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24 Books By Colored Authors That Everyone Should Have On Their Bookshelf

LiteratureFactory presents 24 Books By Colored Authors That Everyone Should Have On Their Bookshelf! We could not stay indifferent during these hard times and would like to show over support for the BlackLivesMatter movement. We bow the knee to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other black Americans killed by the police. It is high time for the US to stand together and fight for justice. BLM movement is an example of unity, passion, kindness, and brevity of the nation. Justice will be served if only we stand together!

Why Translating Black Authors Matters

Racism is a horrible thing. What is more horrible, is that people do not fully grasp the idea of it. The reason is lack of the materials and information. There are and there were hundreds of colored authors, poets, and writers who were not translated into other languages. Their novels and poems were not treated as valuable but, alas! Colored people have always used literature as a way to express themselves, their emotions, and their anxiety. It is high time for other people to hear what they are trying to say, what they were trying to say for decades. It is time to hear the voice of people who suffered their whole life. It is time to hear their voice. We’ve prepared the list of 24 Books By Colored Authors That Everyone Should Have On Their Bookshelf. Share it with others, get educated, try to understand and support all people that are neglected. Do not stay silent!

24 Books By Colored Authors That Deserve Your Attention

The Post-Racial Negro Green Book by Jan Miles

This book is an important read that chronicles, state by state, incidents of police brutality, and everyday harassment against the black community. It is data-driven and factual. It packs a surprising emotional punch. I was so moved by it, I reached out to the author, and she tells me she is working on an update. She will certainly have her hands full now. The book is an eye-opening account of the daily struggle people of color face. Jan Miles is a good writer; her work has appeared in the Washington Post and various other places. It’s a difficult, compelling read — just what our times call for.
Recommended by Susan McLennan from Reimagine

A Happy Pocket Full of Money by David Cameron Gikandi

This book is about how you can change your mindset around money. This book has changed my life and while reading this book, I experienced a lot of breakthroughs and shattered so many scarcity beliefs I had around money.
After reading the book and applying the lessons, I started earning more money because I am now thinking of an abundance mindset. The shift is real.
This is not woo-woo stuff as the author explains the ideas based on the
findings of quantum physics.

Recommended by Waheeda Haris from Habitsbuzz

The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law by Haben Girma

I am inspired by the story of Haben and her story of overcoming the challenges of being blind and deaf to get to where I wanted to go. She overcame odds that one would think was impossible plus grew up in very challenging circumstances. It takes a lot of will and courage to move beyond what is limiting you to being on top. Goes to show you that anything is possible no matter what disability or color you are. I actually was in her presence and moved by her presence. Stories like her are truly inspirational.
Recommended by Andrew Mondia

Nina’s Whisper by Sheena C. Howard

This book deftly untangles the psychology of domestic abuse. A story told in the first person by a young, successful, Black woman who triumphs over relationship abuse at the hands of her wife. A touching, inspiring, and rare story that reached #1 on the Amazon Bestsellers list for Dramas in its first week of release. There is no story like it. It deserves to be on this must-read list because most of what we hear/see about abuse is that of white women and abuse at the hands of a man. Abuse is about power and control, not gender or race. Black women need to be represented.
Recommended by Sheena C. Howard, Ph.D.

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Olue

The New York Times bestseller So You Want to Talk About Race is a wonderful explication of race and racism in the U.S. for readers who are new to the subject. Olue is frank, funny, and she logically lays out how rationalizations for the racial and economic inequity we witness can only be attributed to racism. She discusses objections to affirmative action, why you can’t touch black women’s hair, and micro-aggressions — all necessary discussions for beginners. She approaches the topic with personal stories, statistics, and humor. I think it’s one of the best, beginning-level books about race and racism that’s out.
So You Want to Talk About Race is an exceptional work that discusses the varied topics surrounding white supremacy and the mindset and systemic problems it has birthed. From the school to prison pipeline to police brutality, affirmative action, and the microaggressions that Black people face on a daily basis are illustrated in Ijeoma Oluo’s work.

Recommended by Dr. Dionne Mahaffey

Battle Endurance – How You Can Be Someone Who Never Quits and Gives Everything You Have To Give by Nate Battle

If you are searching for a tool to help you sift through the noise, overcome obstacles, and find your true purpose in life, this is your book. Let’s face it, life is hard, it is going to be unfair, and people simply don’t always play by the rules. Given that, it’s best to equip yourself, sooner rather than later, with a tool to help you manage through the challenges you will inevitably face in life so you can find and live your true purpose. This book will help you do just that. It lays out a roadmap on how you can look beyond challenges, expectations, and facades to be your true self. It was written with the idea that as the reader, you can replace the challenges presented with your own, being able to see yourself while learning how to let go, work through conflict, obstacles, and difficulties and limiting negative self-talk, one step, action, moment and battle at a time. Shared are many stories, and approaches to letting go, how to live in the present, and have a full and more peaceful life. It’s engaging and relatable while including an honest selection of experiences readers of all ages will find as useful tools to help live a full life. “This book puts language around so many feelings I had. It also reminds me of a place of peace that must be maintained for me to avoid those pitfalls.” A book which motivational speaker Les Brown calls instructive, informative, and inspiring … a guide to live your life victoriously.”
Recommended by Nate Battle Coach

