In celebration of Black History Month, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History compiled a list of 54 must-read African American books. The book list is divided into three categories: adult fiction, nonfiction, and children & young adult African American literature. You can scroll down to see The Wright’s recommended reading list.
My Personal Goal to Read More African American Books
Last December, I made it a personal goal to read more African American literature for the year 2020. So far, I have read books by the following Black writers:
- Conversations with James Baldwin
- Gather Together in My Name by Maya Angelou (the second book in the late Angelou’s seven-book autobiography series)
- Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Zora Neale Hurston
- Negorland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson (currently reading)
- To Be a Slave by Julius Lester (currently reading)
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (currently reading)
I decided to make reading more books written by Black writers my personal goal because I want to learn more about the history of my culture and become well-versed in Black literature, social justice, and racial justice issues concerning the African American community.
I’m actually more familiar with classic Black writers than I am new writers. This is another reason why I made it a personal goal to read more African American books. I would like to read more books by new (to me) Black writers like Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give) and Kiley Reid (Such a Fun Age; Reid’s book is on my wish list).
A Few of My Favorite Black Writers
- Maya Angelou
- James Baldwin
- Ernest Gaines
- Alice Walker
- Zora Neale Hurston
- Langston Hughes
- Richard Wright
- Toni Morrison
- Yaa Gyasi
Even though Black History Month is coming to a close, we should all take the time to read African American literature, whether fiction or nonfiction works, throughout the year!
54 Must-Read African American Books Recommended by The Wright
Check out below The Wright’s recommended African American books for you to read! Each list features classic and contemporary Black writers from various genres. You can find the recommended books at your local bookstore, online retailer, or local library.
Featured book list images are courtesy of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Click here to learn more about the museum. Feature image courtesy of msnbc.com.