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10 Powerful Books Written by Black Authors

Posted by Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child on Feb 24, 2022 3:17:20 PM

One important way you can honor Black History Month with your child is by amplifying Black voices and reading diverse stories. When reading literature about Black historical figures, consider who is telling that story. From Alice Walker to Amanda Gorman, we can celebrate and support Black authors by promoting more authentic storytelling that reflects real Black experiences, identities and voices.

The following are 10 powerful books written by Black authors you should read in 2022: 

10 Powerful Books Written by Black Authors

Elementary School

  • “My Dream of Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Faith Ringgold – An artistic story of the history of the Civil Rights Movement with a list of important dates in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life. The book includes two pages of activities to help children reflect on what they have learned. 
  • “The Other Side” by Jacqueline Woodson – Clover’s mom says it isn’t safe to cross the fence that segregates their African-American side of town from the white side where Anna lives. However, the two girls strike up a friendship and get around the grown-ups’ rules by sitting on top of the fence together. 
  • “Have you thanked an inventor today?” by Patrice McLaurin – A journey about the African-American inventors who contributed to the American landscape.
  • “One Crazy Summer” by Rita Williams-Garcia – A Newbury Honor novel about the story of three sisters who travel to Oakland, California, in 1968 to meet the mother who abandoned them. 

Middle & High School

  • “Home” by Toni Morrison – A New York Times Notable Book about a modern Odysseus returning to a 1950s America mined with lethal pitfalls for an unwary Black man.
  • “Well-Read Black Girl” by Gloria Edim – A collection of essays by Black women writers, curated by the founder of the popular book club Well-Read Black Girl, on the importance of recognition in literature.
  • “Just Mercy" by Bryan Stevenson – A New York Times bestseller and true story (now movie staring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx) about the potential for mercy to redeem us and call to fix our broken system of justice. 
  • “Call Us What We Carry” by Amanda Gorman – The breakout poetry collection by #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman.
  • "The Three Mothers" by Anna Malaika Tubbs – How the mothers of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X, and James Baldwin shaped a nation.
  • "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker - The story of Celie, a young African-American woman growing up in poverty in segregated Georgia.
Bonus Content: Listen to the latest episode of our podcast, The Happy Kid Project, to learn more about the importance of Black History Month.

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Topics: reading, history, diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, Black History Month

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