In honor of Black History Month this February, I want to focus on my favorite books by black authors. Some of these individuals are very well known, and others are (in my opinion) underrated.
The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
Arguably the most well-known/hyped book on this list, and with good reason. You can see my full review of this book here. But it is worth the hype. It’s superb and thoughtful from start to finish, and an important book in today’s social climate.
literally anything – Octavia Butler
Octavia Butler is unquestionably in my top 10 favorite authors of all time. Her books are masterpieces that stand the test of time, full of commentary, wisdom, imagination, and intelligence. Although you could read any of her books and be satisfied, I highly recommend Kindred – which is about a black woman in the 70’s who time travels to the antebellum south and meets her ancestors there – or Parable of the Sower – a post-apocalyptic tale which will have you in awe and wondering how she was able to predict the future so accurately.
The Fifth Season – N.K. Jemison
Science fiction at it’s finest. I think this author may be the new Octavia Butler. If the amount of awards this book has been nominated for (4) doesn’t convince you, then I don’t know what will. It’s well-crafted and just a quality piece of fiction.
The Sun Is Also A Star – Nicola Yoon
FEELS. I listened to the audiobook of this one, and it was a great experience. The entire story itself takes place in one day, which made it a breeze to get through quickly! And even though I’m really not a fan of the insta-love trope, I have to say I fell for it in this book. The whole thing was an emotional ride!
An Unkindness Of Ghosts – Rivers Solomon
I just finished this book earlier this month for Riley’s new book club (see her channel here), and LOVED it. It was an epic dystopian journey that I was seriously invested in while I read it, full of science, class inequality/racism, political uprising, and corrupt institutions… and SO MUCH REPRESENTATION.
Binti – Nnedi Okorafor
This is a stellar science fiction series comprised of novellas. It’s addictive and binge-worthy. If you read it, you wil definitely be transported and not want to leave. It’s full of emotion and surprising suffering, but also Binti herself is strong and I really felt privileged reading her story.
Pride – Ibi Zoboi
A Pride & Prejudice retelling with black characters… do I even need to say more?
Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
A profound, powerful book. It’s hopeful yet realistic, and definitely grounded me and helped me to step outside of myself. At asserts the violent nature of society towards African-Americans, and doesn’t necessarily offer reassurances. Instead it opens up the discussion around why those outside of the African-American experience don’t really understand that struggle.
again, literally anything – Brandy Colbert
My first Brandy Colbert was Pointe, which I actually only read because it involved ballet (I used to dance). I have since read 2 more books of hers and enjoyed them all very much! Each one is completely different, despite all being contemporary. The second one of hers I read, Little & Lion, was a hard-hitting contemporary featuring mental illness that definitely struck a chord with me. And I also read Finding Yvonne (because Kayla from Booksandlala loves that book and her word is gold) and it was superb. Her best writing in my opinion.
Dear Martin – Nic Stone
Just so important right now. If you liked The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, then this will definitely be up your alley.