Celebrate Black History Month by reading about the varied creative expressions of the black experience.
Americanah / by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieA young woman from Nigeria leaves behind her home and her first love to start a new life in America, only to find her dreams are not all she expected.
The New Jim Crow / by Michelle Alexander
Argues that the War on Drugs and policies that deny convicted felons equal access to employment, housing, education, and public benefits create a permanent under caste based largely on race.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings / by Maya Angelou
A black woman recalls the anguish of her childhood in Arkansas and her adolescence in northern slums.
The Fire Next Time / by James Baldwin
The powerful evocation of a childhood in Harlem that helped to galvanize the early days of the civil rights movement examines the deep consequences of racial injustice to both the individual and the body politic.
The Vanishing Half / by Britt Bennett
Separated by their embrace of different racial identities, two mixed-race identical twins reevaluate their choices as one raises a black daughter in their southern hometown while the other passes for white with a husband who is unaware of her heritage.
Between the World and Me / by Ta-Nehisi CoatesTold through the author’s own evolving understanding of the subject over the course of his life comes a bold and personal investigation into America’s racial history and its contemporaryechoes.
The Invisible Man / by Ralph Ellison
A Black man’s search for success and the American dream leads him out of college to Harlem and a growing sense of personal rejection and social invisibility.
Homegoing / by Yaa Gyassi
Two half-sisters, unknown to each other, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana and experience profoundly different lives and legacies throughout subsequent generations.
Sula / by Toni MorrisonThe intense friendship shared by two African American women raised in an Ohio town changes when one of them leaves to roam the countryside and returns ten years later.
How We Fight for Our Lives / by Saeed JonesThe co-host of BuzzFeed’s AM to DM, award-winning poet and author of Prelude to Bruise documents his coming-of-age as a young, gay, black man in an American South at a crossroads of sex, race and power.
An American Marriage / by Tayari Jones
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy, the living embodiment of the New South, are settling into the routine of their life together when Roy is sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. An insightful look into the lives of people who are bound and separated by forces beyond their control.
Such a Fun Age / by Kiley ReidSeeking justice for a young black babysitter who was wrongly accused of kidnapping by a racist security guard, a successful blogger finds her efforts complicated by a video that reveals unexpected connections.
The Color Purple / by Alice Walker
The story of the lives of two sisters–Nettie, a missionary in Africa, and Celie, a southern woman married to a man she hates–are revealed in a series of letters exchanged over thirty years
Sing Unburied Sing / by Jesmyn Ward
Living with his grandparents and sister on a Gulf Coast farm, Jojo navigates the challenges of his mother’s addictions and his grandmother’s cancer before the release of his father from prison prompts a road trip of danger and hope.
Lot: Stories / by Brian Washington
Coming of age in his family’s Houston restaurant, a mixed-heritage teen navigates bullying, his newly discovered sexual orientation and the ripple effects of a disadvantaged community impacted by an affair, a youth baseball season and displaced hurricane survivors.
The Underground Railroad / by Colson WhiteheadAfter Cora, a slave in pre-Civil War Georgia, escapes with another slave, Caesar, they seek the help of the Underground Railroad as they flee from state to state and try to evade a slave catcher, Ridgeway, who is determined to return them to the South.
The Warmth of Other Suns / by Isabel WilkersonAn epic history covering the period from the end of World War I through the 1970s chronicles the decades-long migration of African Americans from the South to the North and West through the stories of three individuals and their families.