16 Books by Black Authors to Add to Your Reading List

16 Books by Black Authors to Add to Your Reading List | Organized Mess

I've always been an avid reader. I love sharing what I've read, whether it's a round up of my favorite books during a particular year or what book to bring to the beach. I have a long list of books to be read and I'm always adding to it. I'm committing to reading more books by diverse authors and I thought I would share a few of the books I'm looking forward to reading. Below are a handful of the books on my to-read list by black authors from fiction books such as Americanah, which I'm currently reading, to self-help and wellness to memoirs such as Michelle Obama's book, Becoming, and to books on actively being antiracist. As political activist Angela Davis said, "In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be antiracist." Here's to continuing to learn, listen and read even after the protests are over and activism stops being a trend on Instagram. 

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - The story of a young Nigerian woman who moves to the United States for university, leaving behind not only her friends and family in Nigeria but her high school love as well. 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - A novel about a teenage girl who witnesses her black friend murdered by the police who then grapples with racism, police brutality and eventually activism. 

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward - Taking place in a rural southern town, this is the story of the dynamics between an interracial family. 

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid - A story centered around race and privilege based on the story of a young black babysitter and her employer. 

My Body is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor - Focusing on why radical self love with help deep wounds created by society, Taylor inspires the reader to reject the systems that create body shame and oppression against all bodies. 

More Than Enough by Elaine Welteroth - Welteroth has been shattering glass ceilings in the media and fashion industry for years. Now she shares how she got there and the lessons she's learned along the way. 

Every Body Yoga by Jessamyn Stanley - A book that breaks stereotypes and focuses on why yoga isn't about the way you look, but the way you feel instead. 

Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper - A book that reminds us that anger is sometimes the energy you need to keep fighting. This book has a major focus on feminism, friendship and why it's important to trust yourself to turn things around. 

This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins - Jerkins explores what it means to live and exist as a black woman in today's world while tackling tough subjects. 

Becoming by Michelle Obama - In her book, Michelle Obama invites the readers into her life and shares deeply personal experiences that have shaped her into the woman she is today. 

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou - Angelou's first autobiography that focuses on the early years if her life. I've actually read this one before back in high school but it's one I'm hoping to re-read soon. 

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson - A book by a lawyer who at a young age founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need including those who are wrongly condemned. This book details that initiative as well as one of his first cases, a young man who was sentenced to die for a murder he insisted he didn’t do.

How To Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi - A book that focuses on reshaping the conversation about racial justice in America and imagining what an antiracist society could look like and discussing how we get there. 

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander - The New Jim Crow walks the reader through an historical analysis of the ways that the correctional system in America is inherently racist.  

So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo - Oluo talks to the reader about how to have difficult conversations surrounding race. 

Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi - A book that is focused on the here and now. The book explores racism and antiracism in the US and helps us understand the why on where we currently are.