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

 

 

It's a classic for a reason. The Bluest Eye tells the story of Pecola, a girl who deals with self esteem issues as a result of being called “ugly”, due to her dark skin. Toni Morrison provides a compelling dialogue that encourages us to tear down the Western standards of beauty, and detailed insight to what many women of colour still face today. It also won the Nobel Prize for Literature, but nbd.

 

5. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

 

 

This list would not be complete without a work from Maya Angelou. In her autobiography, Angelou talks about her early childhood, how she overcame racism and trauma, and dealt with being a mother at sixteen. It's lyrical, moving, and it emphasizes the importance of standing up to bigotry and hate, even if it's internalized.