Books to read in honor of Black History Month

February is Black History month in the United States. If you want to honor or celebrate Black History Month by reading books by Black authors, I have highlighted a few good picks for you. I'm not using amazon links when possible for any of the books because authors get a very small cut when you purchase there.

First let's start with some upcoming books that you can pre-order:

Actress and Oscar winner Viola Davis is releasing her memoir in April.


Tunde, a Texas native of Nigerian descent, is a motivational speaker and a Peloton instructor. She began her career as a professional makeup artist and brand educator. She was named a face of Revlon cosmetics and a Nike Athlete in 2021. SPEAK is an empowering, inspiring book that shows how she transformed grief, setbacks, and flaws into growth, self-confidence, and triumph.  Taking us through each step of the SPEAK acronym—Surrender, Power, Empathy, Authenticity, and Knowledge—Oyeneyin shares the lessons she has learned about loss, love, body image, and how she has successfully created an intentional, joyful life for herself, offering an accessible blueprint for anyone looking to make a positive change in their lives. Releases in May and I've already pre-ordered. If you've enjoyed Brene Brown and Glennon Doyle books this will in a similar genre.

Actor Taye Diggs has written a few children's books about race:
Chocolate Me

The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together - Heather McGhee  (2021)

I heard McGhee speak at a conference then listened to her audiobook for my book club. This New York Times Bestseller tackles the concept of the zero-sum paradigm - why so many whites believe that bettering the lives of  minorities comes at their expense. She tackles big economic stories like the decline in union jobs, the closing of rural hospitals because of the lack of health insurance or the subprime mortgage epidemic by using personal stories so you can really understand it.  McGhee makes the argument that racism hurts everyone, including whites.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

This historical fiction was the "IT" book of 2020 so I had to read it to see what all the buzz was about. The novel is a multi-generational saga from the 1940s to the 1990s of two light-skinned  twin sisters from Louisiana. One twin vanishes and decides to pass as white and so the story chronicles their lives and that of their daughters  and how they dealt with colorism, classism, identity, loneliness and racism. The book had surprises  I didn't see coming and profound thoughtfulness. It gave insight into a number of important topics. HBO is going  to make an adaption of the book into a limited series.

My post Books by Black Authors  lists fiction and memoir books worth reading. 

I wrote another post  Black Lives Matter that explains why we still need Black History month and lists both interesting documentaries and nonfiction books to read.

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