Celebrate Black History Month with these must-read books

Former President Barack Obama’s ‘A Promised Land’ headlines list

Former first lady Michelle Obama, at left, discusses her book "Becoming" with Sarah Jessica Parker at the Barclays Center on Dec. 19, 2018 in New York City (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images).
Former first lady Michelle Obama, at left, discusses her book "Becoming" with Sarah Jessica Parker at the Barclays Center on Dec. 19, 2018 in New York City (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images). (Getty Images)

Yes, we do assume that, by now, you’ve all heard the rave reviews for former President Barack Obama’s memoir, “A Promised Land.”

Not to mention, the praise for former first lady Michelle Obama’s book, “Becoming,” which debuted in 2018.

But beyond these best-sellers, what else should we be reading?

We found two lists online with some stellar-looking recommendations. From the website Black Enterprise, this is called “12 must-read books by Black authors.” And then the list “25 Must Read Books For Black History Month” looks like it has some incredible reads, as well.

Let’s get to it, shall we? Some titles to add to your library list, Kindle or Amazon cart include the following ...


  • “Freedom Is a Constant Struggle” by Angela Y. Davis
  • “Zami: A New Spelling of My Name” by Audre Lorde
  • “Under the Udala Trees” by Chinelo Okparanta
  • “Sing, Unburied, Sing” by Jesmyn Ward
  • “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” by Mildred D. Taylor
  • “Just As I Am” by Cicely Tyson
  • “Redefining Realness” by Janet Mock
  • “Little & Lion” by Brandy Colbert
  • “Freshwater,” by Akwaeke Emezi
  • “How Not To Get Shot: And Other Advice From White People,” by D.L. Hughley
  • “The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me” by Keah Brown
  • “I Can’t Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race and Other Reasons I’ve Put My Faith in Beyonce,” by Michael Arceneaux
  • “Breath Eyes Memory” by Edwidge Danticat
  • “Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture,” by Roxane Gay
  • “Poet X,” by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • “Rise and Grind,” by Daymond John
  • “How We Fight for Our Lives” by Saeed Jones
  • “Secrets We Kept: Three Women of Trinidad,” by Krystal Sital
  • “The Black Jacobins” by C.L.R. James
  • “But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women’s Studies” by Akasha Hull, Patricia Bell-Scott, and Barbara Smith
  • “Shook One,” by Charlamagne Tha God
  • “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander
  • “The Wedding Date,” by Jasmine Guillory
  • “Lot: Stories” by Bryan Washington
  • “This Mournable Body,” by Tsitsi Dangarembga
  • “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi
  • “Assata: An Autobiography” by Assata Shakur
  • “Sula” by Toni Morrison
  • “Brown Girl in the Ring” by Nalo Hopkinson
  • “The Fire Next Time” by James Baldwin
  • “Brown Girl Brownstones” by Paule Marshall
  • “When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir,” by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele
  • “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou
  • “The Mothers” by Brit Bennett
  • “Black Skin, White Masks” by Frantz Fanon
  • “I’m Telling the Truth but I’m Lying” by Bassey Ikpi
  • “The Red Record Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes of Lynching in the United States” by Ida B. Well-Barnett

What are you reading? Leave your book recommendations in the comment section below.

Author’s note: Although “Americanah” came out in 2014, so I’m late to the party, the novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a real page-turner. I finished semi-recently, and couldn’t recommend it enough.


About the Author:

Michelle is the Managing Editor of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which writes for all of the company's news websites.