Books by Black Authors to Add to Your Reading List

Emma Wall and Jack Juarez

One important way to celebrate and amplify Black voices is to read literature by Black authors. Below is a chronological list of books by Black authors, separated by genre. Links to buy or check availability at Chicago Public Libraries are included. Be sure to check out the other books by the authors listed as well. Remember that Black History Month is certainly not the only time when you can incorporate more Black voices into your reading list! 


How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir by Saeed Jones (2019) | Buy | Borrow   

Becoming by Michelle Obama (2018) | Buy | Borrow 

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2015) | Buy | Borrow  

Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland (2014) | Buy | Borrow 

Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges (1999) | Buy | Borrow 

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1998) | Buy | Borrow

Rosa Parks by Rosa Parks (1992) | Buy | Borrow

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcom X and Alex Haley (1965) | Buy | Borrow


New Kid by Jerry Craft (2019) | Buy | Borrow  

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams (2019) | Buy | Borrow

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (2017) | Buy | Borrow

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (2015) | Buy | Borrow 

Beloved by Toni Morrison (1987) | Buy | Borrow

Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks (1953) | Buy | Borrow

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (1952) | Buy | Borrow 


African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song edited by Kevin Young (2020) | Buy | Borrow

Just Us: An American Conversation by Claudia Rankine (2020) | Buy | Borrow  

Don’t Call us Dead by Danez Smith (2017) | Buy | Borrow  

HER by Pierre Alex Jeantry (2017) | Buy | Borrow

And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou (1978) | Buy | Borrow 

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin (1974) | Buy | Borrow

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (1969) | Buy | Borrow

The Weary Blues by Langston Hughes (1926) | Buy | Borrow

Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral by Philis Wheatley (1773) | Buy | Borrow

 Children’s Books/Picture Books

Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman (will be release September, 2021) | Buy

Black is a Rainbow Color by Angela Joy (2020) | Buy | Borrow

Hair Love (Based on the Short Film) by Mathew A. Cherry (2019) | Buy | Borrow

Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment by Parker Curry, Jessica Curry, and Brittany Jackson (Illustrator) (2019) | Buy | Borrow

Thank You Omu! By Oge Mora (2018) | Buy | Borrow      

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown, Frank Morrison (Illustrator) (2014) | Buy | Borrow

Of Thee I Sing By Barack Obama (2010) | Buy | Borrow