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Regarded by many as the most widely read book in modern African literature, Chinua Achebe‘s Things Fall Apart is one of the first indigenous novels written from an African’s point of view. Before ‘Things Fall Apart’, most novels about pre-colonial Africa and Africans were written by foreigners, who depicted the continent and its inhabitants as savages who lacked any serious history.
Things fall apart, captured vividly the simmering conflict that characterized the clash of two civilizations. Written in 1958 during the twilight of colonialism in his native Nigeria, the book shows the tragic impact of colonialism on African society. The book, set in a fictional Igbo society, is about Okonkwo, a village warrior forced into exile for committing murder. Achebe’s book showcased a balanced and insightful African story to the world, one that resonated with people from other continents and cultures. It should undoubtedly grace every bookshelf.

Recommended by Nonyerem Ibiam from LawTruly

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing should be required reading in every home. This book helps explain the origins of systemic racism in America through the stories of two African half-sisters in the 18th Century and the lives of their descendants up until the modern age. By exploring life for African-Americans throughout the ages, the reader is better able to connect to the challenges, persecution, and suppression of Africans by white people both in Africa, on their passage to America, and of the generations to follow in America. There are many passages that are hard to stomach but these heart-wrenching stories were real-life for many Africans and African-Americans. It shows how the way one generation is treated can affect descendants for many generations to come.
Recommended by Kady Fleckenstein from Kadydid Consulting

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

I would have to go with the classic book by Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man, as one of the must-have books written by a black author. Written in 1952, the book delves into the very core of the alienation felt by black people in America during the time. The story illustrates the journey of the protagonist living in the various boroughs of New York City and the racism he experiences along the way.
Aptly titled the Invisible Man, the book illustrates the day to day life through the eyes of an African American in the 1950s and his struggles to integrate into society, leading him to feel invisible to the outside world. The book was awarded the National Book Award one year after it’s released and Ralph Ellison would become the first African American to receive the award.

Recommended by Tom Winter from DevSkiller

“Pushed Back to Strength. A Black Woman’s Journey Home” by Gloria Wade-Gayles

The autobiography takes the reader on a journey of every-day struggles that black indigenous people of color (BIPOC) face. “The Day I Bought a Wig” is just one exemplary chapter of those struggles – a different outer appearance. Gloria Wade-Gayles writes about her searching for identity: “We had to live our lives in such a way that if anybody defamed our character, they would be lying and the whole world would know they were lying. All you’ll ever have in this life is your own integrity. Don’t ever give it up for anything or anybody” (page 81). If you decide to buy into the author’s stories and struggles you’ll actually find yourself ending up learning a lot about fine traits like ‘courage’, ‘character’, and ‘charm.
Recommended by Janet Wunder from Flexonedu

Dear Strong Black Woman by Jennifer Sterling

In society, black women have constantly been told (and forced) to be strong. This book addresses the narrative of the Strong Black Woman and disrupts this narrative in a powerful way. The book contains 31 letters of nourishment, written in a poetic style, from one black woman to another. However, white women should read and take notes to learn about the lived experience of being a Strong Black Woman and the impacts it has had.
Recommended by Lindsey Smith

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

This is the 1995 memoir of former United States President Barack Obama. In this piece, he goes back to his life as a child, up until his enrollment into law school at the famed Harvard University in 1988. He was also recounting stories of his father, who’s been absent for most of his life. The stories were told to him by his mother and maternal grandparents. Barack only met his father one last time in 1971 in Hawaii, before the latter’s death from a car accident in Kenya 11 years later.
If you’re a supporter of the former US president, this would let you get to know him on a more human level. He also tells stories of his days of partying and decadence, which should provide a background of his “cool” personality. But even if you aren’t, it is a fascinating story about the man behind the former leader of the free world.

Recommended by Jack Wang, CEO at Amazing Beauty Hair

The Autobiography of Malcolm X, as told to Alex Haley

There is a lot to be fascinated about with this 1992 book. Malcolm X and Alex Haley began their collaboration in 1963 in New York City. Most of the work was done in Haley’s apartment in Greenwich Village, where Malcolm X would drive all the way to from his home in Harlem to work.
The story is more of a chronicle of the struggles on racism that Malcolm’s family had gone through while he was growing up in Omaha, Nebraska. It showed how it shaped him as a person to become the historical figure that he is. And given the current landscape in the United States, this is very much in tune with the times. Sadly, Malcolm never got to see the book published, as he was assassinated in 1965.

