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Books by Black Authors: A List of Reads for all Ages

Cindy Burnett
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Notes from a Young Black Chef

Cindy Burnett’s current read is Notes from a Young Black Chef by Kwame Onwuachi.

This week, I created a list of books for those who are interested in reading more broadly. Because I am active on various social media platforms, I have recently seen many compelling lists containing books by black authors, but I have not found any one place where there is a list of titles for all ages. My list is by no means comprehensive, but I aimed to select a wide variety of books.

A number of the titles listed below are currently sold out, but publishers are working to get them restocked. Contact your local indie bookstore, and they can get them ordered for you.

Adult Nonfiction:

  • Just Mercy by Brian Stevenson
  • Notes from a Young Black Chef by Kwame Onwuachi
  • Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall
  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin 
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
  • We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True by Gabrielle Union 
  • Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?. And Other Conversations about Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama

Adult Fiction:

  • The Mothers by Brit Bennett
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
  • Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson
  • A History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
  • The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory

Young Adult Books:

  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
  • Dear Martin by Nic Stone
  • Odd One Out by Nic Stone
  • The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas 
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
  • The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

Middle Grade Books:

  • Booked by Kwame Alexander 
  • The Crossover by Kwame Alexander 
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
  • Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams
  • How High the Moon by Karyn Parsons
  • New Kid by Jerry Craft

Picture Books:

  • We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices by Wade Hudson (editor)
  • I Am Enough by Grace Byers, illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo
  • Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
  • Imani’s Moon by Janay Brown-Wood, illustrated by Hazel Mitchell
  • Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Eric Velasquez
  • Firebird by Missy Copeland, illustrated by Christopher Myers
  • Grandpa Cacao: A Tale of Chocolate, from Farm to Family by Elizabeth Zunion

Editor’s note: Conversations from a Page is hosting a Curated Book Discussion over Zoom for Just Mercy by Brian Stevenson on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 11 a.m. (cost-$5 or $30 for an annual pass). For more book recommendations and bookish thoughts, see @ThoughtsFromaPage on Instagram, the Continuing the Conversation newsletter or Cindy’s Reading Recs.

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