3. All the Joy You Can Stand: 101 Sacred Power Principles for Making Joy Real In Your Life by Debrena Jackson Gandy
This one is an oldie but a goodie, and it’s not just a regular self-help book either! While mainstream self-help books can be helpful, few of them offer practical tips that cater to the unique experiences of African-American women. We have to ask nuanced questions like: How can I learn to love myself when my image is constantly misrepresented and underrepresented in the media? What does black joy look like? How can I get more out of life? Well, All the Joy You Can Stand answers all those questions and more. This book will be a gift to your spirit. Remember, black joy is revolutionary.
4. The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas
There’s some serious buzz around Angie Thomas’ debut novel, The Hate U Give. John Green, the author of The Fault In Our Stars, predicted that it was destined to become a classic of young adult literature. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, the novel tells the story of a 16-year old girl named Starr, who finds herself torn as she attends an predominantly white upper middle-class high school, but lives in a poor neighborhood. Her entire world is shaken when she witnesses a police officer tragically shoot her unarmed best friend, Khalil.
5. We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True
by Gabrielle Union
I’m a big fan of Gabrielle Union. She’s been in dozens of films that I’ve loved (Bring It On, 10 Things I Hate About You, Good Deeds, etc.). When I heard that she’d come out with a tell-all book about her life and how she dealt with trauma, stigma, and colorism in Hollywood, I rushed to read her book! Needless to say, We’re Going To Need More Wine did not disappoint. If you’re looking for a perfect beach read or just want to catch some sun in your backyard, this is the perfect book to read while doing so.
6. Akata Witch
by Nnedi Okorafor
Ever feel the need to escape from the real world and rest in the solace of an imaginary world of magic? Akata Witch is the perfect escape read! Although it’s a middle grade book, it can certainly be enjoyed by older audiences. The novel tells the story of twelve-year-old Sunny who was born in New York and now lives in Aba, Nigeria. She discovers that she has magical powers and is plunged into a secret magical society that hunts down others who use their powers for evil.
by Vashti Harrison
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History features forty incredible black women in American history. Perfect for young black women who want to see heroes who look just like them, the book educates and inspires as it relates true stories of breaking boundaries and achieving beyond expectations. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations that highlight both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash.
“Grace is a freelance writer and blogger from Canada. Her work has been featured on HerCampus, 21Ninety, Read Unwritten. She is a voracious reader, a dog-lover and a self-professed pop culture junkie. Her other hobbies include watching sappy romantic comedies, consuming too many strawberry-filled doughnuts and people-watching. Grace currently attends university, where she is working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Pre-Law.”