Celebrate Black History Month!

February is Black History Month and we’ve put together this special reading list to celebrate and honor the contributions of Black writers throughout history.

This is by no means intended to be a comprehensive Black History Month reading list, as there are far too many significant books and writers for one list.

Updated January 24, 2024
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Black AF history : the un-whitewashed story of America
Harriot, Michael
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * NAACP IMAGE AWARD NOMINEE * AMAZON'S TOP 20 HISTORY BOOKS OF 2023 * B&N BEST OF EDUCATIONAL HISTORY * THE ROOT'S BEST BOOKS OF 2023 * CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2023 From acclaimed columnist and political commentator Michael Harriot, a searingly...
Twisted : the tangled history of black hair culture
Dabiri, Emma
A Kirkus Best Book of the Year Stamped from the Beginning meets You Can't Touch My Hair in this timely and resonant essay collection from Guardian contributor and prominent BBC race correspondent Emma Dabiri, exploring the ways in which black hair has been appropriated and...
The making of Black lives matter : a brief history of an idea
Lebron, Christopher J.
A condensed and accessible intellectual history that traces the genesis of the ideas that have built into the #BlackLivesMatter movement in a bid to help us make sense of the emotions, demands, and arguments of present-day activists and public thinkers.Started in the wake of George Zimmerman's 2013...
The fire next time
Baldwin, James, 1924-1987.
At once a powerful evocation of his early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice to both the individual and the body politic, James Baldwin galvanized the nation in the early days of the civil rights movement with his eloquent manifesto. The Fire Next...
Passing
Larsen, Nella
Generally regarded as Nella Larsen's best work, Passing was first published in 1929 but has received a lot of renewed attention because of its close examination of racial and sexual ambiguities. It has achieved canonical status in many American universities.
A raisin in the sun
Hansberry, Lorraine, 1930-1965.
Lorraine Hansberry's award-winning drama about the hopes and aspirations of a struggling, working-class family living on the South Side of Chicago connected profoundly with the psyche of black America--and changed American theater forever. The play's title comes from a line in Langston Hughes's poem...
The underground railroad : a novel
Whitehead, Colson
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * PULITZER PRIZE WINNER * NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER * A magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. * Now an original Amazon Prime Video series directed by...
The vanishing half
Bennett, Brit
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2020 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES * THE WASHINGTON POST * NPR * PEOPLE * TIME MAGAZINE* VANITY FAIR * GLAMOUR  ...
An American marriage : a novel
Jones, Tayari
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION LONGLISTED FOR THE 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION "One of my favorite parts of summer is deciding what to read when things slow down just a bit, whether it's on a...
March. Book one
Lewis, John
#1New York TimesBestseller Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon and key figure of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper's farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to...

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