Recommended by David Foley, Founder at Unify Cosmos

The Pursuit of Happyness Book by Chris Gardner

This book is an astounding real-life rag to riches story.  It tells the story of a father who as every father wants is to give his family a wonderful life.  It speaks about how he overcame hardship through perseverance, passion, and hard work.  Chris Gardner describes in his memoir the feeling of being homeless and starving and living in one homeless shelter after another.  This book will help you realize that if you just hold on to your dream and keep on pursuing it that you will one day reach the top.  That’s why its no wonder that the book was also made into a movie starring will Will Smith and his son Jaden.
Recommended by Samantha Moss from Romantific

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Everyone knows Shonda Rhimes for her ability to create captivating television that relates to millions of people. This is precisely why this book is a must-read. Would you have believed that this highly successful woman would suffer panic attacks and avoid public appearances? In this book, Rhimes tells the story of her decision to live a year of saying yes to every opportunity that came her way. The book reviews both Rhimes’ childhood as well as her year of getting out of her comfort zone and learning to embrace life. This open and honest book can empower people and inspire them to give new things a try.
Recommended by Katie Dames from Feely Feelings

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The book was written by the author for his teenage son describing his personal experiences on how it is like to be black in America, how underprivileged his family was, their poverty, lack of human rights, and most of all, how he resented the people behind the death of one of his black classmates in the University he went to. I loved how he openly and honestly poured out his emotions about the never-ending stigma of racism though he also admitted that he couldn’t help his son because the reality remains that inhabiting a black body in America is filled with imminent danger. He explained how frustrating it is that even if they are trying harder than anyone else, they will always be the ones below. It is just amazing how a sad and upsetting talk about reality can depict genuine love and affection from a parent to a son.
Recommended by Sonya Schwartz, Founder at Her Norm

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

This book tackles the life of the American writer and poet Maya Angelou. It talks about facing racism and trauma through courage and affection toward literature. She explained how women can overcome male supremacy and how to fight injustice in the society. It has been a symbol of hope for every black girl living in any part of the world. This book is worth reading because it highlights the struggle that black women have to endure and how they have overcome such things. It gives us insights on how should we put an end to the roots of racial profiling and be more educated towards racism.
Recommended by John Howard from CouponLawn

Piecing me Together by Renée Watson

The book talks about the life of an African American girl named Jade who is taught by her mother to take advantage of any opportunities that will come knocking at the door as it will be best for her. The book highlights the issue of racial discrimination and how Jade was favored by opportunities while her friend Samantha has nothing. The book will incredibly touch your heart and every chapter shows an in-depth realization about racism. It will teach you how to value someone’s flaws as everybody is not perfect and how to handle the difference in characters.
Recommended by John Howard from CouponLawn

How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir by Saeed Jones

Why: Saeed Jones is a powerhouse of contemporary arts and letters, and his first memoir, How We Fight for Our Lives, tells a beautiful story of not only Black survival but also Black joy. From growing up Black, gay, and Buddhist in suburban Texas to teaching high school in urban New Jersey, the book is a lyric meditation on overcoming and finding peace and power wherever it can be had.
Recommended by D. Gilson, PhD from QuickQuote

Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves by Glory Edim

It is a book that gathered many inspirational essays from other black writers and curated it in one book to show us the importance of finding yourselves in literature. It is a kind of book that lets you remember the time wherein you felt that one book is personally written for you just because you fully relate to the book’s character.
Recommended by Shari Smith from Shari-Sells

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Darécan 

It is a very courageous story, using the unforgettable voice of a 14-year-old Nigerian girl who seemed to be trapped in servitude but later on decided that she will fight for her dreams and chose her own path! She knows what she wants – an education. However, her father sold her to the third wife of the local man. It is also one of the most anticipated books of 2020 by the New York Times.
Recommended by Shari Smith from Shari-Sells

Kindred by Octavia Butler

This book is about a black woman named Dana who travels in time to save a person named Ruffos, a white son of a plantation owner. Throughout the story, the same thing happens; she will be pulled out from her present to the past, she was tasked to help Ruffos from being in any danger and to help him grow to be a man. This book has a great thrill to it. It talks about the life of a slave at that time. It would allow the readers to have a quick view of the lives of slaves that they would need to do as ordered and have no say about it.
Recommended by Albert Griesmayr from Scribando

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gray

This book is about the journey of a gay black woman who wishes to be seen as normal. The author has expressed her own insights in this book of how it feels to be invisible and that wishes that everyone could see her as herself. It tells that being fat or different in the community is not as bad as what young girls were taught growing up. It speaks about her own experiences with rape. It shows the side where no one wants to talk about, it talks about discrimination and how far people would go to make you feel unwanted.
Recommended by Albert Griesmayr from Scribando

Beloved by Toni Morrison

This book is based on the true story of Margaret Garner, who killed her daughter to save her from slavery. The story is deeply moving as it really discusses how a mother would take the pain of being a slave and going to a circumstance of killing her children rather than letting them feel the pain and hardships. The book also discusses the bad sides of her decision, she intended to kill all her children, however, 3 out of 4 survived and it continued to haunt her throughout the story. It has an intense and shocking narrative. It covers a lot of fields in terms of slavery, racial discrimination, and freedom. It also discloses how far a mother will go to protect or to save her child from slavery and the mistreatment of other people.
Recommended by Albert Griesmayr from Scribando

That was the list of 24 Books By Colored Authors That Everyone Should Have On Their Bookshelf. Educate yourself and your children. Have a serious talk with your neighbor, your colleague, your friend. Do not stay indifferent or silent. Black lives matter!