As we commemorate Black History Month, it is only appropriate to celebrate and support black authors as well. Both those who are up-and-coming, as well those who have paved the way for future generations to share their voice and stories as well. Stories about prejudice, racism, police brutality, inequality, love, history and breaking barriers. Although it was hard to condense the list to only 10, here are some amazing books by black authors you should add to your reading list.
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Natasha, an undocumented immigrant set to be deported back to Jamaica alongside her family, randomly meets Daniel. Whiting the course of a day, two teenagers who don’t have much in common fall in love. Though it sounds clique, it’s a surprisingly touching story about love, fate, and struggles.
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
This is an incredible, true story about black female mathematicians who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes, and overcame gender and racial biases to succeed in their challenging field. This is not only an inspiring story but also a part of history that often goes untold.
American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson
Marie Mitchell, an African American intelligence officer with the FBI, feels her career has stalled and is often overlooked an under-appreciated at her male-dominated field, sounds familiar?
That is until she’s given an opportunity to join a task force aimed to undermine a communist president, in the name of American intervention. Inspired by true events, this spy thriller tells a compelling story worth reading.
American Street by Ibi Zoboi
Fabiola Toussaint, a young girl from Haiti, was convinced she would finally live a good life once she immigrated to the United States. Her hopes are shattered as her mom is detained by U.S immigration upon their arrival and she is left alone to navigate a new city, a new culture and a new love interest, all in her own. Author Ibi Zoboi draws inspiration from her own experiences as a young Haitian immigrant, and the challenges of adapting to a new culture, while trying to hold on to your own.
I Can’t Date Jesus by Michael Arceneaux
This is a collection of soul-searching essays about what is like to grow up as a queer black man in a world that constantly tries to deny and suppress your identity. This is a thought provoking look inside an unrepresented and marginalized community.
Loving Her by Ann Allen Shockley
This is the first book with an African American lesbian protagonist, which was quite groundbreaking when it first came out in 1974. An incredible yet heartbreaking love story, that addresses racism, homophobia, and prejudice, a story that is still relevant today, 45 years later.
Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles
This is the story of Marvin, a young man searching for answers after the death of his twin brother Tyler, who was shot and killed by a police officer. This is a very emotionally charged and culturally relevant story, that touches on what is like to grow up black in America.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Sixteen-Yearn-Old Starr Carter’s world turns upside down, after the witnessing her best friend be shot and killed (yet again). This is another culturally relevant story that touches on police brutality and how quickly young black youths are stereotyped. Although heartbreaking, this is an important story and a more personal look inside a recurring tragedy.
I Am Enough by Grace Byers
Described as a book that everyone needs, I Am Enough is a very special story for the younger readers. Easily relatable while also transitioning into important conversations. Positive affirmations, self-acceptance, inclusion, and diversity, all in one inspiring book.