10 Must-Read Books Written by Black Women

Lend me your ears!!!

Did you know March is National Women’s History Month? A month to commemorate and celebrate how women have incessantly contributed to society through their philanthropic efforts, discoveries made, and unsurmountable achievements.

In short, it’s basically a month to remind everyone just how bad ass we really are! I’m especially excited about celebrating this month’s declaration. How will I get started? By reading the following of course! You’ll definitely enjoy these good reads by the most melanated authors out there!


    You Can’t Touch my Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain – Phoebe Robinson

     Read this one with Solange on repeat! Wit, humor, candor make this bestseller a hit! In this personal essay, Phoebe shares some of her experiences as a black girl who doesn’t quite fit the stereotype most associate us with. Once you put this one down, you’ll be aching for more, so be sure to catch her podcast here!


  The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl – Issa Rae

  Besides, Insecure, Issa Rae, has dabbled in quite a bit, including online web-series and books too! This one’s a hit and basically became the catalyst to the stardom she’s relishing in today! Filled with chuckles and relatable experiences, you’re sure to complete this one in less than a day!


   We Should All be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

   With all of the turmoil going on, basic human rights women are still fighting for, and prejudices we still receive, there’s no question as of why we all need to be feminists. In case media has you jaded or debating your stance, however, just open this personal essay by none other than, Chimamanda!


    Women, Race and Class – Angela Davis

      Who better to follow than one of the greatest leaders? When I think of National Women’s History Month, I simply can’t name a few without including Angela in the mix. Influential, iconic, and inimitable. In this novel, Angela briefs us on women’s liberation and the trials and tribulations faced by those advocates of the movement. Sounds vaguely familiar? ;)


    32 Candles – Ernessa T. Carter

   Your dream guy is standing right in front of you! He’s like literally in reach! You want him, can’t wait to have him, but there’s one thing in your way…YOU! Find out if Davie gets her knight in shining armor in this satirical novel based on so many of our lives!


   His PhD is in Hypocrisy: And Other Poems about My Crappy Ex-Boyfriend – Tayo Oredein

      So novels and personal essay types books aren’t your thing? What about poetic prose? Tayo definitely delivers in this book riddled with poetic accounts of a relationship centered around a guy we’d hate to bring home to mom! Can you relate and is he really that bad? Head to your nearest bookstore to find out!


   Americanah -  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

   Featuring two of her books isn’t a crime, is it? Well, even if it is, I’d risk my life only because Chimamanda is just that good! This modern-day love story takes on the role of two love-birds venturing their separate ways, facing hardships while apart, and fortunately rekindling their love around 15 years later. I’ve read it many times and still can’t get enough!  


    Through My Eyes – Ruby Bridges

     Can you believe they compared our beloved Ruby to the newly appointed Betsy DeVos? Besides feeling like a slap in the face, it basically helps to solidify the fact that our counterparts will never conceptualize nor realize everything we’ve been through to even reach the point where we are now. To revisit Ruby’s journey, pick up this historical autobiography sure to put that illustration to rest.


   Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race – Margot Lee Shetterly

    You’ve probably seen the movie, heard the acceptance speeches, and clamored over just how wonderful these ladies and their stories are. In case you haven’t, or if you simply can’t get enough, pop open Margot’s book and get even more details!


  Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism – bell hooks

      Don’t you just love how she never capitalizes her name? Makes me giggle each time I type it as my autocorrect tries to tell me I’m wrong. There’s more about bell hooks to love though! Her novel represents who we all are, adversities we’ve had to overcome, and the bonds of sisterhood that hold us together as black women. Fighting the good fight in the name of feminism and learning about those before us who did it so well consume this novel. You won’t be able to put it down!


Great list, eh? Not to toot my own horn, but I think it’s one of the best lists out there that features nothing but melanated authors full of stories to tell especially during a month that pays homage to women everywhere. After you’re done with these, be sure to check out Shimmy Sistah’s extensive list by clicking here!  

Still craving more Black authors? We've got you covered!

Also check out this article on the Free Black Women's library!
And the Well-Read Black Girl's amazing book club!

Jazmine is a lover of all things GLAM, GLITTERY, GLITZ, & GOLD! After she tires from spending her parents' money, turning UP, bleaching her teeth, and tanning to achieve that Mocha-Cocoa hue, she blogs on all things Shimmy & so much more!