Black History Month has begun, so the bookworms at Writer’s Relief are celebrating with this list of books curated to highlight the wonderful literary contributions of noteworthy Black authors. Check out these 21 books by Black authors written to inspire, thrill, and educate readers, and then choose one or two (or more!) for your TBR list!
21 Books By Black Authors To Read This Month (Or Any Time!)
Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold by Bolu Babalola
In this collection, Babalola retells some of the most beautiful love stories from ancient history, focusing on tales from West Africa, Greece, and the Middle East.
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
YA fantasy has become increasingly popular, and The Gilded Ones, the first in a West African-inspired feminist trilogy by Namina Forna, does not disappoint.
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
A well-received debut novel from Morgan Rogers, Honey Girl follows twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter after she drunkenly marries a woman she doesn’t even know on a trip to Vegas. This book explores what it means to be an adult, to follow your heart, and to find a place for yourself in the world.
Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson
When two young Black British artists who are hoping to make their mark on the world meet in a pub, they seem destined to be together—until the fear and violence they experience because of their Blackness threatens to tear them apart.
While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams
You may have already heard about Stacey Abrams, a former candidate for Georgia governor and a voting rights activist who helped register 800,000 people to vote in the state before the 2020 election. What you may not know about Abrams, however, is that she’s also a published writer! She’s written numerous novels under the pen name Selena Montgomery, but this is her first novel under her own name. Set in our nation’s capital, the book uses Abrams’s vast knowledge of our political landscape and the inner workings of Washington to craft a complex and satisfying thriller.
Island Queen by Vanessa Riley
This historical novel is based on the true story of Dorothy Kirwan Thomas, a Black woman who was born enslaved in the Caribbean but rose to become one of the wealthiest and most powerful landowners in the West Indies.
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
The first of a planned trilogy, this epic fantasy draws from African history and mythology to weave together an incredible story that has been dubbed the “African Game of Thrones.”
More Great Books By Black Authors
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Real Life by Brandon Taylor
The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans
Intimations by Zadie Smith
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Erasure by Percival Everett
Small Island by Andrea Levy
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Razorblade Tears by S.A. Crosby
If you enjoy any of these books, be sure to leave a review for the author on Goodreads! You can also check out The StoryGraph—Writer’s Relief is on The StoryGraph as well as Goodreads.
Question: Who are your favorite Black authors/what are your favorite books by Black authors?