With just over a week into Black History Month 2021, we’re dedicating this time to celebrate the voices that continue to pave the path towards a more just society for African Americans across the United States.
This year, we’re sharing our favorite books from some of the most brilliant African American writers and thinkers.Covering topics from racial justice to personal memoirs, the books in this list share the creative expressions of the Black experience and serve to inspire, thrill and educate readers.
Take a look at our recommendations below:
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness – Michelle Alexander
Michelle Alexander’s groundbreaking book about criminal justice reform highlights how the U.S. has decimated communities of color through mass incarceration and fueled countless social movements protesting this modern-day form of slavery. The book is a crucial read for those who want to understand the link between slavery, the effects of Jim Crow, mass incarceration, and racism in the United States.
Becoming – Michelle Obama
For those looking to be inspired we recommend Becoming, the memoir of Michelle Obama. The memoir is a deeply personal experience. The former First Lady invites us to learn about her roots and how she found her voice, being a mother and her experience as the First Lady.
How to be an Anti-Racist – Ibram X. Kendi
Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s concept of antiracism reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America – and points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. In his work, Kendi asks us to think and conceptualize what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.
Find Dr. Kendi’s latest book: Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019
The Fire Next Time – James Baldwin
James Baldwin’s classic is about his experiences as a Black man in America during a time of horrific racism. Baldwin’s experience relayed throughout his book serves as a reminder of the history of oppression within the United States and helps readers think about the path forward as we continue to promote equality.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Angelou’s autobiography about her childhood is an unforgettable story of triumph against incredible odds. Angelou set out to write an autobiography that also stands up as literary fiction, accompanied by moving prose that highlights how a love for books saved her. We recommend this best-seller to anyone who wishes to be inspired.
The Purpose of Power How We Come Together When We Fall Apart
For those who want to understand the Black Lives Matter movement and activism we recommend The Purpose of Power. This is Alicia Garza’s personal story, where she explores her background, her experiences in organizing, leading, and activism is general, the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement and the importance of organizing, participating, and actively working towards real change.